Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 10.54.26 PMChester turned up in my life about four and a half years ago having been dumped outside a local restaurant in LA. I later found out through chip technology that this was in fact his second time being dumped.

And I understood why. For the first month we stared at each other from opposite sides of the room. He snarled at me and I contemplated dumping him for a third time.

He was simply the most stubborn creature I have ever encountered. And just about as grumpy as life can make a person!!!

He was hairy on the inside.

And I didn’t want him.

But…. he was kind of amusing in his grumpiness.

I used to imagine him propping up a bar with a shot of whiskey and a short fat cigar telling sad jokes to people too bored by life to listen.

He was certainly a lonely dog. He had been lonely for a very long time, I think.

So I tried to ignored his grumpiness without ignoring him. I think we can all use a break like that now and again.

About a month after he landed in my living room, a month of snarling and bad humour between us, I went out for dinner without him. On my return he ran to the door to greet me and he wagged his tail for the very first time.

That did it. I was stuck. Undone. And committed.

It took a good year, but slowly, slowly his grumpiness began to dissipate and a little pockets of outrageous joy began to emerge. And the tail wagged more often.

Looking back now to the guy he used to be, I would never have imagined that such a transformation of personality would or could take place. From a guy crying into his whiskey about how unfair life is, he became a glorious joke teller, a trickster with an impish grin and a wobbly walk who would bounce around shouting out to anyone who would care to listen. Or not. He was just a happy guy who would as soon chase his own tail if it were the only plaything to hand.

Somehow the old guy disappeared and a young pup emerged. He was making up for lost time I am sure.

His previous vet was fairly convinced that he had discovered the fountain of youth.

The guy I knew did not arrive here in Australia.

I am very sorry that Chester’s story in Oz wasn’t a better one. But he had cancer and cancer doesn’t choose cities.

So I guess in end what counts is that he was loved and he wasn’t dumped for a third time.

I wanted to share Chester’s story with you as I really felt that you all actually cared. I never ever felt that any of you gave me lip service. You were straight, honest and took responsibility for your thoughts, comments, views and opinions. That I find is rare. And for me, most welcome.

I wanted to thank you all for your kindness and care. And by the way, not just the kindness you showed to Chester, but to me too.

If there is a positive side to Chester’s Australian story, it is that he (and I ) met all of you at Vet HQ.

So thank you.

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