In Focus: Where would I be without my beloved friend, Chelsie?
My pit bull, Chelsie, has been by my side for six years. She was rescued from an abusive family when she was just shy of 2 years old.
Since then, she has brought more joy than ever imaginable to my life.
Through ups and downs, failed relationships and deaths in the family, she's been the one who unknowingly would comfort me just by her being around.
I've cuddled with her, cried on her, dressed her up in ridiculous Halloween costumes. She has had more patience with me than any person I've known.
Chelsie has been the one constant in my life for so long that the thought never even occurred to me that something could happen to her. She's getting older — she has the little white face to prove it — but I guess I've just come to rely on her being there so much that her muscular body seemed invincible to me, in a way. Or, maybe I just never wanted to face that I'd one day be without her.
A little while back, Chelsie developed a few growths in her mouth and one on a hind leg. She needed surgery to remove them, the vet said.
In the week leading up to the appointment, my stomach was in knots. I wasn't ready to let her go.
The look on her face as I left her in the examination room with the vet was one of confusion, fear and sadness. I had to keep telling myself that she was in good hands.
I was told I could call at noon to check on her. I called back at 12 on the dot. The person who answered the phone said Chelsie already was awake, sitting up in her cage. The surgery went fine.
I'd like to say she was happy to see me when I picked her up, but she wasn't.
With her back leg covered in a pink bandage to match her collar, she practically hobbled right past me.
I'd like to think she still was groggy, but I'm sure she was also mad at me.
Over the next several days, I babied her and didn't let her out of my sight.
She went everywhere I did. I spent my entire week of vacation tending to her, but it was worth it. She recovered well and for that I'm incredibly thankful.
Kristina Serafini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1405 or firstname.lastname@example.org.