Today we said goodbye to Chester Hercules Waldman. He was almost 17 years old.
I was working from home during many of these years so he has been my constant companion. A day didn’t go by when his silliness didn’t make me smile or laugh: His manic greetings when we came home (he ran around the house at lighting speed as if he hasn’t seen you in years.)… the way he would mournfully slink around the living room each night, with the stuffed duck toy in his mouth, looking unsuccessfully for a way to bury his prized possession…. the way he made himself seem tiny -- and therefore cuter -- when begging for food… The way he looked shockingly like the Shroud of Turin and thereby became our best holiday card ever. He loved the boys so much, and has been with us for most of their lives. He connected me to others in the neighborhood, where he’s been a presence for 17 years (“Hi Chester! How’s it going? Your beard is getting whiter!”) Honestly, he wasn’t particularly loyal or bright. But, damn, was he entertaining. I will miss you, lil’ pup.
Almost 17 of my 22 years spent with this little guy and it’s really tough to say goodbye. I watched Chester change from an adorable little puppy to a distinguished, grey-bearded gentleman, and couldn’t be happier that I got to grow up along side him. Rest easy buddy, you will be missed.
Yesterday, I said goodbye to the best dog I could ever ask for. Chester lived a long life and was truly a member of the family — it's gonna be strange to visit home without his enthusiastic greeting at the door.
I'll miss the prolonged dog walks when Chester would insist on marking his territory throughout the entire neighborhood and the games of fetch that were mostly him destroying a defenseless duck chew toy. He never failed at his mission to guard our home from intruders — mostly squirrels and cats, but one time, a black bear looking to eat our trash. Home won't be the same without him. I just hope doggy heaven has lots of chicken bones to eat and fields to frolic in. I'll miss ya buddy.
"So there's no one to walk," Steve just said. Or give apple slices to, or dog toys, or paw massages. Our 16-and-a-half year old companion Chester died today in our Brooklyn home with Wendy, the saintly vet from Pet Requiem in attendance. We drove him ourselves to Pet Rest in Peace Memorial Center & Crematory and the team there also was so kind. Six hours later, I find myself relieved, so grateful and besotted with memories. "How are you going to raise two boys without a dog?" my mother said when I announced in the late 1990s that I didn't think we'd ever own one. So we found our way to Chester and the love just blossomed. We all grew up together. Here's the LifePost we built where you'll see more pictures of him. We practice loving, attaching and letting go with our pets to prepare for the bigger releases, right?
Chester often accompanied Steve on his journeys around the neighborhood. These shots give a great sense of our neighborhood, and Chester's place in it.
Whenever we left the house, Chester waited, wanting his pack back. We took him with us as much as we could.
Things will be profoundly different in his absence. We're out of the house so much now and the kids are grown. We're thinking we can't have another dog for awhile. How could we? Our hearts our broken. There will never be another Chester.