(aka “Chloe’s Christmas Miracle”)
By RADAR’s co-founders Ken Siegert & Rick Thompson
In mid-December 2010, about a month after losing our beloved senior Nellie, we started down a path of no return: Looking for an old dog in dire need of a home and a forever family. There were so many, far too many. While several seemed like ideal candidates for our family, the image of one in particular mesmerized us: Sweet Chloe.
In early November 2010, Chloe’s family, who had her for ten years, dropped her off at a shelter in Zanesville, Ohio, as if she was an old piece of unwanted furniture. Cold, confused, and stressed, Chloe’s future was bleak indeed. The odds of an older, larger dog getting adopted are slim to none. But this is where the miracle began to unfold.
Chloe had the very good fortune to end up at an animal shelter overseen by a guardian angel. The shelter manager, a seasoned pro who has seen it all, also operates her own rescue group and often works with another rescue group to help get the word out about dogs in desperate need of finding a home. And that’s how we discovered Chloe.
Just our inquiry about Chloe, the only one ever made, lifted the holiday spirits of those at the shelter and the rescues. Email exchanges, which seldom could be read with dry eyes, began to hold hints of a miracle!
Chloe’s days in the shelter were numbered, but in the very best way: We were adopting her on Wednesday, December 22nd.
With help of several transport volunteers, Chloe made her way to us via transport relays from Ohio to West Virginia to Maryland, then finally to Pennsylvania.
Chloe was truly Sweet Chloe indeed. She was the most gentle dog you could imagine. In just a short time, our other two rescue dogs, Toby and Winnie, acted as if Chloe had always been with us. Chloe was already enjoying her good meals, plentiful treats, regular walks, multiple beds, and, most of all, a secure home forever. Chloe, who had lost over 10 lbs. while at the shelter, had the rarest of holiday goals: to gain weight!
In a nutshell, this was the story of Chloe’s Christmas Miracle: Angels from rescues managed to align the stars to guide Sweet Chloe from a shelter with no room to two wise guys in the East! Joy to the World, Chloe had a Home!
Saying Goodbye to Chloe
In October of 2012, Chloe had surgery to remove what turned out to be a malignant tumor on her side. Lab results indicated that the cancer had not spread, and Chloe remained her robust self. But on December 9th, she had a severe seizure, and was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. In just a few days her condition and quality of life deteriorated so rapidly, that euthanasia was the only humane option. On December 17th, just five days short of her second anniversary with us, the vet euthanized Chloe at home, surrounded by her family.
While Chloe is gone, her legacy lives on through RADAR. Our adoption of Chloe was the original impetus to get more involved with rescue, and ultimately led us to form RADAR to help other at-risk dogs, like Chloe, have a better opportunity to find a forever home.
It is in her memory that we created Chloe’s SOS Fund (Saving Our Seniors).