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Ode to Chip

CHIP, PICH, BOY, CHIPPER, CHIPPY, our dog, our guardian, our friend, our shadow, may you rest in peace boy…

Chip was a unique dog. His first year of life was a difficult one that left a mark on his personality. Gary was cautioned by friends not to take him that he was a mess, but there was some kind of connection there that bonded them. I think at the time they really needed each other.  He was a  nervous dog with a major separation anxiety problem but the more Gary loved and took care of him the more normal he became.

I met Chip about 3 or 4 years before Gary and I started dating. At a party one summer in Jackson Hole. I remember him pacing between rooms checking on Gary. I tried to pet him but he wouldn’t have it. Only Gary could touch him. I remember thinking “that dog is crazy”. Then a few years later I got to know Gary and his dog Chip. Chip got used to me right away and with a few years of maturity he accepted me as part of his “pack”.

Chip never got over his separation anxiety. He followed Gary everywhere right on his heals all the time. On our wedding day as we were taking our vows Chip made his statement by breaking free of the leash he was on and running down the aisle so he could stand by Gary. I will never forget that. So endearing and such a tribute to his loyalty to Gary.

My parents have been Saints for watching over him while we have gone on various trips. Dealing with his sensitive stomach and such. Over time they were the only ones that could take him as he got used to their house and the routine of staying with them.

When we brought Ellie home Chip showed mild interest in her sniffing and checking out the wiggly bundle. Both Adah and Chip accepted her right away too. Never acting out as she crawled on them, poked at them, pulled their hair. Most old dogs that have had the history of Chip’s first year don’t tolerate children but he never made me nervous around her. If he didn’t like it he would move to the next room or look to me or Gary to help him out. Even on the last good day he had he tolerated Ellie yelling in his face and chasing him around the room. He didn’t feel good and any other old sick dog would have snarled at the innocent playfulness of a child, but he just got up and looked at me for help. He loved us and we loved him.

I haven’t known Gary with out Chip. He has been with us through it all. There is definitely a missing piece now and an emptiness to our wee house. I’m glad I took the time Thanksgiving morning to brush him out before Gary took him to the vet. It was my way of thanking him for watching over Gary when I wasn’t there and keeping him company, thanking him for being such a good dog for Ellie to experience as her first relationship with a dog, and thanking him for loving me too and letting me into his insecure little world.

Many friends and family have responded to the news of Chip passing through phone calls and comments on facebook and skibumpoet. Thank you for all the love and support. I wanted to share some of the comments…

Todd McGowan Lewis

Having become friends with Chip when you first got him, and to have witnessed and been inspired by your nurturing and caring of him, to have seen the trust he had in you right from the start, seeing his enjoyment floating down the snake river with us, still a little skidish yet having a seeming sense of contentment and recognition of a newer betterSee More life with you, and to have seen him years later a totally changed and happy Chip, I recognize the depth of the relationship you had with him. A very hard loss. A very good life. Our condolences Gary. We will miss you Chip.

Patrick Mack I wish someone had given Jesus a dog. As loyal and loving as mine. To sleep by His manger and gaze in His eyes And adore Him for being divine. As our Lord grew to manhood His faithful dog Would have followed Him all through the day. While He preached to the crowds and made the sick well And knelt in the garden to pray. It is sad to remember that Christ went away To face death alone and apart. With no tender dog following close behind, To comfort its Master’s Heart. And when Jesus rose on that Easter morn, How happy He would have been, As His dog kissed His hand and barked it’s delight, For The One who died for all men. Well, the Lord has a dog now, I just sent Him mine, The old pal so dear to me. And I smile through my tears on this first day alone, Knowing they’re in eternity. Day after day, the whole day through, Wherever my road inclined, Four feet said, “Wait, I’m coming with you!”
And trotted along behind. – Rudyard Kipling

Gary, Chip passed on Thanksgiving Day as a message to you. What more beautiful way to express his thankfulness to you for the life you gave him. Chip was a sweet and gentle soul, who we all loved. I am so glad you had each other in these past years. You will miss him, but you also have great memories of him. I cannot think of a better shadow then Chip.

Love Mom

On Thanksgiving Day this year we were thankful to have had 10 good years with Chip.

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The Story of Chip

This story has been told over and over to our family and friends but we like to tell it because we are so proud of the wonderful dog Chip has become and so it goes…

Chip was discovered in Gunnison, Colorado. Apparently he was locked in a barn for two weeks, while the old ranch hand was on a drinking binge. Chip was one of two puppies that survived out of a pack of five. A friend of Gary’s picked him up from a vet he knew in town. He was about to be euthanize because he was in such a dreadful state they thought nobody would adopt him. Cree didn’t want to see that happen so he scooped him up and brought him to Utah. Cree couldn’t keep Chip so Gary decided to take him on.

He said that Chip was a mess his hair was falling out because of mange and he was the saddest dog he had ever met, he could see that Chip was in a terrible state. Chip spent the first four days in Gary’s basement too miserable to make an effort to live. Gary was concerned at the time not knowing if he would act out and bite him or just end up dying on him. Finally on a sunny spring day Gary scooped him up and took him out into the back yard and brushed him out. That’s all it took, from that day on Chip and Gary have been inseparable.

He was an extremely skittish dog for a while, if there was company at Gary’s he would hide out in his room and come out to check on him every few minutes. He would run from peoples attempts to try to pet him. Friends warned Gary that Chip was going to be a difficult dog, but as Chip has aged he has become a beautiful and loyal alpha. He definitely has his quarks such as extreme separation anxiety, a sensitive digestive system, and a funny fear of vacuums. After nine years he has had to adjust to many things along the way such as me becoming apart of his and Gary’s little world, a few moves, and our latest addition to the pack Ellie. Considering what he had to endure in the first years of his life I’d say he is just shy of a miracle. Well done Chip.

Ode to Chip

CHIP, PICH, BOY, CHIPPER, CHIPPY, our dog, our guardian, our friend, our shadow, may you...
article post

The Story of Chip

This story has been told over and over to our family and friends but we like to tell it...
article post