Chilly’s Final Tour – A Celebrity Therapy Dog’s Last Days #chillythepoodle

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What?  Sadly, we have discovered a tumor in Chilly’s mouth, under his tongue.  Ironically, even though his mommy is a veterinarian, the location of the tumor is not amenable to surgery.  The tumor is an aggressive cancer for which radiation and/or chemotherapy offers little hope.  All we can do is keep him comfortable and enjoy him for the time he has left.  The most optimistic outcome would be a few months of enjoying his company.  What do we do?  We deal with pet cancer on a daily basis, but this is our pet…  How do we spend his last days? 

We have grappled with this new reality over the past two weeks.  After some soul searching, we have decided that we should be generous with his remaining time, as being a therapy dog and ambassador for Helping Hands has brought him into contact with tens of thousands of people, many of which have been moved by his gentleness and love.  Personally, he has helped us cope with health scares and the death of Jake’s mom, spending many hours at the hospice ward, cheering up other families as he has been our rock.  He has spent time at the Ronald McDonald House, numerous hospitals, and at senior living facilities.  The week of the Newtown school shootings, he offered comfort to the police department and spent a day in the town square, consoling residents who were coping with three funerals in one day. 

Chilly offering therapy to families in Newtown, CT.

Chilly offering therapy to families in Newtown, CT.

In his relatively short life, Chilly has reached a pinnacle of fame that would make Benji or Lassie jealous.  He was married in the Guinness World’s Most Expensive Pet Wedding, which raised a tremendous amount of money for the Humane Society of New York.  His vows were even aired by Conan O’Brien on national TV.  The wedding was featured on an episode of Cake Boss.  He has met celebrities from Rachel Ray (who had to jump to the floor to take a pic with him), to Robin Roberts.  He has enjoyed spending time on the Good Morning America set, with Ron Claiborne.  And even beat out Nutzy the Richmond Flying Squirrel as Richmond’s most popular mascot.

Chilly and Dr. Lori in New York City

Chilly on the set of Good Morning America with Ron Claiborne

What do we do now?  Too often loved ones leave us without a warning, or we read about them in the paper, wishing we could have spent a little more time in their company.  With Chilly, we (my family and all of you, his friends) will have a chance for closure.  Would you like to see him?  We will take him out around the Richmond area where he can enjoy the company of his friends and continue to enjoy life as long as he is comfortable.  We will let you know where Chilly will be on our Facebook account and on Instagram (#chillysfinaltour).  We may even take a trip to DC as he loves to stay at Kimptons and ride the elevator.  If you can’t see him in person, please let us know if he has touched your life, and leave your stories on our blog or Facebook page.  If you have a pet that is capable of providing joy to others, please share your 4-legged child.  The Karma generated by hanging out with like-minded pet lovers is precious and one of life’s great gifts. 

Please share this message with any friends that may know Chilly, and thanks to all of you for enriching our lives with your love of pets!

 Lori & Jake

#chillysfinaltour

#chillythepoodle

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66 comments on “Chilly’s Final Tour – A Celebrity Therapy Dog’s Last Days #chillythepoodle

  1. Paula Nolin on

    I am so sorry to hear about Chilly. Allowing him to enjoy his remaining time on this planet as you have outlined sounds wonderful. A celebration of his life should continue so long as he is able. A unique soul who wil continue to make everyone smile until he transitions. Seeing Chilly always made me smile..his gift and legacy

    Reply
  2. Stacey Wickens on

    God bless you Chili..you brought much comfort..love..and smiles to soo many…
    No doubt you will the same when you cross the bridge…..thank you, you are much loved and respected…..many hugs and kisses
    Stacey. Lana🐾 Lincoln🐾 and Jefferson🐾

    Reply
  3. Jan Grubb Brubaker on

    Chilly is the best, and this breaks my heart to hear this news. We fostered Chilly right before he came to you, and absolutely loved him. I’m so thankful that he got to spend his life with you, as he has made such a huge impact on so many lives. I’d love to see him and give him a hug. Love you Chilly.

    Reply
  4. Lisa Heaton on

    I am so very sorry. Chilly has been someone I’ve always looked for knowing there was good care at Helping Hands. He has shown to be one of the best ambassadors for anything I’ve ever seen and it will be missed greatly.

    I lost my 5 yr old Great Pyrenees in December to osteosarcoma. I hate cancer. Her tumor was high up in her shoulder and her quality of life was failing. I had to say good bye and I know you know how hard that is.

    I wish you peace and comfort at this difficult time. My prayers are with you. And Hallie will welcome Chilly when he crosses the bridge.

    Reply
    • Veronica on

      Thank you Lisa♥ We are so sorry to hear of your loss. They always leave us too soon. We agree, #canceristerrible It is comforting to know someone wonderful will be waiting for him♥

      Reply
  5. Sue Shank on

    Lori and Jake.

    This is Eva The Megaesophagus Wonder Girl’s mom.

    I am so sorry to hear about Chilly. My dog, Jasmine, survived a malignant melanoma on her tongue 5 years ago. After surgical removal, they gave her 3-9 months. With RX and supplements she beat those odds!

    2 years after that she had half her liver removed along with a tumor from a different cancer. Up until Dec last year, she was a happy girl.

    Sadly in Dec. we found a tumor on the roof of her mouth, malignant melanoma again. No surgery could be done for her this time around. I treated her with supplements, CBD Hemp oil, and even managed to get some CBD Marijuana oil for her. For 2 months I treated her, as the tumor still grew. She was still a happy girl. Every day I saw the tumor getting bigger and bigger and obstructing her breathing, but she just kept on going like the Eveready Bunny. I did not have to give her pain pills, I believe because of the CBD marijuana oil. We went for our daily 1 mile walks up until the day before she “went Cosmic.” On that day, her breathing obstruction was unbearable for me to hear. I called the Lap of Love vet to come over. Even as we waited, Jasmine was running around the backyard, playing with the others!!

    We had the grand exit all pre planned out. Rainbow Colored comforter, pepperoni, music by the Hawaiian artist Iz. His version of Somewhere Over The Rainbow. After the vet gave her the sedative shot, she went over to the bay window and took one last look at her domain. Then we sent her “Cosmic”, as we like to call it!

    Best dog ever.

    I know that Chilly will have the time of his life on his last tour!! And so will you!
    Much love to you and Jake the the kids.

    Sue and Eva

    Reply
    • Veronica on

      Thank you so much Sue and thank you for all of your support over the years♥♥ Your Jasmine was soo lucky to have you as a Mom♥ I will make sure Dr P and her family read this♥♥

      Reply
    • Laura on

      Oh my gosh that was such a sad, yet happy sorry too. I can’t image my life without my 👼 angel… She is my world and VERY much like the daughter I never had..

      Keep smiling

      Reply
    • Sandra Fengel on

      What a beautiful legacy and adorable dog. I hopr he does not suffer much. You just want to hold and hug him or her.

      Reply
      • Veronica on

        Thank you♥ He is very comfortable and very much himself so far…and we are very grateful for that♥♥ We are giving him alll the hugs and spoiling him with all of his favorite things♥

        Reply
  6. Elizabeth on

    Goodspeed may know the love you have to given to others .

    When at the bridge please give my love to Safari, Moosie, Karma, Maxwell, Sadie,, and Lacey

    Reply
  7. Whitney on

    We fostered Chilly and brought him to Helping Hands thru his rescue group to be neutered- when Dr Lori saw his sweet demeanor. He had been found as a stray (along with a few other Standard Poodles around the same time) and was rescued from a crowded rural shelter. We couldn’t have been happier for him to find his forever home and are so grateful for the Pasternaks for the love and incredible life they gave him.

    He was a true ambassador to rescue dogs-a wonderful companion, a family’s beloved friend and affected thousands of people thru his compassionate work. Every rescue dog deserves this, and he proved their worth and broke the stigma. Rescue dogs are wonderful!!

    We’re so sorry to hear this news, and send love and thankfulness to Helping Hands and the Pasternaks. Hugs to you ALL and Chilly. xx

    Reply
    • Veronica on

      Thank you Whitney♥ He is indeed a special, special being and we are all so much better for knowing him♥ If you want to meet up and give him a hug, e-mail me at veronica@plexecon.com and we will try to make that happen♥

      Reply
  8. Romana Williams on

    Chilly – my heart breaks for your family. You are such a lovely dog and sweet comforter. May you live the rest of your life knowing how much you are loved by everyone.

    Reply
  9. Joanne Biddulph on

    Oh Chilly my heart is so sad for you. You comforted me when my little fur baby was having surgery. You just laid there so happy and let me pet you and tell you about my Toby and all my other babies. You are one of the sweetest doggies ever. Enjoy your last days sweet friend. My Lady and Timmy will be waiting for you at the rainbow bridge. You will never be forgotten.

    Reply
    • Veronica on

      Thank you so much Joanne♥ We take great comfort knowing our Chilly will be greeted by so many special friends♥

      Reply
  10. Nancy Tucker on

    I’m so sorry to hear this very sad news. I met Chilly when you came to Temple Israel to talk about Helping Hands. What a wonderful soul – unlike any I’ve ever met. I’ve seen him when I’ve brought my dogs to you for their cleanings – he’s so comforting. I can’t imagine the heartbreak you are going through. Know that many people are thinking of you and keeping you in their hearts.

    Reply
    • Veronica on

      Thank you so much Nancy♥ He truly is a unique and very special soul♥ We are very lucky he came into all of our lives and are cherishing the time we have left♥♥

      Reply
  11. Jennifer Strotman on

    So sorry about Chilly! He is one special guy. My kitty Mikayla had a tumor in the same spot and it went undetected by my vets even during her dentals at HH. She just stopped eating one day and I took her in immediately. I was actually the one who felt it. 🙁
    She left within a few days since she was unable to eat. She was in no pain and only had love and my lap. My thoughts are with you and all who know Chilly.

    Reply
    • Veronica on

      Thank you Jennifer♥ We are so sorry to hear about your sweet Mikayla♥ The ones that are deeply embedded under the tongue can be very hard to detect and also very fast growing. They always leave us too soon 🙁 #canceristerrible

      Reply
  12. Kat Simons on

    I am so very sorry. What an angel on earth…Thank you for sharing this amazing pup with the world…..Chilly will have lots of Furry angels waiting to play with him…For now Be Gentle to yourselves and enjoy every moment as I know you will…I am going to have to make an appointment for A Chilly Kiss-Love and Light to all

    Love Kat

    Reply
  13. Linda Debrewer on

    Thank you for allowing Chilly to spread his love and touch so many hearts. Every living thing will die, but not many can say they helped so many others make it through crisis. Blessings to Chilly ❤️ I hope to see him in DC.

    Reply
  14. Robin Ankrom on

    Chilly was such a comfort to my 10 yr. old daughter durring our visit to helping hands veternary. So sorry to hear about his tumor. Sending much Love to Chilly and his loved ones.

    Reply
    • Veronica on

      Thank you Robin♥ Helping to put people at ease is certainly one of Chilly’s special gifts♥ Please give your very special Cookie a big hug from all of us!♥

      Reply
  15. Lou Bolster on

    I’m so sorry. Chilly is one of the greatest dogs I’ve had the pleasure of meeting!! He’s a loving, gentle soul. I met him during one of my clinical at Henrico Doctors Hospital when I was a scared nursing student. Meeting him was the highlight of my day. May his last days be filled with love.

    Reply
  16. Mary S. on

    Chilly immediately brings a smile and a feeling of warmth to those waiting at HH. I’m sorry more folks will not have the chance to laugh a little during the rough period of time when their own dear furry friend is in surgery. I’m not over the loss of Cappy in December so it brings tears to my eyes just to type my thoughts. But HH and my local vet gave us several more months together – and Cappy’s behavior when in for an appointment made it clear that she felt the same. Thank you for the kindness and care to all your patients.

    Reply
    • Veronica on

      Thank you Mary♥ We are so sorry about your Cappy♥ We are taking comfort in the knowledge that our Chilly man will be greeted by so many special friends♥

      Reply
  17. Meghan Margulies on

    Dr. Lori and Chilly were kind enough to visit The Opportunity House in Portsmouth, VA. Chilly was able to help persons in the mental health community as well and they are still talking about it to this day!
    He is truly a special dog and I’m so glad he had so many loving family and friends to live such a special life!

    Reply
    • Veronica on

      Thank you so much Meghan♥ Dr Lori and Chilly really enjoyed their day at The Opportunity House! Thank you so much for inviting them and for doing such great work! He really does love to spread love♥

      Reply
  18. Eroica Craggette-Wallman on

    Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about Chilly…he is quite a special guy! We met last year when I brought my sweet boy, Morris to have a soft tissue sarcoma removed. Our fur babies are as much a part of our life and family as our children; many believe they are the children that some of us never had! Your plans for Chilly are outstanding…he will remain forever in your hearts and the hearts of all those he touched with his uncanny calmness and sweetness. Thank you for sharing him with us!

    Reply
    • Veronica on

      Thank you so much♥♥ They are indeed our family..it always seems they leave us too soon. We are treasuring the time we have left♥

      Reply
  19. Cheyenne Burnham on

    Oh no!!! I know Chilly will receive so much love in his last days. His family are in my thoughts as every moment now is bittersweet. I’m so sorry. His fans at Final Gravity would love to see him again and dote upon him. Please reach out.

    Reply
    • Veronica on

      Thank you♥♥ He will definitely be by to spend some time with you guys…he and his Dad love it there In fact, his Dad composed much of this post there this weekend 🙂

      Reply
  20. Beq on

    I had an appointment at Helping Hands when you were in Carytown. I was taking Willow to have her teeth cleaned and I’d never been there before. As we headed down the RMA we were passed by a little convertible. All I could see of the passenger was a mop of colorful hair. We were following Chilly to work! Thank you Chilly for all the joy you bring to everyone everywhere.

    Reply
    • Veronica on

      Thank you so much!♥ Chilly still loves riding in the convertible with his mam♥ Please give you Willow a big hug from all of us♥

      Reply
  21. Irene Hunter on

    I never met Chilly, but loved to hear of his activities. And seeing his photo was also always cheering! I know people and dogs who met and loved him. Sorry for any pain he and his family are enduring. Happy last tour!

    Reply
  22. Ameigh Schwarz on

    Meschka and me fell in love with Chilly, Dr. Lori and HH years ago during our first visit in Carytown. I still smile at Meschka’s name on the wall that Happy painted.

    I look for Chilly at all the local Richmond events and once again Meschka was treated with TLC when he had several teeth removed last summer.

    I am in tears as I read this from Portugal that Chilly is sick as Meschka is sick too. I am counting the days until I am home with him and hope I have the courage to honor Meschka like you are honoring Chilly when it is his time.

    Reply
    • Veronica on

      Thank you so much♥ We are so, so sorry to hear your Meschka is not well. We hope you can get home to be with him soon♥ They are indeed our family♥♥

      Reply
  23. Sharon Proffitt on

    so sorry to hear your final days are near for you As they say you have been a good dog a companion comfort to so many people your beautiful colors just made everybody happy I did get to see you a few times as we brought our little doggies there for dental cleanings and I definitely want to have a chance to say goodbye to you so I hope to see a date that will be convenient that I can come and see you and send you to that wonderful rainbow with kisses and

    Reply
    • Veronica on

      Thank you♥♥ He will be at Helping Hands tomorrow and Friday, as well as all of next week from 7:30 am until about 8:15 am. Weather permitting, he will be at Hardywood tomorrow at 5 pm. We want him to get all of the love he can soak up!♥♥

      Reply
  24. Denise Dailey, Brenn, Bree and Petunia🐾🐾🐾 on

    I was able to visit with Chilly on both May 1st and 14th when my Greyhounds we’re getting their dentals. Chilly was such a love bug and I really felt like I was with a celebrity (which he is). I actually got a little giddy😂! My thoughts and prayers are not only for Chilly, but all of you who experience his sweet spirit every day. You have made Chilly’s life special and he has touched so many lives. Thank you and God bless you❤️

    Reply
    • Veronica on

      Thank you so much♥ We are so glad you got to meet him♥ Please give your greyhounds a big squeeze from us!♥

      Reply
  25. Karen O. on

    We were able to meet Chilly when we traveled from Newport News to have one of my Titan’s front legs amputated after an injury. Leaving our pup there was so hard for my girls (4 and 9 at the time), but Chilly came by and cheered them up before we left.

    I wish we could be there to see Chilly before he crosses the Rainbow Bridge, but we are sending our love and support from Yokosuka, Japan.

    ❤️

    Reply
    • Veronica on

      Thank you so much♥ We are giving him all of the love and hugs we can during the time we have… Please give your Titan a big hug♥

      Reply
  26. Gale Hollstein on

    I’m so very sorry to learn of Chili’s illness. What an amazing life he has led.

    Chili has accomplished so much and given his unique brand of comfort as a Therapy Dog.
    The special memories he made will continue to bring comfort and joy.

    Hugs,
    Gale

    PS. We were just at HH last Friday for Doc and Garrett’s dentals. They’re both Therapy Dogs, too.

    Reply
  27. Pam Murray on

    So very sorry to hear the news about Chili. I was in with my chihuahua Riley last week for dental cleaning and again today with my 18 and a half year old chihuahua Chi Chi for dental surgery as well. Your staff and doctors are so caring and professional. I lost my other chihuahua 2 years ago but find comfort knowing he is running pain free over the Rainbow Bridge. I’m sure he will be so excited to see Chili when he gets there, too. God Bless you Chili! ❤️❤️❤️

    Reply
  28. Teri & her Stylish Cats on

    I am incredibly sad knowing that such a special dog won’t be living ‘into his teens’, spreading his love to those who need it and those who didn’t even know they needed his gift…

    But I am also incredibly grateful that it is with you that he will transition into hospice care, and beyond. You have always been advocates for animals and your love for Chilli goes beyond that, you are his advocate and I do not have to worry that you will wait a day too long to give him that ‘gentle sleep’…

    I cannot think of his human family without also saying what truly compassionate, caring and open people you are and I always look forward to the times we meet up! You tell Chilli that @CocoCoutureCat has always envied his colorful locks and says she wishes she had furry ears, too so she could ‘Rock the Rainbow’!

    Love and Hugs and gentle thoughts to you all!

    Reply
    • Veronica on

      Thank you so much Teri & Coco♥♥ We are cherishing every moment we have left with him♥ As of today, he is still very much himself, so we are taking it a day at a time♥

      Reply
  29. Shoukoufa Aboubakri on

    I actually got tears as I read about Chilly! I see him there every six months when I bring my little girl
    To get her teeth cleaned. I can’t imagine going through something like this. He’s the sweetest dog I have ever met..it’s going to be strange coming there and not seeing him. I still have pics and videos of him that I take every time I come. :/ I’m coming there June 1st so I hope I get to see him again one last time :/ This is so heartbreaking..I’m so sorry..I will keep him and you all in my prayers and thoughts 💗🐾💗🐾💗

    Reply
    • Veronica on

      Thank you so much♥ Please give your Callie a big hug from us♥ So far Chilly is still very much himself, we are just taking it day by day. We hope he will be at HH to greet you and Callie on June 1st 🙂 Thank you so much for all of your support over the years and thank you for being such an incredible Mom to sweet Callie!♥

      Reply
  30. Cynthia Corey on

    Chilly embodies joy. I have always loved getting a glance of Chilly pouncing across the yard. Always brings a smile and the announcementn “Chilly is out.” Peace

    Reply
    • Veronica on

      Thank you so much♥ Yes, pouncing, gleeful Chilly is the BEST! I will make sure Jake and Lori see this♥

      Reply
  31. Stacy Cordell on

    I all, just wanted to check in to see how Chilly is doing? I’m not on any social media so have not heard or seen any updates. I think about him and you all a lot. Please let me know.

    Reply
    • Veronica on

      Hello Stacy! We are so sorry we did not see this sooner, we are having some work done on our website. We just now posted an update on Chilly. We are thrilled and grateful to report he is still with us. Thank you so much for all of your good thoughts!

      Reply

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