Chico was Sean “DJ Real” Daliet’s best bud. Sean rescued Chico from the pound more than nine years ago. At the time, he was a frail little pup with merely hours to live before he would be put to sleep.
The two of them have been through so much. Together, they survived Hurricane Katrina and the long homeless months that followed. Sean used to say Chico was like a cat with nine lives and maybe his name should have been Lucky. Twice Chico had a run-in with a moving vehicle and walked away with not much more then a few bruises. The first time, it was Sean who accidentally rolled over Chico with his truck. They were heading off to somewhere and Chico poked his head out the open passenger window, taking in the warm breeze. Chico loves to go bye-bye, and he was filled with anticipation for wherever they were off to. In his eagerness, Chico fell out of the window, just as Sean hit the gas. On his knees in the middle of the street, Sean gathered Chico’s seemingly lifeless body in his arms and howled and sobbed. Then Chico twitched and gave a stunned little yelp. A trip to the vet proved that all was good in the world: Chico was fine, and Sean was damn relieved.
The second time a car hit Chico, he sustained a few, more serious, injuries, but he pulled through like a champ.
In 2008, Chico was diagnosed with canine pancreatitis, which led to diabetes. A short time later, Sean learned that Chico had developed cataracts in both eyes—a common occurrence in dogs with diabetes—and he was losing his vision because of them. Surgery could save his vision, but surgery was quite expensive and beyond Sean’s reach.
Because of Chico’s health issues, we often worried about Sean and how would he ever get by without Chico if Chico’s little heart ever gave out. Never in a thousand years would we have thought that it would be Sean who would end up leaving Chico behind.
Just weeks before Sean passed away on October 21, 2013, he set up a fundraising page for Chico’s eye surgery—a surgery he had wanted for Chico for nearly three years, ever since Chico was diagnosed with partial blindness. He loved Chico so much and wanted so badly to restore his little dog’s vision.
These words that Sean once wrote in a letter to a friend who had helped him get Chico from the pound sum up just how important Chico was to him:
“Chico is the best dog in the world, and I thank you so much for bringing him into my life.”