Friday, May 29, 2009

Groundhog Day...

..will have new meaning for our family now! I wrote back along about our baby boxer boy, Charlie and how he was ill. Well on Feb. 2, 2009 our puppy passed away! I sent out the following to all our family and friends that knew us and our beloved furbaby:

A note to all that haven't heard the news yet---A thank you to those that have sent their condolences!

For those that didn't know how things went down:

We went looking for a puppy for my cousin in July of 2002 and ended up in Casco, Maine -my cousin not taking the puppy that was seen--but US going home with a 1yr old boxer that was staring through a sliding glass door at us--bouncing all over the place!
He was so full of energy and had to be tamed a bit(he loved to run) the girl told us, and he had no manners! We were up for a challenge--and a challenge we had for some time! He quickly learned that running was acceptable--but: not into neighbors yard, without an invite AND not to the river for a swim, without supervision! He quickly adjusted to his new home and learned the trash was NOT an acceptable snack--neither were my lampshades, blankets, pillows, remotes and anything else that WE did NOT eat!! Besides his food, of course--yuck to!

He continued to get better at understanding the house rules--except for one--stop trying to visit the neighbor pups without permission/invitation! He oh so badly wanted to play and jump with the "kids" (pups) next door--sorry Heidi! Finally, we had to get seriously stern with poor Charlie and we put up an invisible fence and OH BOY he learned quickly that we meant business about the neighbors! --Not that he didn't look there and wish everyday! Well that took about a week or so and he no longer needed the collar and was broken to the rule of Staying in his own yard! After other little lessons and rules--he turned out to be well disciplined and loving boy who loved us as much as we loved him! He was also a very patient dog--accepting lots of things into his yard--other dogs that visited, chickens and of course a pig in his house and even shared his bed with it!

We had so many fun times and memories with him, babysitting, camping, rides, swimming and walks! There wasn't a person that met him that didn't fall in love with him or that he didn't like enough to bite! He was a happy, gentle boy that greeted with a big hello woof and an even bigger butt wiggle! He had a million expressions and a lovely voice (he sang with the harmonica)--his face brightened each day!--Even to his last minutes! He was healthy and always strong and then much too suddenly...

Charlie woke up on/around Nov. 19th with a head tilt and was leaning somewhat to the right! We scheduled him an appt. And he was seen Nov.24th and was diagnosed with an inner ear infection and treated with an antibiotic flush and a cleanser for his ears. We were told to treat him for 14 days and return on Dec. 8th for a recheck. Following through, we returned with no good news as he was seemingly unchanged, with good and bad days reported and we were directed to finish the meds we had for another week and call if any change. She said it looked like he had what they call Vestibular Disease and it could just last and not go away..there was no telling then... Only some time would tell...well time went continuing to have some good days without any signs of problems, other days tilting almost over and tipping here and there--still playing and being happy through it all--what a Boy!

He was no longer able to climb our stairs to bed at night--we began rotating between me, Jim, Adrienne, Me AND Adrienne, Jim AND I --each and every night to make a bed with him downstairs in our living room so that he was with at least some of his pack! Lots of nights hugging our boy close!

On Jan. 5th --NOT so good day--suddenly there was severe change and his first seizure that morning and an urgent call to the vet for the earliest appt. Available--that day, thank god! OR maybe not--Jim took him this time and with fire in his soul--a plea to help his Buddy! Something was wrong and it wasn't his ears! We were told that with seizures happening and after an Xray and seeing something but not sure of exactly what it could be (due to really needing an MRI at a cost of over $2,000.00), she told us it could be a tumor on his brain and was causing Neurological damage--and that, it did! After pleading--there must be something else we can try to see if it's something else--we were sent home with more Vestibular meds--oral doses this time--may help dissolve whatever that may be that was showing deep in his inner ear, near his brain! Two weeks of meds and no improvement--STILL! SIGH! This SUCKS!

More seizures, each one lasting longer--as we held him through each one--we became his seeing eye humans as his sight, hearing and mannerisms weakened and faded! He was slowly losing his strength --but not his will-- he fought to be what he had always been to us--loyal and faithful!

We had decided, with the signs and the voice of the vet, that we had done all we could do--considering our financial constraints with paying thousands of dollars to find out that it was a brain tumor or cancer --and then still being told there was nothing that could be done to save him...we just tried to be there for him and keep him comfortable--as much as we could--without causing him suffering!

On, Feb. 2, Jim knew the day felt sad--he felt that Charlie was not going to have a "good day"--as we would keep note of whether he was having a "good day" or a "bad day" or an extremely horrid one (the extremely good ones were no more)! As the day went on, Charlie tried to stand to eat--fell--tried to get water--fell--it took Jim and I both to get him outdoors to go to the bathroom! Jim cried, as he told me--today is the day--we just have to call the vet and see if we can schedule an appt.--I was frozen with sadness and yet somewhat relieved that it was Jim that made "the call" to give them a ring and not me--as I was feeling really bad about mentioning it before as it was getting very tough to watch him on his "bad days"! I called at around noon and...

They surprised us both with a same day appt. --we thought we might have some time to just let it sink in and suck up the love with our puppy! NOPE---so fast--at 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 2, 2009 --we lost (too soon) our bestest, most faithful friend and fur-kid ever EVER--Charlie! Rest in Peace, my boy !

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