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Friday, April 27, 2007

Charlie 

I don't often write about personal stuff on this blog, but one of our dogs died today, and I wanted to talk a little about him.
Charlie was a Yellow Labrador with perhaps a little of something else in him. I wish I could post a photo of him but I don't have any easily available tonight.
He came to us just five years ago -- we wanted a companion for our other lab, Chillou, and Charlie's original family couldn't care for him anymore.
What a joy Charlie was. There was nobody who just loved food more than Charlie -- on occasion my son would feed the dogs and then, not realizing they has already eaten, my husband would feed them again, and Charlie was just in heaven! There was nobody more eager to chase a ball than Charlie -- he would quiver in anticipation and focus on the ball with total intensity. We have never had a dog so tentative and uncertain in his love than Charlie -- it took him years to really trust us, and to let us hug him and pet him and love him the way he deserved. He was a faithful and loyal dog and such a "good dog" -- though Chillou will still get up to mischief, chewing socks and the like, Charlie never did anything like that at all, he always tried so hard to be the best dog he could be. We will miss him.
It happened very quickly -- last Sunday he started acting sick, still eating but slowly and then vomiting, moving very slowly during his walk. We took him to the vet and got blood tests and by Wednesday he was diagnosed with acute kidney failure. We don't know why, maybe some kind of poison or maybe cancer or some other cause. The IVs and drugs just couldn't stop it, didn't even improve it at all.
We tried to bring him home from the vet today, for one last night at home; he walked out to the car and seemed happy enough to be with us, but then when we got home he was so ill he couldn't or wouldn't even get out of the car. He wasn't really Charlie anymore -- there were just a few flashes of the old Charlie, but most of the time he was just dozing and staring and panting.
So finally we had to just go back to the vet, and make the difficult decision to have him put to sleep. In the end, it was very peaceful.


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