Thursday, July 29, 2010

Goodbye Charlie Dog

Charlie passed away on July 10th. My sweet little dood.

About 2 weeks before, we came home and found vomit all over the house. 4 or 5 spots. I figured he'd eaten something he shouldn't have and didn't think too much about it, though I started paying closer attention to his eating and drinking habits.

Over the next two weeks he was still eating and drinking and seemed a little more like himself but not that great.We went to Heber for the 4th of July and had a good time. He didn't hardly eat while we were there but I just attributed it to stress from travel, lots of people, and unfamiliar dogs. When we got back, he still wasn't eating very much and started throwing up again, about once a day. He was eating less and less for fear of just throwing it up again and staying in one place for long periods of time and by Thursday we were really worried.

We took him to the vet on Friday and they did an x-ray. They showed it to us and pointed out the very large mass that was not supposed to be there. They showed us that it was pressing on his organs and making him sick. He also had very bad pneumonia; one lung was completely filled with fluid.

They took some blood and called me the next day with the results. His liver enzyme count was 6 times the normal level. The large mass that was taking up more than half of his abdominal cavity was his liver. The vet said it was either a really bad infection or cancer. She told me to talk to my family about either hospitalizing him (which would have cost upwards of $1500) or putting him to sleep. We talked and cried and talked some more.We decided that putting him down was the best option all around.

After thinking about his behavior I noticed a pattern that had developed since January. He had been slowly losing energy. Sleeping more, and running around less. Hiding under the bed more and engaging us in play less. More easily irritated and he had less of that pure doggy joy he of which he always had too much. We didn't notice because we had gotten Claire in December and she had enough energy for both or them. We just figured she was wearing him out all the time. Poor guy. We told the vet this before Charlie was put to sleep and he was almost positive it was in fact liver cancer from the description of his declining energy.

He would have been 3 years old on the first of August. We are so sad to have lost him so soon. He was my first "baby". I got him about 4 months before I got pregnant because I wanted a baby so much. I needed to have something to take care of. I found him at the pound with the cats because he was so small. He weighed 4 pounds and he was the cutest thing I'd ever seen. I named him after Charlie on LOST, a stuffed monkey I had as a child, Charlie Brown, Charlie the Unicorn and well... he just looked like a Charlie.

I had so much fun with him. I dressed him up in sweaters when it got cold and a costume for Halloween. He would get sudden bursts of energy and run around the house as fast as he could, we called it his "nascars". I taught him to chase his tail for treats. He was the worst in his class in puppy training but still "graduated". He barked at everything that moved or made noise. And he hated water only a little less than cats do. He played tug of war like a big dog and never let go unless he was flying through the air and was an absolute riot when there was an air mattress involved. I took too many pictures of him and he quickly learned to hide when the camera came out because he didn't like the flashes.

My house is empty without him. Claire misses her playmate and I miss my little buddy. I'm so sad to have lost him so soon. He was a great little, too-hyper dog. Waking up without him standing on me to get me to let him outside is hard. Claire has been a wonderful comfort. I'm grateful we got her when we did. She cuddles like Charlie never would after I rolled onto him once or twice. Poor little guy.

I love you Charlie. I hope you've found Cassie (my first wonderful dog) in doggie heaven and that she's running nascars with you. See you later.

Chloe getting bigger by the month...