Remembering A Family Pet..."Good-Bye, Charley"

I got the call early Sunday morning.  It was Justin and he had called to tell me that his doxie, Charley had died during the night.  "WHAT?!", I said totally in shock.  Charley was only 7 years old; I couldn't imagine what had happened to her.  The cause of death...apparently she ingested something poisonous and Justin found her dead the next morning.  My heart sank; Charley was loved by everyone in the family and was also my inspiration for getting the 2 doxies I presently own.  I quickly sent out text messages to all of the other kids.  Charley was a member of our family.

Justin got Charley whenever he was in college.  She actually belonged to him and a former girlfriend.  When they broke up, she didn't want to keep Charley and we were happy for Justin to have her.  Charley was that lovable, quirky little dog, who made sounds like she was actually trying to talk to you.  And if you started petting her, you better be prepared to continue, because as soon as your hand stilled, she "spoke" to you in her special doggie language to insist you continue.  Rolling herself up in her blanket was where you could find her most of the time.  However, she did enjoy chewing on that blanket as well.  Once, she chewed a hole right through it, big enough to some how get her entire body stuck in that hole.  Charley was always up to something.  A social being (as most doxies are), all she wanted to do was to find a place to lay in your lap.  When Parker Ann came home from the hospital, she was curious about this new little creature, but never tried to hurt her.  As a matter of fact, just recently, she would wander close enough to Parker, so that the baby could pull on her ears.

I took the news of her death especially hard, not only because I knew how much she meant to Justin, but because I was also very attached to her.  During Justin's engagement party in Arkansas, David and Ryan dog sat Charley for him.  I can remember David calling to tell me that something had happened to Charley and she wouldn't get up and walk and cried out in pain every time someone attempted to touch her.  I was as concerned about her as David was and insisted she be seen by my veterinarian.  David got up early the next morning and drove for 2 hours to bring her to me and then drove all the way back to school in Texas for his morning classes.  When I took her to see my vet, he found that she had a slipped disc.  Dachshunds are born with a deteriorating spine and this was a problem that many suffered from.  He told me that he could treat her aggressively and if she responded within a couple of days, we would know that it was working and she would be able to walk again; if not, she would have to be put to sleep.  I decided right then and there, that she was going to make it.  I went to the vet's office every day and took her a treat and loved on her and talked to her.  Robby told me not to do that.  He said that if we did have to put her to sleep, it would be extremely rough on me; I didn't care...I continued my visits.  After a couple of days, I walked in and found her on her feet!  Wobbly, but standing.  She had to stay for about a week to continue her treatment and then I brought her home with me.  Justin and Sarah lived 2 hours away and I told them that I would be keeping her until I felt she was doing well enough to go back home with them.  During that time, I babied her and made sure she didn't jump up on the furniture, which would aggravate her injury.  Soon, she was actually running around and play with Sissy (my doxie).  The longer I kept her, the less I wanted to give her back to Justin.  But, I could see how much he loved her and eventually allowed her to go back home with them.

For almost her whole life, Charley lived in apartments.  However, just a few months ago, Justin, Sarah and Parker moved into their first house.  There was so much room to run around inside, I'm sure she didn't know what to do.  She had a yard to explore too.  The fence was not up yet and although she never wandered off, Justin and Sarah never let her stay out long by herself.  She would have loved that big, new fenced in back yard, for her other favorite pastime was to lay outside and sun herself.  We are not sure what she got into, but apparently at some point on Saturday, she ate something out there that was poisonous.  She was sick most of the day on Saturday, but had begun to drink her water again by that night and appeared to be feeling better.  She died in the middle of the night and Justin found her that next morning.

We bring these precious little animals into our homes and lives and they become one of us...part of our familis.  I cannot imagine how difficult it was for Justin the first time he had to walk into the house and not hear Charley's familiar voice or her little nails clicking on the floor as she followed him to his recliner.  There will be a noticeable silence without her around and we will all miss her very much.  Charley...you were a sweet dog, a good pet and we all loved you dearly;  Good-Bye... 

1 comment

  1. So sorry, I had wondered too what happened. We still miss cotton every day.

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