We rescued Charlie back in 2011 from Thomas J. O’Connors Animal Shelter in Springfield, Massachusetts. Click on the below link to read the original rescue story.
It brings me great sadness to let everyone know our sweet Charlie has passed away. He was 12+ years old. He had a heart issue. He passed away peacefully at home on his favorite dog bed. Rest In Peace Our Sweet Boy. We will miss you so much!
In this photo is his BEST FRIEND AMBER ROSE who passed away 2 years ago. They will meet in heaven and play for eternity
Our sweet girl Amber had been licking her front paws excessively for a few days. I gave her a warm bath, cut her nails and shaved her paws however the paw licking got worse. I called my vet and they suggested I bring her in as paw licking is a sign something could be wrong.
On our way to the vets office Amber was very nervous. She was panting like crazy. I turned around to look at her and I noticed there was something on the bottom, right side of her mouth, on the gum line. It was a pink lump that looked sort of like bubble gum. I never noticed that before.
When we got to the vets office I mentioned the mass in her mouth. The vet looked at it and I could tell by the look on her face it was NOT good news. She said, “Amber has a sarcoma in her mouth. We need to test it to be sure”. We made an appointment for a biopsy and also to take as much of the tumor out as possible. That happened within a few day.
We dropped Amber off to get the procedure done. She did very well. 3 teeth had to be pulled due to the tumor but she seemed to be in good spirits. Now we wait for the results.
2 days later, the phone rang and it was the vet. As expected it was very bad news. Amber had a poorly differentiated sarcoma in her mouth. It was growing out of her jaw into the gums. It is an aggressive tumor that grows quickly. Doc said she removed as much as she could but it will grow back rapidly. The options were to remove part of Amber’s jaw, radiation and medicine. Amber is 11 years old. We decided not to put her through any of that mostly because there is no guarantee she will survive.
The next 4 weeks were very emotional for all of us. We kept her as comfortable as possible with some pain medication and hand feeding her. She was able to eat home made sweet potatoes, rice, chicken and some ground beef. The tumor would periodically bleed and seemed to be getting larger. She was sleeping most of the time and we carried her outside to the bathroom as she wasn’t interested in walking. I took her for many, many walks in the doggie stroller which she LOVED. She could feel the wind in her face and I would talk to her the whole time. I let her out on the grass to smell all the great smells outside. She loved that. Through all of this she would still wag her tail and look at us adoringly.
On July 31st, we took her back to the vet for a re-evaluaton. I rubbed her belly the whole way. If you read my original blog on how she and I first met, it involved belly rubbing. Every morning I would rub her belly before she got out of her crate for the day. She would hear my voice and turn over on her back waiting for me to rub her belly.
We arrived at 5:15. Doc looked in her mouth and said the tumor doubled in size, was infected and she also felt another lump in her jaw and her abdomen was swollen. We again discussed treatment however with all the tumors, we made the decision it was time for our Amber to be at peace and out of all the pain she was in. Amber willingly laid on her side. I was rubbing her belly as they shaved her small paw. Tears were streaming down my face as I told her how much I love her and she will be okay. No more pain baby girl. I told her I will miss her forever and I will never forget her. I thanked her for being such a great friend to us.
The needle went into her paw and within 2 seconds I heard doc say “She’s already gone”. It was that quick because Amber was so tired. I held her for 10 minutes before I could leave her there, stroking her beautiful white fur. I got back into the car without her and really had a difficult time keeping it together. I wiped the tears from my eyes and thought of all the great times we had with Amber and drove home.
Entering the house without her was difficult and the other dogs in the house knew something was different. It will take time to heal the heart after the loss of such an amazing friend. Amber left us the same way she met us. With loving belly rubs.
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We were not really looking for another dog, HOWEVER, (there’s the “H” word again), we received an email that there was an adorable small terrier mixthat needed a new home. The shelter named him “Scrappy”. https://www.tjoconnoradoptioncenter.com/tjo/
We went to the animal control center in Springfield, Mass adoptable cute dogs to visit him. I found where his kennel was located in the facility. I noticed he was barking and barking his head off. I thought to myself, “Wow, the last 3 dogs I had adopted were so calm, cool and collected”. No barking like this guy. I put myself in his paws and thought, he must be scared to death. I asked the staff for a private viewing and we took him for a walk outside with our other male dog Marcus. He was much better out of his kennel and really enjoyed being outside and away from all the other dogs. I noticed he was marking everywhere! He was not neutered yet so I am hoping that is why. He seemed to get along with Marcus just fine and we were all happy with Scrappy.
We brought Scrappy back inside and I had some alone time with him. As I was playing with him I found out he already knew how to sit, stay and fetch. He was obviously someones pet that got lost. I felt so bad he was lost and felt just as bad for the owners that lost him. I didn’t want him to spend another day in the shelter but I really needed to think about this. We already have 3 dogs, maybe his owner will reclaim him? After about 30 minutes a staff member came in to take Scrappy back to his kennel. I said goodby to Scrappy and told the kind lady we needed to think about this adoption. I turned to walk out of the room and then turned right back around to take a last glimpse at Scrappy. What did I see?? Only Scrappy being adorable on his hind legs doing a dance like a circus dog. His front paws waiving in the air and begging. He was begging me not to leave him. Smooth move Scrappy!
How on earth could I
walk away from THAT amazing performance. I ran over to hug him and picked
him up. I gave him the infamous one liner “I’ll be
back” and off they took him to get neutered. Sorry Scrappy,
HOWEVER this is a necessary requirement to be part of your new pack.
We picked him up 3 days later. He had some complications from the surgery. He had scrotal swelling and bruising. The poor guy. His “you know whats” were bigger than he was. The technician explained how to care for him and provided us with some medication for pain and swelling. It looked worse than it actually was, so says the female human LOL . Complications of neutering page. Ouch
So now the big
decision? What are we going to call this adorable little guy? We
decided on Charlie. Sir Charlie Brown! Charlie Brown Not only was Charlie Brown my FAVORITE cartoon of all
times, he was my favorite character because he love his dog SNOOPY! Snoopy
FROM SCRAPPY TO HAPPY!!
What I notice most when
I adopt a dog, bring it home, nurture it and care for it, is how their
eyes and ears change from anxious and worried to calm and relaxed when in a
warm & loving home. Look at his eyes & ears in the photo below
compared to all the others below that. He has one “lazy ear”
which is what I love most about him.
September 2010 – Looks like we are at it again. We are so blessed and happy with our 2 dogs we decided to look for just ONE more. Once again went on https://www.petfinder.com/ and narrowed our choice down to a little white female cairn mix cairn-terrier. The shelter called her “Tonks #186”. She looked so thin, timid, shy and scared in her photo. Her eyes looked so SAD. I was instantly drawn to her.
I drove down to view
#186. The shelter had many dogs and it was a bit loud with all the
exicited barking. After all, the dogs were happy to see a new human with
the hope she will pick ME. I looked in each pen trying to find #186.
After about 3 minutes I saw her. She was all curled up sleeping on an
elevated cot type pet bed. How could she possibly sleep through all
the excitement going on? The facility was clean and well kept. The
staff was very helpful.
I said “Hey, sweet
girl, how are you?” She jumped off the bed, ran over to me and
licked my hand for at least 5 minutes. She got up on her hind legs and I
was able to rub her little belly through the fence. I stayed for about 30
minutes, then told her I had to go home and tell Marcus and Riley they are
going to have a new sister. As I turned to walk away, she started
to whimper. I looked back at her and said “Don’t worry, I
promise I will be back to get you“.
The way the facility was
set up, the dogs had an indoor pen and they also had access to the
outside. As I was walking back to the adoption center, #186 ran out to
the outside pen and followed me until I was out of site. I met with the
adoption staff and told them I wanted to adopt her. The staff asked me if
I had any other pets. I replied, “Yes, I have 2 other
dogs”. She asked if I could bring them down to meet #186 prior to
adoption due to the fact she wanted to make sure they got along. That
meeting was arranged for Friday and my husband would be back down with our
other 2 dogs as I would be at a trade show that day. It is so important
to make sure your other dogs get along with the new dog you bring into your
home. They need to meet on neutral ground which they did on Friday.
Fast forward to the next
day…..So there I was at my trade show, keeping busy and not knowing what is
going on at home. Then my phone rang. It was my husband
calling. I said “What’s the scoop, did they get along”.
My husband replied, “No, Marcus didn’t like her and they scuffled a bit so
they wouldn’t let me take her home. ” I wanted to CRY!!!! I
held it in, finished my show and drove home. I was feeling extra bad
because it was my birthday.
I walked into the house with my head down and bummed out. My 2 dogs, Marcus and Riley greeted me with open paws and lots of kisses. They could tell I was sad. I sat on the floor talking to them and petting them. Then all of a sudden I heard a whimper coming out of another room. I was like … “WHAT IS THAT NOISE”? I thought to myself, that sounds like #186!!!!!!!!!! I ran into the dining room and saw YOU KNOW WHO #186 in a crate in the dining room. I didn’t know whether to go kick my husband or hug #186. So I did both LOL! Hubby wanted to surprise me for my birthday and boy did he ever succeed.
I let her out of the
crate and was overloaded with kisses and little barks of excitement. She
rolled over and I rubbed her skinny, little belly. I gave her a
big hug and a special treat. Also, time for a new dog tag
holder Tag Holder
#186 has a new
name. Amber. She gets along with the other 2 dogs and now that she
is use to the surroundings she has become a bit mischievous. She loves
toilet paper and trash. She has quickly trained us humans to pay more
attention. She is a total pleasure to have around.
and every morning when I take her out of her create, I rub her belly just like
the first day we met.
and After. Look at the difference in her eyes. Cautious to HAPPY!!!