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A Proper Charlie

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A sad day today as it is 4 years ago I said goodbye to my little Charlie (not a euphemism).   Some of you who have followed me on Twitter and other short lived blogs etc will remember she was my  doggie friend (could never have described her as a pet, I was more her pet) of some 12 years.   I did a bit of digging through the internet and found a blog entry of mine from June 2011 when she was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour; here is part of it again…

“June 28th 2011 -Today I had some very bad news.  News I kind of knew was coming but I tried to ignore it, hoping it would go away.  Today I was told my dog, my cute, beautiful, intelligent, cheeky, smiley (yes, she can smile), gorgeous, brilliant, clever, loving and faithful companion, my Charlie, has an inoperable brain tumour.
I’ve had her for over 12 years and we’ve been through so much together, so many amazing journeys, unemployment, failed relationships, TV shows, fame (sort of), fortune (kind of) and everything in between.  And now she’s lying next to me looking and sounding so very, very ill.  Last weekend she had 5 seizures in 24hrs, they were more like strokes and with each one she looked a little worse.  Then she bounced back Sunday night, looked a little happier, she licked my face and smiled.  But it was the drugs helping her through and as they wore off, and she looked even worse, I knew she wasn’t going to get any better.  The place we went to today for her MRI scan was amazing.  Deep in the Hertfordshire countryside it was a hospital, not a big vet’s surgery, a full sized hospital with 6 surgeons, 11 consulting rooms, 6 wards, 50 nurses and anything up to 90 furry patients at any one time.  To see so many animals coming and going, all being cared for in such beautiful, rolling countryside was a wonderful experience.  But as nice as it was, Charlie won’t be going back because they can’t make her better.  She may be with us for a few more months, more likely a few more weeks.  The drug she is on is actually a human drug, not intended for use on animals but it’s the best thing for her, apparently.  All I know, as my baby lies next to me, blind in one eye, breathing heavily, sometimes crying, occasionally trying to get up but falling down again; we’re coming to the end of our journey together.  And it’s been beautiful.”

Four years on since Charlie passed away and the time still isn’t quite right for me to get another dog.  For ages I was baffled how people got another dog almost straight away after the passing of their current pet; that to me seemed like a replacement and I could never replace Charlie.  She was such a sweet, loving little thing I think it may have been a shock to get another dog with a completely different personality.  Don’t get me wrong, Charlie wasn’t some mindless laptop, she could be a moody little cow when the moment took her and would have her sulks and her tantrums but that’s what made her my Charlie.  For people who sneer at those who treat dogs like their children, well, I feel sorry for you because you’ll never know the feeling of pure, unconditional love from a loved one who never asks why and always forgives. For those of you who do love your pets like children you’ll know it’s almost unbearable to decide to get another furry offspring who will you will more than likely outlive again.   But I really feel our family is incomplete and so I’ve decided it’s right to get another dog; sadly now is not the right time.   With work commitments and travel plans for the next year all booked in it means now would be a ludicrous time to get another 4 legged friend; there’s just too much going on.   BUT…. in a years time (well, next summer to be more accurate) it’ll be right!  I’m so excited at the thought of it I feel like a kid at Christmas.  Talking of Christmas, it reminds me of the RSPCA campaign, ‘a dog is for life not just for Christmas’, if only this were true!  (well, I guess it is true, the dog’s life, but you know what I mean…).  I miss you every day Miss Charlie Cat (the reason why I used to call her Charlie cat and refer to her as “the cat” is another story, if we ever meet, ask me!) and I won’t be replacing you next year, just getting someone in to continue the chewing and scratching of furniture where you left off.  For all of you with pets, never forget how lucky you are and what a privilege it is to share our lives with them,  Now, I know it’s late but do me a favour would you?  Take your little pooch for a quick 5 min walk around the block, it will be an unexpected treat and you’ll be repaid tenfold with kisses and cuddles; tell them Charlie sent you!   DL x

Miss Charlie Cat and Sympathetic Friend

Miss Charlie Cat and Sympathetic Friend