Charlie’s Back Condition

Charlie has had problems with his back for years. He will be 13 in September. He was born on my late best friend’s birthday. And named after her father Charlie Ross.

There was obvious weakness in his back right leg. Then he started to kind of drag it behind him, so I took him to the vet yesterday.

His mid-back discs have collapsed. The vet said he can’t really feel the leg or know where to place his foot.

He will be undergoing therapy there twice per week, the first time being yesterday. The vet gave him a shot with Vitamin E to ease the inflammation.


Charlie can’t take pain pills because of his heart condition/medication. So I’m to give him Vitamin E supplements every day. Lots of meds, like this one, are chewable, but Charlie unfortunately has no teeth.

So I cut up everything small and put it into a small pill pocket treat. He manages to get that down. Today he’s acting as though he may feel a little bit better. But he seems very tired.

I know one of you lost your fur baby this past week and I’m oh so very sorry. We can’t control these things. They control us. What soul wrenching heartbreak.

So Charlie will go in for physical therapy again tomorrow. They will have to work us in again because the vet, who is 75 and never takes a day off, is booked solid through the month. This veterinarian lives and breathes his work at the clinic.

Yesterday while I was waiting I heard him talking to a patient’s mom/dad on the phone. He didn’t say the words “your pet or dog or cat.” I heard him say the words “your baby” and then proceeded to tell them how the pet was doing.

Hearing that touched me. They are all babies to him. When Abi died last year he told me that each and every baby he has ever had broke his heart in two when he lost them.

I wonder how you see death every day and still have the fortitude to keep on keeping on? But this man does. When he drops it will be in that little clinic where the furnishings and wall decor went out of style a good 40 years ago.

Instead of renovating the place he just sticks something under a table to make it level and keeps going. His prices are very reasonable and that’s why you don’t see fancy surroundings when you go in there.

Because there’s always another emergency, another baby that needs him.

I am just thankful that he has treated my pets with such loving care and that Charlie will go in tomorrow and receive more therapy.

I couldn’t care less that the walls at the Cedarwood Vet Clinic are covered in paneling from the 60s or 70s. And that that place has looked the very same since I started taking my pets there in 2012 just after I moved to Tulsa from Texas.

On the walls are many, many photos and cards. In the small waiting room there is a corner designated to a library someone set up in their pet’s name as a memorial. It is just a box with used books for anyone’s reading pleasure.

Also on the wall is the photocopied print of the beautiful young vet technician who was just about to finish her schooling last year. Her name was Arielle (sp?) and she and her unborn baby were killed by a drunk driver the same week I lost Abi.

Oh, how I loathe people who drink and drive, and I was married to one of them.

So, as the tacked up photocopy says, RIP Arielle.

Rest in peace as well, my sweet Abi.

And thank you, Dr. Poteet, for your endless, dedicated and loving hours spent taking care of our “babies.”



  1. I loved your post, Brenda, and the comments from other pet lovers as well. Those born with hearts of compassion are God’s best work.

  2. I hope Charlie will be on the mend quickly. My husband has a brother who recently retired after many years as a veterinarian. He loved dogs from a young age and that’s what prompted him to become a vet. His own dogs usually are ones that someone has rescued from a bad living situation and then gives to him. His current dog, a cocker spaniel named Bogie, is just such a rescue. While he had his vet practice he usually had a big black or yellow lab as a pet and that dog would also serve as a blood donor when there was a patient who needed a transfusion. So it was a situation where a dog could help out another dog! I never thought before about what happened if a dog needed a blood transfusion. Kind-hearted vets do so much good.

  3. What a wonderful jewel of a vet you have in Dr. Poteet. A truly compassionate animal lover.

    I’m sorry to learn about Charlie’s back and hope that the therapy helps make him have less pain. He’s such a dear little dog.

    I think our aged kitty, Rhoda, will not be with us much longer. Her breathing is very labored the past few days and she seems to have a hard time finding a comfortable position to lie in. She sleeps with me and she seemed to be having so much breathing difficulty last night I was surprised to see her alive when I woke today. But she is still eating and she even went out on the deck briefly tonight. She doesn’t seem to be in pain so I am inclined to just let nature take it’s course at this point. It’s hard because I wish I could make her more comfortable somehow.

    Got outside a little today to look over my flowers. The petunias aren’t doing very well. I think it’s been too wet. They just don’t seem to be growing much and my prized black petunia has just kind of dried up. I don’t know how with all this rain. I keep deadheading and hope they will all start looking better.

    Give Charlie some pats from me and yourself a hug. ‘Til tomorrow.

  4. Poor Charlie. Our vet never had a parking place at his clinic. He knew animals and lived them all. He drive himself to the ER when he realized he was having a heart attack. That was three or four years ago. The vet there now is not as compassionate and people are going to another. Sure miss that kind doctor.

  5. my heart to yours dear bean. and little Charlie Ross. someone has already said it…
    he’s a real trooper! bless you both. bless all three of you! I always wish I had a doctor as good as the wonderful vet you take your Charlie to. they can make all the difference.

  6. Glad to hear you have a good vet and Charlie is getting some relief. I also have a Charlie, a bigger dog and 2 smaller Chihuahua dogs. My vet in my retirement town seems very caring and reasonable compared to some vets we used in the city. Often when I go in she is working with someone’s crisis who has pets in distress of some form and very little money to pay. I know that is a stress for my vet, she is just one person with overhead and limits. I really do salute people who do such difficult jobs like tend to hurt, sick or dying animals. My dogs are definitely my babies.

  7. Poor Charlie! I do hope the treatments are able to give him some comfort. I’m so glad you have a vet who offers comfort not only to the babies, but also to their parents. That is such a blessing! Love and hugs!

  8. My thoughts are with you and Charlie and I hope he starts feeling better.


  9. Poor Charlie. I hope the PT at the vet helps him. Your vet sounds absolutely wonderful. I guess people don’t go into veterinary medicine unless they truly love animals.

    I love our vet, too. He is so kind and compassionate. And he’s also a holistic vet, so strongly believes in natural means to keep the fur babies healthy – and he does acupuncture too, which is really cool. This practice is in an older building, too. They repainted the walls and got new flooring, but that’s it. The waiting and exam rooms are very plain.

  10. Oh my that sounds awful for Charlie. I think our little Yorkies and Morkies are so susceptible to injuries I know my Morkie’s back leg bothers him and he won’t jump off the bed now. Just waits for me to put him down.
    I hope Charlie feels some relief with therapy. The dr sounds amazing. I’ve heard my vet sold out to a corporation and prices have gone up. Not good. We lost our Brown lab Ella last Monday. She was 12 and having such a hard time getting around. She had gained so much weight as she was just lazy. So I know now she s pain free.

    1. I’m so very sorry Annette, that you just lost your brown lab Ella! Hugs and prayers to you!

  11. What an awesome man, the best kind of veterinarian! Glad there are some remedies for Charlie Ross.

    Mine is about to retire this month and I am so sad to see him leaving the practice he started many years ago. Of course, at the same time, my dear Dane, Ben is not long for this world. Ugh.

  12. What a wonderful veterinarian your Dr. Poteet is; I know you feel so grateful to have him care for your babies.

    Hope Charlie feels much better soon; he is definitely receiving great care and lots of love.

  13. Oh poor Charlie. He’s such a sweetheart. Let’s pray his therapy helps a lot. Your vet sounds wonderful. Such dedication is seldom found any more. Love your pot of purple petunias in the green pot. They look a little fancier than regular petunias though. Beautiful.

  14. It’s so wonderful to have doctors or vets who truly care.
    Hope Charlie’s therapy helps!

  15. I’m sorry about sad news of Charlie. He is so sweet and a little trooper. I hope his medicine will help with pain. Just too sweet!! Love ya Charlie!

  16. I had a wonderful vet just like yours.Her name was Jane Benson,her office was the same,no frills,pretty much outdated,no white coats and Mel’s just old-fashioned fashioned doctoring.
    My favorite story was,I took our black lab,Baxter,in,he was playing ball in some fairly deep snow and started having a front page being held up so off we went,she got down on the floor with him and felt up and down all sides of that leg,no break,he pulled the ligaments….have him a cortisone shot,gave us some pills to take home with the admonition as little as possible as infrequently as possible and nature heals,he will bear weight on that in 8 weeks.Well,at that 8th week mark,he had all four on the ground and was chasing tennis balls again!
    How I wish there were more like her,interested in helping animals and not big fancy offices and all the stuff that goes with them.
    I lost my way,moved and didn’t have any pets for awhile and was looking at a funeral homes website for some info and learned she had passed in 2012,broke my heart…
    R.I.P. “Doc” Jane,I’m sure all the animals you helped were waiting for you at Heavens gate…give my Baxter,Hoover and Scout a kiss for me???

  17. My vet is much the same – the office has not changed a bit in all the years I’m going there. I had a dog with a back condition as well….he was my sweet baby boy and my heart broke when I lost him. Then I adopted my Lily girl, who I eventually bred and got my Monkey….and now sweet Molly is in the family. My Lily girl will be 17 in September and she’s really losing control of her functions at this point…..but she still loves her food, that’s for sure!! It’s nice to see her still getting a bit of joy in her everyday lift.

    Hugs to sweet baby Charlie xoxo

  18. Good thoughts are coming your way for sweet Charlie. Sweet post about the vet. Such dedication.

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