Charlie

Yesterday I went out to get a hair cut. Charlie gets upset when I leave, so this was the only time I’ve left him since my Mother’s Day lunch with my daughter.

When I got home, a big pool of urine was near the front door. My mind was kind of spinning at that point, because Charlie hikes his leg. He does’t squat.

But I’d found a similar spot the day before, and had just chalked it up to stress of losing sister.

So the vet told me to try to get a urine sample. I was not successful at that and took him in. It was late afternoon and the vet’s office was pretty crazy. Since they lost Ariel last week it’s short staffed too.

I tried to calm myself all the way there. Charlie does not do well at the vet. He shakes so hard if he had teeth they’d be clacking together.

I paced in the small waiting room. But the noise, the kids, the worry got to me and I kind of fell apart. I handed Charlie to Mary and went outside to try to get my breath.

Finally they put me in a small file room because there was no place else and I couldn’t handle the waiting room. When you pace and rock people are obviously staring at you.

Charlie has an infection and they gave him a shot. The vet said his back is hurting him (when he stands or sits his two front legs shake) and that he may be having some accidents (well, I’m thinking who cares about something so trivial at this point?)

At that point it was me, Mary, Charlie and the vet in this tiny file room. I said: “But it’s not like with Abi, is it?”

He said: “Well, not yet anyway.”

And I thought I was going to spin completely out of control. Surely he was tired and just didn’t word it right. After all, he is over worked at this point and 74 years old.

I came home in a daze. Surely Charlie will be okay.

Obviously it was not a good night.

Tomorrow I’m supposed to have the MRI for my neck. When they called yesterday they asked if I can handle confined spaces. No, not really.

And now? I don’t know period. It feels like the walls are closing in already.

Time heals. I’m grieving Abi. I was focused on her for the past two weeks.

Did I miss something with Charlie?

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48 Comments

  1. Aww, dang… my thoughts are with you Brenda. I think Charlie will be fine. Since he doesn’t like it when you leave anyway, and now he is alone when you do he may have just been so nervous and upset he couldn’t help it. I hope your MRI goes well. When I am stressed out about something I tell myself “it’ll be over before you know it, it just a little bit you’ll be looking back at it because it’s done”, I repeat it in my head over and over. Positive self talk I guess 🙂

    Tania

  2. Brenda, you have received very good advice. Charlie is probably missing Abi so much and is depressed – not that he can’t have something wrong with him. Hang in there – you have a great many people that care about the both of you. When I had to have an MRI, I kept my eyes closed the entire time – its the only way I could make it.

  3. Kidney disease in our pets is just all too common Brenda. Assuredly I think, just time and aging took its toll on little Abi. I’m sure your vet was competent to know what Abi’s problem was.

    My Boxer was diagnosed with early stage kidney issues at 11 years. Definitely elderly years for a Boxer but my dismay was acute nonetheless and especially since my dogs lived on diets of homemade food and purified water. I had worked so hard for the best longevity I could get but it still couldn’t stop those wretched hands of time.

    Remembering our animal’s lives are so “rapid” in comparison to ours was one of the hardest reckonings I had to accept and although kidney disease did not take my Boxer, other issues quietly lurking did. It felt like a no win no matter how hard I tried. Once again I was forced to acknowledge that I cannot author life and those seasons will prevail no matter how much I’d cry for them not too. We’re just not given these choices.

    I’m entirely sure Charlie is hurting too and dogs are pack animals after all who know when someone is missing from their little circle. Your extra sensitivity towards him now is important because his assurances have been rattled too.

    Breathe in and breathe out Brenda. Some days it’s simply all we can do. On that fateful day I had to decide to let him go, my daughter reminded me, “it’s not forever mom” and how I would wish the very same for you to hear. Hope and prayer many a day can be all that any of us truly possess.

    You’ve been doing your utmost best for both of them Brenda, have faith in this. Crossing these chasms in life can be so wretchedly painful. Bless you …

  4. I’m going to ring in here with another possibility…since he gets overwrought when you need to leave,isn’t it possible that he got quite panicked and lost control of his bladder?
    Especially in light of the fact he was alone,I’m sure Abi and he were each others company and he may still be bewildered by her absence…
    Deep breath,this to shall pass.
    I wonder if a temporary anxiety or antidepressant might be an idea as you both adjust to this normal.

  5. Seems when it rains, it pours. May tomorrow bring you sunshine, peace and joy. Praying for you, Charlie and the days ahead to be healthy and peaceful. Wish I could do more. So sorry for these hard times you are going through. Just know that you are loved even if we have never met.

  6. When you think of how profound your loss is and how you have so much support it is easy to see how little Charlie might be losing it. He has his grief and his Mama’s to deal with but he only has you to help him. It is a lot for a little guy who can’t talk and doesn’t have anywhere “to put it” and has no idea how to get thru. They truly love their siblings and miss them like we do. Maybe you can try giving him light massages throughout the day to calm him and just your touch might make a huge difference in him with both his stress and possibly pain. These losses are so difficult and sad to get thru. Blessings to you both.

  7. It is so sad that our pets age so much faster than we do…One day at a time Brenda…one day at a time…breath deeply…

  8. Brenda, you have received some very good advice from your readers. Please give the meds time to work. Your little Charlie is in grief, along with you.
    Again, losing one of these sweet beings breaks your heart.

  9. Charlie = stress, big time! His buddy is gone and his human Mom is grieving ~ that is a LOT for your little man to handle!
    Sending you thoughts of serenity, peace and comfort ~

  10. Brenda ,I don,t know you but I feel as I do,you and Charlie are in my prayers.We lost our border collie,Maggie and Scooby -do about grieved himself to death over her as we did also.We have lost many dogs and all leave a scar in our hearts no other dogs can mend..Dogs are so much more better than people anyway,their love is so unconditional.I pray Charlie has many ,many more years with you.prayers//love//blessings//xoxoxo

  11. oh Brenda so sorry to here this news. I think as others do that it is probably stress Charlie is feeling. I am so sorry you are having to go thru this. Sending love and hugs. .

  12. Oh my goodness. Thinking of you and of Charlie. Just keep us posted. We all care very much about you and your world.

  13. Some of Charlie’s accidents, etc. are probably most definitely because of his recent loss and the stress. Hopefully the pain meds will help him alot too. As for the MRI, most newer ones are more open. I’ve had several of the ones where you are closed in, and I learned to just close my eyes before I go in, and keep them closed the entire time, and just picture yourself laying in a meadow full of wildflowers! It really works. And you can also ask for a relaxant before you go in, but you may have to get that from your regular doctor, so check on it. A relaxant really does help.

    1. I also close my eyes before going into the machine then relax my muscles and mentally go to “my happy place.” Your happy place can be real or imagined. It is a place where you feel safe and happy. My happy place (picture) is sitting by the Wolf river in Wisconsin. I hear the water rushing over the rocks, smell the fragrance of the woods and see my husband and our dog sitting out on a large rock.

      I go to my happy place when I am in a stressful situation, ie, the dentist office, activity with too many people or too much noise, etc. Also, when I am anxious/worried. While in the happy place recheck your muscle tension from time to time and relax the muscles.

      Deep, slow breathing is also great.

  14. Brenda,

    Have you tried deep breathing exercises? Maybe begin each day with deep breathing to help with the physical stress. Will await updates on Charlie and am hoping for the very best.

  15. I just want to get in my car and start driving to you,,,,,,which makes no sense, is impossible, and would only increase your anxiety to have strangers just popping up at your door. The urge to hug you and offer comfort is absolutely overwhelming right now. Every living thing is a season in this universe. I lost my mama two years ago, and I realized her “season” was over. Our beloved pets,,,,historic people. All have/had seasons. Abi’s season here on earth has transpired to a season above you and watching over you and Charlie. I’m less fearful somehow, when I know it’s the same for us all. There are many seasons and this is just one. Amazing the love you can feel for someone you’ve not met and aren’t likely ever to meet. I wake up every day Brenda now, waiting impatiently to hear from you, how you are, and we all want to offer any scrap of thought that might get you through another hour.

  16. sometimes it is all just ‘too much.’
    and you’ve both been through a horrible loss. you’re in my every thought and prayer for some “normal.” does that sound strange? sometimes that can make all the difference! sending you love. xo

  17. I lost one of a very bonded pair a year ago. The remaining pet was so sick with grief that I thought we would lose him as well. I had a sonogram done and every test under the sun and there was nothing wrong. It was the profound grief. We gave him something to calm him down.
    Actually, I was humbled by the love that he had for his buddy, our precious little girl. We still miss her.

  18. Oh, Brenda…when it rains, it pours! I doubt that you missed anything with Charlie. I just think that as animals get older, they start to have a lot of physical ailments (just like us!). I’m thinking the problem with his back is what’s making his front legs weak. If you could find a natural vet that could work on his back (maybe some chiropractic work or acupuncture), this might help. My vet has done acupuncture on dogs whose legs were either very weak or even paralyzed and got them to walk again. (The before and after videos are really cool!) Just a suggestion.

    As for your MRI, you should be able to go to a facility that has the open MRI’s. I’ve had 5 or 6 of them. There’s no way I could go into an enclosed MRI machine. Even the open ones are scary because they’re only open a few inches on the sides. I have a couple of friends who have had their doctors prescribe a relaxant before their MRI. That’s another suggestion. Of course, if you choose to take this, you have to have someone drive you there and back home.

    1. Thanks for mentioning that. I just made Charlie an appointment with a pet acupuncture place for next Wednesday. Abi’s bill I still have to pay is so high. This will be another $100 for consultation with $68 per visit. But I love my babies.

  19. I don’t believe you missed anything with Charlie. Like people, dogs get sick, dogs get old, and incontinence can be a sign of many different illnesses. Hopefully it’s just the infection causing the urination issue along with stress about being left alone, especially since he knows something awful happened. Charlie can’t figure out where Abi went, only that she’s gone now. And then when you leave the apartment, he goes bonkers. Dogs grieve just like people do, and they can “act out” sometimes, that’s how we interpret it, because they can’t TELL us what they are feeling. Hang in there. Is there somebody you can leave Charlie with who will be good with him when you go somewhere? Maybe that would help ease his anxiety during this period.

  20. Open MRI – much easier. Can you request it?

    Sending prayer and healing thoughts for Charlie – and YOU!

    Have you ever tried Xanax? By prescription – it works wonders during awful anxiety moments.

  21. Oh Brenda, you poor girl, what next??? I pray that you will have many months, years left with Charlie. Please hold on tight, and love on him, just as you have been. He must be upset too, because he misses Abi, and he probably can also feel your grief. Gotta make every day count…I will keep you and Charlie in my prayers. Lots of love and hugs to both of you..Bonnie

  22. Don’t borrow trouble, dear Brenda. Right now concentrate on getting Charlie better from this infection. No one can truly predict how long any of us live. As we all get older, of course, time gets limited. Enjoy the time you have now. Don’t delete the joy from today by looking ahead to troubles. When the troubles come and they do for all of us deal with them then. Worry steals our joy. All of us love you and are praying for you and sweet Charlie.

    1. You’re right. And I normally live by that doctrine. This current situation just has me worried. I will try to remain calm because Charlie needs me. He seems okay today. He is sleeping next to me now.

      1. That’s a great Bible verse, too!:. “Live one day at a time; tomorrow will take care of itself.” Love that translation! Really helps me sometimes (not ALL the time…?)

  23. Brenda-Please check all your plants on the patio to make sure none of them are toxic to animals. I believe all states have an Agriculture Extension Office or something similar usually connected with a university. The info is free. Make a list of the plant names and call the Extension Agent. If they don’t know the answer, they know where and how to get the information from the internet. I have used this source to find out info I needed regarding plants or trees (I had to take leaves from the trees) or to identify them. I am concerned that there may be something in the garden that is harmful to animals. And please check again with the people who spray in the apartment complex. I had to stop my extermination company from spraying around my house several years ago because they could not (or would not) assure me that the chemicals they used would not harm my pets. I don’t want to alarm you but I know how much you love Charlie and what you have been through with Abi. Try to stay calm. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

    1. The vet said what happened with Abi didn’t display as a poisoning. I will not be letting them in here again to put powder anywhere. I don’t let the dogs outside without me with them. I’ve only seen Charlie eat Pineapple Sage and Lemon Verbena and you can put that in your tea because they’re herbs.

      1. I just looked up pineapple sage and lemon verbena anyway. It says pineapple sage is okay for dogs to eat. And lemon verbena is okay unless it’s in large amounts. I will be moving it anyway as soon as it stops raining. He really likes the pineapple sage.

  24. I am so sorry to hear this. I agree with everyone else, this might have been brought on by stress. Good you took him to the dr. I’m worried about you. Please ask for the open MRI. It would be best now. I’m sending positive thoughts to you and seeet Charlie. And my Ziggy shakes just like Charlie.

  25. Oh Brenda, I am praying for both you and Charlie – is it possible that both Abi and Charlie ate or otherwise ingested something toxic? I know you had mentioned there was pest control there….or could it be something else? Let’s pray it’s just something minor and the vet will be able to treat it quickly. Good luck with your MRI.

  26. CALL THE DR. AND REQUEST AN OPEN MRI. IF THEY DON’T HAVE ONE, ASK FOR REFERREL. NO SENSE IN ADDING TO YOUR STRESS AND ANXIETY, WHEN IT CAN BE AVOIDED.
    CHARLIE MAY BE HAVING THE ACCIDENTS BECAUSE OF ADDED STRESS ( there is such a thing as stress incontinence ), DUE TO RECENT CHANGES IN YOUR HOME, EVEN SOME PAIN OR DISCOMFORT WITH HIS BACK. I AM NOT SAYING, “IT’S NOTHING TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT ” , JUST TRY TO STAY CALM, AND THINK.POSITIVE THOUGHTS.
    GIVE THE MEDICATION A CHANCE TO WORK, AND HOPEFULLY RELIEVE CHARLIE OF HIS DISCOMFORT AND YOU SOME STRESS OVER IT.
    POSITIVE THOUGHTS TO YOU BOTH.

      1. Open MRI is a fabulous idea!! I’m not claustrophobic or anything and I can barely tolerate a regular MRI. And I know many places have them now.

        I’m praying, too, that the medicine will take care of things for Charlie. Praying for good sleep for you, too…

        I’ve needed medicine–twice, in the past–to be able to function during times of unbearable stress. Just a thought, because my heart goes out to you with all you’re going through. Would like to FIX all of this for you!!

      2. I’m usually not at all claustrophobic but even with only my head in the closed machine I became anxious. OpenMRI is the only way to go.
        There may be more than one thing going on with Charlie that needs treatment. Hopefully your vet will fully investigate.

  27. Brenda, don’t make yourself crazy worrying about Charlie. I wonder if he has some arthritis? You work on getting yourself healthy so you can take care of Charlie and then you can both enjoy some patio sitting before the summer heat hits your town. Please try not to stress yourself until you must; save your energy and enjoy the simply things as much as possible. Carol and Molly

  28. Oh Brenda, I am so sorry for all the stress you are experiencing. Charlie is getting old but I hope and pray he has more years with you. The loss of Abi is more then enough for you to handle right now. Thinking of you!!

  29. I am sorry to hear this Brenda. I hope Charlie’s infection clears up quickly and that perhaps the vet can give him medication for his pain. You take care of yourself! In my thoughts and prayers.
    Ann

    1. He did give him medication for his pain. I gave it to him this morning, as that’s when the vet said I’d need to start it.

  30. I am sorry to read about Charlie, hopefully the shot will kick in and he will feel better soon. in the meantime, take care of yourself too. You do not want to get sick. My thoughts are with you, and Charlie.

  31. Bless your heart, Brenda. I am so sorry you are going through this. Stress and grief can affect both parents and fur babies so I am hoping and praying that is all it is. I will be keeping both you and Charlie in my prayers.

  32. Good Morning. I am hoping this is just an UTI with Charlie. Saying a prayer Brenda for him.
    I know your head is spinning with all that happened with Abi. Just try to focus on one day at a time. You will see a big improvement with Charlie probably today or tomorrow if the antibiotic shot is working. I am so sorry you are dealing with so much all at one time.
    Just breathe. Easier said than done I know but try.
    xoxo
    Kris

  33. oh my word………………… I am praying for that precious little one !!!! Lord give Charlie renewed energy and life… restore his little body to good health !!! Lord Help you Brenda to have wisdom and to give you extreme peace and comfort !!! I seriously pray Charlie will have more years left to him…………………. I know how this is and it is not easy… I pray that this is all due to stress in the loss of Abi………………………….. These little fur babies bring us so much comfort and joy……

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