Liberty And Charlie

I have two dogs: Liberty and Charlie. I got Liberty from the Jacksonville (FL) Humane Society in early 2000. I thought about getting her a buddy and about a year later I saw a red Chow running the streets near my job. A few days later I saw him again. He was limping badly and appeared to have been hit by a car. I called the pound and they told me they had been chasing him for weeks. I caught him. He was on his last legs, so to speak.

The pound (Orange Park, FL) was going to wait one week and put him to sleep if no one came to claim him. I called every day to check on him. After one week I had him sent to my vet for an exam. He wasn’t the old mean Chow the pound thought he was. He was between 1 and 2 years old. He had no major injuries or illnesses. So Liberty had her buddy. That was in 2001.

In December of 2010, on my birthday, I found out Charlie has an inoperable tumor in one of the glands on his backside. It was too big to take out but there was a chemo drug to try. The drug is Palladia and it is made by Pfizer. The tumor is growing and makes it hard for him to have bowel movements. Soft food and a prescription stool softener take care of that. The tumor is ugly but Charlie doesn’t appear to be in pain or uncomfortable. The Palladia is expensive, relatively. But we are on month 9 of cancer survival. I look at it as year 10, since he should have been gone a week after I found him. I try to make myself feel better by looking at it that way. I sure don’t look forward to the first morning after he is gone and it is just Liberty and me on our morning walk.

— Mark from Kemah, TX