Special Cases: This one is personal

Published 8:00 am Friday, August 31, 2018

She was born sometime in 2012, and did not come into my life until she was between 2 and 3 years of age. 

I had been rescuing Boxers for over 15 years, and each had a difficult beginning and a special place in my heart.

Monty, found as a pup full of mange and rummaging through garbage in the dead of winter. Died of cancer at 9 years old.

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Allie, a bait dog, a teaser for fighting dogs and had the scars to prove it. This precious girl died of many complications, also at 9.

Much of Monty’s and Allie’s stories can be found in “A Voice in the Hills.”

Bruno, a large brindle that had been left alone for days at a time. After being rescued from that situation, he was tied to a barn door until I was called. I lovingly called Bruno the big doof; he made it until 10, also dying due to cancer.

My Boxers are heartbreak dogs, with a lifespan between 8 and 10 years. Double figures are rare, especially for those with difficult beginnings.

I rescued Charma from the Foothills Humane Society shelter after losing Bruno. She had been abandoned with a pup. 

Her name was Charm, and her pup was called Lucky. My wife, Elaine, decided to change her name to Charma to make her Italian. Anyone who has ever met her agrees how perfectly the name suits her. 

She had that certain look in her eyes that struck deep into my soul. After we brought her home, I hugged her close and told her, “You have some really big shoes to fill.” 

She may be different from all her predecessors but, as God as my witness, she seems to have taken the best from each of them.

For the past year, Charma has been experiencing minor seizures that lasted mere moments. We’d give her some peanut butter or honey to help her out of it, and all seemed fine. 

On Wednesday evening, Charma began moaning, and she seemed to collapse on rubbery legs. She was having a grand mal seizure, and, for nearly 15 minutes, she laid there, panting. She came out of it a bit dazed, but went right back to normal. 

We called and had her at the vet first thing Thursday morning.  We were escorted into the first room where Dr. Raines was waiting. 

Charma was treating it all like a field trip, enjoying all the attention. As blood and X-rays were taken, each vet tech commented on how sweet she was.   

“I know,” I replied tearfully. 

Dr. Donna, who has been through all my Boxers with me, is not only my vet, but a dear friend. 

“She seems sound Lennie, heart is strong and all internals look good. We can’t rule out the big C, but for now, I’m going to prescribe some Phenobarbital for her seizures.”

As we waited for the prescription, I called Charma to me and she laid her head in my lap. 

“Listen sweetheart, Dad has been through a lot of illness, but if you give me four more years, I promise I’ll hang around and be here with you.”

Charma didn’t understand what I was saying, but she knew I was asking her for something. 

She answered me with a look of love that said to me, “You are my daddy, and I would walk through fire for you.”

I hugged her close to me as tears rolled down my cheeks, and Charma emitted a soft “mmff, mmff” of contentment.

In closing, please pray that each of us can keep that commitment. 

Bless you all, and thanks for listening.