Please accept my apologies for not continuing Charlie’s story. It has a sad ending. To tell the rest of his story I have to share my personal anguish.
Despite our efforts to help him feel better, Charlie’s condition began to deteriorate following my last post. Together with our vet, we tried to help him by increasing his pain medicines and additional acupuncture sessions, thinking we could buy additional time for post surgery healing.
I felt I was too emotional to document this period of time when Charlie’s care became more and more hospice-like. Our vet told us she didn’t think we should pursue a PSOM diagnosis, because being under general anesthesia for the CT-scan and being moved under anesthesia might make matters worse for him. Physical therapy was out of the question. We were keeping him comfortable, and he mostly rested and slept.
On Friday, January 25th, 2008, we made the heart breaking decision to give Charlie his wings. I held him in my arms, cuddled in the tartan fleece blanket that Nicki sent him and the quilted lap pad from Deb. When he fell asleep, I felt his body relax; he felt like a sleeping baby cradled in my arms. We were allowed as much time as we needed to say goodbye alone.
I could not bear to return to Charlie’s blog. I posted about him on CavalierTalk, and many friends responded with kindness.
It took many months for me to come to terms with what had happened to Charlie. I was thinking he had felt too much pain in his life, and that we had helped to prolong it. No matter how hard I tried, I could not let go of these thoughts.
I questioned every decision anyone had ever made for Charlie. Why did his first owner give him up? Why wasn’t he euthanized? Why did that first vet turn him over to rescue? Why didn’t the rescue give him the decompression surgery he needed? Why did we take so long to step up and adopt him? Why did we put him through this? Why didn’t the surgery work? Bad decisions were made for him, and terrible timing… I didn’t realize that losing Charlie would become a lesson on forgiveness.