We put our sweet little Charlie down last night.
My parents have four mini schnauzers, Lola, Charlie, Leo & Max. Lola came into our lives in late 2007. Charlie was a rescue who came into our lives in 2011. Max & Leo are brothers and were rescues who came into our lives in 2013.
Charlie’s original name was Jenny. We changed it to Charlie because my kids liked the British cartoon show “Charlie and Lola.” Since we already had Lola, it seemed like a good fit.
She was rescued by a wonderful woman named Karen, who saved her from a puppy mill. Since Charlie (Jenny) couldn’t have puppies, she was going to be euthanized. She was given a second life with us.
She was this sweet, little white love. She always looked so sad, but just wanted to be loved. She didn’t bite, bark or jump. She just wanted to be loved and scratched.
My mom called me last night around 10:30 to tell me she took Charlie to the vet. She’s suffered from congestive heart failure and had excess fluid in her lungs for some time, and was taking medication to keep it under control. When she began to cough stuff up, my mom knew things weren’t good.
She called me back a few minutes later to let me know that the doctor was going to let Charlie go. My first thought was “like, let her go home?” My mom told me that she was going to be put down. I started to cry.
I hurried to put on a bra and get down there. I cried the whole drive over. When I got to the vet, I was taken to the room where my mom was waiting. As soon as I came in, the doctor came in. She said that they waited for me to let her go. I hadn’t stopped crying.
We were taken back to the ICU. Charlie was in an oxygen holding area. They opened the door, and she was shaking. She just seemed so happy to see us. The nurse carried her over to the table, and put her down for us to give her some love. My mom held the oxygen near her nose. I told her how much I loved her, and what a good girl she was.
The doctor told us that it was time. She explained that she was going to run the medication through the IV. It wouldn’t take long for everything to happen. Once the medication was started, her legs began to get a little weak, so the nurse lay her down. She put her head on her paws, and we just kept talking to her. Within seconds, the doctor said she was gone. She just lay there, the way she looked when sitting with us on the couch. It was just so sad. She was such a good girl, and had such a good disposition about her.
They took us into the family room, where we could have some alone time with her to say our final goodbyes. The nurse brought in a paw print and some of her fur for my mom. Once I saw it, I wanted to have a paw print, too. I still hadn’t stopped crying.
I looked at my mom, while petting Charlie, and rhetorically asked how I would tell the kids. My daughter spends every afternoon at my parents’ house, and my son is there almost as often. The dogs are the family dogs, so I knew how difficult it would be – not only for me to tell them, but for them to process.
When it was time to go, my mom broke down. She said she felt like she was abandoning Charlie by leaving her at the vet. I told her that we had done the right thing, and that she’s happy now. She’s healthy, she can breathe, and can run free with Shana, Mike, Sophie and all of our other dogs that have gone before her. Then my mom said that she knew that my grandparents were watching over Charlie, which made her smile.
I went back to my parents house for a little while to love up the other dogs. It seemed so odd to not have Charlie there. It will take me a while to get over.
I had trouble falling asleep. When I woke up, I saw how awful I looked and how puffy my eyes were. When the kids woke up, I had them come into my room to tell them. My daughter cried and my son teared up. They both couldn’t believe it, since they had just seen her the day before.