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Dedicated to Bob January. Moved to Bob January’s own page.
New! When Jon met Highland Charlie, no one foresaw the trials that lay ahead for both of them. Charlie, a liver-and-white Springer, was lucky to be alive. For all his nine years he had lived with an owner who had never trained him to walk on a leash. As the owner grew older and shakier, he found Charlie too hard to handle on icy sidewalks, took him to a veterinarian, and said, “I want you to put this dog down.” The veterinarian refused: “he’s too nice a dog.” That was a stroke of luck #1. And the owner’s son brought #2: he called the ESSCLI Rescue. Read more about Charlie and see how you can help!
Charlie and others need your help!
A lucky dog – almost put down and very sick Charlie was in dire need of love and medical care. Because of a few caring and generous people, Charlie is getting the care he needs to give his story a happy ending. Please help Charlie and other dogs like him by supporting rescue.
We asked for Highland Charlie’s genealogy (both his grandparents were show dogs), a photo, and medical records. Jon, who was looking for a dog, met Charlie at his owner’s house and agreed to adopt him and take him home to the Bronx. That was stroke of luck #3. And in Charlie’s case, it’s three strikes and you’re in . . . in good hands.
The vet’s records had mentioned a hernia, but the photo hadn’t shown it. When Jon first saw the hernia, it didn’t strike him as serious either. He had had another Springer who had been operated on for a hernia. “It was 10 days all up all in, and he was good as new. When I saw Charlie out in Jersey, I didn’t have any idea it was as bad as it was.”
Still, despite the owner’s assurances – “A vet has told me the hernia doesn’t hurt the dog” – Jon and his friend Kira, who had come along with him, quickly realized that Highland Charlie was in pain. He needed medical care – and he needed to get away from his owner and his son. “Kira and I were afraid that they were going to do him in if we didn’t take him that day.”
Jon quickly arranged for his own veterinarian to examine Charlie. By the time they reached the clinic, Charlie’s plight was obvious: the hernia had pushed his bladder outside his body. “The entire clinic,” Jon said, “was shocked, appalled, and amazed.”
Surgery was mandatory . . . and major: the incision was almost eight inches long. Charlie had to stay at the clinic for two weeks so that his condition could be observed. Complications did arise: trouble urinating, the need for catheterization, bloody urine, risk of damage to the bladder, pain, and “quite a cocktail of pain meds including a dermal-path-based narcotic. For several days he had essentially no control of his bowels. The diarrhea irritated his skin.”
When Charlie was well enough to leave the clinic, he still wasn’t able, Jon said, “to pee properly. But my vet thinks that if we just let nature take its course and if I have him at home where I can give him some really long walks, the pipes may start working.”
Then Jon got the veterinarian’s bill for the intensive care Charlie had needed: A small fortune!ESSCLI – Rescue has offered to help with some of the horrendous expenses and is trying to raise funds to do so.
But Charlie’s (and Jon’s) problems aren’t over yet. “He’s much happier now,” Jon says. “Now that the hernia’s fixed, he can sit down without the pain he was feeling before. He actually looked confused the first dozen or so times he sat down without pain. He would sit down gingerly, expecting to have it hurt; and when it didn’t, he had the funniest look on his face—sort of like ‘Hey, what’s going on here?’”
Charlie finds city life “exciting.” Jon explains that word: “Charlie pulls like a tractor, but I’m working on that.” Charlie has lost a lot of weight, but his appetite is reviving.
“He pretty much has relearned how to poop although he’s a bit messy still,” Jon says. “A week ago the poop was just leaking out. What a mess, let me tell you! If he saw me approaching with anything remotely resembling a paper towel, a baby wipe, or Kleenex, he would leap up, spin around, and lift his tail.
“Peeing is still a problem. He has largely no control over his bladder and doesn’t pee without helper drugs. And when they really get the pipes flowing, the pee just leaks out. He’ll go to sleep and wake up in a puddle. He doesn’t seem to be aware of what’s happening. I’ve dedicated a futon to him. I’m getting very good at mopping and dog-washing.”
Jon is adjusting Charlie’s medicines to normalize his urination.
“Charlie and I continue to muddle on,” Jon says. “He’s still got a lot of healing to do, but there is a night-and-day difference between two weeks ago and now. His spirits are high, and he seems to enjoy it here.”
Can you help?
We are asking anyone who can contribute even the smallest amount to let us know. Your donation will be met with sloppy Springer kisses and unconditional love and gratitude.
If you can help, please send your donation marked “For Highland Charlie” or “To Any Springer In Need” to:
163 Academy Street
Bayport, NY 11705
Checks should be made out to ESSCLI – Rescue
Thank you for supporting our wonderful breed!