Working with all of our wonderful customers and so many doggies, we hear a lot of sad stories about dogs who are struggling with some sort of illness or that died to young or too tragically. It breaks our hearts each and every time. We love being able to help dogs who are struggling with illnesses and when we get feedback that the food or supplement or lifestyle change that we suggested has dramatically improved the life of one of our adorable customers, our hearts can just burst with happiness.
Recently, a particular story has hit too close to home. If you’ve been to our store recently, you have probably seen the donation box that has been set out for our employee, Jessica and her boxer dog, Charlie. Charlie was diagnosed with lymphoma the day after Easter this April 2015. Being only six, Charlie is far too young to have been diagnosed with this terminal cancer. Every member of our Chew on This family know how much Charlie means to Jessica.
The prognosis for Charlie was good… with treatment. With chemotherapy Charlie was guaranteed at LEAST one more year of life with (very high) hopes and confidence that because it was caught early, he can end up living his long full boxer doggie life. Unfortunately, if Charlie went without chemotherapy, they gave him two months to live. Charlie is her baby and as she has said, “I could not live with myself knowing I didn’t even try to save him. Charlie has done so much for me, I have to do this for him.”
Jessica got Charlie for herself after she decided to start living on her own. She had a horrible experience with college roommates and she was even able to press charges for what happened to her. She got Charlie to be her companion since she would be living alone and also to help her get through this trying time with as many smiles as possible. Of course, this plan worked and Charlie made her forget all her troubles at the time and brought her instant happiness.
Charlie also saw Jessica through an extremely abusive relationship. Due to him witnessing her abuse, Charlie, to this day, does not trust men around Jessica. (Other than her brothers, dad and husband. Though even her husband took time for Charlie to like and trust. He would bark and jump on him when he would hug her. Charlie would stand between the two of them growling at her husband if they were just standing around talking. Eventually, with Jessica assurance that this man was okay, Charlie grew to let them be together and to love Eric.) Any other man though, Charlie is STILL very protective and won’t let him get too close to her without growling or jumping to push him away.
Jessica talks about how as a therapy through that relationship, she would walk Charlie anywhere between 2-4 miles everyday. There was a walking path a block from her home that they would walk down. Jessica has said that the walks “were definitely a time of personal growth and serenity and helped me a lot.”
One day a girl was murdered in the forest of the walking path she walked Charlie every day, including the day she was killed. The girl was raped and burned to the point that they weren’t sure at first if the remains were even human. She stopped her walks immediately since the killer was still at large and her source of serenity was gone and she suffered severe anxiety due to the murder. She said “I could not help but wonder if the killer had looked at me and thought about me as his potential victim and everyone said if that were true, Charlie probably deterred him away from me. Which makes me feel like Charlie could very well have saved my life that day.” Charlie noticed her anxiety and did not seem to mind that his walks abruptly stopped. He had a new job on his hands and that was to make his momma feel safe.
Since that day Charlie does not leave her side. “He still sleeps on the shower mat everyday when I take my shower. If I get up in the night to get a glass of water or to use to washroom, guess who always comes with me?”
To sum it all up, Jessica says, “Charlie has honestly been like a therapy dog for me through-out my hardest times. After all he’s done for me. I have to do this for him.”
Jessica is a new mom to a human baby and coming up with the funds for Charlie’s chemotherapy is hard. Thankfully, the vet has let her set up a payment plan so she can go ahead with the chemo. This is why we have to donation bin out and will leave it out until treatment is finished. This is also why we are doing a fundraiser on Thursday May 21, 2015. That Thursday, 10% of all proceeds made, Teresa is very generously donating to Charlie’s cancer fund. Jessica is forever grateful for all those who have already helped, will help or will continue to help. So come on in to Chew on This and spoil your best friend to help Jessica save hers.
If you are unable to come to the fundraiser but are still interested in helping, there is a donation bin at the store or you can visit their fundraising page at: http://www.gofundme.com/se9ym8