Welcome to Charley's Rainbow Bridge Memorial Residency
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Memories of Charley
Barbara Gibbs
My Pet's Name: Charley

I first met Charley thirteen years ago when she was six weeks old. I was going with my daughter to look at puppies she thought she might want. When I first laid my eyes on these basset/beagle puppies I knew I wanted one, or rather she wanted me! Her mom was the beagle and dad the basset. She was all ears and absolutely adorable. Well, as I have never had a basset hound or a beagle I had to educate myself on what I was in for. And let me tell you she's definitely both! Her Beagle side is all smiles, wagging tail, and making everyone she meets her BFF. However her Basset side is another story. She's your typical "clown"dog giving us a lot of laughs with all her antics while she was growing up. With her basset hound independence she was all nose and believe me she followed that nose. When that nose of hers detected something that she wanted then I knew she was going to do any and everything she could to follow it. This of course led to me chasing her and her leash down the street calling and calling for her. You would have thought she was deaf because she just kept on going as if there wasn't anyone behind her screaming her name and telling her to come! I of course would finally get her but she definitely made me work for it. Then she'd look at me as if say " why did you stop me mom, I was on my way to get that" whatever "that" smell was!
Two years ago I noticed a 'lump' on her right front paw. At first I thought she had a small hematoma because we lived in the country and walked a lot in the woods behind the house. However it wasn't getting any better so I took her to her Vet. He told me it probably wasn't anything and to watch it. He did mention though that since it was on her paw it couldn't be removed without amputating her paw/leg. Fast forward two years to this past February. We had just moved to Richmond when I noticed this 'lump' suddenly becoming very big and getting bigger by the day! I immediately found a Vet here in the city to take her to. When she examined it she told me it was a good chance it was cancer. I was so shocked by this information that you could have knocked me over with a feather. We were referred to Oncologist Dr. Waite at Dogwood for further testing. The results were positive for Mast Cell cancer. I was of course devastated especially when I found out that this tumor a Mast Cell tumor when it was just the 'lump'.. If I had known this two years ago then I would have amputated her paw/leg, no questions asked. Unfortunately it's metastasized so Dr. Waite started her on IV Venblastine with the hopes of at least shrinking the tumor so that she would be more comfortable with the remaining time she has. After two weeks we knew this therapy wasn't working so we started her on a two week trial of Palladia. I could see it wasn't working and during this time she had a terrible seizure. She's never had seizures before this so I honestly thought that while I was holding her and loving her that long night that I was telling her good-bye. She rallied from this though and has been doing pretty good on her current regime of Prednisone,Benedryl, Pepcid, and occasional Tramadol for pain. I can't finish this without saying that if it wasn't for FETCH a Cure for Companions in Crisis I would never have been able to pay for her all the chemotherapy treatments. This is an awesome organization with incredible employees and contributors. I can never thank them enough for their compassion and help.

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