Charlotte's story: Part 2

Later that day, as my younger brother and I were buying supplies for our new family member, we named her Charlotte. My family was big into basketball and this was a tribute to the old Charlotte Hornets NBA team. Boy, was this exciting! We had a puppy, and for the first week, Charlotte and I both regretted our decisions. To Charlotte, I was that awful woman who kept putting her in that dreadful crate at night. To me, Charlotte was the reason I was losing sleep. But I was determined that crate training would work, and eventually thing got better. She was such an active and happy dog. So eager to please, but with a mischievous streak. I remember one day coming home from work...I opened the front door and found four hours of Charlotte's work. See, we had decided to give her a little bit of freedom, and because of our mistake, Charlotte had a grand time. When I opened the front door, the first thing I saw was my prom shoes...both laying in a chewed up heap not far from the door. Next, I found a pair of my gym socks (where she found them, I couldn't tell you) lying down the hall and starting a path to my bedroom. A couple of stuffed animals later, I found my puppy underneath my bed, and I swear to you she smiled at me. Eventually, I got her trained, and the worst thing we would come home to was her lying on your pillow. The one thing we had a hard time of doing was keeping her from jumping. We knew it wasn't good for her back, but it seemed like the harder we tried, the more she would jump (the breed is a stubborn one as some of you know, I'm sure). We kept her weight down, except for one time for a bit when she was fed french fries everyday at lunch. I'm sure my brother knows nothing about it, right Clay??

Despite our best efforts, Charlotte began to have back troubles. She'd go through these spells, and we'd be on rounds of an anti-inflammatory which worked wonders. And as she grew older, she was increasingly becoming my mom's dog. I lived at home through college, so I saw her everyday and helped with her care, but she attached herself to my mom nonetheless. Still, I knew all major decisions for Charlotte were left on my shoulders.

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Charlotte's story: Part 1

"Charlotte's paralyzed." My mother's panic-stricken voice over the phone will forever ring through my mind. As I rushed from work to get to the vet's office all I could think was, would this be the day I would have to decide to put my beloved 6-year old dachshund down? I knew that ultimately the decision was mine...

Before I continue further with the most horrible day of Charlotte's life, let me give you a little background. I finally convinced my dad to let me have a dog. It took me 18 years, but I did it. His only requirements: it had to be a small dog. So, after extensive research, we settled on a miniature dachshund, and we went through the ads in the paper. We called, and the breeder said that she had three females left. So, off my mom and I took, driving thirty minutes to pick out my first dog. The last thing I expected was that she would pick me. The breeder opened the door to the "doggie room" and out bound three of the smallest butterballs I have ever seen. Two of them ran right past me as if to say, "eh" and boy were they all over the place. I watched them for a second, then turned my head to my feet and there she sat...sniffing and licking my toes. She then looked up at me as if to say, "well here I am. Aren't you going to pick me up so we can go home?'

I obliged. Picked her up, sniffed her puppy breath and said, "I'll take this one." As we paid, the breeder made it a point to emphasize how none of her dogs had ever had any back problems. Boy, were we relieved of that as we set along our merry way.

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