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Sep 17 2011

About me….Charley’s story

Filed under History/OSA diagnosis

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My husband and I knew we wanted to get a chocolate Labrador retriever puppy and we spend a lot of time researching breeders.  When the litter of 8 chocolate lab puppies was born, we had the pick of the litter for a male puppy.  When the puppies were 5 weeks old, my husband and I went to pick out our puppy “Charley”.  After only a few minutes, one pot-bellied ball of fur “picked” us.  We went to visit Charley every week until we got to bring him to his forever home at 8 weeks old.   We watched a brown ball of puppy energy grow into a well-mannered companion and a deeply loved member of our family over the last 2.5 years.  We had big plans for Charley and we were looking forward to spending our lives together, since a lab is technically still a “puppy” until 3 years old, until our dreams were shattered when we received the news that Charley had OSA.  We still have big plans for Charley, but our journey has been altered.


In February of 2010, at 23 months of age, Charley started limping after playing with my husband.  We took him to his regular vet after a few days and insisted on x-rays.  The vet and radiologist suspected bone cancer in the mid-humerus and referred us to an oncologist.  The oncologist diagnosed an aneurysmal bone cyst, which is extremely rare in dogs, in Charley’s mid-humerus.  We followed up with x-rays at the oncologist’s every 1-2 months and the cyst was resolving.  Charley had not been limping, in any sign of pain, or on any NSAID’s for 6 months.  In August of 2010, Charley had a slight limp and his x-rays showed a lytic area in the proximal humerus of the same bone the cyst was resolving.  Charley was treated with antibiotics for a bone infection and x-rays 2 weeks later showed an improvement.  We continued on antibiotics and had another x-ray in 5 weeks and the proximal humerus looked more lytic.  A bone biopsy was performed and OSA was diagnosed in his left proximal humerus on 10-19-10, and our roller-coaster ride began.  Charley had his left leg and scapula amputated on 10-28-10.  He has completed 5 rounds of Carboplatin chemotherapy with no side effects.  Charley celebrated his 10 Month Ampiversary on 8-28-11.  Charley has adjusted very well to being a tripaw and can do everything on 3 legs that he did on 4 legs!


I believe that Charley “picked” us for a reason.  Maybe Charley knew that we would love him unconditionally as a member of our family and we would help him fight for his survival?  Maybe Charley is here to teach us a lesson about courage and resilience?  Maybe I won’t ever know?  I do know that Charley is and always will be my hero, my brave baby boy and the love of my life.  I hope and pray that Charley will be with us for a long time to come.  I now consciously try to live in the present and to find joy in the small things in life that Charley gives to me everyday… sloppy lab kisses, unconditional love, loyalty and a silent understanding.  Whether Charley’s life will be long or short is yet to be determined.  What I do know is that Charley’s life will be surrounded by lots of love, cuddling, hugging, kissing, playing and spoiling him completely rotten.


We love you baby Charley!  Your mommy and daddy love you more than you will ever know.  You have stolen a piece of our hearts forever.  xoxoxo


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4 responses so far

4 Responses to “About me….Charley’s story”

  1.   etgayleon 17 Sep 2011 at 3:05 am     Reply1

    what a powerful story!! our tripawd brothers and sisters do indeed have so much to teach us. so glad charley is doing so well, looking forward to future posts!

    charon & gayle

  2.   charleysmomon 17 Sep 2011 at 5:25 pm     Reply2

    Charon & Gayle,
    I have learned so much from Charley (and all of the other cancer pups) on this unwanted cancer journey. Our tripawd brothers and sisters are true heroes and they define courage, resilience, strength and love. Most importantly Charley has proven that he is living with cancer not dying from cancer! You and Gayle have had an amazing journey also and here’s to many many more ampiversaries to celebrate!

    Hugs and chocolate kisses,
    Ellen & Charley 🙂

  3.   chilidawgon 17 Sep 2011 at 6:27 pm     Reply3


    You are a special boy! You remind me of my special Chili Dawg. I can’t wait to read more about your journey 🙂

    Jenna & Spirit Chili Dawg

  4.   charleysmomon 17 Sep 2011 at 11:10 pm     Reply4

    If you think Charley reminds you of your Chili Dawg, then I’ll take that as a compliment. Thank you! 🙂
    Hugs and chocolate kisses,
    Ellen & Charley

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