SIXTEEN CEDARS AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERDS

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U-CD Charlieroo Of Sixteen Cedars ASCA/AKC CD
(Alibi's Unjustly Accused x Pokataroo Blue Of County Farm)

December 19, 1993 -- March 29, 2004


Charlie was my second Aussie and was born less than a mile from me at my neighbor's.  He was the last born of a litter of 11 puppies and I picked him out at birth because I liked his markings.  I'm sure Sue, my neighbor, got sick of me because I went over every day to see the puppies until Charlie was old enough to bring home.  I already had his older sister, Roobie, from a previous litter.  Because Charlie was a handful at times, we enrolled in a beginner obedience class.  Little did I know how much one dog and one class would change my life so much.  Charlie had a knack for obedience, though he got pretty creative on some of the exercises.  After a year or so of training, we entered our first obedience trial.  Our scores were not high, but we got our first two legs in Novice A.  It took much longer to get that third leg.  During this time the bond between us grew very strong.  I had failed to socialize Charlie much as a puppy so he was pretty much a one person dog and would bark at anyone who looked him in the eye.  We continued to do obedience and managed to get CDs from AKC, ASCA and UKC.  We never got a leg in Open because Charlie was such a velcro dog, he always failed the out-of-sight stays. LOL

 


I acquired more Aussies over the years and continued to do obedience and now do conformation, but Charlie is responsible for getting me started in this hobby.  As Charlie got older, I retired him from the obedience ring, but he still always went to the shows with me.

When Charlie was almost nine, I noticed a large egg-sized lump just above his elbow.  My vet removed it and it was diagnosed as a Grade II Mast Cell tumor.  Mast cell cancer is basically a skin cancer.  All I could do was hope and pray that it did not recur.  About six months later, I felt a new lump in the same location so my vet did more radical surgery by removing as much of the surrounding tissue as possible.  This was in June.  By September, it was back and my vet did not recommend doing more surgery without chemo or radiation follow up.  He recommended taking Charlie to Mississippi State Vet School for an ultrasound and complete evaluation.  In the two weeks before our appointment at MSU, the tumor grew rapidly and Dr. Kari Lunsford at MSU said that amputation followed by radiation therapy was our best bet.  They checked Charlie thoroughly and found that the cancer had not spread to his internal organs, so we went ahead with the amputation of Charlie's front leg.  I picked Charlie up on a Saturday following his surgery on Tuesday and, would you believe, he jumped into his crate in the back of my van?!!!  After healing for two weeks at home, I then had to take Charlie to Louisiana State University Vet School for six weeks of radiation therapy(MSU didn't do radiation therapy).  THAT was REALLY tough!  We both survived the separation and Charlie finally came home to stay.  That was mid November 2003.  In March of 2004, I noticed what I hoped was a hot spot on Charlie's hip, but it didn't seem to heal.  Then a few days later, I felt a lump near his testicles(yep, he was still intact).  I was in denial and refused to take him to the vet.  A couple of weeks later, I made that dreaded decision, took him to the vet and found out both lumps were new mast cell tumors.  It was tough for my vet, too, but I didn't want to see Charlie sick and in pain so I had him put down, still healthy except for the lumps which would eventually spread internally and kill him.

 


"I'm so glad we had this time together
Just to have a laugh or sing a song
Seems we just get started and before you know it
Comes the time we have to say, 'so long'."

Carol Burnett's closing theme song