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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

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Charlie the Dog, 1998(?)-2014 

Charlie died on October 10th.

As you know if you’ve ever read this site or looked at a single word I’ve written on social media, Charlie was our beloved dog, the greatest pet who ever walked this earth, blessed with the softest of ears and the most agreeable of dispositions. He was nothing but a joy to live with since we picked him up on a street corner 15 years ago. We had answered a Petfinder ad, knowing nothing about him other than that he had been neglected by his previous owners, and that he was a “sweet dog with soft ears who needs a chance.” (That’s quoted directly from his ad.)

Charlie’s health had been going downhill for the past year or so. He had arthritis in his back legs and a heart murmur. He was totally deaf and almost completely blind. His kidneys were failing, his weight was plummeting. It seemed like we were constantly either walking him or trying to get him to eat. Normally he weighed around 25 pounds, but last month he was down to 14. It looked painful. Well-meaning neighbors and passersby expressed amazement in his continued existence. Once a stranger stopped to hug me; not because I looked sad, but because the dog did. Plus he didn't seem to know where he was, most of the time. 

So that’s how he was, and he was ready to go, and we thought we were ready to say goodbye, but then of course you’re never ready, not really. We miss him so much. 

I wish I could find more things to say about him. He was the best dog. We are so lucky.



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Reader Comments (52)

Aw, I was just wondering where you'd gotten to. I'm sorry you've had to let your fella go.

October 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDelaney

I'm sorry that he is gone, I'm sure the missing him just aches. I have an almost 15yr old dog and an 18yr old cat, we know it's coming but I don't think we will be prepared either. Oh, these pets steal our hearts and then leave us so soon.

October 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCandice

Oh gosh can't breathe. Lovely tribute to a great, gorgeous guy. So very sorry.

October 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Vale Charlie.
He was a lucky dog to get such a great second chance.

October 26, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterkate

Oh, I'm so sorry. You were lucky to have had each other, but it still hurts so much when it ends. I know just how you feel. It sucks.

October 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPamela

Oh my heart huuuuuurts. What a sweet spirit. I'm so glad he found you.

October 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBeck

Oh, Alice, I know too well that hazy blue-eyed gaze that accompanies velvety ears that have long since lost their ability to hear your sweet words. He felt your love always. Gigantic stranger hugs to you.

October 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterWombat central

Oh Alice, I am so so sorry. <3

October 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCJ

Charlie's at peace; it's you guys who need the hugs and the sympathy. I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this lovely tribute with all of us anonymous readers, who really do care.

October 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTC

My teary-eyed sorry all the way from Australia. To lose a furry friend and family member is heartbreaking. So glad he was loved for so many years by you and your family. x

October 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJean

Had the same thing happen with my 18 year old cat 2 months ago. He was the last link to my former marriage, home and life, and it has been so so hard (even though he was miserable at the end). I keep looking at new kitties to adopt & I can't do it, I just want my Romeo back.

I'm so sorry Alice. I feel you.

October 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAmber

So very sorry for your loss.

October 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNaptimewriting

I am so sorry for your loss. Sending light and love to all of you.

October 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSheila

Ugh. Tears. Hug. xoxoxo

October 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJill

Ah, nuts; I got all teary-eyed just reading your post. Losing a beloved pet just sucks, even when you understand it's what's best for the pet. My deepest condolences.

October 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCobwebs

I never comment but I've been reading you for years...and I've been dreading this post. I hope your pain is every so slightly lessened by all of us dog-owners and dog-missers out here who understand, and shed a couple tears for you today.

October 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKerry

Alice, I'm really sorry to hear the news. Lots of love to y'all.

October 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGray Whitten

Alice, I'm really sorry to hear the news. Lots of love to y'all.

October 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGray Whitten

Crying, because I remember when we lost Coco, our chocolate lab. It took me 30 days before I stopped automatically putting my not finished plate of dinner down on the floor next to my chair for Coco to come lap up.

It hurts, the loss weighs. The dogs in our lives that we adore, and they adore us right back.

I am so sorry, Alice and family.

October 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteralexandra rosas

I'm so very sorry that you've lost your sweet Charlie, but glad that all of you had each other for so very long. Bless you all and your sweet hearts.

October 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Dodson

Oh, Alice. This made me cry. I'm glad you all had each other. Lucky people, lucky dog.

October 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHouseofJules

So, so sorry to hear this. I haven't stopped by here in a long while. I like to imagine my old buddy doing all the things she used to adore - swimming in Lake MI, chasing geese, etc now that she's free of a painful body. I'm sure that Charlie is in his own version of dog heaven and I always feel that a big portion of heaven is the love and memories of those left behind.

October 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMary

To quote my son when his beloved Morgan died: "stupid circle of life."

I'm sorry for your loss. Sniff.

xo Jacquie

October 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJacquie

I am so so sorry. Losing a pet is losing part of the family. I'm glad you had so much time with him and that he was lucky enough to have you all as his family.

October 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Lee

You were lucky to have him... and he was clearly very lucky to have you. I'm sorry for your loss.

October 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMarisa

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