Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Through the magic of the internet, I have located Charlie's sister! Meet Sassy and her boy Jack. (She sure looks like Charlie doesn't she? I bet some of you thought that was Charlie!) Sassy is another North Star dog that lives with a boy near Portland, Oregon.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
One year ago today Charlie was just a warm little bundle of puppy loveliness and now ... he's a strapping 60+ pound loving companion to my kid. I don't have any of his actual "baby" pictures but check out this one from the day he was delivered to Judy the Puppy Raiser Extraordinaire. I think this was taken in early February. (I think that the woman holding him is Sharon, another North Star Super Hero.)
Sunday, December 7, 2008
One of the many services for which an autism service dog may be trained is safety. Many A-club kids have a tendency to wander, or even run away from caretakers or safe locations. A service dog can be trained to divert a runner and redirect him back to a caretaker or to a place of safety. (Sort of like a herding function.) Dogs may also be trained to get in between a child and a point of danger like a busy road or an approaching stranger.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
As I spent the better part of a day preparing a variety of traditional Thanksgiving delicacies (how the heck did the Pilgrims manage to make butternut squash soup?) and shooing a super sniffy Charlie from the kitchen, I started to think about just how thankful we are for so many things. This being a blog about Charlie, I'll resist the temptation to give an Academy Awards type speech, but I do think it appropriate to spend a few lines here expressing our gratitude for Charlie.
Monday, November 24, 2008
See this little sucker? Histiocytoma ... that's right. A big fancy latin-ish word describing a benign tumor that appeared on the neck of our beloved Charlie. After a full-on panic attack, I raced into our vet's office where they quickly dismissed my concerns and advised that this little blob will likely dissipate, without treatment, in the next 60 days.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
That there is the Brown Dog Tick commonly found in Northern California. (Latin: tickus-NASTY-cus; Greek: tickus-DISGUSTUS!) Words cannot adequately describe exactly how vile this little creature is, particularly when embedded up to its armpits in the neck of your dog. (I'm throwing up in my mouth as I re-live this.)
Upon discovering this repugnant pest, an immediate search was undertaken to learn how to relieve Charlie of this parasite. Within minutes we discovered an on-line video depicting the removal of a tick using a circular motion, culminating with the insect releasing the dog and "popping out" of the animal. (Oh boy, here goes that gag reflex again ....)
The voice on the video assured us that if we followed this procedure, Charlie would be bug free post haste. However, the voice warned that it was imperative to remove the entire pest and not to leave the poisonous head in the body of your dog. (... gag here ....)
So, armed with my best pair of eyebrow tweezers, Andy and I began the procedure with me wrestling a perplexed and very annoyed Charlie while Andy undertook the business of dizzying the bug. After more than 5 minutes of massaging that little pest, Andy gave the body a little tug and out it came ... that is, out came the body. (...gag ...) The head (... gag ...) was still in Charlie. (GAG, GAG, YAK!)
I spent the better part of that evening worrying about the damage I had done to Charlie first, by not locating the tick earlier, and second, by decapitating the pest while embedded in his neck. However, a visit to my vet left me feeling relieved when he advised that there did not appear to be any infection and that the bug's head (... gag here ...) would work its way out.
Moral of this story? Check your dog for ticks after every hike and if you find one, DON'T ask us for help in removing it.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
I suppose this could have been a more eventful incident, particularly in light of Charlie's increasing size and teenager-esque tendencies of late. At least now we know he's seen horses and next time we'll be a bit more confident about his reaction. AND, we can check one more thing off the list of things for him to see.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Anyone reading this chronicle of Charlie's work knows by now that we witness Charlie's influence on Tim just about every day. Whether it's language development, social skills, empathy or otherwise, there's just no denying that Charlie has proved to be an invaluable tool in helping Tim find his way.
While we have always been eager to hike (particularly in CA - the views here really are extraordinary), hiking had become increasingly difficult with Tim as he insisted on being pushed in a converted bike trailer. Of course, this limited where we could venture and as Tim grew, it became more difficult to push him up anything greater than a slight incline.
These photos were taken on a hike we took a week ago at Del Valle. It's a mildly steep climb up to an elevation of about 1500 feet. The views are intoxicating.