Thanks to our online supporters along with generous donations from the clients and staff of Haw Creek Animal Hospital, the Charlie's Angels Campaign is ecstatic to announce that we have reached our fundraising goal! We are now beginning the process of ordering the portable ultrasound, so stay tuned to hear more about the dedication of the unit and hopefully some great success stories.

A Sad Story...

Charlie Hermann (2005-2010)
It is a truly remarkable experience to be loved by a dog, especially one like my sister's dog Charlie. He simply radiated joy. His spirit and energy were boundless along with his sense of fun. He was a natural athlete who could hike or swim or chase a ball for hours, but was equally happy to curl up on the couch or hog the bed.

It was all of these traits that made it clear in late September that something was very wrong with Charlie. At first, he just seemed mopey and listless, but then the vomiting started. A trip to the vet led the veterinarian to suspect pancreatitis; blood work and x-rays confirmed the diagnosis - still, despite treatment, Charlie kept vomiting.

Several days and more blood work and x-rays later, Charlie was still sick. Concerned that he might have swallowed something that wasn't showing up on x-ray, the veterinarians decided that Charlie needed an ultrasound. Because his normal veterinary hospital did not have an ultrasound, Charlie had to be transported to another clinic to get the test done. The ultrasound confirmed everyone's worst fears - Charlie's pancreatitis was a result of an intestinal obstruction and he needed emergency surgery.

Despite the severity of his condition, Charlie maintained his happy spirit - jumping up to greet his family with kisses just prior to surgery. When the veterinarians began the operation, they were shocked to discover just how much damage the foreign body (a piece of fabric) had done. They worked on Charlie for over four hours, removing his spleen and over two feet of his intestines - still, somehow, Charlie was hanging on. Even at that point, I don't think any of us doubted that he would pull through. Despite being in obvious pain, Charlie was steadfast in spirit and continued to fight on for two more days. When a blood transfusion and all other treatment options failed to turn him around, the doctors had no choice but to go back into surgery to see if there was anything else they could do.

What they found was horrific-Charlie's digestive system was absolutely destroyed. His veterinarian, Dr. Sinclair, said she had never seen anything like it in the 12 years she has be practicing. There was nothing more they could do except make the painful decision to let Charlie go. After being told that he was a good boy and that he could finally stop fighting, Charlie took his last breath. He was only five years old.

...that Deserves a Happy Ending

Nothing we can do can bring Charlie back, but we can honor his memory by trying to ensure that what happened to him has a positive impact. Because Charlie's condition was ultimately diagnosed by ultrasound, our goal is to raise the funds necessary to provide a portable ultrasound unit to the animal hospital where he was treated so patients there have immediate access to potentially life-saving diagnostics. Even though Charlie could not be saved, there are plenty of pets out there who one day might be saved because of Charlie and with your help.

Charlie's Angels is a private fundraising drive, so we need all the help we can get! Please consider linking to us on Facebook, LinkedIn, or other social networking to help us reach as many people as possible. You can keep track of our progress with the ChipIn widget or by subscribing to the RSS feed for our blog. Share your stories and words of encouragement in our forums. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me and I will respond promptly. Thank you for visiting Charlie's Angels!