The Story of Charger

imageName: Charger

Nicknames: Pooter, Pooh, Der Tootendoggen, Pooh-dog, Stink-butt (can you tell I fart a lot?) Charger-Barger, cow nose and Sir Fartz-A-Lot (my hip-hop name)
Sex? Male (Fixed)
How old are you? When is your Birthday? We celebrate on November 1st, which is the day I came home(2003). The shelter thinks I was about 5 years old when I got left by my first family. (They loved me for many years, but then could no longer afford to feed me and I was WAY WAY WAY too skinny.)
What breed are you? German Shepherd/ St. Bernhard mix
Describe your physical traits.I have a ‘cow nose’ it is very white and pink and big. I have big floppy ears and lots of scrunchy jowls on my neck. My coat is a beautiful black and brown. When you stare into my big brown eyes you will notice that I have RED EYELASHES. I have a cute little white strip on the back of my neck. But my biggest and best feature is the one that won the hearts of my mommy and daddy the first second they saw me, MY SUPER SMILE.
Describe your personality.Besides being incredibly happy in my new home? I like to be with ALL my people. I herd them into the same room if they are all spread out. I am mellow most of the day and lounge around like the king of the roost that I am, but when mommy gets home I howl with pleasure and run around, roll on the floor and get my well deserved scritches.
Where do you live? I live in a nice house with my mommy, daddy, and Joshie. I have a nice neighborhood filled with dogs that I get to play with, sniff and bark at. I have a big backyard that I run around in, but only with my mom and dad, I don’t like to be in the yard by myself.
Do you have any siblings? There are these two cats that live in the house. Mommy had them before she met Daddy and they pretty much keep their distance from me. We both get a little curious sometimes and bump noses. We each have our own spot on the bed and sleep together without incident.
What is your favorite toy?ANYTHING that is soft and fuzzy and squeaks!!! Mommy has to buy squeakies in bulk to repair and make me new toys all the time.
Where is your favorite place to sleep? I ONLY sleep in mommy and daddy’s bed. Lately I like to lean on daddy’s legs and try to push him out of the bed (he he!)
What is your favorite thing to do to annoy your people? If I am not getting the attention I deserve (which if I am honest is rarely, after all daddy works from home, so I am rarely alone) I like to stare at mommy or daddy and woof at them and then turn my head away like, “That wasn’t me”. I do this about a dozen times in a row until they come over and play with me.
Anything else you would like to add? I have a couple of girlfriends that I get to play with all the time. Good thing we are all fixed because otherwise…. Also I am SO Lucky to have a grandpa that loves dogs and happens to be a doggy doctor, I don’t even hate him for the recent medicine that he squirted up my nose.

November 2003

Ruff I bought him a dog because he loves dogs and I love him and I thought I would tolerate it for the sake of love.

I was wrong.

He is HUGE and hairy and slobbers when he drinks. He follows me around everywhere. The cats still don’t know what to do about him. I have to sweep every day and vacuum almost as often.

I never knew I could love a dog this much. He bats those big brown eyes and plops his big golden head in my lap and I melt. I look forward to getting up at the crack of dawn and walking out in the freezing cold so he can water every lamp post. I am anxious to get home so I can get a big slobbery hug. I am still wearing black despite the fact that every hair that covers me stands out like a slovenly sign of my pet ownership. I am so glad that I don’t have to tolerate him anymore.

So Charger is a German Shepherd-St. Bernard mixed shelter dog. We brought him home from NOAH. They are an amazing shelter and we continue to support them whenever we can. He was about 5 years old (and had never been neutered) when his family could no longer afford to feed him.

By the time we found him, he had already been adopted once. The family that tried him out for three months had a big family with little kids and realized they could not handle such a large dog. Honestly, I can’t imagine having Charger for 3 months and giving him up! But I am a full-blown sucker now, when it comes to spoiling and loving Charger.

Charger came with the name, and after only a short time with him, the name so obviously fit that we couldn’t justify changing it. He has two speeds: sleeping and full charge! ut he quickly earned MANY nicknames!

January 2004

Obedience Training Today was our first day at “good manners” class. Both of us went to find out more. We weren’t sure if it was OK to train the dog with one or both of us at the same time. I am so thankful Shawn came with me! there must have been about 20 dogs there (all medium to big, but Charger was in fact the LARGEST dog there) and Charger was just bonkers with nervous excitement. He pulled so hard that we both had to work to contain him.

The trainer recognized him right away, Charger was a favorite at the shelter. She talked for most of the hour, telling about different training collars, ideologies and methods. Charger was shedding like crazy. We both wore black, as it is a staple in our wardrobe and we were covered with hair in a matter of minutes. He finally got friendly with the girl dog next to us.

The only command we worked on today (finally at the very end) was sit. Charger already knows that one. But in general we learned some very good do’s and don’ts about training and we will be going together for the next 6 Saturdays. It was so much work to hold onto him and keep him calm AND try to listen to the instructions. I could not have done it by myself.

March 2005 ~ Charger’s Sports Injury

Today at 11am, I was just getting ready to work in my studio when I heard an ungodly welp. I stuck my head out the window to see my dog on the ground with his back end in an unnatural position and he was twisting around in circles trying to get up. Shawn came running around the corner and I ran downstairs. In the stress Charger had totally soiled himself and scratched his own legs. It was obvious that something was very wrong with his back hips and legs. He wouldn’t put any weight on them and they were twisted in the weirdest ways. The only thing to happen to cause this was he was chasing after this possum that he has an ongoing battle with, and as he charged around the corner of the house he slipped either on the wet grass or possibly on his own poop.

Even though my dad is a veterinarian, AND was on his way for a rare visit. I knew this was beyond his current work. He does house calls, so he doesn’t have a clinic and he mostly cares for the shots, fleas and minor illnesses and allergies. Without a clinic it is not possible to do x-rays and surgery. So we looked up the emergency animal hospital and planned to rush him there.

BUT Charger is 120-130 pounds of raw determined German Shepard/ st.Bernard muscle. So getting him in the car in his current pain and fear took a first try of roomy Kath, My b/f and myself. But roomy Kath quickly threw her back out, so I got the neighbors. Tony, a construction worker and Paul, a burly 200+ lb weight lifter and My b/f and myself, managed to get him into the car on a blanket.

At the clinic they had to sedate him to take x-rays and found (thank GOD) no broken bones, no hip-dysplasia. BUT he still will not put any weight on his left leg and he is turning the paw under. He has plenty of feeling in the leg and hip, the right leg is fine. So it is muscle or something. He is staying in the hospital over night, getting major doses of steroids and anti-inflammatories. If he doesn’t get better before Monday, we will be seeing a neurologist or something. YIKES

I am very thankful, that with S finally working we can afford the care. But please send all your prayers and good healing thoughts to Charger. I have been on the verge of tears all day, so also pray for myself and S for our stressed out worrisome mommy and daddy emotions.

So ($650.00 later) we have brought Charger home and he seems happy to be here and is not experiencing much pain. This is what the emergency clinic doctor ended up thinking it might be He said there is really no cure for it.
We are going to try steroids, muscle relaxants and meds for pain as needed, while doing some at home physical therapy, as recommended by Doctor Grandpa.

~ So it has been two weeks since the accident. We have been doing our best to cure Charger with TLC and it is working. We had him taking some meds for the first week but have stopped all meds as he no longer seems to need any. He is walking normally, but his leg is still a little weak, so sometimes he looses his footing and the leg slips out from under him. He is back to regular amounts of eating, playing and sleeping. He is getting up and down the stairs and on and off the beds and couches without help. He is as angry at the postman as ever and makes it known. He has gotten to be his old spunky smelly self and we are so relieved. 2 weeks for a sports injury is pretty good. In fact roomy Kath hasn’t healed nearly as quickly, but she is getting better too.


December 2014

Charger has enjoyed a wonderful life with us, but the past few years have been rough. After more and more pain with his arthritis, going deaf and then he having night anxitey related to senior dementia… We finally determined that his quality of life was too diminished. We used a home vet to help Charger move on. It was a difficult decision but best for all.