Those of you reading this know the loss of a pet is heartbreaking. Anyone who loves dogs knows they are members of our family…irreplaceable and unforgettable. This story starts out with the loss of our Westie-terrier mix Buddy. We had found him as a stray on the road all matted and dirty. No one eventually claimed him so he became a member of our family. For 2 ½ years he gave us joy. We lost him this summer due to inoperable adrenal gland tumors. We were devastated, but despite the loss, we as a family knew that we needed to rescue another Westie or Westie-mix in the name of Buddy. That is when I saw a picture of Charlie on the rescue’s page. We knew that he was the one! One problem, he was at a rescue in Arizona. There was only one thing to do and that was to drive to Arizona to get this little guy. (People thought we were crazy, but look at him – that face!) The whole trip took about 6 days and instead of just coming home with one dog, we came home with two. Charlie and his brother CJ had been surrendered to the rescue by their owner. Charlie was being fostered with his bonded brother CJ (not biological brother). The rescue offered a 2 for 1 deal to keep them together and of course there was no question, we were now coming home with 2 dogs.

Even before we got home my husband had gotten pet insurance on the little guys. As per the insurance there is a 14 day waiting period before illnesses are covered…we weren’t worried. Both CJ and Charlie seemed to have made the trip like champs. The only thing we knew we were goingto have to do was to work on their weight since both of them were overweight. Charlie was only with us a few days when we noticed he didn’t want to eat (which is VERY unlike Charlie). We got up the next morning and he didn’t want a treat, then we went outside and I was horrified to see him do his business and it was all bloody. We immediately got him in to see our primary vet. They were very concerned and diagnosed him with Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (vets don’t really know what causes it). I had no idea what that was and had never seen anything like that before. They immediately sent us to an emergency vet since apparently this can be a serious life threatening illness if not treated right away. I was so scared and didn’t know what I would do if we lost Charlie so soon. Charlie was admitted for hospitalization which was going to be a significant expense. We knew that he needed to be there and of course we were going to get him the help he needed, but remember the pet insurance…well all of this happened 3 days before the insurance kicked in. We had no idea how we were going to afford his lifesaving care. Then I saw the website for WestieMed. I applied for assistance with them and told them Charlie’s story. He obviously stole their hearts too since they decided to help us. Thanks to WestieMed, Charlie is now back home with his furever family. He is on the road to recovery and starting to transition back to normal food. We are so grateful to WestieMed and their support because having Charlie home and feeling better is a gift.

We lost our beloved Westie-mix Buddy and went to rescue Charlie, but he really rescued us. We feel the loss of Buddy, but every day with Charlie and the unconditional love this little guy gives us is priceless and we know just how lucky we are to have him in our lives.

Thank you WestieMed for being there to help Westies and their families in need like you did for us!

Garnet and Loren

Update May 25, 2023:

We will never forget the name given to the illness that our new boy, Charlie, was diagnosed with right after we rescued him from Arizona – Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis. We had no idea what that was. All we knew is that we could lose our sweet, sweet boy before he even got to know us. The hospital bills added up and all we wanted was to take our little guy home to start his life with us. What we never expected during one of the scariest times of our lives was the kindness shown to us by WestieMed. All we wanted to do was love and take care of our little guy and WestieMed made that easier through their financial support during our family’s time of need.

Update on Charlie:
Welcome to Charlie’s new life!!! Since Charlie found his forever home in Minnesota, he has blossomed into a cute, funny, extremely happy dog! His favorite things are cuddling with his 2 humans, playing in the yard, and of course getting a treat! Charlie discovered that if one of his brothers or sisters needs to go outside, he is right there too because when he comes in, he gets a treat! Even if he went out 10 minutes before, he will do a little dance, look at you with his beautiful eyes and run right to the closet where the treats are stored and will stay there until he gets one. He has learned to catch them and if anyone misses, he is right there for an “extra”.

Charlie is now just one of the family. It seems as if he has always been here. He brings joy to us everyday and is so cute and well mannered. He loves sleeping right next to his humans. He cuddles right up to them and loves getting petted. He also gets along well with the rest of the dogs and the cats in the house. He is a constant joy to have and has made our lives full of smiles to watch him.

We feel deep gratitude to WestieMed for helping so much with his vet bills when he first came to us. He has recovered nicely and is a very happy fellow. We are forever in your debt. Thank you for all your group does for these dogs and for helping the owners give them the best life possible. We are truly grateful for WestieMed and Charlie’s new life is proof of the impact of your generosity.

Thank you again,
Loren Lemke and Garnet Towne