Charlie Boxer, You’ve Made Our Lives Whole

( Charlie Boxer 06/24/05 – 04/30/14 – loved, remembered, missed, appreciated Forever)

Charlie is our Boxer boy, almost 9 years old, the love of our lives, our first doggy love, the reason we are professional photographers today, he has helped us become the people we are in the community we are part of…really we owe so many wonderful memories, wonderful friends, a wonderful career, and several adventures to him. Sadly, on Wed. April 23rd 2014 he had a seizure, and after testing it was revealed that likely he only had a short time left with us due to a sarcoma tumor (hemangiosarcoma) on his spleen causing internal bleeding; hours, days, weeks remaining we did not know. The news was devastating for us. We are thankful for the seizure warning us, most people don’t know ahead of time. So, we did our best to make his last days amazing and gave him plenty of personal attention and love, he gave us love and happiness for so long I hope he knows how grateful we are. He was only with us for 5 more days after we learned of the tumor. It was too short of time, we weren’t ready, grieving has been deeply painful.

The posts at the top are the most recent. CLICK HERE to start from the bottom and work your way up. I thought there would be so many more days and posts.

Just Boxers 2015 calendar Charlie Boxer's 1st calendar 1st cover

5/1/14 Our house feels empty without him here, even with 3 dogs. Our 3 deaf dogs depended on him so much as their leader, as their ears, and for protection. Nothing is the same without him. This evening, just 1 day after Charlie passed away and I am overwhelmed with emotions as this was officially announced online. Charlie is the cover of the 2015/2016 Just Boxers Calendar. We submitted his images for years, this was his first time selected and he got the cover … I hope his smile brings people happiness all year long.

charlie boxer and dad under the bridge

4/30 this is a photo from our adventure at the beach last Friday. Today was Charlie’s last day with us. We laid outside under the apple tree for hours, listening to birds, watching apple blossoms flurry like snow to the ground and dandelion seeds float around. He came close to passing on his own as we waited for the vet who came to our home. He ate girl scout Thin Mint cookies as she sedated him, those cookies he wanted his entire life. We whispered how much we loved him as we hugged him good bye until his last breath. He was comfortable and surrounded by those he loved and who loved him.  — We are devastated, nothing feels the same , we don’t feel the same, we miss him so much, he was such a huge part of our every day life…. he was such a huge part of ‘us’.

Boxer Boston Family, Charlie's last photo Mt Rainier

4/29/14 This was our last photo with Charlie looking like himself. It only was a few minutes more when his health noticeably drastically changed. We headed home and gave him some beef & kale for dinner. After searching for hours I found some YunnanBaiYao thanks to our friend Cherry who had some and was online late at night to see we were in need. It is said to help with internal bleeding and reduce pain. We were able to get him some by 1A I don’t think we started it soon enough. He laid down in Holland’s closet as if trying to find a place to be alone…we knew he was telling us it was his time. I laid with him all night on the floor, monitoring his breathing and telling him how much we love him and what a good boy he is and always has been.
We miss him so much.

a sunset car ride with Charlie Boxer and dad

4/29 We took a sunset car ride with our Charlie and he put his paw up on & by Holland and watched him drive, as we told him we loved him. We drove to an area with a nice view of Mt Rainier and took a couple family photos.

wishes for my boxer boy

4/28 So quickly things turned today from OK to not OK. This morning he seemed like his normal self, then this evening he threw up twice,  I assume it was most of his food from this morning. We stopped with the treats yesterday trying to rule out that as why he threw up yesterday and now realize it wasn’t from the treats. This was such a sad moment, we know what that means. Today a chinese herbal medicine we ordered was supposed to arrive (Yunnan BaiYao Capsules) – there was a error in our expiration date for our credit card and we didn’t realize it so the meds won’t arrive until Thursday.

you are the rainbow on my cloudy day - Boxer

4/27 After our visit with grandma and her kitties we came home. Literally hours after the first rainbow and once again the sun burst with perfect timing for us to get a photo. Charlie, you are the rainbow on our cloudy days. To end the evening he had tuna in his meal and I have never been more happy to see him slop up his food. Perhaps his appetite issue earlier really was because of all the extra treats.

Boxer Charlie visited his grandma

4/27 We visited with Charlie’s grandma and her 16 year old Kitty Tabitha. Neither are very fond of being photographed so we had to sneak in photos. Tabitha kitty was behind me while I took this. As you can tell he likes Kitties, mostly just to sniff but they don’t usually like him back.

charlie holland rainbow Boxer

4/27 Ups & Downs today, I’ve managed to reduce my crying some. Friends have helped remind me that he doesn’t understand why I am crying and I just want him to be happy, so I am putting feeling aside during our adventures and living in the moment. This morning he didn’t finish his breakfast for the first time ever. Usually when appetite is lost time is getting shorter. I did cry. However Holland suspects it was because of all the bacon treats I gave him yesterday. It was a gloomy rainy kind of day today. We drove in the rain to ‘Grandma’s’ house to visit her and her kitties. On the way, the sun burst out for just a few minutes as we passed a park and a rainbow filled the sky. We quickly stopped for a photo before it faded away.

boxer snuggles ILY Charlie

4/25 At night is the hardest, I am soaking in all the snuggles I can. His favorite spot has always been curling up in my legs. I cry when he sleeps not because of thinking about his life – he has had a fantastic one as far as that goes – but I cry because I think of the future without him and it hurts. There were things we expected him to one day be part of that we know he will not…and that hurts me a lot. We hoped that he would be a baby sitter for our first child and we know that won’t happen now. <3

mcgraw family

4/26 I was adamant that we get a family photo today. This was our 1st family photo in 5 years, we’ve never taken one with all 6 of us before. I feel guilty, we photograph other families year round and neglected to get our annual family photo. You have no idea how important they are until you don’t have them. We wanted to have Mt Rainier in the background but the clouds rolled in and weren’t going away. So, this was our safety shot until the clouds go away. We set up a tripod & lighting in our backyard and GrandPaw Bruce played ‘Bacon Clown’ to get their attention.

blue puppy boxer

4/25 tonight as I reminisced I was reminded another reason I am happy we changed our business colors to blue this week. When Charlie was an itty bitty puppy he was referred to as blue until we named him. He was the blue collared pup and it has always been his color.

Boxer flower smiles

4/25 We played in the yard alone, and with some bacon he had his wiggle butt energy back with bouts of zoomies and plenty of smiles.

Charlie Boxer beach day WA

Charlie’s top favorite places in CA were sandy beaches. The options in WA for a dog who isn’t fond of other dogs is pretty slim but we made it happen for a little while without being disturbed. He enjoyed the sand between his toes and wanted to run in it but we had to stay on leash. The birds kept his ears perky on our 1st WA beach day.

frolicked in flowers boxer Charlie

4/25 we frolicked in flowers at the park, ate breakfast (he even got some of my breakfast sandwich), just hanging out in the grass, exchanging kisses and posing for treats.

Boxer kiss - the heartbreaking news, beginning the adventure

4/25 We weren’t prepared for the news but it came. The results showed that Charlie won’t be with us much longer due to a sarcoma tumor. Life expectancy 0-6 weeks. After some tears we knew we needed to make the best of the weekend. We dropped everything and went to the beach for our 1st WA beach day, it was supposed to be 100% rainy but the clouds parted for us.

pouty Boxer squishy face

4/24 We went to the vet this morning. They were impressed with how great he looked for an 8 almost 9 year old. They did testing and said they would call us the next day. I thought for sure we would be getting seizure meds. After work we brought the fur kids out back to play, Charlie had no interest in grazing or playing, which was heart breaking and very unusual for him. You can’t see in this photo but his gums were quite pale. So I brought him in and snuggled him instead.

Happy senior Boxer running and playing

4/23 Charlie had a seizure, our hearts sank knowing at his age what this could mean. We’ve dealt with seizures in our younger Boston but nothing can prepare you for watching your dog in a seizure. We posted this photo on our Facebook and made his Dr Appt. after encouraging words from our friend Krissy.

Charlie Boxer, just days before our lives would be changed forever

Charlie and his fur siblings & Grandpaw Bruce just days before our lives were changed forever.

I want to emphasize that he has made such an incredible impact on our lives. Charlie is the reason we got our first pro DSLR, his photos were our first winnings in a photo competition, he was in our first internationally published image, and his photos being submitted were how we were contracted with Dog Fancy Magazine and the calendars we are part of today, his wiggle-butt got us involved with Boxer Rescue and offering fundraising photoshoots, which lead to our professional photography business. He was our Boxer baby, our everything.

~Alisha & Holland, Some Like It Shot Photography

10 thoughts on “Charlie Boxer, You’ve Made Our Lives Whole

  1. This blog will bring you comfort in the years to come. I am so thankful that you were able to share Charlie’s final days with him, sharing all of his favorite things with him and taking these beautiful photos. <3

  2. I am so sorry at the loss of Charlie. He was the first boxer I was ever around and totally fell in love with him. He loved my little dogs so much. I remember you getting him as a puppy and teach him the different signs. I will always remember with love this very wonderful dog.

    • Thank you Karen, I remember he used to sit at the window and watch you go down the stairs to the garage every day :) that window was his favorite for people watching. He loved little dogs and little kids, we really were hoping to have one of our own for him to watch over, so sad that he never got to experience that.

  3. Thank you for sharing this very touching and beautiful blog. It reminds all of us that we don’t know how long we have on this earth and we all should remember to spread love and cheer (like you both do and Charlie did). I was going to work tomorrow but after reading the blog and watching the video, I am going to dog beach instead!

    • Thank you Cinda, I hope you have a wonderful day at the dog beach :) The beach was by far the favorite place for Charlie to play. Give J & B a big hug from us!

  4. I was so sad to see the news about Charlie. We met a long time ago at an event in Huntington Beach and you snapped some great pics of our dogs being goofy boxers. They are close in age, my girl Izzy will be 9 in Sept, and I randomly wondered not too long ago how Charlie was doing… We’ve had some definite downs lately as part of the aging process, nothing too serious yet but it’s not easy. Cherish your memories of him and hug your others tightly.

    • Thank you Erika, those HB days were some of his favorites. Today Marks 1 month since Charlie passed, I’ve only had 1 full day of dry eyes. Wish he could have lived longer but I am so happy that I have 3 fur babies to help us through it. Coco is currently the only one still very very different. I do hope she will gain her confidence back so she can enjoy living her life like she used to.

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