Pets and Pals Feature Charm

From the moment Mary Inman arrives at Buffalo Ridge Animal Hospital, she is being dragged behind a very rambunctious and excited Shih Tzu. 

“I don’t get out of the car fast enough for her,” the Village of Largo resident said.

It’s not the groomer or the treats that make Charm look forward to her multiple-times-a-week visit to the vet, it’s her rehabilitation. 

Charm was at the groomer in May when Mary was told her pampered pooch was favoring a leg. When she got there, Mary immediately brought her dog to BRAH where Dr. Vernon informed her Charm needed surgery on her knee and referred her to the University of Florida Veterinary College.

Following surgery, Charm was boarded at BRAH to be cared for and monitored as a peace of mind to her owner and to handle the daily care and medication needs. It was three days into her post-operation care that Charm was noted to be already using her leg.

The convenient location and 24-hour emergency service was what Mary credits to getting her into the Buffalo Ridge door, but it has been the staff and service that has made Mary a loyal Buffalo Ridge client.

“They go above and beyond taking care of a dog. They treat them royally,” she said.

Technicians Brian and Tim can’t say enough about Charm. Three times a week since August, Brian has been doing physical therapy with her. According to Brian, there is no doubt, whatever Charm needs, Charm gets. 

“She’s fabulous,” Brian said. “(But) extremely spoiled.”

Mary doesn’t deny how privileged Charm is, and with good reason.

“She’s not spoiled, she’s ruined. We passed spoiled when she was about eight-months-old.” She explained.

Mary and her husband George were living in Mobile, Alabama when they got her at six-months-old.  The couple had recently lost their elderly dog and Mary took it pretty hard.

George said they could get another pet, and Mary agreed as long as it wasn’t a puppy. George won and they got a puppy.

“I didn’t find her cute. My husband was the one who wanted her and he was diagnosed with lung cancer, so at that point in time anything he wanted was fine,” Mary recalled. “He chose her and it was a wise choice.”

Instantly, George was in love, his wife said.

“I was a strong second, but I was in second. If he was only able to save one of us, I better be able to walk,” she joked. “I wanted to name her attitude, but my husband wouldn’t have it.”

George and Charm were close until his passing in December 2008. Now, Mary said it’s just the two of them. She’s an easy dog to live with; she doesn’t bark, is afraid of thunderstorms, she’s a bit of a finicky eater, and she isn’t much for being a lap dog but is always in view.

Charm and Mary have been by each other’s sides through life’s challenges these past 10 years, and it’s obvious how close they’ve become. Mary said she’s sure having Charm in her life has made it better.

“One thing, it makes me look outside of myself,” Mary said. “When you’re by yourself, you run the risk of internalizing too much, and maybe, even to the point where you pity yourself, and all of these other negatives that goes with being by yourself, and with somebody or something that you need to be responsible for, it pulls you out of yourself and you just have to be there.”


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