In Memory of Chewie
In September 2014 we lost our little fuzzy Chewie. In early 2014 he was diagnosed with sick sinus syndrome, a deadly heart disease in which the heart stops every few beats. He fought bravely and recovered from his pacemaker surgery living happily for many months. All of his cancer tests came back negative but he fell victim to a rapidly spreading tumor and we didn't even know how sick he was until he only had moments to live.
Chewie may be gone, but his memory will always live on. To honor him you can help other doggies like him by donating to the ”Bless Chewie’s Heart Fund”. With a donation of $25 or more, you’ll receive a limited edition 5"x7" “Bless Their Hearts” print starring Owly, Wormy, Bunny, Chewie, and their doggie friends.
Funds beyond Chewie's bills of $6,000 will go drectly to the U.G.A. Small Animal Teaching Hospital to help needy dogs who require pacemakers each year. Every little bit helps and all donations are greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Bless Chewie's Heart Fund:
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In early 2014 our cairn terrier Chewbacca started to collapse at random intervals. He has been very healthy throughout his life, but during a routine Vet visit, we discovered his heart rate was dangerously low… 1/4 the norm (28 beats per minute). Sometimes drugs help but our little guy didn't respond to the drug treatment and was deteriotaying rapidly… fainting and collapsing on a regular basis as his heart would stop beating for sometimes 9 seconds at a time. We were lucky enough to get him to the U.G.A. Small Animal Teaching Hospital where he underwent surgery and was fitted with a pacemaker. We're happy to say that the surgery went well and and he recovered. We sadly lost him in September to completely unrelated medical issues. We were lucky enough to have him ith us an additional nine months and we will always cherish the memories of that time.

I'm a humble indy cartoonist and I'm still struggling to pay our little furry boy's medical bills that rose to over $6000. Sadly, we are not alone, as thousands of pet owners every year discover their dogs need a device and cannot pay for this life saving procedure. Often the price can be discounted if the pacemaker is donated, but most human recipients don’t know this is an option. We want to change that with your help!

Funds that we recieve will go to the U.G.A. Small Animal Teaching Hospital to help raise money for heart-health education, purchasing pacemakers, and increasing pacemaker donations for needy dogs who require them each year. Thank you all for your overwhelming support and generosity.
Chewie updates:
October 30th, 2014:
Just got the bittersweet news that Chewie's picture was selected as one of the winners in this year's UGA Pet Photo contest. I submitted his picture right before Dragon Con and we thought he was doing so well. "Chewie: King of the Beach" was taken while visiting my family in Florida. Thank you Jimmy, Kellie, Chadd, Amanda, and Mike! Even though Fuzzy never liked the water, he loved the sand and the treats and we will always cherish those memories. :,) Printed and framed photographs of the winning entries will be displayed in the new UGA Veterinary Teaching Hospital when it opens in March 2015 so he'll be able to bring a smile to the owners and doggies when they come to the Vet. Missin' you more everyday, Chewie.
October 12th:
Incredibly difficult day... Saw Chewie's doggy friends Maggie and Pooh... They were adorable. While I was loading the car a Monarch butterfly fluttered by right in front of me. Monarchs are incredibly rare here.... I like to think Chewie sent him to brighten my day. :,) Miss you, fuzzy.
October 5th:
Today we celebrated The Feast of St. Francis.... My hero and my favorite Church holiday. We went to the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Philip as we have every year for the past 8 years... Chewie was with us in spirit. It was a very hard day and there were many tears but there were also many sniffy noses and wagging tales to make things a little easier. :,)
September 24th:
Woke up feeling lost... My little blonde fuzzy co-pilot is missing. He added so much structure and sunshine to my days. He got me out of the house when I was blue and he stayed with me through the day and night while I was working. If I worked too much he reminded me that I had access to food and I should go to the kitchen and make a snack. He was my first puppy and taught me so much about life and unconditional love. I miss you, Chewie.
September 23rd:
Sadly we lost our little Chewie today. He had been doing so well. His last appointment showed so much more improvement with his kidneys and heart… but sadly there was a silent sickness inside of him. He passed away from Cancer in his spleen and liver that had caused internal bleeding that we couldn't stop. He was incredibly brave and stoic until the very end and we didn't even know anything was really wrong until we went in for a routine checkup and he collapsed on the exam table. He fought as long as he could and passed away surrounded by love. Thank you all for all the kindness and support you've shown him for so so long. It has meant so much. If you want, you can still donate to help other doggies at UGA in Chewie's name.
March 30th:
Chewie went in for another checkup at The UGA small animal hospital. His heart is doing well and his kidney values have improved dramatically! He still may have a parathyroid issue but he is doing super great! All of these tests have been hard on him but he's been a real trooper! His little fur is starting to grow back and we can go on slightly longer walks now! If we could only get him to eat his healthy food!

Thank you all for all the support over these last months! It's really meant the world to us! All of the thank you prints will be in the mail this week. Together we've raised over $3,300 and are getting closer to our goal! Thank you all so, so much!!
March 20th:
Quick Chewie update!! No more bandage!!! :D Chewie's incisions have fully healed! Thank you all so very much for the support!!! He's feeling so much better and we've raised over $3,000 to help our little guy and doggies with Sick Sinus Syndrome!
March 13th:
Chewie update! He had a good visit at U.G.A. today. His stitches are out (but the skin was a little raw so the bandage stays on another week) and his pacemaker is working great! They weren't able to really figure out exactly what caused that little incident we had. It's possible it was a combination of the antibiotics and pain meds along with a change in diet? We'll be on the lookout for any changes but hopefully that won't happen again.

He does sadly have kidney disease... Just a part of getting older. This is something the Doctors were worried about before... and for now they think it's manageable with meds and a special diet. We're still waiting on some of the tests to find out exactly what we'll need to do.... Prayers and happy thoughts still appreciated!

Special thanks to Amanda, Tiffany, and Dr. Rappaport for all their help today! We always felt like we were in good hands! We're glad our little guy's heart is doing well and every day is a gift. Thank you all for all the support! You're amazing!
March 11th:
Chewie could use your happy thoughts and prayers again... He's going back to U.G.A. for a checkup tomorrow. He had a frightening little incident last night around midnight.

He hasn't been eating well but he just got off all his meds... He finally ate a 1/2 can of wet food last night. But then, about a hour later He seemed to get startled in his sleep and was nauseated. He got up, drooled a bit and then lost control of his bladder. He then proceeded to go to the bathroom inside and throw up.... It was all very scary. He was a little woozy afterwards but seemed fine after about 5 minutes.

His pacemaker seems to be working fine and his temperature is normal. So we're not sure what happened. The on-call vet was perplexed but theorized that he might have had a little seizure. Given all the tests he's had, he wasn't sure what would have caused it if that's what happened. That's why we're taking him in to get checked out. His appointment is at 2:30 tomorrow. We'll keep everybody updated! Thank you again for all of your kind words and financial support! We don't know what we'd do without you all!
March 3rd:
Thank you all so very much for your generosity! We've already raised over $1000 for Chewie and other doggies with sick sinus syndrome!

Chewie is doing a little better each day. We're going back to the vet on Wednesday to get his bandage changed. I'll take lots of pictures! As for now... he's back to hanging out in the kitchen, where all Chewies like to be.
Feb 27th:
Chewie update! Our little guy is home from the hospital! He's doing great but he's exhausted... As are we. We'll post more updates soon! Thank you all again for the prayers and well wishes!!
Feb 26th:
Chewie made it through surgery! Out of the woods, pacemaker installed! No complications! He was a little trooper and we should be bringing him home tomorrow! Thank you all for your prayers and well wishes!!!!
Feb 25th:
Hey everybody… Our little Chewie could really use your prayers and happy thoughts. He's having surgery tomorrow at the UGA Small Animal Teaching Hospital to install a pacemaker and get his little heart working properly again.

He hasn't been responding to the drug treatment and has been deteriorating since his diagnosis, fainting and collapsing on a regular basis as his heart stops beating. I haven't posted much about this, but it's been a rough couple of weeks as we've been struggling to help our little fuzzy guy… Emotionally and financially it's taken quite a toll on us. We'll post updates on his progress…

We'll also be posting info on a fund raiser we hope to do in the next few days for his surgery and to help other dogs with his condition (sick sinus syndrome) which is treatable but often goes undiagnosed and untreated due to cost and lack of knowledge of device donation options.

Love to you all...
Help us Reach our Goal!
$5,324 donated so far! :)
If you donate enough to qualify for the print, We'll get it in the mail to you as soon as possible.

Want to mail in a donation? Checks and money orders can be made to "Andy Runton" and sent to:
In Memory of Chewie
5502 East Wind Dr.
Lilburn, GA 30047-6410
If you have any questions about Chewie, please cotact me at:
About Chewie...
Chewie was a Cairn Terrier, like Toto, but his fur is soft wheaten (blonde). He first came into my life in 2007 but Chewie was a puppy-mill puppy (born in 2001). He was quite a little character and it took him a while to warm up to me, but as soon as he realized that I would stay up later and thus there were more opportunities for treats, we became fast friends.

He wiggled his way into my heart and my work. You can find him in the Indie Island poster and in the faces of Owly's furry friends, especially the bats in Bright Lights and Starry Nights.