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pictures, words, food, adventures and once in a while, something random

I know all dogs go to heaven

Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really. ~Agnes Sligh Turnbull

I miss you_1

At 10:47am yesterday, our sweet boy Charlie drew his last breath.  He would have been twelve this Thursday.

We got him for Danielle’s thirteenth birthday.  She wanted a chocolate Lab so we went to a breeder’s house.  When we got there, there were several little chocos running around and people were there trying to pick the next member of their family.  That’s when we noticed a little tethered box in the corner.  Something was moving under the rags when a head popped out.  He was trying so desperately to uncover himself, but his paws were so big and clumsy.  The breeder told us to make our pick before they were all gone and we asked him, how about the cute one in the box?  He responded “Oh that?  You don’t want that, he’s the runt and I can’t give you papers for him.  You don’t want him”  That’s when we knew, he was ours!

He was three months old and his paws were the size of his head.  He always stumbled and his belly was so big that it dragged on the floor.  We got him a trainer and she came to the house every week.  It took three lessons for us to know, Charlie can’t be trained… he’s so smart he plays dumb so well!  He was sweet, sensitive and very funny.

He loved camping and going for hikes but get this… he hates the water.  Yes he’s a pure bred Hunting Labrador from the Dakotas and does excellent pointing to ducks, but trying to get him in the water was impossible.  He cries when we bathe him, he whines when we take him to the beach but he’ll run around in the shallow water if he thinks we’re chasing each other.  When he realizes he’s wet, he walks around as if he was saying “Ewe…ewe..wet..ewe” carefully trotting his way out of there.  The first time we took him to the river and tried to get him in the water was fun.  It was like playing tug of war.  We were on one end and he was on the other.  He dug his two front legs into the pebbled beach and anchored his butt down and pulled back.  It was funny and it caught everyone’s attention because here was this water dog, afraid to go in.  The drag marks was classic.  Charlie gave in to trick us because as soon as we thought he was going in and stopped pulling, he ran away really fast.

He loved rolling in dirt, freshly cut grass and sand.  He loves to pounce on short girls, get them down to the ground and just lick them.  He was a 90 pound lap dog, oh he loved climbing on my husband’s lap all the time.  It was a challenge pulling him back on road trips because he wanted to be in the front with hubby.  He loved french fries and peanut butter.  One time my husband was eating his pb&j sandwich.  He had the sandwich in his hand, looked away for a second, turned to take another bite and it was gone!  There was Charlie, licking his chops and getting rid of the evidence.  He also loved getting his nails done.  Good thing dogs are color blind, if he knew the kid was putting fuchsia on his toenails, I doubt he would have just sat there and let her… but then again he loved her so much he probably wouldn’t have cared.   It’s fun watching hubby and the kid play catch with him.  They will throw a frisbee or a ball, Charlie will look where it went, then look back at them with an expression on his face as if he was saying ” And you want me to do what with that thing?…” Charlie loved life, but most of all… he loved us and we knew it.

I will miss waking up to big eyes staring back at me after getting a whiff of his stale breath.  I will miss having my morning cup of coffee outside when he does his morning business.  When we watch scary movies, he will sit on the couch, bury his head under the blankets and shake like a baby.  I will miss having to hide my gum or anything minty in a high place because he loves it so much.  One time I was in the hallway passing by my daughter’s room when I saw him in there quietly (as if on stealth mode)  unzipping her back pack to get to her gum.  He even got into my aunt’s luggage and bit into the can of Altoids… that was a bit too much for him because he didn’t finish it.  But no matter how much gum or mint he ate, he always had bad breath!  I will miss his stinky farts, especially when the family is intensely watching a movie… everyone is quiet and concentrated until we all scream “Ewe, Charlie!”.  I will miss making salad because he loved the bottoms of romaine hearts.  I will miss him walking into my office in the middle of the day to rest his head on my lap or nag me with his paws to go outside.  Packing lunch for the kid won’t be the same without him waiting for me to drop something on the floor.  I will miss our therapy sessions where he sits there, paws crossed, listening to me while I complain about the little petty things.  He always made me feel better, with his wise and quiet reassurance that life is so much more than that and everything will be okay.  He was such a gentle giant, I think I’ve only heard him bark at most 4 times in his post puppy life.  But when he barked, he meant business and they were times he was protecting us from squirrels, raccoons and stuff.

I could write a book on our life with him and all the things we’ll miss about him, he was so special.  I will miss you terribly my sweet boy and my heart is hurting so much right now.  You will be in our hearts and thoughts always… we love you Charlie!

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26 responses

  1. Thank you for sharing your story and for the wonderful furever home you gave Charlie. I dread the day I lose my first soul dog, I now have 3, and I am praying for your comfort at this time. I adored all the stories and the many pictures you included on that beautiful soul. I’ve always felt that dogs were actually angels in fur coats, they give us such love. Thank you for what you gave to Charlie and for being there with him until the end. Much love and peace to you and your family!

    January 15, 2013 at 10:43 am

    • Thank you Tracey. Their unconditional love is so amazing. Almost 12 years of fun, wonderful memories of him is what I’m trying so hard to think about to overcome my grief of the moment he slept for the last time. I know it will take some time. Thank you for your kind words and prayer, it truly helps. Enjoy your babies and cherish their time with you. Take care.

      January 15, 2013 at 11:22 am

  2. My condolences to you and the family. It is tough losing a faithful friend. Dogs are such happy spirits aren’t they?

    January 15, 2013 at 10:52 am

  3. OMG – That face – love the 2 dogs in the car – ha! Dogs teach us so much about living and it looks like this sweetheart lived and loved greatly and fiercely. Take Care

    January 15, 2013 at 11:15 am

  4. So extremely sorry for your loss! I’ve lost a dog before and I know that it can be very hard. Especially when in the case of Charlie, and so many others, they are truly a part of the family and devote friend.
    Kenley

    January 15, 2013 at 1:30 pm

  5. Jaz

    I am so sorry my sweet! My thoughts are with you today!

    January 15, 2013 at 1:43 pm

  6. Patti

    I will so miss seeing that big sweet face next time I come over! I know how difficult it is to lose a four-legged love, so know that my prayers, my thoughts, my love, and lots and lots of hugs belong to you and your family. Love you all!

    January 15, 2013 at 2:32 pm

  7. I am so sorry for your loss. Every time we lose a pet, we say no more, but then that one dog or cat looks at us and says ‘take me home’, and we do it all again, and I would never, ever, give up one minute of the countless days, months, years, of love that each one gives us. They are each unique beings, and they love us through everything, and make us laugh.

    January 15, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    • I agree, thank you for reminding me how much he made us laugh. He was such a big goofball!

      January 17, 2013 at 11:40 am

  8. A life of value and from your pictures a life well lived. Condolences to you all.

    January 16, 2013 at 6:08 pm

  9. Terry Gould

    So sorry for your family’s loss. It is very difficult to lose a pet that has been such an integral part of your lives. Charlie will always be with you in your hearts. Cherish your memories, and thank you for sharing them with us.

    January 17, 2013 at 11:36 am

  10. mcjimenez@comcast.net

    I will surely miss Charlie’s greetings at your door whenever we come to visit.  He sure was the handsomest Lab I’ve ever laid my eyes on. He was such a character, one couldn’t help but love him….I loved the his shiny black coat….his clumsiness was some thing we laughed about….a lot of lasting memories…….

    January 18, 2013 at 3:37 am

    • Thanks mama. Yes, we do miss him and every time we talk about how clumsy he was, we just laugh. We miss him.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:20 am

  11. Beautiful and moving–brought tears to my eyes. I am so sorry for your loss. Animals are amazing and bring so much joy and love to our lives. I miss all of mine and I am grateful for every day I have with my wonderful cat Nash. Yes, their lives are too short but yes, they do know how to live!

    January 18, 2013 at 6:56 am

  12. My heart goes out to you and your family! My condolences for the loss of this most precious family member! You wrote a beautiful eulogy Christine. I am sending a big hug your way. With love and sympathy…Barb

    January 19, 2013 at 7:37 am

  13. I´m really sorry for your loss, You will always have a great memories about Charlie, that is for sure, lovely pictures. Have a great week!

    January 28, 2013 at 4:07 am

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