when i was 11 (that was 15 years ago…yeesh, i’m gettin old), my aunt brought over the cutest little ball of black and tan fluff. he was tiny. he was cute. and AJ (that’s what i call my aunt) placed him in my arms. not my mom’s….mom was nowhere to be seen (she was still at work). my mom didn’t want another dog. our other dog, chardy, had terminal cancer and my mom swore that we weren’t going to get another dog.
but my AJ was tricksy. and she had rescued this stray little puppenstein from the side of the road. she knew that we’d be crushed when chardy passed, so she brought over another puppy (to help soften the inevitable loss) and gave him to me. because, trust me, i’m good at turning my big hazel eyes onto my parents and saying “but mom, loooooooook! he’s sooooo cute. please, can’t we keep him” with just enough lip tremble.
so when mom came home to discover the little ball of black and tan fluff, she stood no chance. oh, we did put up a ton of fliers to make sure someone wasn’t missing him before it became official. but no one claimed the black and tan ball of fluff, so he became mine. my puppy.
now it came time to name him. i tried Ewok. i tried Bear. i tried Bob.
my mom called him Charlie.
i tried Mr. Awesome. i tried Bat. I tried Herschel.
my mom called him Charlie.
and so, with her refusal to call him anything else, he became Prince Charles of Cambridge Court the Second.
Charlie, Chewy, Old Man, Chewbacca, Stinky, Charles Henri, and the Dragon for short.
he was awesome. when mom would wake up early (back in the day when i still lived at home), he’d come cuddle with me and sleep in. he was not a morning pup. Annie Bee and i once gave him a haircut that was super cute (he was staying with me in Austin, TX while mom was on a vacation). she was a little upset because she liked him with longer hair. but he was so happy and thought he look handsome, which he did. he’d let me dress him up in ridiculous outfits.
yeah, he was a little stinky. and he scratched a lot (he was allergic to grass…seems like a cruel joke to me, making a dog allergic to the outdoors). and when he got older he had a few bald spots. but he was my stinky, itchy, balding Old Man. he was a Dragon!
he was my first bestest friend (i loved chardy, don’t get me wrong…but she was more of my mom’s dog). he was MY first dog. he was my protector from big scary monsters at night…even if it did turn out to just be my mom wearing a blanket wrapped around her that came to wake me up for school. and i loved him so very very much.
so when i got the call this morning that he was really sick and had to be put down, i cried. big big sad heartbroken tears. last time i saw him, i didn’t even give him a hug. i just ran in to let the boys out and then ran out to go meet up with some friends. i just tossed a “love you boys” over my shoulder and bounced. which sucks. i should’ve picked him up and gave him a big hug. a big “i love you charlie” hug.
but he’s in a better place. i mean, heck, he was 15 yrs old…blind, deaf, had no hair on his butt, and riddled with arthritis. he had a good life, and was loved very much. and he will be missed.
now he is in doggie heaven. cuz all dogs go to heaven. he can chase all the squirrels and always win. he can frolic in the field and not be super itchy because of allergies. he can finally bark as loud as he want at that dang cat next door without getting shushed.