Last evening I received a phone call that I knew was coming but did not want to hear. My youngest son called to tell me that the time had come when the quality of life of their family dog, Charlie, had deteriorated to the point where the only option left was for their vet to help Charlie pass peacefully on to his reward.
Charlie came into their lives over 15 years ago. He was the cutest little bit of fur who endeared himself right off the bat by chewing up some of the woodwork in their rented house while they were at work. Thankfully he outgrew that habit.
Charlie was there to welcome each of the three children born to my son and his wife. He was so good with the kids and they loved him dearly.
I often thought his name should have been "Hoover" for he was like a mini vacuum cleaner, cruising the kitchen whenever there was a remote possibility that some stray piece of food would hit the floor. This earned him jail time when meals were served. I always felt sorry for him, so I would sneak him a treat whenever I could. I don't think I was the only one. Those eyes would get me every time.
I babysat Charlie more than once when my son and his family were going out of town for a few days. On one occasion, my son brought the large wire kennel for Charlie to use while I was at work. Well, that didn't go over too big with Charlie. I could hear him barking and howling all my way down the stairs and out to the street. I was working at a dog grooming shop next door at the time, so I caved and brought him to work with me. He was in his glory, meeting and greeting all those people and dogs who came to the shop that day.
After a while my son wouldn't let me babysit Charlie any more. He claimed that whenever Charlie stayed with me he gained 5 pounds. I said it wasn't my fault that Charlie loved french fries.
It doesn't seem fair that a dog's life span should be so short. They give us so much more happiness than we can possibly give them. They love us no matter what. That's something we can't say about most people.
Charlie, you were a good old dog. You will be missed.