Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really. ~Agnes Sligh Turnbull
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!
An ice cream cone can solve any problem— even if it’s only for a few minutes. ~Anonymous
I’m grateful for…
Yogurt shops that have mastered fat-free and sugar-free ice cream tasting treats! That I am not lactose intolerant. Hot summer days, when ice cream seems to be the only solution to cooling down.
I’m letting go of…
Thinking ice cream is just for desert.
Ok, so there are a few people who don’t love ice cream like some of us do, but can you imagine a world without it? There’s something about eating ice cream that makes me feel like a kid, every lick down to your fingers always brings back some happy childhood memory. Not to mention how yummy it is! When was the last time you enjoyed a scoop or two?
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar,
I love not man the less, but Nature more.
~George Gordon, Lord Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage
I’m grateful for…
Trails that lead you to breathtaking surprises. The things you find and learn along the way. The endorphins that kick in after trekking through a national forest. The memories you create.
I’m letting go of…
Complaining why we can’t drive to places like this.
This picture was taken at Cape Flattery in Neah Bay, WA, the most northwestern tip in the contiguous US. There were no enhancements done on this picture taken from my cell phone, and it’s beautiful isn’t it? There are many wonderful places we’ve yet to find. Go and find a trail… discover what nature has in store for you.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others. ~Audrey Hepburn
I’m grateful for…
The use of my hands. With it, I can hold my husband’s hand when we go for walks… paint my daughter’s toe nails, while she paints mine… make a feast, toast to life and hold a wine glass… unwrap chocolate… caress a baby’s soft cheek… comfort a friend… close a business deal… take pictures… draw… paint… create… give… I can keep going!
I’m letting go of…
Taking my hands for granted and take care of it better.
It’s amazing how much value you find something to be when you think about what it would be like without it.
In a world full of people who couldn’t care less, be someone who couldn’t care more. ~Author Unknown
I’m grateful for…
Random acts of kindness. It doesn’t need to cost much to make you feel like a million bucks!
I’m letting go of…
Trying to figure out “big” ways of helping to make an impact. It’s the little acts of kindness that amount to something bigger.
Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling. ~Margaret Lee Runbeck
I like to wander through the woodlands in a place unmarked as if I’m discovering the world ~Matin Blackman
Who has seen Disney’s Beauty and the beast? I had to share this picture because it reminded me of the scene where all the dishes were singing to Belle… “Be our guest, be our guest, put our kitchen to the test…”
Life is simple, it’s just not easy. ~Author Unknown
When life gets to you and you feel like walking away from it all, remember… you’re not alone. If you think you’ve run out of solutions and your problems are too much to handle, remember… you’re not alone. Although you’ve hit the bottom, and climbing back up seems impossible, remember… you’re not alone. If there is no one else to turn to and you feel no one will understand, remember… you’re not alone. Have you forgotten about me? Has the world taken you so far, that we’ve become strangers? I want you to stop… breathe… listen to your heart beating… give me your burdens and rest. Tomorrow is a new day with new possibilities. Live to love, give, serve and be thankful. I am here to keep you steady and strong as you face the most difficult days of your life. I am always with you, remember… you’re not alone. Love always, JC
If I were a rich man, Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum. All day long I’d biddy biddy bum. If I were a wealthy man….
I can’t say the ducks are back, because for these guys… they hang out on our street all year. Their favorite spot is my neighbor’s roof. We walk past it to the bus stop every morning, so the kid decided to name them “Fiddler and his wife”. I asked, “Why Fiddler?” Her response “Because he’s always on the roof.” And I asked “How do you know it’s a girl duck and boy duck, what if they’re both dudes?” She proceeded to explain the distinguishing marks and corrected me by stating the male is called a drake and the female a hen. So I asked one more question… “Why are they called ducks then?” She said “If you need to know more, just google it mom. Right now we have to get to the bus stop”.
Daisy: “Charles, I think we’re lost. We must stop for directions.”
Charlie: “Shush woman, I know what I’m doing… ooh look…. camera, say cheese!”
Do you ever wonder what your dogs are talking about?
“The best way to recharge is to unplug.” ~ Christine Sternfels
Nowadays, between gadgets, noise, tv, life and the voices in your head, it gets draining. I’ve decided to unplug my computer and phone this week, surround myself with loved ones and go out there to enjoy nature so I can recharge. See you in a week!
Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Take time to reflect to be in touch with who you really are, then take action to fulfill your purpose.
~ Christine Sternfels
When we reflect upon our past - be it hours, days or years, why do we gravitate more towards what could have been? Unconsciously, most of us strive for perfection because of disillusions brought upon us by society, culture and upbringing that it became a life requirement to define our self-worth. Sadly, we often feel we’ve failed because we use the world’s expectations as our measuring stick. Stop conforming to live someone else’s life, to surpass someone else’s achievements or to fulfill someone else’s dreams. You need not worry about pleasing everyone.
It is in you to fulfill your destiny, so use each day to making it one day closer. Use each day to grow. Use each day to stay in touch with who you really are and embrace who you find. Use each day to face your fears to gain back the courage and the strength you were born with. You see, no matter how much pain you’ve had to endure or how many failures haunt you, you have today and everyday to define the reflection of the good life you were meant to live.
Your life awaits you…tomorrow’s outcome is influenced by your actions today and its reflection leads back to you.
When snow falls, nature listens. ~Antoinette van Kleeff
We weren’t meant to be alone… ~ Christine Sternfels
In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary. ~Aaron Rose