He quietly moved into our neighborhood on the end of a leash which was attached to the hand of a nice-looking young woman. Charlie was enchanted as he struggled at the end of his own leash held by Dr. Advice. Introductions were in order for us and for the dogs. “What’s his name,” I asked. “Charlie”, his owner answered. I assured her that it couldn’t be possible, since the dancing bundle of energy on our leash was the real Charlie! Henceforth, this charming ball of snow white fur would be known as “Charlie 2”, and our joyous companion was “Charlie 1”.

Like some people, Charlie 2 developed some health problems which prevented him from enjoying his daily walks, so he “walked” in the arms of his owners. Not nearly as much fun as on his own 4 feet.

He was the very first dog the new neighbors had adopted, and was beloved as an additional child. After struggling for several years with ill health, Charlie 2 left as quietly as he arrived, leaving his human parents bereft.

I wanted to tell my neighbor to get a new dog right away, but I knew it was too soon. I remembered sitting in my car years ago in front of the vet’s, with tears streaming down my face when my precious Liza took her last sleep. A concerned woman leaned into the window of my car and told me to “get a new dog”. I’m sorry to say I rejected her well-intention suggestion by blurting out that “I already HAD” another dog and it isn’t the same. Our doberman Max, waited at home for his companion who would never come, while we adjusted to the unfamiliar life of caring for only one dog.

Each dog or cat as well have their own personality, and we humans are privileged to share it for an allotted time. At present I’m grateful to share the wild and happy personality of Charlie 1, who arrived after quiet and sublime Panda, and I wish the same for the neighbors. It just takes a little time.

Author: kaytisweetlandrasmussen83

I am a retired fine arts teacher, sculptor/painter, writer, and a native Californian. I love my family,dogs, horses, movies, reading and music, probably in that order. I have been married forever to a very nice man who is nice to old ladies, dogs and children.

14 thoughts on “CHARLIE’S PAL”

  1. Yes, pets are wonderful and full of acceptance. They too sense conflict and sadnes. Our Milo, above all, senses his arch enemy, the possums. He sits there all night, perched on his chair looking up at the tree. Each time the possum seems to be able to elude Milo’s murderous intention and makes the run between the opposite timber fence nd the tree. Alas, Milo can’t as yet fly.
    Good boy Charlie, good boy.


    1. Charlie was confined to his kennel this morning due to some construction work. He wasn’t happy, but he was a trooper and sat in there sleeping away the morning. I haven’t seen a possum around here for awhile or a raccoon either. Haven’t missed them, but wonder where they went. Milo is on guard duty down your way.


    2. Home would not be “home” without the presence of a pet. Whether it is our perception that we are caring for them or they for us I haven’t figured out. At any rate, their eyes hold so much trust, we can’t help but respond in kind.


  2. You touched my heart there as you would with anyone who was blessed with doggy companions. Like you I have been through the grief of losing my faithful companion on numerous occasions. I was fortunate to have read a book on my favourite breed, which you will see in many of my posts is a german shepherd, which put forward the theory that replacing your dog very soon after they had gone was a gift to the departed dog. You were letting the know that the joy they had given you made you want to continue to experience it. This thought always allowed me to get another dog quickly. I discovered it is true as I had a cat that although I loved her she was more than difficult and I have never been tempted to have a cat since. I hope your neighbours do replace her soon. We have two rescue dogs and they are a real joy and so happy to be in a loving home.


    1. My most beloved of companions was Liza, a German Shepherd, who came soon after Bella, another German Shepherd departed. Her intelligence was astounding to me though I was accustomed to responsive dogs. Time and place had much to do with that I’m sure, since I was alone much of the time during her early training period. I was ill and she sensed it immediately and took care of the situation.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think that is the wonderful thing about German Shepherds. They are intelligent and they work out without a lot of work what you want them to do and be like. Zack is my seventh GSD and my husband’s third and although each was so different in personality they all fitted into our lives seamlessly and were a joy. Zack I think is our most intelligent one (we didn’t get him until he was six years old so his early life was a little sad) but I have never had a dog that had so much language. He has a different bark or noise for what he wants to communicate. Sadly at twelve he is starting to slow up, is losing his sight and hearing but the little cocker spaniel is acting as his guide dog, letting him know there is someone at the front door, keeping him walking in the right direction in the park etc. I better stop – as all dog owners know we can talk for hours about our doggy families.

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  3. It’s so true that each of our creatures is unique, and none can be precisely “replaced.” Who would tell someone who just had lost a child, “Oh, that’s all right. You can get another one.” I already have my answer prepared for the time that will come: “You’re right. I could get another cat. But I’ll never have another Dixie Rose.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Even though Charlie has often been a challenge during his 8 years, there will never be another quite like him. His brother, Bodee is his exact opposite. Calm, sweet and lazy; a shear delight. But Charlie has humor along with his stubborn clownishness. I can forgive anyone most anything if they have humor.


    1. We are each unique with exemplary qualities. When my Liza passed, Max remained for a number of years. Though he was special in his own way, he never managed to replace Liza. I’m happy you still have your Max to fill your life with canine joy.


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