Saturday, March 29, 2008

Charlie's birthday

Charlie's birthday plaqueCharlie turned ten years old today. Three months ago, when he was first diagnosed with cancer, we weren't sure if he would still be alive for his birthday, but his condition has stabilized somewhat in the past few weeks and it now seems that he will surpass our most optimistic expectations. We certainly hope so, because in exactly three weeks, we leave for our Odyssey sailing trip and we'll be gone for three full weeks. If he's not doing well before we go, we're afraid he might die before we return.

Everyone we know is aware of Charlie's condition, so our regular network of dog sitters has not been forthcoming and we can't blame them. Nobody would want to have a friend's dog die while they were looking after him. Family is sometimes more sympathetic. My sister Jane has volunteered to take care of him while we're away. The only problem is that she lives in Seattle, more than a thousand miles away. Charlie has never flown and we're afraid it would be overly stressful on him, so I'm going to drive him up there and then fly back to start the trip, then fly to Seattle when we get back and drive him home. The things we do for our pets!

When Charlie was still a puppy, Jane gave us a paw print kit as a Christmas present. We set it aside for several years and then misplaced it during our move from Aspen to Grand Junction. Nan spent some time rummaging through the garage last week and finally found it. If we were ever going to take Charlie's paw prints, what better time could there be than his birthday? He was fairly cooperative and, as you can see, it turned out just fine for a project that involved working with wet cement. Note the missing nail on the left paw. He lost it tripping on a sidewalk while chasing a tennis ball last fall and it never grew back.

I'm sure this plaque will become for us what a child's plaster hand print is for mom and dad, something we'll cherish forever.

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