Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Charlie

Charlie on his last dayCharlie passed away on Sunday evening.

He and I were walking our regular late afternoon loop out to the playground near our house, and on the way back he started bleeding from the mouth and getting frantic from the pain. Nan and I rushed him to the emergency pet clinic and they were able to stop the bleeding, but we agreed that it was time to end his suffering. We sat on the floor with him as they gave him an injection that put him to sleep and stopped his heart.

Reflecting on the day, it was as if Charlie sensed his time was coming to an end. He did everything he always did, from licking my elbow to wake me up in the morning to napping at my feet while I watched the afternoon Avalanche hockey game, but there was a noticeable distance to him. You can see it in the photo, which Nan took as we were working in the yard earlier in the day. He's not looking at Nan, he's looking somewhere else. You can also see how dramatically the tumor inside his mouth is swelling the left side of his face.

Even though he was mine, Charlie was still the best dog I have ever known. We formed a bond of love and friendship when he was just a few weeks old that lasted all of his ten years. I know it allowed him to be the smart, affectionate and well-behaved dog he became, and I know it made me a better person.

To honor Charlie's memory, I am writing a book about everything we did right with his upbringing so that others might experience the same rewarding dog and owner relationship. It will be titled Raising Charlie: The Lessons of a Perfect Dog.

Good night, sweet prince.

1 comment:

Lori said...

Oh my! I just looked at your latest post. Please accept my sincere condolences in the loss of Charlie. They are more than pets, they are our best friends.