I am not going to go into a long diatribe about the how or the why… but yesterday morning we had to say goodbye to our dog Charlie. For those of you who have ever lost a pet you will understand better than anyone why this week has been such a hard one for me.
When I moved home from Austria, almost 8 years ago now. I moved to city where I knew no one, it was a choice I made and it was the right choice, but it was lonely. I worked at home, I didn’t go out much because I didn’t know anyone, and it was winter so it always just seemed dark. I had just moved back from a castle in Austria filled with people I loved, I worked with great friends, lived with great friends, and often I would hope for a quiet night at home because the social life was so busy. I loved my community in the Austrian Alps, and going straight from a community of about 60? people (not including the guests who quickly became friends), and moving into a small suburban apartment was a bit like culture shock. Those first months back in Canada were some tough months. Many nights I would drive along the lakeshore in tears, trying to understand why God wanted me back here, when I had sworn I would never come back.
In March, just a month and a half after I came home from Austria my Mom and Dad got me an early birthday present. His name was Charlie, he was 9 weeks old and the sweetest ball of white fluff I have ever seen. We quickly became best friends, he snuggled around my feet while I worked, got tired a minute into our walks and wanted to be held, and kept me company through some dark times. It was because of him and a look he gave me that I realized I was pregnant with Josh, (odd I realize but true). He sat with me and comforted me while I worried about my unborn child, he was at my feet anywhere I went, I haven’t had a shower or bath alone since the day he walked into my life. I haven’t rinsed a dish either.
It’s a funny thing, how we have a pet for so long, and we love them so much, but don’t realize how much a part of our lives they are until they are gone. The door bell rang yesterday afternoon and I braced for the bark, only to be met with silence. I went to the washroom and clicked my teeth in a way that let Charlie know where I was, but he didn’t come. I had to actually stop myself from putting the dishes on the floor for him to lick off, and last night was the first time in 7.5 years that I didn’t put him out one last time before bed.
One of the hardest things about this week (other than making this final decision) was figuring out how to tell the kids, with a sick kid who worries about death you can’t exactly say it how it is. So instead we said that the dog was old and that old dogs sometimes need to go to a place where a lady will ‘take care of him’. *Not a lie, but not totally clear* – I don’t know how much they understand, Kaleb is more sad than Josh at this stage but he’s also more open with his feelings. The Kaper, who for all his little ‘kapers’ and often grumpy attitude was so incredibly compassionate and sweet with me yesterday. I caught a glimpse into the man he will one day become and I am so proud of him. He did his best to cheer me, and at one point in the day when we got some other not so great news and I finally broke it was the Kaper who crawled into my lap and gave me hugs and kisses. What a genuinely sweet young man he is.
They always ‘when it rains it pours’ but let me tell you. July is hurricane season in the Haughton House. More on all that later. This post is for Charlie.
I love you pup.