This was Charlie.
Charlie was Jaxon’s dog.
Jaxon is my dog. Jaxon picked me to be his Human when he was just eight weeks old. It was shortly after my husband and partner-in-everything passed away, and my girlfriend came out to spend the weekend with me, determined to find me a new man – the furry kind.
We picked a few places to go meet puppies, the first being the home of a Maltese dad who somehow mated with a four-pound Teacup Yorkie mom, who thereafter had miraculously spat out four little Morkie puppies.They were all adorable, but one little guy immediately came over and kissed me, and while the other pups were distracted with toys and squirrels and other puppy distractions, Jaxon kept coming back to me, as if to say, “You’re my human and you’re taking me home.” Which I did. We looked no further, and he’s been my companion ever since, except for when he went on his Big Adventure.
It was a glorious Southern California day and I had left Jaxon out in the yard to enjoy the beautiful weather while I was gone for the day. When I came home, no Jaxon. That’s when we discovered the Morkie-sized hole in the bottom of the fence.
I walked the neighborhood, calling his name, while my daughter drove around looking for him. We put up signs around the neighborhood, and the whole family got involved in an internet search checking shelters and Craigslist postings.
A couple of days later, my daughter came knocking on my door at six in the morning. “Hi Mom, this is Charlie,” she said as she introduced the scruffy little pup on a make-shift leash. Charlie immediately darted in and plopped himself down on the couch next to my now husband, as if it were something he’d been doing all his life.
Regan found Charlie on Craigslist. The blurry picture that was posted there showed a somewhat dirty, matted pup, and she thought it possibly could have been Jaxon out on a three-day bender. But when she called, she found out Charlie had a docked tail and still had his family jewels, so she knew it wasn’t Jaxon. Still, the lady on the phone said she had found him on the street and couldn’t keep him any longer, so Charlie was rescued.
By now I figured Jaxon had gotten picked up by some street person who would feed him fast food and let his grooming go all to hell, or else he’d bought a pack of cigarettes and a fifth of tequila and hopped a bus for Mexico (he can be a little eccentric). A few days afterward, however, I got a text from a girl, a saint, who had seen our posters, telling us she had Jaxon. That’s how Charlie became Jaxon’s dog.
But let me tell you about Charlie.
Charlie was a little clown. The vet figured he was about nine months old when we got him. We think he’d been turned out on the street before being found (his housebreaking was never very good, which I figured might be what got him evicted; a problem I fairly well resolved with doggie diapers) and he never did understand the concept of fetching a ball or playing with toys. But he loved seeing Jaxon play with toys and watched with fascination. They were inseparable best buddies and boon companions.
Charlie was a compliant cat-dog that would let you do anything. He never objected when you brushed the knots out of his fur, and you could carry him upside down and any which way.
If I had been away for awhile, when I came in the door Charlie would run around frantically looking for something to give me – maybe a ball, or a piece of paper on the table, whatever he could get his teeth on – as if to say “Welcome home! Here, I got you something – hope you like it!”
He would never go down to the bedroom until I was ready to go down for bed, and slept cuddled tightly against me every night.
He had a funny little trick to get attention or ask for a pet or a treat, which was often – he would paw the air with both front paws, which always reminded me of a furry hula dancer.
Charlie was without a doubt the happiest pup I’ve ever known.
A few days ago, Charlie started having trouble breathing; wheezing and coughing. He was eating and happy and we figured it would clear up, but it quickly had gotten much worse to the point that we decided to take him to the emergency room.
When the doctor took X-rays, she found that Charlie had heart disease and that his heart was more than twice larger than it should be. And while we had the option of going to a canine cardiologist, she expected his life would not be extended more than a few months, and that the quality of life going forward would rapidly decline. And so, with tears and long goodbyes, we held and petted Charlie as he relaxed into the sleep of the innocent.
So Charlie’s gone because his heart was bigger than one little dog could hold. And we were blessed to have all the love his heart could give for six years. Happy travels to you, sweet friend.