I cannot express how touched I have been with the response to my last post with regards my poor old pooch Charlie!! See here. I have been overwhelmed by the emails, text messages and the responses I’ve received here on this blog. You are obviously all such kind and loving doggy/animal people, I know that Charlie is special but boy he really does bring out the best in people!!
So it is only natural that I should give you an update. My sister and I have had a couple of days in the garden training Charlie to get up into the pushchair, to lie there and jump out only when told to do so. Of course all of this has been done using copious amounts of biscuits. I would love to know what my sister’s French neighbours made of the whole kerfuffle, the cooing, the praising and all the clapping of hands that was going on.
This morning we decided it was time for a trial run!!! So with the moral support of my sister we set off, she held the lead and I pushed the empty pushchair. I felt a little daft initially and then decided that I could for all intents and purposes be going to collect a toddler from school and so didn’t feel too ridiculous. Before long I didn’t give it a second thought! Charlie trotted along, sniffing and having a pretty, good, old walk, in fact he was looking perkier today than he has for a long time! I think as ‘Indigo Spider’ had commented now the Cortisone is out of his system, he is feeling less lethargic and he seemed to be full of bounce. We decided to walk around the little French village, past the shops, towards the school through the park and back … that should wear him out!
Charlie did well for a while, and then … he stopped, he was not going any further, he looked really tired. I put my foot on the back of the pushchair and said ‘Up’ in an encouraging tone as I lowered the handles and guess what? Up he jumped (ok slowly but he did it) he was in, he lay there just looking up at me. As my sister held the lead (just in case he decided to jump out) I pushed him along the pavements. This is the fastest I’ve walked in ages, and I could feel the burn in my legs, in fact I was starting to break out in a bit of a sweat and it felt really good to be actually using my limbs at a proper rate. I’ve been ambling for too long! Also the fact that Charlie is quite a solid weight of about 23 kilos or 50 lbs – I was getting a good workout at the same time!
Manoeuvring up and down the edges of the pavements will take some getting used to and as I tipped the pushchair back to get up onto one of the kerbs Charlie shifted, I thought he was going to jump out, that I had frightened him – but no – this boy wasn’t going anywhere, he had absolutely no intention of going anywhere, he was just shifting his butt into a more comfortable position! We sped along, him comfortable and me having a decent walk. As we approached the home stretch, he very slowly moved and I could tell he wanted to get out. I lowered my hands and he stepped out of the chair and trotted the rest of the way home.
We passed a couple of people and no one gave us too strange a look, a man on a bike did look twice and I just said, “He’s old! He can’t walk like he used to!” and you know what? He gave a knowing smile and mumbled something about being ‘fatigued’ as he peddled away!
I’m not sure what he said but I really don’t care. Charlie has been my companion for the last 14 years and if this is what it takes to enhance his last years with us, so be it!
It also means that we can carry on with our adventure and Charlie will still be a huge part of it. OK having said that the Hubster is away and knows absolutely nothing about these plans. Boy is he in for a shock!
I am truly amazed at the trust Charlie has in my pushing ability! As I walked along he looked up at me with little wrinkles on either side of his mouth, producing a cracking smile…what a boy!
On the Harry side of things, my sister helped me today clean the upholstery and tidy out some of the cupboards, Harry is looking good!! I’ve had such a lovely, positive day today, grateful too many things to list.
Take care one and all and thank you again for such incredible kindness, it has been truly appreciated.