Goodbye Charlie Boy … RIP

I can’t believe this day has come, even though it was on the cards for a while. Our darling Charlie boy has died. I’m having a horrid day, I can’t stop crying, my eyes are stinging, I have a banging headache and a tightness in the back of my throat, Every now and then I find myself staring into space. Even though we made the decision to let him go, I can’t come to terms with the fact that I’ll never see him again. No more cuddles with my boy, and this boy knew how to cuddle …

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Give us a hug

Charlie, our ageing dog from the RSPCA in Windsor in the UK. He was the original ‘bad boy’, if I’d had a commercial brain, I could’ve written a book which would have made ‘Marley and Me’ pale into insignificance!

Just a year ago at the grand old age of 14 he joined us on a wonderful trip down through France, to Spain and Portugal in our motorhome, he adapted incredibly well to the travelling life and found a new lease of life, walks on the beach soon became his favourite pastime.

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As a young dog, any of you who knew him will know that, he made me jump through hoops. He was a real Houdini, he was affectionately (but aptly) called The Door Dodger at the local kennels and rather than being kept in the ‘holiday’ wing he was lodged in the ‘quarantine’ kennels just to make sure he didn’t do a runner.And boy, could he run! Many people asked why I didn’t call him Forrest Gump, had I only known! He would run for the joy of running, ignoring everything else (including me!), he would take off on a mission only to return when he was totally exhausted, so much so that sometimes I would have to carry him back to the car!

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He was so fast that I have a collection of Charlie photos, just like this!

Every day for over 14 years, I got up every morning, come rain, shine, snow, hail, thunder and would walk this chap in the local woods. He loved it, if it weren’t for this dog I would never have met some of my very best friends who will be my friends for ever.

Just good friends

Walk in the woods (8)

He was so difficult to train, and for someone who never sticks at anything, this ‘little black devil’ (as my mum used to call him) managed to keep me on track and I can honestly say it took me at least 4 years to get him anywhere near resembling a ‘normal’ dog,  We did it all, the good citizen course, bronze, silver and gold, dog agility, beginners, intermediate and advanced – all in an attempt to get this dog to be on my ‘team’. It was tough and I won’t paint a pretty picture just because he’s gone, he was a total nightmare!  And then one day, it all clicked, he loved me and I loved him and we were inseparable,  he came first … every single time. We would miss out on nights’ out, visits to people who didn’t accept dogs in their homes weren’t even considered, weekends away were a rarity and only if we had someone we trusted, Aunty Andrea, was the bestest in the world. We would take day trips to France and so a passport for the dog was a necessity, well it would be for our pup, he went everywhere with us.

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Recently his health had be deteriorating, he was going downhill, so anyone meeting him now, had no idea what an incredible little soul this dog had, he just looked like any old, elderly dog. He just looked like a wee black dog with arthritis! Although there wasn’t one single day that has gone by that someone hasn’t stopped us to say hello to him, kiddies in particular love him often asking if he is a wolf (we’ve never understood that bit!)  We knew he was something special but to anyone seeing him they wouldn’t know.

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No ordinary dog!

They wouldn’t know that this dog had an amazing character,  he was a what a clown, he constantly made us giggle, and he knew it!

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Sitting like a human

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Helping me press the clothes

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Best spot in the house! And incredibly practical:)

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Table for one!!!!!

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Just one cool dude!

Michelle & Charlie

Too posh to travel in the back.

Then last week I had my sister and her family come to visit, Charlie really rallied and managed to be ‘on form’ while they were here. In fact, he was perky enough that we decided to take him to the beach one last time, and although he didn’t run, he pottered down to the water’s edge and enjoyed a dig in the sand.

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I’m so glad my sister was there to take this last picture of us together.

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The family left on Saturday and Charlie immediately took a turn for the worse, he refused to eat, he soiled himself twice, and had an upset stomach – which manifested itself both ends! Then this morning he didn’t get out of bed, he lay on the cold stone floor and it was 11 a.m. before we managed to coax him outside for a wee. We knew the time had come, he was letting us know he’d had enough, he was tired and ready to go.

Although it’s difficult to talk about, writing certainly helps and is much easier. I must tell you about Charlie’s final visit to the vet. After reading this, you too, will know that we’d made the right decision. Charlie hated going to the vet, he was always scared, he would scratch at the floor and the door in an effort to escape the stethoscope, panting and shedding hair by the handful. When on the examination table he’d twist and turn,  fight and fidget, our job was to hold on to him with all our might, to avoid him falling off the table! Our regular vet frequently booked Charlie the last appointment of the day as we would all end up sweating and needing a shower.

Today we arrived at the clinic, we walked into the vet’s room and sat down on a couple of chairs for a chat, Charlie lay quietly at our feet. We lifted him on to the table and he didn’t stir, he gave his paw to have a little bit of hair shaved off. I held his head in my hands and talked calmly to him while The Hubster held his body and slowly and quietly he fell asleep and that was it, no wriggling, no whining, no panting, no complaining, he was tired and relaxed. He knew why he was there and I honestly think he was grateful.

And so that’s it … no more Charlie, he’s been the most wonderful friend, I’ve told him things that I’ve told no one else, he’s comforted me so often when I’ve been down, he’s made me laugh and cry.

We’ve washed his bedding and cleared away his bowls, stored away his lead and his harness, bagged up any remaining biscuits to give to the local homeless for their dogs.

Life will never be the same without Charlie but for me, we will always be walking on the beach … me and my dog …

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17 thoughts on “Goodbye Charlie Boy … RIP

    • He had a wonderful life, we loved him and included him in everything but the icing on the cake was travelling with him in our motorhome, we were with him 24/7 for the last year of his life, who could wish for more. We were truly blessed the day he chose us, even though we didn’t realise it at the time. Take care and many thanks.

    • thank you Paul, you are so right, without Charlie, I wouldn’t have met so many extra special people. He was just an incredible dog who although was cute or cuddly managed to appeal to so many people. He was a true little star and my champion. I’m flabergasted by the amount of comments I’ve recieved through the blog and esp through FBook, it proves that I was right, he was ‘extra special’. Thank you again.

  1. I must admit I have a tear in my eye and my stomach is churning, sobbing inside . I was with you all the way. Now I lost my dog after 16 years of three times a day walk, and he would fight with all sorts, but it was hard to let him go, I still have his lead hanging up , and look at it win fondness. Xxxxxxxx ha g on all will get better xx

    • These dogs really get into our hearts, we love them in a way that cannot be explained. Charlie was a feisty little fella and we loved him all the more for his strong spirit, he was loved by so many people. He’ll no doubt be causing chaos ‘up there’ catching up with his old friends and making new ones. I just pray he’ll come back and haunt me occasionally. He is going to be so missed – I hope he realised just how much we loved him. Thank you so much for your kind comments, they have helped us enormously. bless you

    • Judy thank you so much, I will read the link you sent me with interest. We were so fortunate, Charlie was such a toughie and such a character, he made the decision for us and let us know, so we have no guilt feelings. Although being with him was tough, we managed to keep calm and collected through our tears as we sent him on his way. When we were sure he was gone we collapsed into uncontrollable sobs it was heart wrenching. He’s left a massive hole in our hearts and an empty bed in our home but he will live on in our memories forever. Who ever said, ‘it’s just a dog!’ obviously never had one. Thank you once more for your kind comments. I’m sure I’ll be back writing again soon. Bless you xx

    • I’ve just read about Rainbow Bridge, how wonderful and warming…I know for sure Charlie is there, probably causing chaos and having fun. Thank you so much for sharing this with me, somewhat difficult to read through the tears though, but it made me smile. Thank you so much.

    • Thank you so much, Charlie was an extra special boy, he had something that I still can’t put my finger on. We loved him dearly and will miss him so very much. Your comment is so kind and means such a lot, many thanks.

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