Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Last Vestiges of a Life Well Lived

Saturday morning Charlotte and I made one last eventful ride in the car, we went slowly, savoring our time together.

September 12th  Charlotte was diagnosed with bone cancer. It had literally eaten away the right side of her pelvic hip socket. We made the last month as joyful and pain free as possible but
it was inevitable that it wouldn't last. I knew this ride was coming. I suspect she did too in some mysterious dog way. Full circle, I can remember the joyful first ride we had coming home from picking her up in Long Beach CA on a Saturday in June.

Charlotte had been a rescue, turned into the California chapter of the Cairn Terrier Club of America Rescue at about a year old. She had been found wandering in the Joshua Tree area. They called me because their list only contained people wanting purebreds. Charlotte was a wonderful mix of terrier
and likely Schipperke. She was a no nonsense kind of dog.

 She didn't play, she didn't want to be every one's friend. I was her chosen one and it was enough. Even Gene often felt the snub. I loved her almost as much as she loved me. Charlotte was my best car buddy if the errands and weather was suitable.

We dubbed her the velcro puppy. Where I went, she went. For over 17 years I have had someone watching my back, literally, every moment! She was not a true cuddler but she loved to be touching me, and would look up into my eyes as I petted and stroked her.

She was the alpha girl of the house and even Dennett let her have her way. A fabulous watch dog, always on the alert. When she barked her front feet came off the ground. She truly put her heart in everything she did and that included holding a grudge. Nothing is perfect, neither dog nor man, but they do come closer....

As I cleaned yesterday, I cried. Puffs and tuffs of lighter than air undercoat hide along corners and
under chairs. The last physical presence of a dog very much loved. And I was ridding myself of them forever.

I'll find bits of her for a while yet and each time it will tug at my heart and the tears won't be far behind. The memories are really the most precious but this little last vestige will be cherished too.

Good bye my little Stubber Butt, go join your pack of friends over the bridge.

They have been waiting for you for a good long while. I will miss you so, so much.


  1. Oh Theresa, I am so sorry you have lost a sweet friend. I have felt that pain, and I know it doesn't leave quickly. We are blessed to have such sweet ones in our life, and yes, their time passes too quickly. They will remain forever in our hearts. Warm hugs I am sending to you.

  2. Such a love. I'm glad you had each other. Hugs.

  3. I'm crying right along with you........
    Hugs, C

  4. Theresa, I can't see to type through my tears. Charlotte was such a wonderful little bright eyed girl. I am so sorry for your loss. Many hugs and warm thoughts for you and the pack.

  5. I, too, cried as I read. I, too, have had to make that horrible decision. Twice with dogs and once with a cat. We see it coming and do what we can to ease pain, enjoy each other, and be grateful for their years of companionship and love, Still that last car ride is awful. As are the days after.

    My hearts goes out to you, and my tears are for you as well as for me.

  6. So very sorry. You gave her a good life and many years of happiness.

  7. What a beautiful life you gave her! No pack would have measured up to yours. She was a serious girl and is now rewarded for her job well done. I will miss her funny face!

  8. Oh. I am sorry. I always tear up reading about your beautiful animals passing but they have all had the best life with you.

  9. I am so sorry. I am crying now too. How wonderful to have had a loving and devoted friend.

  10. She was so loved, and she loved in return. You were blessed with her for so many years. Peace, my friend....

  11. It hurts so much because of all of the love involved..... and that's on both sides of the relationship between you and her.

    You made each other's life better.

    Hugs, from Susan on Vancouver Island

  12. geesh, that makes me cry, for all those pups we've had to say goodbye to. so sorry.

  13. Im so sad for you. I to have a little shadow who I know is soon to leave me. He is totally as your girl was. Always by my side & forever looking over his shoulder just to check Im still there. He looks so much like Charlotte but in a red foxy grey way. How lucky we are to have these companions , just borrowed for a while till they go back to where they came from, a place some call Heaven.

  14. Anna H. , Thank you. I know you've been there. Hugs right back.

    Coco, Thank you, we certainly were both equally lucky!

    Cindie, Thank you and I hope Bailey got some teary hugs too.

    Martha, Thank you, YOU just get better yourself and pets all around to your crew. Nice to see see you back.

    Peg, Thank you, and yes, that last car ride is the absolute pits. I think the coming back empty is the worst. Charlotte was "put on ice" and we have prepared her final resting place.

    Yvonne, We were so lucky to have had all those wonderful years. Thank you.

    LOTL, Wow, you are still out there, How are you? I'll miss her little serious furry face around here too.

    Janine, Thank you! We have had an aging population here at Runamuck for a number of years. She is the last of the pack from Texas and CA. We only have Oregonian natives now.

    Louise, Thank you so much.

    LA, Thank you for the comfort. She was a very special girl, but then again, they are all special.

    Susan, Thank you. As hard as it is in the end, the years of love and companionship are so worth it. You know!

    Wendy, Thank you!

    Hilary, Yep, makes me cry to for all the ones I've lost before her too. Thank you.

    Elizabeth, Thank you. Hold your little shadow close for as long as it is fair to do so. And in his honor when he goes, let some other into your life and heart. There are so many needing good loving homes.

  15. Oh god, this hurt.
    Hugs to you.

  16. I am so sorry and so sad for you. Charlotte was as blessed to have had you for her human as you were to have her in your life for so many years. I know that doesn't ease the heartache you are feeling now but because of you she had a wonderful home and was safe and warm and loved. Hugs to you as you mourn your little Charlotte.

  17. Michelle told me Charlotte was failing - I've been rationing computer time for a while. I'm sorry, crying and hoping you heal. It's so hard to lose a "heart-dog" - They do steal your heart and take a bit with them when they go. I still miss my first one, Ceili, the Boxer. Holding healing thoughts for you.

  18. Ohh Theresa, I'm SO sorry you lost your sweetie. I know how hard it is.. how much love we give.. how much they give us. My heart aches for you.

    Several weeks after, I'm still finding Skitty's hair on a sweater or jacket.. and I dissolve.

    I wish you healing. You wrote a beautiful tribute to your beautiful Charlotte. Hugs to you.

  19. Mary, yes, it does as we both know all to well. But I don't think a one of us would not go through it to have those wonder years either.

    Kim, Thank you so much. We're doing okay here.

    Laura, So good to hear from you! How is Tang? Beautiful as ever no doubt. Charlotte was a heart dog, and I swear, I was her heart human. I have been blessed many times over, both with great dogs and a family (cyber and otherwise), of dog lovers. We all know the joy and the despair don't we?

    Hilary, I am so glad to know I am not the only one who puddles over found fur. Thank you and hugs right back.

  20. They give more to us than we can give back! Hugs from SD!!!

  21. I had to take my precious Samson on that same drive on November 5. He's the only dog I've ever had and I doubt I will have another. I've cried and cried. He was my 24/7 companion for 12 years. It's so difficult; life is totally different. I hope they're all having a wonderful time living and running and playing free.

    I'm very sorry for your loss.