Yesterday, I said goodbye to the best dog, and friend, anyone could ever ask for. For the last 14 years, Charlie has been a fixture in our home and my childhood.
One summer day, my dad brings home this bright eyed mutt, and we're instantly smitten. We name him Charlie, from where we came up with that, I haven't a clue. I was 4 years old to his one, but we hit it off like we've known each other for years.
Throughout the years, I've grown tall and strong, while his had come and gone. His body began to fail him while his mind was sharp and clear. His hips had developed arthritis, and after years of shots, supplements, and treatments, our family felt it was time.
Every morning, he had his routine of rounding the house, making sure everything was as it should be. Wouldn't you know, he even had a path, the grass softly worn and faded, that he traveled.
So yesterday morning, I let him out to do what he had always done, though now it was bittersweet.
After my mom was home for work, we were ready to go. I put my boots on and said, "Come on, Charlie. Let's go outside!". He heaved himself off of the floor, my heart breaking as I watched him, but I knew he would want to take this walk for himself. I opened the door, and he walked to the truck. He knew, and I almost lost it. How could he be so willing, knowing today was his last day? Could I actually go through with this? My mom then said, "We can do this, together."
At 4:24 p.m., on September 19, I carried Charlie, all 80+ pounds that he was, into the vet's office. I had never been able to pick him up and my mother wasn't sure if I could do it. Nor was I, to be honest, but some how, I found the strength to deliver him to a better life. Through the tears and pain, I sat him gently on the floor. My mom spoke with the vet briefly. I gently patted him on his head, and he looked me in the eye. That sparkle I had come to love and know, was gone.
After I said goodbye, I walked back outside. I could stay, as much as I wanted to and should have, I wouldn't have let them do it. So I knew it was best that I wasn't there.
After it was done, they wrapped him in a blanket, and we made the long ride home. My mom didn't want to bring him home, but he deserved to.
Now, he rests by our garage door, where he always kept watch when my dad would tinker away wit whatever he had found to fix.
Rest in Piece, my Charlie. Though you are gone from this life, we will meet again in another. You were and always will be my best friend.