It’s amazing to look back at all our old house project pictures and see one detail in almost every set, our dog Charlotte. Our little lab/mix has been my project manager since we got her as a puppy over 9 years ago. One of my first gigs when I was a commercial producer was to put together a campaign based on volunteerism in the area. I decided to highlight the local humane society, and during a visit to get some cover footage I noticed a little black dog, one ear up-one ear down, sitting in a cage shaking like a leaf. She stole my heart and I had to have her. I called Sara and said we should consider bringing her home. We always wanted a dog at some point, but the decision was made to adopt her as soon as we could. That day when we picked her up, they had put her in an office by herself and a pile of newspaper. Within a few minutes the room was trashed and there was poop everywhere. We knew we were in for an experience. The puppy years were great, and although she got sick almost every time we put her in the car, we had a lot of great family memories. She got used to the water quick at camp. After a few hours of splashing around, chasing a ball or frisbee, or jumping off the dock when she had the courage, she would fall asleep in the back of my truck for the hour ride home.
She was the perfect little house companion and quickly grew into our family. She wasn’t shy, and made it known if she needed something or someone. She had a loud deep bark, but would roll over on her back if she saw a chance for a belly rub. She got along well with her cat brothers and sister, and would even break up the occasional fight that would develop between them. She certainly got into her fair share of trouble as well, but sometimes it’s hard to stay angry at a dog.
When we decided to adopt Charlotte, I never knew that I could grow so attached to her as I did. She was my best friend, my daughter, and knew me better than almost anyone. They say that a dog is a man’s best friend, and Charlotte was no different.
My daily routine revolved around her and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. She was such a happy dog and always looked like she was smiling, even when she had to take her medicine (ants on log we’d call it). During my lunch break we would sit out on the porch when the weather was nice, or in the winter we’d cuddle up on the couch. I’d talk to her like she was going to talk back, only she’d look at me with her big brown eyes as if to say “I love you”. And sometimes that’s all I needed.
We had to say goodbye to our Charlotte last weekend after a quick illness. It was devastating, to say the least. Our home just isn’t the same.
Shortly after she passed, Sara had to remind me that “It’s better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all”, and I guess that’s true. I don’t regret taking her under our wing, but it’s a reminder that we all must go someday, and to spend every minute with them like it’s your last. I would give me right arm to have another hour with her, but I’m thankful for the 9 great years that we had. – Matt