My second-best friend Charlie is a fuzzy dog. When pondering things I need to improve upon during 2014, Charlie had most of the answers.
He’s half king charles cavalier spaniel and half poodle. The idea was to get the best traits of both breeds and Chucko was lucky. He’s smart like a poodle but he’s not high strung and weird and he’s sweet and friendly like a spaniel.
He’s not really my dog. I didn’t want another dog. Our dogs had been shot by someone who didn’t like dogs and it broke my heart. I didn’t want to revisit that sadness ever again. Then one day John said we should “Just go see this cavoodle dog” and would I please go.
We lived in New Zealand at the time and this dog ended up being a 2 1/2 hour drive away. On the way out of the town John suggested that maybe we should stop at the bank and get some cash.
“We are NOT buying another dog, John, I don’t want one.”
“Of course, we’ll just go see and it can’t hurt to have money, can it? We don’t have to spend it. We could have a nice lunch.”
“For THAT much money? It’s gonna be a helluva lunch,” I said.
He kept the conversation on anything but a dog on the drive down. We arrived at the lady’s house and she had 3 of the most wonderful puppies. The owner explained that the mother loved chasing a ball and loved it so much they had to hide it so the dog wouldn’t drive them nuts with it. I laughed. Little did I know he’d be just like her.
I was on the floor with a small white ball of fluff and then I turned around and saw John holding this chocolate brown dog with its little head in the bend of his elbow and he was fast asleep.
“Don’t fall in love, we’re just visiting,” I whispered.
As we listened to information about the cavoodle (cavapoo in the US) I kept looking over at John and thinking, “This battle is lost. I knew it when he got money out of the bank.”
“Maureen, he’s so cute, look at him.”
He was cute. He looked just like a miniature wookie with his hair all pushed back over the top of his head. John gave all the “you don’t have to look after him” and “he wouldn’t be any trouble” and I rolled my eyes. John was beaming. He’s a dog person through and through.
“Oh all right, but he’s YOUR dog.”
In 15 minutes we were headed back north with this ball of fur on the floor at my feet. He never cried, never seemed homesick and was a joy all the way home. We stopped for dog toys and supplies on the way and when we got home it was like he always lived with us. Then we noticed all his toys were gone. Not one was left. We began searching throughout the house and then on John’s side of the bed between the bed and the night stand we found all his new toys carefully stacked up.
So, he IS John’s dog. He’ll always be John’s dog but he’s mummy’s boy. And… he does windows.
As I type this he is lying on the floor between the chair and my feet and that’s where he stays until I turn the chair to get up. If I go downstairs, he’s with me. If I go outside, he’s with me. If I leave the house he sits at the front door and waits for me to return. But he’s John’s dog.
He loves to swim and go to the park and play with Gramps and eat. Sometimes he humps Lucy the cat but I pretend not to see it. They’re best friends and she doesn’t seem to mind – even when he gets the wrong end.
Hope you have a fabulous new year – we’re going to.
Maureen, can I pick this post of yours as the best ever? Like ever and ever forever?
I have tears in my eyes, of joy and understanding so well what you went through and what you go through sharing your life with this cute little thing, look at those eyes!
My dog Toby in Brazil was killed by some neighbor because Toby barked too much, I suppose – gave him a meat loaf with broken glass inside. I was already away from Brazil, but I cried for days. Some people do not deserve to be called humans.
Loved this post… simply loved it! THANK YOU!
I knew you’d get it! 🙂 I didn’t know you’d been through a loss like mine though. Very tough.
John@Kitchen Riffs says
Great story. Perfect first post for the new year (speaking of which, Happy New Year!). Love the picture of Charlie doing windows.
Great post. I had a parakeet (6 ounces of fluff.) like Charlie once. Perfect in every way. I miss him still though it has been has been over 20 years. Picture on my desk. Have had other pets since. But Sparky was and is still special and the best.
“Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” Anatole France
Happy New Year.
Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking says
Oh my goodness he is so adorable!!!!
Happy 2014 to you and your family.
Charlie is a wise little dog to have inspired you and taught you so much. I’m glad you’re such good friends even though he’s not YOUR dog.
It’s so sad that there are people in the world who would hurt a helpless and loving animal for no good reason. I’ve been fortunate to be the ‘auntie’ to a number of dogs, cats a bunny and a couple of conures (Carolina parakeet) over the years. My only cat was a stray who returned to the streets. (At least that’s what I’d like to think.) Lucky was a nice cat but very independent. He’s still missed.
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
“Grudges are for cats” – indeed! Charlie is too cute and obviously filled with wisdom ;). Happy New Year!
The Wimpy Vegetarian says
At the end of 2014, if I think about my favorite blog posts for the year, this will be it. I had a little Sheltie for many years. I’m lucky that she lived a long life with me. But her barking, that’s how Sheltie’s herd, was quite a problem. But I will never understand someone who kills a dog just because it’s barking or bothersome, and I hope I never do. My husband and I are looking at goldendoodles now. I just fell in love with the photos of your (husband’s) little Charlie. Adorable!!
Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) says
They’re angels sent from heaven to make us happy and how anyone could ever shoot a dog is beyond my realm of thought
What a cutie! At first glance, I thought he was a Portugese Water Dog. And that FACE! :::::::melt. 🙂 Happy New Year to you and give Charlie a big ol hug for me.
Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen says
Aw Maureen, this is so gorgeous! I think I’m a bit in love with Charlie and I haven’t even met him. What a personality and so handsome too (AND he does windows)! What’s not to love!
I will follow Charlie’s advice and wag my tail a whole lot more in 2014.
Hotly Spiced says
Oh the poor cat! She sounds very gracious for a cat. I’m so glad you got another dog, Maureen but how evil of someone to shoot your dogs – some people are beyond despicable. It’s so true that we as humans can learns so much from dogs. They are so much quicker to forgive, they love unconditionally and they’re always, always, always, your best friend. Tania (whose poor dog had to be put down over Christmas) said that dogs will always love you more than they love themselves. My girls are getting old now so I’m hugging them a little longer now as I know their time is approaching. Too sad to think about xx
Eva Taylor says
Someone SHOT your dogs? How can that be? They would have been arrested in Canada, I hope they were charged with something horrible and that they are rotting in prison. How disgusting!
That is the type of dog my hubby is trying to convince me to agree to get, but I’m not really a dog person so picking up warm poo kind of grosses me out! But I’d love the affection you describe! John’s dog my foot!
Happy New Year to you Maureen, all the very best of health and happiness for 2014!
What a beautiful story!
…and how right you are with the list of things that pup has taught you. He sounds like an amazing member of the family.
Have a great New Year
Lizzy (Good Things) says
Dear Maureen, I love the little sign ‘Things my dog taught me’, those points are so very true! I was sad when I read that someone shot your dogs, that is heartbreaking. But how wonderful that you have window-cleaning, cat humping, mummy’s boy, Charlie. He is adorable. Happy new year xox
Mary Frances says
:))) how nice!! I grew up with dogs and now since the kids are grown, we talk about getting one or even two. We shall see…
Such a cute and wise little soul! You’re right M, you were done for once John got money out of the bank. I have to say, you were lucky. My friend got a Cavoodle, but it has the temperament of a poodle and the brains of a King Cav. So it’s a stupid, hyperactive, anxious teddy bear of a dog. 🙂 Happy New Year darling! xx
Awww such a cutie!! It definitely sounds like he’s a momma’s boy.
suzanne Perazzini says
What a fabulous post – just gorgeous. I love all those things you have learned from him. We should all print them out and keep them on the wall somewhere we will see them often.
I didn’t know you lived in NZ before.
I know about the pain of losing dogs and don’t think I could go through it again but, if presented with your little fellow, I just might melt too.
Abbe@This is How I Cook says
I think you and I would get along just fine. I love all animals but my two dogs have upgraded their status now that the kids have left home. Don’t know what I’d do without them. Beautiful post. And what a cute boy! Happy New Year!
Emma @ Bake Then Eat says
What a lovely post, I can never resist puppy dog eyes and a waggly tail. Because of my job I currently don’t have a dog but love visiting family and friends that do have dogs. As soon as I give up the sea I will have a doggy companion! Good lessons to learn from your lovely Charlie 😀
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
Aww look at that face!! What an absolute doll! I know what you mean about not wanting to revisit that place again though and good on you for opening up your heart again. My heart is still broken from my cat Otto who died 12 years ago. I was and am still so sad about him. Maybe one day I’ll have another pet.
This post warms my heart, thank you for sharing! This reminds me of when we rescued/adopted our one kitty Groucho Marx. We had my boy Paco, and hubby said one cat was enough. I was working at a veterinary hospital (I worked as a Veterinary Technician for awhile,) little Groucho was precious. I convinced hubby to just visit her, no strings attached. Groucho climbed on his shoulder and laid down the moment he met her…..it was love at first site. AND Paco had a best friend for ten beautiful years:-) Animals make me happy. We have been put through extreme tests on our souls with our animals, and their illnesses, but I wouldn’t change the moments I was blessed to have with them! Happy New Year to you, John, and sweet Charlie! Hugs, Terra
Dear Maureen, I loved reading this. I love, love, love my little chocolate dog too. He has helped me through some tough years with his love and just being there for me.
It is so wonderful the love a dog.
Wishing you the happiest and most blessed year to come.
Bam's Kitchen says
Happy New Years Maureen! We can learn so much from our dogs, we would be so much happier if we did! Did you know that dogs can lower blood pressure in humans. They do not know if it is the relaxing long walks or the smiley face and licks all over the face that makes you feel better but dogs are not only mans best friend but therapeutic, even if he is not technically, your dog. Take care, BAM
LOL no wonder my blood pressure is good! Thanks, BAM !
Joanne T Ferguson says
G’day and thanks Maureen! Your post made me laugh and made me cry, true!
KNOW what you mean about never getting another one too!
Happy New Year to you and your family!
I used to live in New Zealand too…perhaps you lived next door to me! 🙂
He’s an absolute cutie! 🙂 GREAT post!
LOL I lived in the Bay of Islands at the top of the North Island – and you?
Claire @ Claire K Creations says
Happy New Year Maureen! What a cute story. We should all be more like him!
I LOVE Charlie!!! I’m so glad John got a dog 😉
He’s all curled up next to me, situated where I can’t get out without waking him up. You never know, there might be a car ride to the beach soon. 🙂
Claire @ Simply Sweet Justice says
This is one of my favorite posts! Charlie is such a sweetie, and I always love seeing his pictures and hearing stories about him. Dogs are such loves and make a home so happy. 🙂 Here is to a fabulous new year! XOXO
HAPPY NEW YEARS TO ALL OF YOU!!!!
omg…Charlie is the cutest dog I’ve seen, adorable, those eyes, oh mYY.
Cheers to a great year ahead.
Thanks, Ash, same to you!
Kari @ bite-sized thoughts says
Excellent! I love the lessons learned bit and the introduction to how Charlie came to be. He might be John’s dog but I’ll congratulate both of you on his cuteness 😉
As I was pressure washing the patio and he was walking through the clean bits with muddy paws I thought about rewriting this post. 🙂
Tamara Coleman says
Oh my goodness he is precious! What a beautiful dog! We have 2 labradoodles and he looks like my Royce when he was a puppy! Happy New Year!
Oh Tamara, labradoodles are SO sweet. They’re quite a bit bigger than Charlie and we were in a rental when we got him so smaller was better. 🙂 Happy New Year to you too!
Iron Chef Shellie says
Good advice! I usually leave the good bits till the end, but recently I discovered that’s how you eat too much, cos you gotta eat all the crap to get to the good. Well, NO MORE I tell you! no more!!
Happy New Year xo
High 5 !
Faith (An Edible Mosaic) says
I love what he’s taught you (every single point is truth!), and what an incredible story he has. It’s really touching how he became part of the family. And I love that he stacks his toys…and does windows! Such a cutie.
Wishing you a very Happy New Year, my friend.
LOL he’s much better at putting nose prints on the window than cleaning but he’s still a keeper. Happy New Year to you too, Faith.
What a fabulous post! We have a cat now…had a dog before. I do learn things from my cat too…like doing your own thing. Happy New Year! 🙂 ela
Marie @citronlimette says
Happy New year Maureen. What a beautiful post. My little yorkie was killed by another dog (pitbull) 2 years ago. I was devastated. We now have another gorgeous yorkie. I love her so much but my other one is still in my heart everyday. xoxo
I had a yorkie years ago, Marie, and they know NO fear whatsoever. Our dog was mauled while on a walk and he was stapled back together and within 6 months the same dog killed him. This was in the early 80s. I know just how you feel.
This is the best New Year post ever! Pets touch our souls in ways nothing or no one else can. My heart tightens at the thought of your cruel loss but I can see that Charlie is working to soften the sharp edges of the terrible memory. May you have a wonderful New Year Maureen!
Oh Deb, such a lovely comment – thank you. I hope 2014 is a terrific year for you.
Jennifer @ Delicious Everyday says
What a beautiful post and what a beautiful dog Maureen! He’s just adorable! I had a dog years ago, and she did the same thing, followed me around the house and patiently awaited my return. They are such beautiful and loving creatures.
We just went swimming together after I cleaned the patio with the pressure hose and he walked muddy prints through the clean side. He’s getting good at “jump in!” I love your new blog name!
My Kitchen Stories says
Oh Maureen, this made me both happy and sad. There is a very special love between we people and our special furry babies. I write this with tears in my eyes as I lost my little Angel on Christmas Day. The emptiness and quiet in my house is palpable. My loving friend of 10 years is there in every corner of my house and in every corner of my heart. I dont think I can ever bear this pain of loss again
My heart breaks for you, Tania. That’s what I said to John after our dogs died. I couldn’t bear it again. But you know what? The joy I get from this little dog is better than the pain of missing the ones who’ve moved on. Our lives are better for their love.
Healing Tomato says
Awww! This is such a cute post and your dog is super adorable. I like reading posts like this at the beginning of the year. It will be a happy year.
InTolerant Chef says
What a cutie Maureen! I know you wouldn’t think we were crazy to spend $2500 on our Mutt over Christmas when he was ill. Now the vet has him on congee as a diet for moment as he recovers. Lots of effort, but worth it 🙂
I know.. thank god for pet insurance.
Happy New Year! May you have more success this year on your blog 🙂
He’s adorable! So glad you caved. LOL
Happy New Year to you and John. 🙂
Layla @ Brunch Time Baker says
I love this post, the more I read into it the more that I realized how precious dogs are! We humans do over complicate everything! The dog is so cute, this might sound weird but he reminds me of my daughter!!
LOL Layla, okay it IS a bit weird. 🙂 I want to meet your daughter in the worst way! heh
What a cutie!!! What a great post! I had to laugh when you said “Grudges are for cat”. Being a cat person and having had several cats through the years, that is so true. Thank goodness they don’t last very long. 🙂
Lisa the Gourmet Wog says
Happy New Year Maureen!! Mummy’s boy is certainly one cute scruff! Bless! xx
Great post! And so cute.
OMG Maureen….you made my whole entire new year with this post. Lately, I have had this peculiar lethargy on writing – nothing motivating enough for the words to flow….weird thing. And yet this seems to have opened the floodgates…..I LOVED LOVED LOVED this post, the best thing I have read possibly….made me lump up, as well as smile wide. Some humans don’t deserve to live, seriously. Isn’t it amazing how dogs teach you to love unconditionally again and again? I am so glad you found your dog love again……Happy new Year Maureen!
Awww, Minnie, I love you heaps 🙂
Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com says
Happy New Year Maureen!
So love this post – I have 2 dogs – one of them came into my life in pretty much the same way your Charlie did.
wok with ray says
Your dog is so adorable. What a beautiful post Maureen. I must have gone through that list several times because they a so true! If we would just learn from that list and follow it, we would have an easier life. Thank you Maureen for posting this and Have a wonderful New Year! 🙂
Thanks, Ray and Happy New Year to you and your family.
Vicki Bensinger says
Maureen this has to be the most adorable dog. I love what you learned from him and it’s so true. We should all follow these rules.
My sister recently lost her dog and decided not to get another one. Now she wants one. I’m going to forward her this link to your site. Maybe she’ll decide on one of these. They’re precious. So sorry so AH had to shoot your pups. What’s wrong with people? So glad you found this cute little guy. Happy New Year!
Thanks, Vicki. I promise your sister that the love she’ll get from the new dog will far outweigh the sadness. 🙂
What a sweet post and sweet boy! I’m a dog person, too. We love our Belle, the Basset Hound. So sorry for your horrendous loss. How on earth can someone do that?
I know. The refrigerator repairman left the door open and the dogs got out and a guy down the road is an avid kiwi bird protector and he shot first and didn’t ask questions. It’s legal to shoot them in a kiwi area if they are unattended.
so true Maureen… we can learn so much from our dogs. I have always been a “dog” person and although I have one cat… she has a dog’s personality. 🙂 You will never find the unconditional love that a dog can give you in this world and I refuse to live without one in my life. Your sweet Charlies has the most beautiful eyes….and expressions. Thank you for sharing this post… made me smile all the way through. 🙂
Wishing you the very best in 2014… Happy New Year!
Helene D'Souza says
lol I had such a good laugh while reading through Maureen. Charlie always cracks me up. You are so right by the way, we should really be more like our pets/dogs. I noticed charlie’s eyes used to be blue when he was a puppy. Now they have a beautiful golden brown shade.
That might have been a crap camera. I don’t recall his eyes being blue. 🙂
Sandra - The Foodie Affair says
Oh, I know how hard it is to lose a animal, but for someone to intentionally kill your pet? My heart just broke! Understand why you were hesitant bringing another pet into your home. This cutie is one lucky pup to have a new family. Lots of new adventures 🙂
lizzie - strayed from the table says
Too cute. Charlie is one well-behaved pooch who is just a little bit on the adorable side.
Hope you had a wonderful New Year Maureen.
Nami | Just One Cookbook says
What a great story. I had never own any pet (other than gold fish, insects and reptiles when my brother and I were little – in a small Japanese house that’s pretty much what we can get as pet), but I always wish to have a dog…. and my kids have been telling me they want a dog. And now after reading your post, I want a dog even more!!! So sorry to hear about your previous dogs – my gosh I couldn’t believe it. 🙁 Happy New Year Maureen! xoxo
That was a lovely post with some great dog photos. Somehow I miss having a dog, they always bring so much joy to your life.
Thanks Chris. He’s a cutie patootie that’s for sure. 🙂
We love our dogs. Right now we have one (Sam). He is a rescue, and we love him. I can’t remember a time in my life that I have not had at least one dog. We had a gold cat that we rescued that we named after my grandpa (Charlie) we called him CHOO CHOO Charlies because he went through the house like a train. His best friend was a beagle named Major.
You know that we have wonderful thought about all our pet friends. Thanks for your site:)