gmhTODAY 24 gmhTODAY Feb March 2019 - Page 47

SPECIAL SECTION I OUR PETS My Life With Charlie … Written By J. Chris Mickartz T hey say a dog is a man's best friend. And, although I never questioned that thought, I certainly was not a big supporter of it. Truth be known, I was a little luke warm when it came to dogs. They just seemed needy and problematic to me. I've always been a cat person. I suppose I liked their sense of independence. With a cat, you just feed them and clean their cat box and you're good to go. They require very little of your time and are usually fine, whether they get any affection or not. That all changed a little over two years ago when my husband, Larry, and I picked up Charlie from a breeder in Grass Valley. I had purchased Charlie (a name provided by our granddaughters) for Larry. I won't go into the background story except to say that Larry, not I, really wanted a dog. Not just any dog, but a big dog. I had many reservations since I had never experienced a puppy. It didn't take long for me to realize, however, that I was missing out on a ton of fun. From the day Charlie came home with us I have been head over heels in love with him. He's almost like having a child…that unconditional love is just a given. So, over the last two years, we've dealt with many of the normal issues of puppyhood. First we had the tearing up of just about everything in sight and, of course, the leaving of remembrances just about everywhere in sight. Then we GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN Charlie at three months. Above Charlie today at 85 pounds. moved on to the search and rescue stage… let's share every- thing with mom and dad! Although Charlie is calming down, somewhat, he still gets way too excited when someone comes to visit. He has the crazy idea that they have come to play with him and insists they do so. I've been told that this will pass but then someone also told me that the puppy stage would only last one year. That is so not true. Today, I woke up really early. Charlie no longer wakes us up but is always happy to say good morning and start his day. This morning, however, Charlie didn't greet me at the bottom of the stairs. I found him in the TV room fast asleep on our sofa. So, I slipped in beside him and put my arm around him. He looked up at me calmly and then put his head in my lap and fell back to sleep. My life with Charlie just keeps getting better. february/march 2019 gmhtoday.com 47