Everything went well.
It was quick and painless.
March 17, 1989 - May 4, 2004
I remember being 10 years old and my father and I bringing him back home. I used to go to summer camp back then and the woman who ran the place had a dog...Thunder was her name. There was a stray who roamed the place and they would eventually end up being the parents of Charley.
I didn't have a hard time picking a name. After all, his father's name was Charley as well, and I liked it cause it was the name of the dog in "All Dogs Go To Heaven".
Dad loved him just as much as I did. Though you wouldn't know it while he was a puppy. He caused my father no shortage of frustration. Chewing and digging. The holes could be filled, it was the chewing that really got to him. Dad could grab him by his neck and rub his nose in it and stuff like that whereas I couldn't. Not at 10 anyway. I still can't now to some degree.
It was my father who raised Charley. He paid no attention to me but when my father gave him a command, by god that dog would do it.
Charley would outlive my father as well as my mother and 3 other dogs in his lifetime. There was Scooter, the only dog I know who could climb a tree with just speed and momentum to get her up it and grab the tennis ball. She passed away not long after we got Charley. Old age. Puppy came next. I took forever picking a name for her and during the time, I just called her "puppy", so it stuck. I had her for 3 or 4 years before she died of a brain hemorrhage one night and we found her dead the next morning. Sam came next. Named in part from the "Sam & Max" Lucasarts PC game from long ago and part due to my love of "Quantum Leap". He was a beagle and he caused my father just as much frustration as Charley did when he was a pup. Sam was around for about 3 or 4 years when finally, a few weeks after my father had passed, Sam got out of the yard as he was known to do and a neighbor called saying they saw what looked like Sam on the side of the road. I took Charley with me and sure enough, Sam had been hit by a car.
From then on it was just me and Charley.
I never considered myself to be alone because I always had him to come home to. This ball of excitment that would greet me with the happiest of faces when I would come home...at first from school and then college and then work.
15 years of my life were spent with him a part of it. I'll have other pets, sure. But I'll never have another friend like Charley.
The most loyal friend I have ever had.