Charlie got Chickenpox

*Written to the sound of Half the World Away by “Music Lab Collective”*

11/07/2017

Okay, well it wasn’t exactly Chickenpox, but for three straight days, Charlie itched relentlessly at a body wide rash. The result of a food allergy caused by an attempted switch to a healthier option (of course he prefers junk food), Charlie’s rash was nothing too serious. But in order to keep him from scratching away like some Chickenpox clad toddler, I never let him out of my sight.

I have to admit, the obligation of babysitter wasn’t one that I initially welcomed, but as I pack my bags today I’m realizing just how valuable those memories of petting my old pal with a book rested on his back, may soon come to be.

You see, in just five days, I move West, into the Rocky Mountains, and from there, further West until it becomes East. And while I didn’t plan to end up back in Central Texas the last two times I moved away, this time feels just a little more final. Which is why those three days with Charlie will always be cherished.

We got Charlie in the fall of 2008. A rescue of unknown breed, or age, we had no idea what to expect from the little guy. But it didn’t take long for his small stature to become a large fixture in our family. Sure, there was that time when he pissed on my shoe, or the time, when he literally ate my homework, but even in his most trying moments, I can’t say I’ve ever truly been angry at him.

Before Charlie, I didn’t much care for smaller breeds, as I found them to be excessively yappy and overall obnoxious, but he’s changed my mind entirely. Unlike more openly friendly, and consistently happy dogs, Charlie makes you earn his trust. At just 12 pounds (he prefers the term husky), he’s understandably hesitant with strangers, and his shrill bark is far from pleasant. But once you’ve put in the hours, he’s an endless source of amusement and joy.

From hysterical fits, to lengthy games of living room fetch, and even the occasional hike. Through breakups, and makeups, and now through goodbyes, for the past nine years, Charlie has been my closest companion.

Leaving home means I’ll likely miss out on years of Charlie’s life, but as much as that pains me, I’m determined not to miss out on my own. Some say when one door opens, another one closes, but no matter where life takes me, I’ll never close the door on Charlie. To the smallest dog with the biggest personality. The one with more names than I can count. To my best friend, my brother, and the coolest dog I know. Take care Chuck.

P.s. Go easy on the snacks.