Charley Tan the Man

By isak, January 23, 2008

CharleyI lost Charley this day to a tumor he developed in his mouth. Together we fought it since it appeared in September. Funny how disease opens your eyes to things you either did not notice or took for granted. Charley ran the house, and all the dogs respected whatever he said… even if he wanted a bone that was in another dog’s mouth or a bed someone had just made comfortable. If two dogs argued, Charley would break it up. If I chastised a dog for doing something, Charley would bully that dog as if to support me.

Charley was a large man. In the end, he was down to 94 pounds, but he was such a wise man. We had so many signals between us and so much communication that I did not even realize it. It was always just there.

Charley was 12.

Driving into the city one day 12 years ago, I noticed two puppies on the side of the road by the creek. That evening, they were still there. Same for the next morning and evening. I went back that second evening and asked them if they wanted to come to my house. And wiggly as puppies are, they jumped into my car. For four years, they lived on the back porch. When the weather was cold, I built them a house out of bales of hay. But one particularly cold winter, I brought them into the house and that was that. Charley and Lacey were house dogs for life.

Charley walked out of the house that last day reluctantly. I think he knew he was leaving for the last time. I did everything I could to put off “letting go”, but I think when the day came, it was the right day and the right thing to do.

I love that boy… and I miss him.

What do you think?

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