Remembering my dog, Charlie

Published 4:24 pm Friday, October 4, 2019

let an important date slip by without notice: Sept. 9, 2009. That’s Charlie’s birthday. You may remember that our little “Boston Terror” — he with the big, Doverman ears and long legs — contracted a bad disease and left us three months before his tenth birthday.

But, let there be no mistake, he was my boy, even if I did chase him around the house with a rolled-up newspaper for almost 10 years. 

Soon after he was born, I took to the pen to relate his short biography. In celebration of his tenth birthday, I want to take you back to our words from Jan. 7, 2010. Here is his story:

You’ve got to meet Charlie. His biography is pretty short since the boy is only 3-months-old, but it is not uneventful by any means.

Back in September, my daughter Rachel and husband Michael decided they needed a dog for the kids. So, they went across town in Houston and bought a Boston Terrier, bugged eyes and all.

Meet Charlie.

Charlie and Rach co-existed for approximately six weeks. Rach house-broke him, took him to the vet for all his shots, and taught everything she could about good behavior. The problem is that teaching Charlie good behavior is like teaching him to do the Tennessee waltz.

Charlie just didn’t understand. He ran around the house recklessly, knocking down one-year-old little Audrey Lyn and making her cry. He jumped on the furniture when he knew good and well he’s supposed keep the all four of his little wheels on the ground. He’d playfully bite anybody who walked by or looked at him cross-eyed or any other way.

Poor Charlie was just too much of a live wire for Rach, especially considering she had two other live wires running around the house in Pretty Eyes and Connor-man. So, when the amazing blonde and I went down to Houston over the holidays a couple of weeks ago, Rach wrapped a red ribbon around Charlie and handed him to me, saying, “Look what Santa brought cha.”

Friends, I didn’t just get myself a dog. I got a nightmare.

The amazing blonde and I might as well have started over having children. We’re up – no, I’m up – in the middle of the night to take whimpering Charlie out to potty. And sometimes he seems to forget the strict teachings of Rachel and doesn’t quite make it to the door in time before he loses control of one or the other of his body parts.

At which time, I say, “Charlie, meet The LaGrange Daily News. And I use this very paper with my column tucked away snugly in the middle to tan his three-month old behind.

Of course, my reward for trying to supply a little discipline around the house is the popping out of the saddest, bulging eyes you’ve ever seen.

The bottom line is that Charlie is the highest-maintenance dog west the Mississippi. Listen to my story. Having to come home in the middle of the day to let him out and feed him … Or, if you leave the house for more than 11 ½ minutes you have to hire the little girl down the street to come over and play with him and feed him and make him potty … Completely giving up going barefooted around the house because he would sprint and, without warning, treat your toes like a dog bone. Case in point: I’m having a hard time this very second writing my column because the out-of-control boy is trying to slobber-wash my feet.

“Quit it, Charlie… I said, quit it, I’m tryin’ to write, here… Let go of my… ouch! (In a high-pitched voice) Boy, that was my foot! (Trying to be angry) Don’t make me get the paper … I’m warning you… That’s it, you broke the skin that time… Get back here… Charlie, do not run from me… Out from the under the bed, young man. I’m serious…”

I’ll close the curtain here without relating my pitiful efforts to get the long-eared puppy out from under the bed. But, in case you see the following ad in the “Want Ads” section, now you’ll understand.

“Good home needed for slobbery Boston Terror with big ears he seldom uses. Rolled-up newspaper included.”