1997 – 2009
Diagnosed with lymphoma on the 14th of April 2009, dear Charlie crossed over the Rainbow Bridge on Thursday July 9th at home, having spent a leisurely day at the new farm on Wednesday, and eaten a home-cooked meal of liver for dinner on Wednesday and again for breakfast on Thursday.
Although he was becoming increasingly weak, Charlie was in no pain, gracefully endured the many remedies and supplements we gave him, and remained quite active, having run through the agility tunnel the week before when we set it up for the other dogs at the farm, never expecting him to take his turn, as he had always done before he was so ill.
Charlie went for short walks on our street, to Home Depot, attended meetings of the University of Toronto Ethics Review Board with Marg, came to the hair-dresser with each of us, and religiously monitored the smells from the back deck, barking at the echo of his own voice across the ravine and, most vociferously, at the pesky red squirrels.
He continued to learn new tricks during Susan’s nightly before- bedtime trick training sessions, often rising from a deep sleep on one of his many beds as soon as he heard the other dogs rushing to be first to do whatever was new that evening.
Charlie was an advocate of lifelong learning. Although he stopped his formal education when he earned his Rally titles, he continued to participate in Open classes, freestyle, tracking and lure coursing. In his spare time Charlie enjoyed swimming and lying on the couch, in honour of his mother, Toot (who had been described by Doris and Had Drury, with whom she lived, as a couch potato).
Charlie came to live with us at 18 months, having been reclaimed by Colleen McDaniel who had learned that he was not only not attending classes as his contract specified, but was also living in a “daylight basement” household where he received little attention or stimulation, apart from a short period of exercise in the back yard every day. .
Initially, he, found city life overwhelming and showed many signs of not being able to cope. It took a long time for him to overcome his separation anxiety and a few obsessive behaviours, such as chasing the shadows of his ears under the pot lights in our kitchen, but with a lot of work, over time, especially with Marg’s efforts to help him make it through the nights, he learned to trust us and we learned to understand his fears and a wonderful love affair began.
Talulla, who came to us in August of 1999, quickly decided that her role, as a puppy, was to insist that he learn how to play, something he had not clued-into before. She helped Charlie grow into a loving companion to all of us. By the time Presto joined the household, when Charlie was 8, Charlie was clearly the confident Elder Statesman of the household. .
Charlie leaves behind a huge hole in our hearts, and a very sad household, consisting of Susan and Marg, his long time pal Talulla, and Presto, the perpetual puppy. He will also be missed by his late-in-life “girlfriend” Joni, a lovely re-homed girl from Eire kennels, who lives with a close friend here in Toronto,
On his behalf, we wish farewell to his many friends in the IWS world, especially Mary T., Colleen McD. and Dr. Barbara, as well as the many at the Wine Country Circuit, Camp Gone to the Dogs, North York Obedience Club and the Cross Country Tracking Club. Many others have helped with advice, support and understanding during his early life and his illness… all of whom know who they are, and will always have a special place in our hearts, as they did in Charlie’s life.
Our vet came to the house to help Charlie on his journey, when Charlie gave us every indication that it was time to move on. This was a gift to Charlie who adored his vet, as well as to us… something for which we will always be grateful.
Nights without your snoring, dear Charlie, will never be the same.
Love, Marg, Susan, Talulla and Presto