Charlie is our Cockapoo that Jason and I brought home the week of Christmas of 2004. We had been married a year and half, I had wanted a dog since we bought our house a year earlier. We loved Charlie from our first day meeting him and getting first pick of the liter. We even made birth announcements for him, oh yeah we did. Charlie was our baby, we bought him super expensive dog food, made him treats from scratch, made sure he had the best bed a dog could have (a memory foam mattress with a down blanket). We went to dog training classes, we spent afternoons at the dog park and his haircuts were more expensive than mine. We were able to teach Charlie how to ring a bell when he wanted to go outside. Charlie would cuddle up with stuffed animals, and did what we called pawpaw them, it was the cutest.
A few months before Grant was born, Jason and I were watching Save the Last Dance, and the scene were they are sitting in the clinic and the baby is crying, Charlie started howling. Full on howl, he was being completely sympathetic to the baby, it was so cute. It was so cute until we brought home an infant that cried, and there was no place to escape. Well, the older Grant became there were less and less crying fits and Charlie's howling also became less and less. I would go for walks pushing the stroller with one hand and holding on to Charlie's leash in the other. Grant loved Charlie just as much as Jason and I did.
Here's a video of Charlie howling while Mason is crying.
Then Norah came along. The howling returned to being an everyday, multiple times a day thing, and Charlie's rank in our house dropped as well. Charlie began spending more time outside, up or downstairs, anywhere but where crying babies were not. In the midst of all this, there was a day when Charlie bit Jason. This made us worry, are the kids safe to be around Charlie. I would have so guilty if I would let my kids become hurt by our dog. More separation was made between Grant, Norah and Charlie. Long conversations were had and places were sought out where we could send Charlie or give him up. My heart ached at the thought, Charlie was part of our family. I would never give up on my children, so why do I think I can just go give someone my dog. In the end Charlie stayed, Grant and Norah continued to grow, a watchful eye was always kept on Charlie and it was fun to watch the kids bond with him. Grant and Norah would ask for a kiss or shake his paw or play fetch, and Charlie loved it.
Once Mason arrived in June, Charlie instantly reverted back to his howling. This time you could see him becoming depressed at the situation. Jason and I decided the stress that we were feeling, was also shared by Charlie. It was time to pray about what to do and work harder at fining a solution.
A month ago, Charlie went to spend a week with someone who was looking for a dog. We agreed that if things did not work out we would take Charlie back. I haven't seen Charlie since that day. We could go and see Charlie if we would like, but I don't think my emotions could handle it at this point. I hear that he is happy, getting to go for two walks a day and being spoiled. I am happy to hear he is adjusting to his new home, and that it has worked out so well.
This had been hard, I miss Charlie. He did a great job protecting our house, and there is nothing like the unconditional love that a dog has for you. Dogs have a great sixth sense, able to sense your feelings and are always there when you need them. It is hard when the kids ask about Charlie. We are adjusting to life as former dog owners. As Jason puts it, "I miss Charlie, but I don't miss Charlie more." The stress that would come over us when one of the kids would cry and the howling that would follow was overwhelming. I know some people would think that we did the unthinkable. I think that we did the best for all of us, we are all is a better place now.