National Pet Day - Salute Charley!

It is National Pet Day today.  So how could the day go by without me talking about my dog Charley?  115 lbs. of love bomb in the house. And honestly, our home, with all its charm, décor and home furnishings, would just not be the same without good ole lovable Charley in it!  He is like the child that my husband Jim and I never had together.  He is the one teenager that never rejected our love and was not afraid to ever been seen with us.  He is the one who will never go away and always want to stay except when he jumps our fence.  Funny, never had that issue with the kids!  Oh well, dogs are different even if Charley does think he is a person.

Well let’s hit on Charley’s weight.  He actually had dropped to 107 lbs. this past summer.  That occurred due to his passion for swimming in our pool in the backyard, fondly called Charley’s pool.  When he is in it, due to his size, he dominates it.  This is the case because whoever is in it, he prefers making a bee line swimming right at you.

Now labs have large paws with sharp claws, even when their nails are cut. These nails do not feel wonderful on bare skin. Hence, when in the swimming pool having Charley coming at you wanting to place them on your shoulders for leverage to stand and lick your face, it can be painful. So, it is frequent that he swims alone in the pool.

Our goal, last year at this time, was to get him off the 125 lb mark of weight.  And we did! Our vet said he wanted, one day, for us to be walking Charley and someone to stop us on the street and say “Why don’t you feed that dog?”  To date, that has never happened. We are not holding our breath for it to happen either!  Our dog likes to eat too much, what the heck is that vet thinking of! Plus, our neighbors are too nice to ever say such a thing to us.

With a rugged winter this year, there were far too many handouts of treats to Charley.This is probably why he added back on some of those unwanted unneeded pounds.  Charley is weighing in currently at 115.  Unfortunately, as soon as the pool cover 
comes off, he will be on the low treat, swim team diet.

Some of the weight gain could be attributed to depression though.  We have recently redecorated our bedroom. This entailed moving our furniture around.  Charley made it quite apparent he found this upsetting. For an entire day, he refused to come out of the walk-in closet except to eat and go outside to pee, even when he was called out.

See, in the process of moving things around, his doggie bed was moved to a new location.
No longer was it placed next to his daddy’s side of the bed or near the window where he could be like a real dog and watch the world and keep guard of the house. Now it resides at the foot of the bed, which to him, implies, he has moved down the totem pole and is a mere dog in the house.  And it does not offer nearly as good a view of the front yard which is inconceivable to him why we would mess with a good thing.

Charley use to love to jump up on our bed and spend hours on end lounging on it.   Most nights, he would sleep in bed, towards the base of the mattress. Because he has gotten older, he needs to take more of a running start to jump up and he had used steps made to get down to help lessen the blow to his legs. With the new room transition, the runway has been shortened. 

Somehow we overlooked Charley’s need for a running leap onto our bed and thus, he now finds himself often times, not even able to make it onto the bed. There is nowhere to put the steps anymore either. Thus, our beloved pet is found with his face smashed down on his doggie bed, where he feels he doesn't belong, pouting.   It is as if, in his old age, he is reverting back to childhood. And the sad part, at 115 lbs. he is too big to pick up and place on the bed also so that option is out!

We really have found Charley one of the best experiences we have had together as a couple. He has provided so many laughs. His lack of coordination has caused him to run
head on into walls, kids, our legs, and God knows what else.  We have seen Charley get kicked off of dog training classes for being so distracting when he acts up.  He has gotten me in trouble for sniffing too many other dogs’ butts.  Charley, at one time, jumped our fence and ran away so many times, the neighbors two blocks away across a busy street knew him by name.  It is as if Charley was a walking ball of drama but a story, a chapter in our life that we wouldn't trade for anything.

And perhaps that is why everyone today says Happy National Pet Day because pets truly are a joy.  If given love, discipline and respect, they are loyal, loving and friendly.  Hug your pet today, and every day!
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