Growing Up With Charlie: A Journey of Friendship, Loyalty, and Love

Peanut Butter & Jelly. Lennon & McCartney. Ben & Jerry. All things that go together.

Meet our dog Charlie & my youngest daughter.

This third child of mine was barely three when our 15-year-old shepherd mix died. My husband and I had decided that we would not get another dog right away, as life with three young kids was hectic enough.

But it didn’t take long for us to be reminded of something.

You see, there are some people that like dogs. There are some people that love dogs. And there are some people that cannot live without dogs. 

And our little one? Well, she falls under the “can’t live without” category. 

From the moment she could focus her eyes as a baby, she was enthralled with our old mutt. “Dog” was her first word. Dogs were her favorite source of entertainment. Dog park or Disneyland? This kid would pick the dog park every time.

So we were in a pickle. We didn’t want another pet at the moment, but could we really deny THIS child, out of all our children, the benefits of growing up with a canine companion?

We decided we couldn’t.  

We contacted a Labrador rescue, knowing that it would be difficult to find a puppy, but willing to wait. But as fate would have it, within just a few days, we received a call about a chubby, 8 week old pup up for adoption. We named him Charlie.

And a sweeter, gentler soul I have never known.

I remember how he would sit patiently as my daughter tried to dress him up.

He used to put my daughter to bed every single night. She would say, “C’mon Charlie, let’s go,” and he would jump up right next to her, exactly where she trained him to be. 

He would not leave her side until she was fast asleep.

He became her dog from the moment we brought him home and they have been inseparable for the past twelve years. They have raised each other well.  

He has been at her side through surgeries, when she’s sad, or sick, and now, through the not-so-easy teen years.

Our sweet Charlie went fully blind four years ago, when he lost his eye sight to a degenerative disease. 

And so now she guides him when he needs her to. 

He no longer has the agility to jump up on the bed next to her.

And so now she lifts him into her bed. 

I don’t know much, but I do know this: there is nothing so pure as the love between a child and their four-legged best friend.

Check out some cute footage of these two when they were younger (tap “play” and make sure your sound is on)…

Happy 12th Birthday to my Charlie boy and Happy 15th to my girl, you are so very loved.

To read about the time Charlie went on a little solo adventure, visit my post: “The Powerful Lesson I Learned the Day Our Dog Went Missing”