My Pet Story: Charlie Chops

Lately I have been working with Petplan Pet Insurance on a campaign to share “My pet story”. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to share someone very special with you all, my Charlie Chops…..

There are people who can change your life forever, people who touch your heart in ways you can’t explain, people you can never forget and who you think of every single day and smile. And for me that someone was Charlie who, although he very much believed that he was human, was infact the greatest dog that ever lived.

Charlie was a boxer and as soon as I clapped eyes on him I knew that he was special. Not only was he utterly adorable but he was intuitive, soft natured and more than a little bit crazy. And we loved him very much.

Lewis was just six months old when Charlie came to live with us and could not remember a life without him. The two of them grew up together, sharing milestones, napping together on the couch, running wild together in the park, waking up together when Charlie had sneaked into his room and curled up at the foot of his bed. Charlie doted on Lewis, and vice versa.

When I fell pregnant with Joseph, Charlie just knew. He would lie beside me, head on my belly, looking up at me with those big brown eyes as though to tell me, I’ve got this. And I knew that he would love the new baby just as much as he did Lewis.

When Joseph died and I returned home from the hospital, empty handed and broken hearted, Charlie was waiting for me at the door. And instead of jumping up at me in his usual playful manner, he merely climbed up onto my lap, lay his head against my chest and allowed me to cry, never once leaving my side.

In the months that followed, as the grief was all consuming, he would lie beside me on the bed, nudging me with his nose, willing me to get up, to get out, encouraging me to face the world again. He would watch me, his head cocked to the side, wagging his tail as I took the first steps towards leaving the house again, towards getting the help I so desperately needed. My biggest fan, my greatest supporter, my very best friend.

When my marriage ended just two years later, it was Charlie who was there for me, jumping up onto the bed the very first night my husband left, reminding me that I wasn’t alone. And he would lie there, flat on his back, his head on the pillow, like the human being he truly believed that he was, and his love and dedication was unfaltering.

When Gaz came along it was hard for Charlie to accept him, more so than it had been for Lewis. Charlie was very wary of this man who had suddenly appeared in our home, threatening his place in my affections, and yet by the time that Gaz moved in just a few months later, Charlie loved him just as much as I did.

There are so many stories which I could tell you about Charlie. The time that he jumped out of the upstairs bedroom window and miraculously survived with just a small graze to his chin. Or the time he leapt from the car window and bounded into the post office to find me.

I could tell you about the day he smashed an entire bottle of olive oil when we weren’t home, stepping in the glass to make a bloody, oily massacre which he trod up every single carpeted step on all three stories of our home. To say that he was accident prone would be an understatement!!

I could tell you about the fact that his tongue was so long it didn’t even fit inside his mouth, how it would hang out in a pool of slobber and how I spent hours cleaning my windows for that very reason. I could tell you how brave he was when he had a cancerous tumour removed aged four and how he had exceeded all of our expectations in bouncing back and recovering so fast.

I could tell you about his love of sticks, the bigger the better, and how he would outright refuse to drop it, even if it was ten times bigger than he, and how we would end up with full sized branches in our back garden every single day. I could tell you that he snored, louder than any dog I’ve ever known, how he loved to swim, how he was never happier than chasing Lewis or plodding along beside me down the canal.

I could tell you how hard it was when he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, when his heart began to falter, causing him to have black outs, to have fits, to lose control of his bowels and bladder, the ability to do all of the things he had once loved. I could tell you just how devastated I was to know that my Charlie Chops would not live to be old and grey, that our days together would almost certainly be cut short.

But what I really want to tell you is that he was the most amazing and beautiful dog I have ever known, and I truly believe that he saved me – from loss, from divorce, from myself. He was there for me throughout the best and the worst times of my life and the bond we shared was so precious and unique, and I was grateful for every single day we had together.

When Lewis was seven years old and I was just a few weeks pregnant with Eva, the day we returned from a family holiday to Spain, with Charlie staying at my parents, my beautiful boy passed away. At just seven years old his heart had given in, and as we returned home and I held him for one last time, I told him, during the hardest of goodbyes, that he was the best dog, and the best friend, in all the world.

As we returned home, the house so much quieter now, my windows so much cleaner, no dirty footprints or shedded dog hair, I wished that I had been able to save him in the same way he had saved me.

And anyone who tells me that he was just a dog, just a pet, they’re wrong. He was so much more than that. He was my best friend for seven long years, my closest confidante, keeper of secrets, my shoulder to cry on, a reason to get out of bed each day and face the world long after Lewis had started school and during the weekends he stayed with his Dad.

He made me laugh, made me cry, made me feel safe, and he made the darkest times of my life a little less lonely. He was my family, Lewis’s family, and our lives are a little less full without him.

Dogs like Charlie come around just once in a lifetime and, although our time together was cut short, I am so very grateful that for seven long years, he was mine.

 

*** This is a collaborative post with Petplan Pet Insurance. All words and opinions are my own. ***

 

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154 Comments

  1. November 16, 2017 / 8:18 am

    Oh my goodness, I’m sat here in tears. What a gorgeous dog. How lovely for you to have him at the times you really needed him. I need to go and make myself a cup of tea now, I don’t even really think of myself as a “dog person” but this really touched me.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 16, 2017 / 10:21 am

      Ahh thank you Nichola, we really did go through some tough times together and I losing him was so hard. I hope the cup of tea helped! xxx

  2. November 16, 2017 / 8:59 am

    Pets have such personalities don’t they and make such a difference to your life! He seemed like such a wonderful dog!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 16, 2017 / 10:20 am

      He was the best Lyndsey, a real character and I’ve never met a dog quite like him. Thank you for reading. xx

  3. November 16, 2017 / 9:28 am

    What a wonderful testament to Charlie – you can tell how much joy and brightness he brought to your life, and the love that you shared. I’m sorry for your loss, but glad you got to share in his life. Lovely photos of him too, what a gorgeous dog!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 16, 2017 / 10:19 am

      Ahh thank you Rachel, he was such an amazing dog and I just know the children would have loved him. We did get a dog after Charlie and he definitely helped to heal our hearts. xx

  4. Jess
    November 16, 2017 / 3:19 pm

    Oh Laura, I’m so sorry. People really underestimate the impact pets have on our lives and the support they give us. Your blog post is a great testament to that. Definitely teared up reading this one.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 16, 2017 / 3:45 pm

      Thank you Jess. We are very lucky to have a lovely little dog who helped to heal our hearts but there will only ever be one dog quite like Charlie! xx

  5. November 16, 2017 / 7:02 pm

    Such a moving, heartfelt story of how dogs become so much than just a pet. My German Shepherd is 12 years old now and not in great health anymore. I’ve had her since she was 8 weeks old. I don’t know what I’m going to do without her, but I know I make the most of every day we have together. It sounds like you and Charlie had a wonderful relationship.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 16, 2017 / 7:24 pm

      Thank you Christy. That’s the hardest thing about pets isn’t it? Losing them is just so tough. After Charlie I said we would never have another dog as I couldn’t bear to go through it again, but we did get another dog and he is a huge part of our family. xx

  6. November 16, 2017 / 7:22 pm

    I think it is so special to bond with a pet and completely agree that finding a dog like that is very rare and very special. I’m so glad you found a companion that helped through some of your darkest times.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 16, 2017 / 7:23 pm

      Thank you Emma, I totally agree. I’ve had four dogs now and as wonderful as they have all been in their own special ways, Charlie was the one who really saved me. xx

  7. November 16, 2017 / 7:47 pm

    As a massive dog lover this really brought tears to my eyes. He sounds like an amazing dog! They do just know when something isn’t right they definitely have a sixth sense. My dog is absolutely brilliant with our autistic son. We all absolutely adore her. Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime ?

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 16, 2017 / 10:32 pm

      Ahh thank you Catie. He was the best, I think a bond like that is really special and he got me through some really tough times. We have another dog now, Oscar, and he is amazing with the children. xx

  8. November 16, 2017 / 8:01 pm

    Oh wow Charlie sounds like the best dog ever. We never had dogs growing up but our home was a menagerie of cats, ducks, snakes, lizards, terrapins, tortoises! My parents do now have a black lab and we all love her to pieces.
    I have a cat who I like to joke I’ve ‘had longer than Mr G’ we are inseparable and as I type this she is curled up beside me like a sphynx cat. I’ll be devastated when her time comes!
    Thanks so much for sharing your heart warming story of Charlie dog with #coolmumclub

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 16, 2017 / 10:32 pm

      Ahh thanks lovely, he was the best. The hardest part of having a pet is losing them, it’s like losing a family member and it took me a long time to accept my Charlie Chops was gone. The kids would have loved him! xx

  9. November 16, 2017 / 8:16 pm

    Charlie sounds like my Derek Jeter, he went through hell with me while Lori was dying. He was much more then a pet,he was my family as well.. When I lost all three members of my family in 4 fours months,I barely hung on until I found the cheetah….I love Paladin,he is a great friend and a family member but Derek will always have my heart.He was the best cat ever.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 16, 2017 / 10:31 pm

      Ahh Patrick, I can’t even imagine how hard that was for you but I’m glad that you have the cheetah. I think you are only ever blessed with one special pet in a lifetime, and Charlie was undoubtedly mine just as Derek was yours. xxx

  10. November 16, 2017 / 8:18 pm

    Oh this was such an emotional read – life is so cruel at times and losing a pet can be very hard x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 16, 2017 / 10:29 pm

      Thank you Melanie. xxx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 16, 2017 / 10:28 pm

      Thank you. xx

  11. November 16, 2017 / 9:52 pm

    We had a boxer but lost her a few years ago now, so i know what special dogs they are. Charlie looks like a lovely one x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 16, 2017 / 10:27 pm

      Thank you Ashleigh. I’m sorry to hear that, they really are the most beautiful breed of dogs. xx

  12. November 16, 2017 / 9:53 pm

    Oh he sounds like he was such a gorgeous character. Dogs can be such a special part of the family, this post brought back so many memories of my own family dog all those moons ago. We are moving again soon and I hope we can get a dog again, a first one with my own family! 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 16, 2017 / 10:27 pm

      Ahh thank you, he was the best. Dogs are such a huge part of the family, we have another dog now Oscar who really helped to heal our hearts. xx

  13. November 16, 2017 / 11:19 pm

    aw such an emotional read, dogs can bring so much happiness to our lives! They are defiantly part of the family

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 17, 2017 / 9:59 am

      They really can, not everyone is a dog person but having a pet is such a wonderful thing. xx

  14. Hannah
    November 16, 2017 / 11:40 pm

    Charlie sounded like an awesome dog. Love the photos. You have some amazing memories

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 17, 2017 / 9:59 am

      Thank you Hannah, he was the best and we had some great times together. xx

  15. November 17, 2017 / 12:18 am

    Oh my goodness, he is such an adorable, sensitive and understanding pet. I haven’t experienced that pet love but reading your story of the loss of your partner and separation, the way Charlie allowed you to get over your emotions and get up is really touching!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 17, 2017 / 9:58 am

      Thank you Jhilmil. It made a huge difference to me to have Charlie through those tough times, he was there for me unconditionally. xx

  16. November 17, 2017 / 12:26 am

    A very emotional post. I have tears in my eyes after reading this and I can imagine how difficult it would have been for you. Dogs are beautiful and such an important parts of our lives!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 17, 2017 / 9:57 am

      Ahh thank you so much. Charlie really was the most adorable dog and my very best friend for seven long years. xx

  17. November 17, 2017 / 8:01 am

    Such a heartwarming story of loss and love. I truly believe dogs and cats and pets in general are guardian angels!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 17, 2017 / 9:55 am

      I totally agree. Charlie was definitely mine through the worst times of my life. xx

  18. November 17, 2017 / 8:48 am

    so sorry hun , i am not a dog person myself, i have two though myself , two german shepherds i got for my husband whos pretty much been brought up around them , i was brought up around staffordshire terriers m. I do know that they are very much apart of the family though , one of them sleeps with my oldest daughter and protects her 24/7, she is a white german pup and she really does give her the companionship she needs as a teen sometimes just for cuddles and her own little time. the older one is my husbands baby shes what we call nanny , weve had her for 12 years now and shes getting old but shes everyones favourite ,having 8 children shes been through it all with us x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 17, 2017 / 9:54 am

      Ahh Lisa your dogs sound like a huge part of your family, I think people don’t realise that losing a dog is like losing a close family member. Charlie had been there for me through the worst times of my life and I feel sad that the youngest three didn’t get to meet him as I know he would have loved them too. xx

  19. November 17, 2017 / 8:54 am

    Oh Charlie, it sounds like you were the most precious of pets. More than a pet. Laura – how blessed you were to have such a loyal, caring and sensitive dog. Beautiful boy. Beautiful post. It’s amazing the impact our pets have on our lives.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 17, 2017 / 9:52 am

      Thank you Holly, he really was the most amazing dog and I was very blessed to have him through some really difficult times. Dogs are such a huge part of a family, we have Oscar now and I can’t imagine our lives without him but I do miss Charlie Chops and I know the children would have loved him. xx

  20. November 17, 2017 / 9:54 am

    Oh man, your post just made me well up. We had a boxer growing up and they are such amazing dogs. But also because I am very grateful for Petplan. My dog had just yesterday and operation and another one a month ago and without Petplan we would be in a difficult financial position. They are such an intrinsic part of our families and so important. Such a beautiful post xx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 17, 2017 / 10:02 pm

      Ahh thank you Laura, boxers really are the most loving dogs and I miss him very much. I’m sorry your dog is having to go through operations, I hope that they recover well. I totally agree, Petplan is a real lifeline when our pets need medical treatment, it’s reassuring to know that regardless of our financial situations our pets health is never at jeopardy. xx

  21. November 17, 2017 / 10:01 am

    That’s so nice that Charlie has been there for you through thick and thin, it shows much pets can be a real part of the family x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 17, 2017 / 10:29 am

      Thanks Rhian, he really was there for me throughout. I miss him so much. xx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 17, 2017 / 9:58 pm

      Thanks Rhian, they really are a huge part of the family. xx

  22. November 17, 2017 / 10:09 am

    Charlie really does sound like the best dogs. I’m so happy you had him in your life especially through those difficult moments. Beautiful tribute to a dear friend xxx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 17, 2017 / 10:29 am

      Thank you Nadia, he was a huge part of my life and I was very lucky to have him. Pets are so special aren’t they? xx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 17, 2017 / 9:58 pm

      Thank you Nadia, he was the very best friend. xx

  23. November 17, 2017 / 11:46 am

    Oh my gosh. I am reading this at work and trying to hide the fact that I’m crying, what a beautiful story, thankyou so much for sharing. I’m sorry for all of your losses but happy that you have wonderful memories.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 17, 2017 / 9:42 pm

      Oh bless you, thank you so much Rachel. I’m so pleased I could share his story with you all. xx

  24. November 17, 2017 / 12:08 pm

    It is amazing the therapeutic and healing effect pets can have on us. I read somewhere that they recommended older people on their own have a cat as it improves quality of life.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 17, 2017 / 9:42 pm

      Yes I read similar about animals, I think there was evidence that having a pet reduced stress levels. Charlie was there for me through some really hard times, I miss him so much. xx

  25. November 17, 2017 / 12:53 pm

    Ahhh Laura this is such a lovely post it’s so lovely to hear how Charlie was there for you throughout everything and how he brought so much joy to your life! xxx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 17, 2017 / 9:41 pm

      Thank you Talya, he was the very best dog and really made a difference in my life. xx

  26. November 17, 2017 / 1:41 pm

    Oh my, this is so lovely. What a beautiful tribute to your special boy. Isn’t it amazing how dogs just know about pregnancy. What a hero and I can tell he’s sadly missed.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 17, 2017 / 9:40 pm

      Thank you Claire, dogs are so switched on, way more than we give them credit for! xx

  27. November 17, 2017 / 2:03 pm

    Hi Laura,
    I am sitting here with tears coming down my face as I read your story. Your sweet Charlie was so adorable and perfect! I am so happy that he was there for you during your tough times and was able to be there through your joys. I am so sorry for your loss of him! <3

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 17, 2017 / 9:38 pm

      Ahh thank you so much Jeena, he was a lovely dog and my very best friend for seven years. I was lucky to have him. xx

  28. November 17, 2017 / 3:19 pm

    What a lovely tribute to Charlie!

    Anyone who says a dog is just a dog, just a pet, either hasn’t had one or cared for one. Our previous dog was a fiercely loyal female German Shepherd who didn’t like kids much. But when BattleKid came along she became a second mother to him and tolerated so much despite being an old woman herself. We lost her the day we got back from New York last year and it was devastating for my hubby and I. BattleKid didn’t understand what was going on. We were so glad we still had our male German Shepherd who was four at the time. He’s still with us, now in Portugal, and looks after the boy like our female had. He’s a big kid himself and we wouldn’t be without him. Dogs are so much more than just pets and can be the glue that holds us together when we need it xxx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 17, 2017 / 9:37 pm

      Ahh I’m so sorry to hear that Cath, but you are so right. It’s devastating to lose a dog but an absolute blessing to have a pet who is such a huge part of the family. Charlie saw me through the worst of times and left me at the best of times, I like to think that he felt I would be okay, however heartbreaking it was. xx

  29. November 17, 2017 / 8:30 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. And yet I know you would not have traded any of the years with him for anything else. I remember with my divorce, I wouldn’t have been ok without Oreo. He was there by my side and there for me as much as he could be. And he knew when I was in a bad state.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 17, 2017 / 9:24 pm

      Thank you David, I think pets are so intuitive and know just how best to comfort us. Sometimes humans do and say the wrong thing, animals never have to worry about that. xx

  30. November 17, 2017 / 8:57 pm

    Oh he is darling! My Fergus likes to think he’s human too – he is such a child for me!
    C x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 17, 2017 / 9:23 pm

      Thank you Charli, he was definitely a child to me too! xx

  31. November 17, 2017 / 9:39 pm

    I’m so very sorry, Laura. Last year we lost our two pugs and it was one of the hardest things we’d ever been through. The hole they left in our lives was bigger than I ever imagines. Our little Z was like Charlie in that his tongue was always hanging out. A couple of months ago my brother and sister-in-law’s cat died. He called me and said first “I know you’ll understand, and I really need to talk” Second he said “I’m sorry I didn’t have more empathy when your dogs passed. Now, I get it” x

  32. Megan randell
    November 17, 2017 / 9:51 pm

    I’m sat here in tears reading this as it reminded me of my life with my two amazing dogs. Both totally unique in their own way and both taken by cancer. It took me so long to accept they had gone. But it’s true when I was pregnant with both mine one of mine used to do the exact same thing. My other dog thought she was a human your description remind me of both these two such characters and so missed. We always use pet plan so it’s lovely to see your writing with them. ?

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 17, 2017 / 10:00 pm

      Ahh thank you Megan. I’m so sorry that you too lost your dogs, it’s unbearably sad to lose a pet when they have been such a huge part of your life. We are very lucky to have another dog, Oscar, but I will always miss my Charlie Chops. xx

  33. November 17, 2017 / 10:12 pm

    What a beautiful tribute. He sounds like one very special dog.

  34. November 17, 2017 / 10:34 pm

    I’m in tears. Charlie was gorgeous. Brought back so many memories of our family dog, Sam. We got him when I was 7 and he passed away when I was 21. He was such an amazing dog. he used to let me and my brother dress him up. he even let my brother give him a hair cut! He was the one who got me through all my teenage angst and hormonal drama. The number of times I sobbed into his fur. He was such a good dog. We were on a camping holiday, and left him in the caravan to go for some dinner. Whilst we were out my Mum remembered that she had left a chocolate cake on the table. When we got back Sam was sat on the chair at the table starring at the chocolate cake, but he never touched it. It was covered in dog drawl though! My parents were away on holiday when he passed away, so I had to deal with it on my own. I was absolutely heart broken. Beautiful tribute to your gorgeous furry friend

  35. November 17, 2017 / 10:58 pm

    Your post made me cry! What a lovely dog Charlie was! Glad that he was there with you through your tough times! A big hug to you for sharing his story and paying such a beautiful tribute to him!

  36. Vlad
    November 18, 2017 / 8:04 am

    Aweee this is so touching! reminds me of my dog which I still have since almost 6 years, indeed, those kind of dogs come once in a lifetime! So beautiful!

  37. November 18, 2017 / 8:37 am

    What a gorgeous boy Charlie was, I’d love a dog for all the reasons he was such an important part of your family, hubby isn’t on board though 🙁

  38. November 18, 2017 / 11:47 am

    He sounds like an amazing pet x

  39. November 18, 2017 / 4:41 pm

    He sound’s like the most amazing companion and I bet you miss him so very much xx

  40. November 18, 2017 / 5:25 pm

    What a beautiful dog. Pets can be very special can’t they, my childhood dog Bonzo helped me cope with my parents divorce

  41. November 18, 2017 / 5:37 pm

    Charlie was a companion in the purest sense of the word! I teared up reading how intuitive he was when you lost Joseph and throughout his life, what a wonderful friend he was. You were lucky to have him for those 7 years. xx

  42. Joanna
    November 18, 2017 / 6:16 pm

    Your story made me cry…. it reminded me of my dear dog, Spotty. He was my best friend, my companion, my sweet puppy…. he dies on a Christmas day, poisoned. 🙁 Someone gave him poison inside a sausage….

  43. November 18, 2017 / 7:26 pm

    Aww what a lovely dog he was. Such lovely pictures and memories – even the olive oil story, which I’m sure you can look back on more fondly now than a the time it happened!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 19, 2017 / 5:09 pm

      Haha yes Rachel! That was one day I wasn’t too happy about but now it’s just another memory to make me smile of Charlie and his crazy adventures. xx

  44. Dannii
    November 18, 2017 / 7:37 pm

    Pets really are such a big part of the family. I don’t know what I would do without my cats.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 19, 2017 / 5:08 pm

      They really are. I think its only natural given we spend more time with them than anyone else really. xx

  45. November 18, 2017 / 8:01 pm

    Oh honey. This literally made me cry, in both tears of joy and sadness. I am so glad you had him in your life when you needed him the most. Dogs filter into every part of our lives and their loss is felt acutely. Charlie Chops was a handsome boy and I’m sure he is keeping an eye on you from above xxx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 19, 2017 / 5:07 pm

      Thank you Tanya, I feel incredibly proud reading through all of these lovely comments that so many of you can see what a wonderful dog he was. I’m sure that the children would have loved him. xx

  46. November 18, 2017 / 8:19 pm

    Oh wow Laura, I am in tears reading your post. He was such a loving, caring and loyal dog. I remember my dog called dying years ago. It was so tough losing her xx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 19, 2017 / 5:07 pm

      Thank you Claire. I’m so sorry that you too lost your dog, it’s so hard to lose a pet. xxx

  47. November 18, 2017 / 8:51 pm

    He sounds like he was amazing, and looked so gorgeous, pets are parts of our families and leave such an impact on our lives x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 19, 2017 / 5:06 pm

      Ahh thank you Fritha, he really was the best and he helped me in ways he could never have known. xx

  48. November 18, 2017 / 9:58 pm

    They are never just pets. I still miss my first cat Micky and it’s been over four years since he died. Nearly five.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 19, 2017 / 5:05 pm

      I’m sorry to hear that but you are so right, you never forget your pets. xx

  49. Sarah Ann
    November 18, 2017 / 10:57 pm

    I’m in tears, what a beautifully written post. Charlie was beautiful and he will always be with you. My sister is autistic and her dog, Bailey, is more than a family pet. He’s brought her out her shell and saved her.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 19, 2017 / 5:05 pm

      Ahh thank you Sarah. I think animals can help us in ways that humans just can’t, when you find a bond like that it’s incredibly rare. xx

  50. November 19, 2017 / 1:00 am

    So happy to hear all the joy he brought you and your family, I’m sure you were the best family in the world to Charlie x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 19, 2017 / 5:02 pm

      Thank you Emily, I really hope so. xx

  51. November 19, 2017 / 8:18 am

    I just sat and sobbed as I read this. Charlie was just gorgeous, bless him. And it sounds like he thought you were the best humans in the world too.

    Louise x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 19, 2017 / 5:01 pm

      Ahh thank you Louise, that made me cry too. I really hope that he did, we had some great times together. xx

  52. November 19, 2017 / 9:24 am

    oh my goodness Laura, this had me sobbing. What an amazing dog Charlie was. He sounds like was such a kind, caring and fun dog. How on earth did he manage to survive jumping out of the window! The olive oil story made me laugh too. He obviously was a much loved member of the family xxx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 19, 2017 / 5:00 pm

      Ahh thank you Emma, he really was the best. I have no idea how he survived that jump (our house was really quite high too!) but it was just one of the many crazy things that he did, and survived them all. I know they say cats have 9 lives but I think Charlie did too! xx

  53. November 19, 2017 / 9:39 am

    I’m honestly crying right now! What a beautiful post for a beautiful dog. He was gorgeous and you were both very lucky to spend those seven years together!

    Katie xoxo

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 19, 2017 / 4:58 pm

      Ah thank you so much Katie, it was a real pleasure to share our story with you all. xx

  54. November 19, 2017 / 11:11 am

    Charlie chops seems to have exceeded the statement ‘man’s bestfriend’. We had a pet like that who those he was human than a dog but that made him even more special. Glad Charlie helped you in the hardest of times.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 19, 2017 / 4:56 pm

      Thank you Anosa, he was such a lovely dog and I will always remember all that we shared. xx

  55. November 19, 2017 / 12:45 pm

    Oh my goodness, you have me in tears you story aww. I think for anyone that has not had a pet in their life really have missed out. Glad Charlie has helped you out through the good and bad times.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 19, 2017 / 4:53 pm

      Thank you Lisa. I think that’s exactly what having a pet is all about isn’t it? Sharing the good and bad together, Charlie was a real life saver to me. xx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 19, 2017 / 4:50 pm

      Thank you, he was a lovely dog. xx

  56. November 19, 2017 / 6:54 pm

    Aww it’s an emotional wrote up. That’s true, pets do reduce our stress levels. They are great.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 20, 2017 / 3:01 pm

      Thank you, pets are a wonderful addition to any family. xx

  57. November 19, 2017 / 9:43 pm

    Our dog got the same condition! It was hard to see her suffering and deteriorating… You are so right to say that pets can touch your heart. He has been through so much with you! A great way to remember him!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 20, 2017 / 2:59 pm

      Oh I’m sorry to hear that, it’s awful watching a pet suffer. xxx

  58. November 19, 2017 / 9:56 pm

    Wow what a lovely but emotional story. So lovely that you have such wonderful memories of him, sounds like a great pet and best friend

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 20, 2017 / 2:13 pm

      Thank you Tanya, he was the best. xx

  59. November 19, 2017 / 10:18 pm

    Ah he is adorable Laura. My mum had a boxer when she was a child and says how friendly they are. I had a dog Alfie and when my relationship broke down, he was everything to me. It made such a difference not having to go home to an empty house. He gave me so much and I don’t think I would have been as happy without him x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 20, 2017 / 2:12 pm

      Ahh I totally relate to that. Having someone else there, albeit a dog was such a huge comfort, I’m glad that you had him to help you through. xxx

  60. November 20, 2017 / 12:07 am

    Balling my eyes out here Laura! I can relate to so, so much of this with dogs we’ve had – and also, in ways, with my 3 cats (for which I ended up being the “single parent” to after my ex and I split up). You’ve written this so beautifully – your descriptions have really captured Charlie’s spirit. And just love that his tongue was too long to fit in his head haha! Bless him xx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 20, 2017 / 2:02 pm

      Ahh than you Becca. I think anyone who has had a pet who has been there for them through tough times can really relate to the fact that they are so much more than “just a pet”. I still think about him all the time, and just know that the children would have adored him. He may have slobbered everywhere and I spent my whole life hovering, but he was the best friend I ever had that’s for sure. xx

  61. November 20, 2017 / 3:21 am

    this absolutely had me in tears, I grew up with a boxer too, I never knew life without her, she was there when I was born and when she died my heart truly broke. They are the best dogs, the best of friends. I have 3 dogs now, a Moodle which is a cross Poodle and Maltese, a Cavalier KingCharles who is the most divine little lady, and a Pugalier which is hard Pug and half Cavalier King Charles, he reminds me of a mini boxer. I am glad you had Charlie there for you and for Lewis, what a bond!!!!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 20, 2017 / 2:00 pm

      Thank you Mac, boxers are pretty special aren’t they? That’s funny because we have Oscar who is a poodle crossed with a king Charles spaniel and a little bit of bichon thrown in. I swore I’d never get another boxer and I didn’t, there was only one Charlie that’s for sure. xxx

  62. November 20, 2017 / 8:34 am

    We’ve never had a dog but I totally get that they become part of the family. Sorry your time with him was cut short. I can only imagine how quiet is without him.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 20, 2017 / 1:58 pm

      Thank you Sinead, he would have adored the children I’m sure. xx

  63. November 20, 2017 / 2:37 pm

    What a bleesing he seems to have been! Especially the way he reacted to you being pregnant and after the sad news. He just felt it, he was just there for you. Pets bring so much happiness!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 20, 2017 / 3:01 pm

      Thank you Adea, he was a real lifeline for me. xx

  64. November 20, 2017 / 6:08 pm

    Oh what a beautiful but sad story. We’ve always had dogs growing up as kids and I knew I needed a dog of my own once I had my own family. My little man has autism and our dog Billy just seems to know what he needs, he knows when to snuggle him, or to leave him alone. He’s so gentle & caring, I don’t even want to think of the day when he won’t be with us

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 21, 2017 / 2:41 pm

      Ahh that’s so lovely. Dogs are so intuitive and I think they give us something that humans never really could. I’m so glad your son has such a good friend in your dog. xx

  65. November 20, 2017 / 6:50 pm

    What a sweet story! I am so sorry for your loss but I am happy that you had so many great memories with your sweet pup. I really want a dog and I will for sure get pet insurance when I make that leap.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 21, 2017 / 2:41 pm

      Thank you Candice. Yes definitely worth getting insurance, it must be awful to be in a position where you can’t afford vets bills especially when illness strikes. xx

  66. November 20, 2017 / 7:37 pm

    Oh Charlie sounds like such an amazing companion. A beautiful tribute to him lovely! xx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 21, 2017 / 2:40 pm

      Thank you Beth, he was the very best. xx

  67. November 20, 2017 / 9:10 pm

    Oh my gosh, I’m such a dog person and our dog is a big part of the family. Charlie sounds like a perfect dog

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 21, 2017 / 2:40 pm

      Thank you Stephanie, he really was. I think only those who have pets really understand such a loss. xx

  68. November 20, 2017 / 9:23 pm

    You write so beautifully – I have a tear in my eye!!He sounds like a beautiful gentle dog, and a lifelong friend xx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 21, 2017 / 2:38 pm

      Ahh thank you so much, he really was. xx

  69. November 20, 2017 / 10:23 pm

    Beautiful blog post as always. We recently lost our dog and even though she was old and we knew it was coming it has still been really hard adjusting to life without her. Pets really are such a big part of the family x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 21, 2017 / 2:37 pm

      I’m sorry to hear that Amy. I think losing a pet is so hard, especially seeing your own children grieving for their pet too. We got another dog shortly afterwards and wouldn’t be without him. xx

  70. November 20, 2017 / 11:15 pm

    Oh you make me cry every single time! What a gorgeous story and what a gorgeous dog! I am sorry he didn’t get a chance to grow old and grey with you all, but I am glad that he helped save you xx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 21, 2017 / 2:36 pm

      Ahh thank you lovely. He was the best dog in all the world and I am so lucky that he was mine. xxx p.s sorry I made you cry! xxx

  71. November 21, 2017 / 8:31 am

    popping back to say thanks for sharing with us #ablogginggoodtime

  72. November 21, 2017 / 12:56 pm

    I was literally choked ready this post. Charlie sounds like a lovely dog and wonderful friend and I’m so sad he isn’t with you know.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 21, 2017 / 2:33 pm

      Ahh thank you so much Zena, me too. xxx

  73. November 21, 2017 / 6:11 pm

    What a lovely story. It reminds me about my hero dog when he saved my daughter’s son from a snake.
    Thank you for sharing it.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 21, 2017 / 10:20 pm

      Oh wow that’s amazing! What a hero! xx

  74. November 21, 2017 / 10:29 pm

    OH my, I teared up reading this! Such a lovely, lovely post to read about all the good he brought you and your family. Animals really do become a full part of the family. We recently lost our cat Charlie and I definitely understand that feeling.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 22, 2017 / 11:54 am

      Thank you Katie. I’m so sorry to hear about your cat, Charlie’s are pretty special. xx

  75. November 22, 2017 / 6:43 am

    Aww this had me in tears. Charlie was a wonderful dog. They are so caring aren’t they. My dog was also great during my pregnancies x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 22, 2017 / 11:53 am

      Thank you Kerry, he was the best. Dogs pick up on everything! xx

  76. November 22, 2017 / 2:32 pm

    Oh my gosh, Laura, you write so beautifully. This post has had me in tears. Charlie sounds like the best dog in the world. He obviously was hugely intuitive. And I’m so glad that he was there to help you through the darkest moments of your life. Hugs Lucy xxxx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 23, 2017 / 10:31 am

      Ahh thank you Lucy. He was the best and I miss that slobber chops so much, especially when I am struggling. We are very lucky to have another dog Oscar who the children adore, but Charlie will always be missed that’s for sure. xx

  77. November 22, 2017 / 9:22 pm

    Charlie is just adorable! Thank you for sharing his story with us at #stayClassymama

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 23, 2017 / 10:28 am

      Thank you. xxx

  78. November 28, 2017 / 3:30 pm

    As humans, I genuinely don’t know what we did to deserve dogs. Charlie sounds like one of the very best. Sleep well Charlie, GOOD BOY

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 28, 2017 / 9:29 pm

      Thank you Laura, I totally agree. He was the very best. xxx

  79. March 11, 2018 / 9:47 am

    I had left a comment on another post and saw a picture of a boxer and couldn’t resist. I had a boxer up until May of last year. His name was Ty and he was six years old. Everything about Charlie reminds me of Ty and I totally understand what you mean about that says they are just dogs/pets are wrong. I don’t know if it’s something about boxers especially but they are almost human. My house has been clean too since he went away but it’s been really hard not having him around. We go back and forth about getting another boxer but I don’t know if my heart can take it as the breed is prone to having cancer/heart issues. If these questions are too much for you to answer please feel free to ignore. I just want to ask from one boxer lover to another. Since Charlie’s passing, have you and your family considered getting another dog? If so, do you think you would get another boxer or it would be too tough? We are currently going back and forth on getting another boxer as we just love them.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      March 12, 2018 / 12:21 pm

      Ahh I am so sorry to hear about Ty. We had a boxer before Charlie and yet after Charlie, and seeing everything he went through with his heart, I said I would never get another boxer. We did get another dog after Charlie, a little cavapoochon, and he is very different but so lovely in his own special way. I love boxers, there really is something so special about them and I agree, very human like, but I just couldn’t go through that again. I actually think it’s cruel the way they have been bred to create the “perfect boxer” but in doing so they have ended up with a dog who struggles to breathe, and who as you say, is prone to cancer and heart issues. I do miss my Charlie Chops. Lots of love to you.xx

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