There is a somewhat new baby in the Holden family. He is eleven months old, has brown eyes and reddish hair, and weighs 50 pounds. He is noisy and likes to eat wood. We love him.
This is Charlie. In 2010, we lost two of our dogs. Chloe and Lindy, twin sisters, died within a few months of each other at age 16. It was so hard to say goodbye. Losing Lindy hit me especially hard, as she was my dog through my single days, my “baby” in many ways. (Chloe was her sister and my mom’s dog who stayed with us after my mom died.) Lindy died on a Saturday and I spent most of the next 24 hours crying. I missed her so badly. I still do.
That was last June. We planned to wait a while before bringing a new dog home. I was leaving for Zambia very soon, and then the busy holiday portrait season would be upon me. Getting a new dog around Christmas seemed like a good plan. The day after Lindy died, my husband and I stopped in Petsmart for some supplies for our other pets, and there he was. The pet rescue group was there with all their sweet dogs in need of homes, and this one little puppy. With puppy eyes. And puppy feet. And puppy breath. Who could resist? I picked him up for a snuggle and that was that. I even looked to my husband, truly wanting him to tell me I was crazy for thinking about a new dog (much less a PUPPY) so soon! But he didn’t. I’m pretty sure he wanted to bring the little guy home as much as I did.
He was about 12 weeks old when we got him. We suspect he is a Lab/Golden Retriever mix, possibly with dash of German Shepherd. He was found wandering on a highway in Marietta with two other puppies. We don’t know how long he’d been on his own. He was skinny with a dull coat and a lot of growth to catch up on.
Charlie turned out to be absolutely perfect for our family. He was a lot of work in those early days, as all puppies are, but he’s a smart cookie and keeps us laughing. He was great medicine as my heart grieved over Lindy. Who can be sad watching a puppy chase his tail? He house trained quickly, even ringing a bell on our door when he needs to go out, and he never even whined those first few nights at home. Ok, he’s chewed up quite a few Barbies, and just this morning destroyed a Lego Hero Factory toy my son left out, so he does have some faults. But now he’s curled up asleep next to my feet looking so sweet and innocent, so all is forgiven. He’s funny, calm, loves kids, loves other dogs, and loves us. He has freckles on his tongue and one ear that sticks up most of the time. He is perfectly imperfect. Perfect for us.