Dear Charlie Choochootrain,
Several times in the three years since adopting you, I’ve considered how much easier life would be without a 120-pound animal in my house. The freedom that comes from not having dependents has always been attractive to me.
However, as I think over the past year, I don’t know the person I would be without you. Not only was I learning how to do life alone, but I was smacked with doing it in isolation during a pandemic. You were my main source of social interaction and affection.
At first, the pandemic was fun. We went on so many walkies, took “Rs in the Car” with loud tunes, and played games between my web meetings. As the months passed and heaviness piled on, it became less fun.
There were days when I’d retreat to the floor and cry. You’d lumber over and put your paw on me. Sometimes you’d heap your heavy body onto my lap and peek over your shoulder while I used your back as a giant Kleenex. Your insistence on getting your butt and four feet fully onto my lap would eventually send me into gut laughter. I think you knew that.
You’re the best and worst roommate. On one hand you help “rinse” the plates with your tongue before they go into the dishwasher. On the other hand, I’ve watched you steal my lunch off the counter before I ever had a chance to take a bite. I am grateful for your commitment to hunting and eating all the insects that enter our house, but that time you ate a puzzle piece was kind of a dick move.
Even though we’re more isolated than ever, you helped me make so many friends this past year! Everyone wants to meet the big, handsome dog. We walk through the neighborhood and people I’ve never even met say, “Hi Charlie!” So famous! You’ve been the conversation-starter that’s led to special and unexpected friendships.
Would life be easier without having the sole responsibility of a massive dog? Maybe. But as I think over the past year, I can’t imagine who I’d be without your snuggles, companionship and humor. Life would be lonelier without you to talk to and colder without you as my body pillow.
You’re the love of my life. Happy Charlie Day!