Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Remembering a Special Little Guy, Charlie Wolfe

We lost a member of our family Sunday afternoon.  In a blink, my sister's Yorkie was hit and killed.  His name was Charlie, but we all called him Charlie Wolfe.  I know that many will say that he was just a dog and will not understand the grief with which she and her husband are dealing.  But you see, to them and to all of us who have known him for the last eight years, he was not just a dog.

He was Charlie Wolfe, chick magnet.  My nephew, Josh, loved to take him places.  He was so tiny that he could curl up and fit into Josh's baseball cap. Girls took one look at this precious little guy and turned to mush.    Josh was more than happy to take advantage of Charlie's cute factor!

He was Charlie Wolfe, construction dog.   For the first seven years of his life, my brother-in-law owned a construction business.  Every day he would ride to work with Mike and hang out in the office.  He was like the office mascot.  One time he sneaked out the back door when someone opened it.  He disappeared, and everyone in the office was in a panic.  Someone saw him at another business.  Mike rushed over and to his great relief, there was Charlie.  You see, he was a friend to everyone and apparently had made friends with the lady who owned the business.  While Charlie Wolfe was just being nice, she obviously took it that his intentions were much deeper.  She was not going to give him back to Mike.  She said that there was no collar on him and how was she to know that it was really his dog.  Mike had to get another local business owner to come and testify that this truly was his dog before she finally relented and gave him back.  Needless to say, Charlie Wolfe was kept on a short leash around the office after that escapade!

Charlie Wolfe was the center of attention.  He absolutely could not stand it if my sister and I were having a conversation.  He would get in the middle of us and bark and growl until one of us finally picked him up.  He also decided when it was play time.  He would bring toys and drop them at your feet.  You could try to ignore him, to no avail.  Again, he would not stop until you picked up the toy and played with him. I used to tell my sister that I was so glad that he was a dog and not a child.  If he were a child, he would have been absolutely obnoxious, always interrupting people and pushing his way into the conversation.  But you just could not get upset with this precious little guy.

There is one thing for certain: he loved Janet and Mike, and they loved him.  When they would leave him with our parents for a few days of vacation, he would not eat.  He absolutely refused.  When I would go into Janet's house, he would always run and greet me immediately.  One day I went by her house to pick something up.  She wasn't there.  I never saw Charlie.  When she came home, there he came, running out from the bedroom.  I told her I thought he wasn't there.  She said, "No, I just left without telling him I was leaving.  Every time I do that he gets mad and sulks in the bedroom until I come home."

My last memory of Charlie was from about a month ago. I had gone up to Echo for a visit.  I stopped by Janet's house to introduce them to my new friend, David.  Mike came out.  His arms were crossed over his chest and cuddled inside the crook of his arm was Charlie.  The whole time Mike was talking with us, he was petting Charlie.  Charlie was as contented as he could possibly be, held in the arms of someone who loved him dearly.

People often want to know what happens to pets when they die.  It is one of those questions that you just cannot find the answer to in scripture.  However, I have an opinion.  It is simply that, an opinion.  In my heart of hearts, I just believe that if God allows us to have such a great love in our hearts for  His creatures, then maybe one day He will let us see them again.

Our whole family is grieving the loss, especially the nieces and nephews.  They grew up with Charlie Wolfe.  However, no one is grieving like Janet and Mike.  I told Janet this week that the one thing that this last year has taught me is that time does heal.  I don't believe our pain ever goes away completely, but with time the memories become more sweet than bitter.  This is my prayer for her and Mike: that the day will come when they can think of Charlie Wolfe and smile and give thanks for all the memories.


  1. Amy, what a wonderful story! As a dog lover, it touched my heart deeply. You have such a gift for telling a story. Thank you for sharing this one. I feel Janet and Mike's pain as I, too, have lost beloved dogs over the years. Perhaps one day they will be able to make room in the heart and lives for another special love. It's hard to do but it certainly helps the healing...to have another to love....

  2. Hope you are right. Russ had to put Ophie down this week to an unknown illness and we are all grieving. Can't wait until thoughts bring smiles instead of tears.