finding charlie


I know what I’d said – The trip to the pet store was exploratory only. We would NOT be bringing a dog home with us. There are a million reasons why one doesn’t buy a dog from a pet store – And I’d meant it. Every word of it. I swear.

But I was starting to waiver. I mean, you try sitting on the floor with the world’s sweetest little puppy on your lap, licking your hand, looking up at you with those big, gooey, full-of-love puppy dog eyes and then tell me about conviction.

So yeah, I started asking about price and making a check-list of what we’d need to bring him home RIGHT THAT VERY SECOND. But as it turned out, Chunk (his real name) had what the store owner called a ‘cold’. He explained to us, therefore, that we would not be able to take him home that day. He was awaiting a vet check later in the week at which he would presumably be cleared for adoption.

I swear, those words may well have been Divine Intervention.

I knew (much as I may not have FELT, I KNEW) that this was NOT the way for us to buy a dog. More than that, this wasn’t the way for us to adopt a new member into our family. For years, I’ve heard the heartbreaking stories of dogs kept in puppy mills throughout the country. As much as I’d fallen in love with that adorable little guy, I just couldn’t be a party to supporting that kind of treatment of innocent animals.

I also knew that little Chunk doesn’t need to be ‘rescued’ from his temporary home at the pet store. With those eyes, he will no doubt find a loving family within short order. In the meantime, it’s obvious that he’s in good hands. The store staff obviously adores him and although he isn’t constantly running free, he is in a relatively expansive enclosure. Yes, Chunk will be just fine.

And so it was that we left the store without our Charlie. I explained to BOTH of the girls (I’m still giddy that I had to explain to BOTH of the girls! Do you mind if I say it just one more time? I explained to BOTH of the girls .. whooopeeee!) that Chunk was a wonderful little doggie who would no doubt be a great friend to a different family, but that he wasn’t our Charlie. I told them that we would work on finding our Charlie – that he or she (best part of the name, don’t you think??) is out there somewhere and that Mama was going to find him/her.

The short version of the now very long story is that we have an appointment to visit a breeder on Saturday. She has three very promising puppies for us to meet, and she has agreed to allow us to meet them one at a time, in as quiet an environment as she can manage to create. I am grateful for her sensitivity to Brooke’s fears.

Katie is beside herself with excitement.

In the meantime, I keep checking in with Brooke – testing her conviction. When I picked her up at school on Tuesday, another mom had a Cavie on a leash. As soon as she spotted the dog, Brooke climbed up my leg like a koala and clung to me for dear life. I looked at her aide, thinking, ‘Well, maybe she’s not really ready for this.”

“Hey, Brooke, honey,” I said. “That’s a dog just like Charlie. Are you sure you still want a dog like that to come and live in our house?”

“Yup,” she responded.

At pick-up yesterday, her aide could barely contain her excitement. “You HAVE to see what’s in her back-pack!” she said. “It was totally, 100% completely independent! Wait until you see it!”

And there it was. Proof positive that once again, nothing will stop my kid – not even one of her greatest fears. I keep picturing that day at the State Fair this summer. The day that she stood next to her sister with her hands clamped over her ears, pointing to the noisiest ride on the fairgrounds. “I would go on THAT one,” she’d said.

Yes, our Charlie is out there. And hopefully, we’ll be meeting him (or her) on Saturday. Which is a good thing, because .. well .. see for yourself ..

“I want a puppy. He says Woof Woof.”

Brooke, March 17, 2010

38 thoughts on “finding charlie

    • now, listen, lady .. i’m doing everything i can to convince the girls (meaning ME) that we HAVE to remain measured about this! saturday may be the day, but it may not.

      all kidding aside, i do take this very seriously. the way i see it, we are bringing a new family member home and we really, really need to know that we’ve found the right dog. especially considering where we’re coming from, it’s just got to be a good fit. so, fingers crossed that we do indeed meet our charlie on saturday, but if not, we’ll just keep looking. as katie said today though, ‘i sure hope he’s not in france or china!’ lol!

  1. the little munchkin has come so far i can’t even believe it! i bet in a year from now she and her big sister will be ganging up on you, and you’ll be buying that pony ;-p

  2. OMG, Jess, I’m crying. That is so amazing. Congrats! I’m so happy for all of you and so amazed by Brooke everytime I read your posts!

  3. eyes are filled with tears! Yay! The Roc was the same way, scared of every other dog but sure that he wanted “our” dog. I’m so excited for all of you!

  4. I do love puppies! I went to a breeder to get my second Siamese (after my first rescue one passed away) and he had a cold, too, which I was assured would go away. It didn’t, but we were lucky. Just a minor (but lifelong) kennel virus that now both cats pass it back & forth every so often.

    I can’t wait. And good news. Dog owners are much healthier than non-dog owners. All those walks. Rain, shine, or snow. 😉

  5. Good Luck!!! I miss my puppies everyday but with baby #3 it’s not time for a puppy for us but maybe next spring. xoxoxoxo Yay Brooke and Katie

  6. That is so exciting!!!!! …and the picture–it’s amazing. Don’t let Luau talk you into two Charlies.


  7. i have no doubt that your impending puppydom will be an excellent event. challenging, new, difficult, fun, stressful, all of it, all of the stuff that makes change worth seeking out. it’s just such a nice thing that brooke is wanting one, growing into a different reactions to dogs. so, good luck, enjoy the inevitably cute lump of adorableness.

  8. Go Brooke!
    Go Charlie- and may they both be just the therapy they need! 🙂 She really HAS come a long way in telling you what she needs, hasn’t she?

  9. She never ceases to amaze me as she pushes past her comfort zone. I love the drawing, it means so many things. *sniffle*

  10. Oh, my hell of God! Well, you know where I stand on the issue! Cannot imagine our lives without Flicka – she is just what we hoped for and more, and the changes (not to mention ear-to-ear grin) in Rojo are monumental!


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