Sometimes words fail me completely.

Today is certainly one such time. So I'll just dive in anyway, and hope to find them as I go.

Nearly three months after his diagnosis with anaplasmosis (and later kidney failure from this tick-borne disease), my beloved Charlie gave up on his fight with illness. He waited for me to wake yesterday morning, then quietly died in my arms on the hill beside our house.

It was a long and painful fight that led us there, and I'm thankful for him that his suffering is finally over. But the other truth is that I can't recall a time when my heart has felt so irreparably broken. Perhaps things are harder to understand when they come out of sequence. Maybe if he were old this would somehow be easier to accept. (Charlie was only 4.) Or maybe it wouldn't make a difference at all.

I do know that my house has never felt so lonely as it did last night, when – with Pete and the kids still in town – I returned alone to an empty house. 


My Charlie. He will be missed. Oh, my will he ever be missed. My constant companion, my side-kick, and yes – my very best friend. 


Safe travels, sweet Charlie. May many rabbits await you in the tall grass on the other side. 





25 thoughts on “Charlie

  1. jm says:

    Please know that wishes for comfort and peace have been sent out into the universe to find their way to your heart. Love to you.

  2. Meg says:

    Sending heartfelt wishes for your peace during this awfully sad time. So very sorry, Rachel. Hugs and love from Canada❤️

  3. erin m perry says:

    sending SO much love to you and your journeying beloved charlie. sent from BC, and with tears cleansing me as i re-grieve my own pets’ deaths. peace to you and your family. thank you for sharing, it helps others. xx

  4. Sondra says:

    Oh how awful. Dogs touch our hearts in the deepest places, leaving memories of tender love behind. I hope that you find much comfort from loving family and friends.

  5. Tonja says:

    I am so, so very sorry for your loss. I lost my golden retriever of 11 years to kidney failure just a couple of weeks ago. I am with you in sadness.

  6. Rebekah says:

    Shedding tears with you in your loss. And thank you for sharing your pain- those of us who have lost our dearest furry friends find comfort in knowing we are not alone.

  7. Kim says:

    I’m so sorry. I’m glad you had a last goodbye, together, in a place you both love. So much love given and received. May we all be so fortunate. Hug to you.

  8. Tina A says:

    Having lost our sweet Golden a year ago, I know all too well this deep feeling of sadness of losing a beloved pet. May your heart be comforted by all of the sweet memories of the time he was with you. Love to you. Xo

  9. Wendy says:

    Bless your heart. You will be in my thoughts and prayers today. Only someone who has loved a dog as a best friend or child can feel your pain.

  10. Amy says:

    Oh my goodness… I’m so sorry. Your heart must be so heavy right now. No words. Just feelings- strong feelings. Strong emotions.

  11. Kay says:

    I so empathize……….we lost our big beautiful goofy 6 y/o golden last summer….very suddenly. The loss is still felt………I am so very sorry for that big gap Charlie has left in your famil but know you will carry him in your heart… blessings to you & your family
    Your souvenirs of him are your treasures now……….

  12. Gretchen Hill says:

    Oh my heart breaks for you! I am crying as I type this. I have been there. I lost my beloved companion six years ago, he visits my dreams often these days. We have another dog now (and she is my side kick too). That heart break is awful. I am so sorry.
    I pray you find comfort with your family, and by looking at these beautiful pictures of Charlie and reliving fond memories. I also believe that his soul is still by you for awhile, so talk to him and send him love and light.
    Rest in Peace Charlie, you are free from pain and I imagine you are running wild and free at the end of the Rainbow. xo

  13. Val says:

    The loss is always so hard. Every time it happens to us we consider not getting another dog. But then, as you noticed, the house is too empty. So we continue having dogs and giving them the best life possible for the time we have, just as you did with Charlie. I’m so sorry.

  14. Anne says:

    I’m so sorry to read this news, Rachel and family, and so sorry for your loss. To love and receive love from a dog is so beautiful. Sending love and light.

  15. Krissy says:

    I am so sorry about Charlie! It’s always so tough, with each love of an animal we eventually face the end and it’s oh so difficult and heartbreaking!!!

    The joy is you had the privilage of knowing and loving Charlie and he loving and caring for your family.

    Take care, enjoy your pictures that will provide an instant memory and a smile and probably many tears.

  16. Sarah Heimann says:

    Just reading this today, with tears. Your love for Charlie, the time you’ve spent with him, shine. I am so sorry.

  17. Kate says:

    I’m so sorry for you loss of Charlie. Dogs are amazing friends – the most loyal friends. They are always happy to see you, no matter what. I’ve lost two dear pups in my life and my heart was broken both times, but wouldn’t have traded that time for anything. Hugs to you and your family during this difficult time.

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