A couple of months ago, I was going through some of the paperwork that we received when we adopted Charlie from GRROWLS. We were hoping to discover more information about his lineage so that we could sign him up for the Morris Animal Foundation-Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a lot of information about his Mom and Dad, but we did come across another gem while looking through his paperwork…a letter from his first owner (more on that in a minute).
We’ve shared a bit about Charlie’s dog adoption story before; he was surrendered to GRROWLS by an older couple who didn’t have the time and energy for an enthusiastic wiggle butt puppy. He then was placed with his foster Mom, Michelle, and her family for a couple of weeks while they looked for a forever home. It didn’t take long for us to find each other. Needless to say it was love at first sight.
Our sweet boy came home with us in February 2014. To say that he completed our family would be an understatement. He has brought so much happiness and joy to our home and we love him to pieces.
Getting to know Charlie
Of course, as with any new addition to the family, there was a period of us getting to know Charlie and helping him to adjust to his new home and routines. It did not take long to discover lots of silly quirks about our sweet boy….(many of which he has not outgrown)
1. Couch Diving – Charlie felt comfortable getting on the couch right away. Sometimes he would puppy zoom across our large sectional couch, but most of the time, he was really careful getting on and off. With that sweet face, we just couldn’t say no!
We soon discovered a very silly habit that we have since affectionately named “couch diving”. Couch diving involves sticking his head as far between the couch cushions as possible, searching for who knows what (usually socks)
2. Speaking of Socks – This boy put ALL socks in his mouth. Known for leaving his socks around the house, Kev lost quite a few pairs in the early days. Even though Charlie loved/loves to steal socks, he never tried to make us chase him to retrieve them. He simply dropped them out of his mouth and accepted some lovin’ in exchange.
3. 7am wake-up call – I am not kidding when I say that puppy Charlie was as accurate as an alarm clock. While good at staying in his bed at night, Charlie was wide awake pouncing on Kev and I at 7 o’clock on the dot! Zero exceptions!
4. De-activation switch – We learned early on that Charlie the crazy man could be zooming around the house wreaking havoc one minute and on his back with all 4 paws up a second later.
The secret? A de-activation switched, located on his soft, furry belly. How does it work? Just give it a rub and this boy stops moving and collapses at your feet!
5. Twinkle Toes – Affectionately referred to as “tiny dancer”, Charlie just loved/loves to be on his back two legs; dancing, standing, and jumping on people! Though the standing and dancing is pretty adorable, we continue to work on reinforcing that good things happen when all 4 paws are on the ground!
6. Cuddle Bug – He was (and still is) THE SNUGGLIEST PUPPY EVER. This was such an amazing surprise for us, because Harley doesn’t let us snuggle him nearly as much as we would like to. We soon discovered that Charlie would lay in any position he was placed in for as long as you wanted him there. He loves nothing more than being our little “Velcro dog”. (we loveeee it too).
7. Bunny Hops – He hops….Sideways, forward, doesn’t matter. This boy is so excited at all times! He can’t really be expected to walk to his final destination! How else would he let everyone else know how much he loved them?
8. Collecting small things – He LOVED to collect small things. You already know about this boy and his bees, but we discovered that this love for collecting went far beyond. Put several identical items next to each other and this boy must collect them all, in his mouth, at the same time!
9. Kill all things (plushie/stuffie) – Poor Harley…All of his favorite plushie toys had to be taken away when little Chucklie Duckles came home with us. If there is a weakness in a stuffed toy – consider it a goner, as in all stuffing will soon be gone. No weakness – he will make one. He is quite good at this.
Finding a Love Letter
As we got to know our little shrimpy boy, we fell further and further in love. He filled our heart and home with so much love and happiness, in ways that we couldn’t have envisioned when we first contacted GRROWLS about adopting. Sometimes when we are snuggling Charlie, Kev and I wonder aloud how we ever could have ended up with this sweet, sweet boy as a part of our family.
At first we had some trepidation…almost as if we were waiting for something to be wrong with Charlie. Even with the wonderful motivation for surrendering him, I think we wondered how his first family could have actually done it?
The answer, we figured out, was easy. Charlie’s first Mom and Dad, wherever and whoever they are, loved him so deeply, they knew he could have a better life. This letter speaks of that love.
What do we love about this note?
We love that these silly habits were always his, even though we discovered them much later.
We love that he had special words for going on a car ride.
We love that someone cared enough to add just a few more comments, handwritten in the corner.
We love that he was cuddled and snuggled.
We love that he was so deeply loved and cared for.
We love the selfless people who wrote it.
Mommy, I came with instructions but you didn’t read them!
As our love for Charlie grows daily, so does our gratitude to the amazing people and organizations that brought him to us. Our life is blessed because of each and every one of you.
I will probably never stop saying it….. Thank you!
Thank you GRROWLS – You saw something in us, you chose us, I will never forget the phone call that matched us.
Thank you Michelle – For fostering our sweet boy. You selflessly open your home to so many animals in need, loving them as if they were your own, until they find their forever home.
Thank you to Charlie’s First Parents – We thank you for making this selfless choice. I hope that Charlie touched your life the way he has ours. He has completed our family. He is special. He is loved.
As I sit here with two beautiful golden heads on my lap, kitties within reach, and my husband – building this blogging dream alongside me…my heart swells with love, I am blessed.