Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Remembering Charlie || A Post By Matt

(Last night we said goodbye to our beloved Charlie. Today's post is brought to you by Matt.)
 
The short story on my dog Charlie.  I was a law student at Tulane University in 2005.  On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans where Tulane is located.  Shortly before the highways were closed down, myself and a few friends were able to leave the city and make our way to Atlanta.  After the storm, we were informed that we were not allowed to return to the city that semester due to the destruction.  Unlike New Orleans, I was very lucky and spent that semester at Wake Forest before being allowed to return to New Orleans in January of 2006. However, you may recall the photos of the spray painted "X" on front doors of many homes in the city.  These tags would signal to first responders whether someone or something was in the house, including animals left behind by their owners.   In the middle of April 2006, a classmate asked me if I wanted a white lab puppy.  She and her boyfriend were sheltering a litter of 10 puppies that were rescued by ARNO after the storm.  ARNO stands for "Animal Rescue New Orleans".  Although finals were gearing up, I said yes, went to her house and found 9 white lab puppies raising hell in her living room.  I asked where the 10th puppy was and was directed to look under the couch where I found the alpha puppy sound asleep.  He was exactly my sort of speed.  His name was Zeus.  What is amazing is that he and his litter were born on February 28, 2006, which was Mardi Gras.  While living in New Orleans, I lived in a condo on St. Charles Avenue which is one of the historic roads and parade routes for Mardi Gras. Zeus was a good name, but I gave him a better one.  I re-named him St. Charles, Charlie for short.  He was my sidekick for nearly 4 years before we met Christina, which is when he became our "Fur Baby" (which to this day he and I object to that name) and soon thereafter he became the protector of my pregnant wife and ultimately my kids.  Many nights he would sleep between their rooms until they fell asleep when he would then return to my side of the bed.  He helped the kids clear their plates and always served as a large furry jungle gym for them to crawl all over.  Such a loving and laid back friend.  He was the best dog ever and I will miss him terribly.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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42 comments:

  1. Matt & Christina. There are no words to share. I feel your heartache. Losing a pet is so hard. We lost our girl 5 years ago. I was distraught. we said we needed time to mourn. However, a few weeks later I saw a quote and it was from a dog to an owner. (I guess not a quote, as dogs don't talk, but you get the idea!). It said honor my life by saving another. A week later we had a black lab. She mended our hearts like we didn't know could be mended. She is everything Tala wasn't, but she's perfect. I hope the memories bring you joy, as dogs are the best!!!!!

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  2. I am so sorry. Dogs really are family. Charlie was so lucky to have you guys and you guys were so lucky to have him too.

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  3. Breaks my heart. Sending y'all a hug.

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  4. This post is so bittersweet.... my condolences for your loss....

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  5. What a beautiful tribute to Charlie - so sorry for your loss.

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  6. Dear Christina and Matt,

    What a wonderful story and a sad but heartwarming tribute to a great companion. I loved the photo of Matt and Charlie on the steps together....that one says it all. You were so fortunate to have had him in your life during all these special years. He'll be waiting for all of you.

    Warmly, Kathleen

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  7. Charlie sounds like the best dog. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  8. I'm so sorry for your loss, losing your best friend is never easy. All our love and prayers.

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  9. I'm so sorry for your loss; animals really are family and Charlie sounds like the perfect dog. I love that Matt wrote this(not that you are a great writer C, but from Matt's view) as it's such a wonderful tribute to a great family member. Xoxo

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  10. I'm so sorry <3 We are expecting our first child and my husband is nervous about how our furbaby will handle the new addition. I'm going to forward this post on to him. I hope our dog is as loving to our kids as Charlie was to yours. Thinking of y'all!

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  11. So sorry for your loss. You are all in my prayers.

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  12. This breaks my heart! Praying for you guys. Just wanted to let you know how encouraged I am by you and and your family and the strength you constantly show. From your mastectomy, to Thomas' vision, to your Dad and now Charlie, it seems like you have gone through so much yet you are such a resilient family. Always showing strength and grace through the hard times, even though the pain must be real and heavy. I see God's grace, mercy and provision though your family. Love reading your blog and following along with the ins and outs of your lives. <3

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  13. I'm so terribly sorry for you loss - dogs are everything, one of the most wonderful creatures on this Earth that bring us so much love and smiles and joy. I can tell from this post how much Charlie was loved and what an amazing life he had with your beautiful family. Praying you find some comfort during this heartbreaking time <3

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  14. I am so sorry for your loss! How lucky he was to have been a part of your family. I can tell he was very loved and that he loved you all so. Prayers and hugs to you all.

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  16. I am so sorry for your loss!! You can tell that he was definitely loved.

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  17. Sounds like Charlie had an amazing life and family. It's never easy to say goodbye :(

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  18. I'm so sorry for the loss of Charlie. Losing a pup is never an easy thing! What a sweet tribute to him.

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  19. So very, very sorry for your loss. <3 An excerpt from this article: http://weruletheinternet.com/2011/05/24/a-dogs-purpose-according-to-a-6-year-old/

    "He said, “People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life – like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?”

    “Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

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  20. This was so beautifully written. I am beyond sorry for your loss. Sending your family lots of love and warmth.

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  21. I am so sorry to hear this - Matt wrote a wonderful tribute to Charlie. He seemed like the best dog anyone could wish for and he was so well loved!

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  22. So many beautiful photos of your beloved pet. They really are an extension of your family. My deepest sympathy and huge hugs cause it's awfully hard to lose a pet. Thank goodness for wonderful memories. 🙏🏻💙🐾

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  23. Charlie was just the sweetest thing. I am so very sorry for your loss. Your family is in my prayers.

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  24. I am SO sorry for your loss. We also just said goodbye to my husband's dog from college. She was 16.5 years old and such an important part of our family. Saying goodbye is so incredibly hard.
    Matt, I also just realized that we were at Tulane Law at the same time. I've always felt like I recognized you, but figured it was just because of Christina's blog posts etc. Guess not! I was a 2L at the time of Katrina and, like you, I was also living on St. Charles...lots of similarities here! It's a very very small world.
    The pictures of Charlie are wonderful. You and your kids are lucky to have such beautiful images of your time with him. Sending big hugs to your family from NOLA.

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  25. I'm so sorry for your loss of Charlie! He was obviously a precious dog and member of your family. This is a very moving post and lovely way to remember him. <3

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  26. I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a pet is so painful. Sending hugs. <3

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  27. I am so so sorry. I have loved following along with Charlie in your blog posts and its always been inspiring to me how much you guys still included and loved on him when kiddos came along. He was always loved. Much love to you guys <3

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  28. What a beautiful tribute to such a faithful dog. So sorry for your loss.

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  29. I am so incredibly sorry for you loss. Losing a pet is losing a member of your family! My thoughts and prayers are with y'all during this difficult time.

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  30. I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a pet is one of the hardest things to bear, as all they do is love us. RIP Charlie.

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  31. Love the story behind Charlie (and his name). So sad for you all, but so many great memories in these photos. Hugs to you all.

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  32. I couldn't love this story more. My heart aches for you all but what a wonderful, full, adventurous life full of love Charlie had as evidenced by the beautiful photos you shared. Hugs and peace.

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  33. What an incredibly touching tribute to a wonderful pup - this truly brought tears. I am so sorry for your loss. Dogs are precious family members. Sending kind thoughts and love your way.

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  34. Very sorry for your loss. I really love the story of Charlie's name; I had no idea he was a katrina dog. I've had my cat Tom since college and as he grows older, I realize there will someday be a day when I don't hear his meows greeting me at the door, or his cuddles as I read my kindle at night. I've read your blog for years, but for some reason this was the first post I commented on.

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  35. I am so sorry for your loss of Charlie. It is one of the worst things I have ever had to do. It looks like he was a wonderful friend, protector, roommate, and fur baby. I pray the memories you have of your time together will help soothe the loss.

    God Bless.

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  36. Hey Matt - Charlie.....I had my own Charlie and he was pretty much identical to your's. He was an awesome dog just as the pictures and your words expressed about your own. I have found that Labradors named Charlie are ultimately the greatest dogs given to man. My Charlie was with me through high school, college, marriage, and the birth of my first child. He was a protector and therapist and all in all the best "brother" I could have asked for (and let it be known I actually do have a human brother so those are BIG words!) I lost my Charlie to debilitating illness and swore I couldn't go through with having a Lab ever again because Charlie was my four legged anchor of sorts. That was 7 years ago - and two months ago I acquired (and I use that word on purpose as I did not set out to obtain) a chocolate lab who I swear makes that most recent dog movie (the title leaves me) come to true life. So - to you I send hugs and a beer. You were an excellent "dad" to that dude and when the time is right I know that he will make sure your next four legged kid is pretty awesome too.

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  37. I am so sorry. An Instagram friend of mine lost her dog a few weeks ago and I thought that was a sad story. This one is definitely heartbreaking. I went to your blog tonight to add my link for the Five on Friday and see this. I always get scared when I see these posts because one of our dogs (we have two) is going on 16-years now. Worst part about owning pets... :(

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  38. Hi Matt and family, Your pictures of Charlie are so beautiful. He has a such a wonder filled look in his eyes. I hope that you find some peace when you see the unbridled love looking back at you. Thank you for coming to his rescue. Denise

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  39. So sorry for the loss of your boy Charlie. I swear up and down that I'll never get another dog and just cave every time. Two years ago, I started a journey as a puppy raiser for Guide Dogs for the Blind after we lost our family dog. I'm getting ready to start my 3rd puppy and letting them go is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. Such a great cause, but such a bittersweet heartbreak every time.

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