(Last night we said goodbye to our beloved Charlie. Today’s post is brought to you by Matt.)
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.
Charlie 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.