How My Dog Prepared Me for the New Year

by Maureen on January 2, 2014

My second-best friend Charlie is a fuzzy dog.  When pondering things I need to improve upon during 2014, Charlie had most of the answers.

Things My Dog Taught Me

He’s half king charles cavalier spaniel and half poodle.  The idea was to get the best traits of both breeds and Chucko was lucky.  He’s smart like a poodle but he’s not high strung and weird and he’s sweet and friendly like a spaniel.

Charlie as a Baby

He’s not really my dog.  I didn’t want another dog.  Our dogs had been shot by someone who didn’t like dogs and it broke my heart.  I didn’t want to revisit that sadness ever again.  Then one day John said we should “Just go see this cavoodle dog” and would I please go.

We lived in New Zealand at the time and this dog ended up being a 2 1/2 hour drive away.  On the way out of the town John suggested that maybe we should stop at the bank and get some cash.


“We are NOT buying another dog, John, I don’t want one.”

“Of course, we’ll just go see and it can’t hurt to have money, can it?  We don’t have to spend it.  We could have a nice lunch.”

“For THAT much money?  It’s gonna be a  helluva lunch,” I said.

This letter is mine

He kept the conversation on anything but a dog on the drive down.  We arrived at the lady’s house and she had 3 of the most wonderful puppies.  The owner explained that the mother loved chasing a ball and loved it so much they had to hide it so the dog wouldn’t drive them nuts with it.  I laughed.  Little did I know he’d be just like her.

I was on the floor with a small white ball of fluff and then I turned around and saw John holding this chocolate brown dog with its little head in the bend of his elbow and he was fast asleep.

“Don’t fall in love, we’re just visiting,” I whispered.

As we listened to information about the cavoodle (cavapoo in the US) I kept looking over at John and thinking, “This battle is lost.  I knew it when he got money out of the bank.”

“Maureen, he’s so cute, look at him.”

He was cute.  He looked just like a miniature wookie with his hair all pushed back over the top of his head.  John gave all the “you don’t have to look after him” and “he wouldn’t be any trouble” and I rolled my eyes.  John was beaming.  He’s a dog person through and through.

“Oh all right, but he’s YOUR dog.”

In 15 minutes we were headed back north with this ball of fur on the floor at my feet.  He never cried, never seemed homesick and was a joy all the way home.  We stopped for dog toys and supplies on the way and when we got home it was like he always lived with us.  Then we noticed all his toys were gone.  Not one was left.  We began searching throughout the house and then on John’s side of the bed between the bed and the night stand we found all his new toys carefully stacked up.

Dog that does windows

So, he IS John’s dog.  He’ll always be John’s dog but he’s mummy’s boy.  And…  he does windows.

As I type this he is lying on the floor between the chair and my feet and that’s where he stays until I turn the chair to get up.  If I go downstairs, he’s with me.  If I go outside, he’s with me.  If I leave the  house he sits at the front door and waits for me to return.  But he’s John’s dog.

He loves to swim and go to the park and play with Gramps and eat.  Sometimes he humps Lucy the cat but I pretend not to see it.  They’re best friends and she doesn’t seem to mind – even when he gets the wrong end.

Hope you have a fabulous new year – we’re going to.

wet dog

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{ 78 comments… read them below or add one }

Ramona January 4, 2014 at 10:25 pm

so true Maureen… we can learn so much from our dogs. I have always been a “dog” person and although I have one cat… she has a dog’s personality. :) You will never find the unconditional love that a dog can give you in this world and I refuse to live without one in my life. Your sweet Charlies has the most beautiful eyes….and expressions. Thank you for sharing this post… made me smile all the way through. :)

Wishing you the very best in 2014… Happy New Year!


Helene D'Souza January 5, 2014 at 11:37 pm

lol I had such a good laugh while reading through Maureen. Charlie always cracks me up. You are so right by the way, we should really be more like our pets/dogs. I noticed charlie’s eyes used to be blue when he was a puppy. Now they have a beautiful golden brown shade.


Maureen January 6, 2014 at 12:04 am

That might have been a crap camera. I don’t recall his eyes being blue. :)


Sandra - The Foodie Affair January 7, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Oh, I know how hard it is to lose a animal, but for someone to intentionally kill your pet? My heart just broke! Understand why you were hesitant bringing another pet into your home. This cutie is one lucky pup to have a new family. Lots of new adventures :)
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lizzie - strayed from the table January 8, 2014 at 7:09 am

Too cute. Charlie is one well-behaved pooch who is just a little bit on the adorable side.

Hope you had a wonderful New Year Maureen.


Nami | Just One Cookbook January 10, 2014 at 4:59 am

What a great story. I had never own any pet (other than gold fish, insects and reptiles when my brother and I were little – in a small Japanese house that’s pretty much what we can get as pet), but I always wish to have a dog…. and my kids have been telling me they want a dog. And now after reading your post, I want a dog even more!!! So sorry to hear about your previous dogs – my gosh I couldn’t believe it. :( Happy New Year Maureen! xoxo


Chris January 12, 2014 at 4:35 am

That was a lovely post with some great dog photos. Somehow I miss having a dog, they always bring so much joy to your life.
Chris recently posted..To Taste with Tofu – Fried Tofu in Spicy Tomato Sauce


Maureen January 12, 2014 at 6:03 pm

Thanks Chris. He’s a cutie patootie that’s for sure. :)


Shirley February 8, 2014 at 11:10 pm

We love our dogs. Right now we have one (Sam). He is a rescue, and we love him. I can’t remember a time in my life that I have not had at least one dog. We had a gold cat that we rescued that we named after my grandpa (Charlie) we called him CHOO CHOO Charlies because he went through the house like a train. His best friend was a beagle named Major.
You know that we have wonderful thought about all our pet friends. Thanks for your site:)


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