FAREWELL TO A FRIEND!

We had hoped that this week’s entry would convey good news about GIMME SHELTER but, as often happens in the arts, we’re still waiting for Fate to deliver. Instead, we share the sad word that  Charlie, one of Tanner’s best and oldest friends, has moved on to the dog park in the sky. Like all Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Charlie was small, but he had the heart of a lion, especially when other dogs dared trespass on the sand in front of his Malibu Colony home. He was 8-years-old, about the age Tanner is now, when the boys first met. True to their characters, Charlie hopped on Tanner’s muscular back and started grinding away, letting the pit bull know exactly which of them was the alpha dog. The pattern never changed. If Tanner tagged along for a workout or a cookout, Charlie insisted they ‘dance’ a bit to get reacquainted. The boys shared many long walks together on the Colony Road and carefree jaunts on the beach, where neighbors gave wide berth to the feisty lap dog and his hulking but docile bodyguard. Charlie was 14 when his kidneys began to fail but his loving  ‘dad’, Carl, and the team at Malibu Coast Animal Hospital kept him going for several more months, the last of which was spent nibbling grass fed New York steak. My fondest memory of Charlie is the day, nearly thirteen years ago, when I showed up for a workout with Carl to find his late wife, our dear friend Roberta, weeping uncontrollably.  “What’s wrong?” I asked. Between sobs, she pointed down the beach and gasped, “My dog just ran away!” It was high tide and I was wearing long sweats and high-top sneakers but I took off, tramping through the knee-deep surf, until I found the runaway huddled with a neighbor and his Labs. Like a DB pouncing on a fumble, I scooped Charlie up and splashed back to the house, where I received a hero’s welcome. We’ll miss you, Charlie. 

Carl & Charlie

As anyone who’s ever loved a pet can attest, their loss can shake us as profoundly as the death of a relative. In describing his attempt to cope with the sudden death of his beloved Doberman, Red, Washington Post Food & Dining Editor Joe Yonan had this to say: I’m no stranger to death. I was a mess of anger and confusion when my father, suffering the aftermath of a stroke, took his last gasps one day in 1995, his children gathered around his hospital bed. And three years later, the death of my sweet, beloved sister Bonny after a withering battle with brain cancer was nothing short of heartbreaking. Yet somehow, and much to my distress, the death of my dog seems even harder. I haven’t felt grief quite like this since, well, the death of my previous dog five years ago. (read the entire article)

Tanner & Charlie

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