So we have a dog. His name is Charlie, but the kids call him Chuck. Charlie spent some time with his siblings this past month and has quite a story to pass along. But before he does, allow me to shed some hair on his familial history.

Charlie made his way onto the family crest as an adopted 2-year-old fur ball back in 2007. A Christmas surprise from me after continuous tender pleadings and puppy-eyed requests from my kin swayed my heart enough for me to relinquish my ban on dog ownership.

I’m not a dog lover by conventional standards. And not because I can’t love a dog–because I for sure love Charlie, but more like I never felt the urge prior to his presence. Call me crass (which I promise I’m not), but loving on my hubby and three kids balms my soul enough. God just didn’t make me with dog DNA. Funny thing is, every other person’s pooch leeches onto me at first sniff, as if I’m a dog loving magnet. Strange.

As you well know, a kid who begs for a dog by night doesn’t want to take care of the dog by day. Oh sure, they love to play and snuggle with a dog, but feeding, letting out, wiping dirty paws, cleaning up throw up, dabbing aging butts? Forgetaboutit.

Therefore, Charlie became my wingman day one. A shadow, no, more like a voyeur who creeps while I use the bathroom. Ewe. As if all the years of my unspent dog love gathered in a time warp before transposing into the undersized heart of Charlie. I’m thinking the D.O.G. backwards thing is a thing, because no matter how impatient or unloving I am to Charlie, he seems to love me harder. Reminds me of a guy I know who lived 2,000 years ago. A rejected miracle worker who kept on loving the unlovable.

In any case, Charlie had an intriguing last several weeks with his siblings and he wants to share his sermon on the animal mount. Take it away Chuck:

Attention all kids who have a family dog (and any mothers with bad attitudes). Listen up!

So, I spent a month with my oldest brother at his college. Mom didn’t seem sad when I left, but I did hear her say, “thank God”, as I pranced out the door. Nice of her to praise His name for my sake. I think.

Big brother loved me up during my visit—even took me for a walk. Every. Day. Egad, my hips are sore! But what an invigorating four weeks. Mom takes me for a walk about none times a week. In her defense, I have several acres to roam and stretch my dog fibers each time I do my business. If I don’t get my 10,000 steps in each day, I’m the one to blame. I guess.

Being on a college campus gave me all the feels, both in theory and reality. There were oodles of gorgeous babes who couldn’t keep their hands off me. While I admit the adoration was humbling considering my age, the oohing and aahing was also quite an ego boost. I may be 84 in human years, but zippy blood still sparkles through these old veins. Know what I’m saying?

I want to give big brother some props. His willingness and desire to take care of me for four-weeks speaks volumes. Seeing as he graduates in a month, brother is busy between classes, work, and planning his future. And the last time one of my siblings took sole responsibly for my well-being was, well, never. So, hey kids, take care of your dogs would ya. Follow through on your promises and responsibilities!

Last weekend, the rest of my family came to pick me up. I was laying at the top of the staircase when I heard Mom, Dad, brother two, and sister come in. Toothy grins and ridiculous baby talk greeted me, but I stared at them stone faced. If I’m dishonest, I’ll tell you I didn’t recognize them—old age. If I’m honest, my apathy was a ruse to invoke guilt.

Really, people? You think I’m dumb enough to believe you missed me? After all my brother did for me during my college getaway, you should be ashamed of what I now know is blatant disinterest in my existence. Nose in the air to you too.

I wanted this letter to be a thank you to my brother and let all kids know some children are capable and willing to care for the dog they begged for—even if it takes them a decade to find their conscience. Sadly, this note is going to turn sour instead. While the “hey thanks, man” still applies to bro, I’ve got some saltiness to shake on sister, and a little pepper for my mom.

After I returned home, Mom loved me up a lot, even held me and let me snuggle on her. I almost died and went to heaven. But then I let a silent but deadly fume leak and next thing you know Mom sent me to the floor waving her hand in disgust while praising God again. Her prayers don’t add up sometimes.

The next day sister sacrificed some of her Easter break time to take me for a walk at the park. My excitement consumed me until she pulled the park path out from under my paws. This lady came walking towards us with her dog. As the pooch approached, I puffed out my chest per usual, and donned my Jack Nicholson face of intimidation. You know the one from the Shining? (p.s. Happy 80th @Jack!)

I had to let the dog know who’s boss. Me. Next thing you know, my sister says something to the lady which rattled my dog bones.

“Oh, sorry about my dog. He’s kind of a jerk around other dogs.”

Kind of a jerk? Ten years of loyalty whittled down to a four-word insult. Doesn’t she know stranger danger applies to dogs too? I was in self-defense mode sister!

You’ll be glad to know the woman of stranger dog shot a nasty look at my sister and stomped off. She was a true dog lover, no doubt heading home to call PETA.

My heartbreak moved into anger. While sister fell back into stride on the path, I hung back. She kept conjuring me to walk faster, but I played the dead weight card and let her drag me. When she finally turned around to ask why I was moving so slow, I squatted, assumed full waddle mode, and left a foot-long stream of diarrhea all over the walking path. Then I winked, and reminded her she forgot to bring a clean-up bag.

Who’s the jerk now, missy?

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. The moral of the tail, kiddos, is we dogs stick together. Watch your back and your mouth. You wanted us, right? Then remember, blessed are they who take care of us.

And lest you think I need a rescuing from my family, no worries. I’m loved unconditionally and their care of me is top notch. I’m two years past my prime, and pretty certain I’m running on fumes of my fam’s adoration and adoring. Humans are just jerks sometimes. And I’m okay with that. Something I learned from the guy who lived 2,000 years ago.


Well then.

Thank you for sharing, Charlie. I guess.

And thank you, friends, for letting Charlie vent to you and your children. He is pure gold in a Cavalier King Charles kind of way. We do love him to pieces. Although, I could do a better job, if I’m honest. No doubt lights up our world with his cuteness and loyalty. I wouldn’t trade the memories for anything.

I’d love to hear your dog stories, including the antics of your dog-begging kids who promised to take care of the dog, then didn’t. As moms, picking up the slack when we have a billion other responsibilities is yet another one of our, “perform a miracle, feel the rejection of non-appreciation, and keep on loving anyway” acts of service.

Please share your zany tails in the comments section or on Facebook!

Be one with your dog, crazy Mommas!

Shelby is a Certified Emotional Intelligence Coach, Certified Meditation Teacher (CMT), author, freelance writer, speaker, and love enthusiast who is passionate about helping others ‘change the way they look at things so the things they look at change.’ She has numerous stories featured in the national publication, Guideposts. She also has over 160 featured articles at online publications, including Her View From Home, Scary Mommy, Parenting Teens & Tweens, For Every Mom, Love What Matters, and Today. Her book, How Are You Feeling, Momma? (You don’t need to say, “I’m fine.”), co-authored with her dear friend, Lisa Leshaw, recently won the 2020 Publisher’s Weekly Book Life Prize as the finalist in the Inspirational/Spiritual category.