To Squat or Cock?

Dear Charlie or Charlie Girl

It is remiss of me that you have not been mentioned to date, you were a legendary part of our family for many years.

You came to us after a tragic accident; your predecessor had been a delightful Corgi who I had accidentally crushed in the driveway after he had escaped from the back yard.

Sas and I spilt tears, but fortunately not too many recriminations, although; I must admit my guilt for that night would stay with me for a long time.

After a suitable mourning period we went searching for a new pup to take his place, we found you at a breeders kennel on the outskirts of Wagga.

We fell in love the first time, we saw this quizzical face, framed by long floppy ears, peering at us over the fence, you immediately became a very big part of our life.

Your registered name and breeding was impressive but we called you Charlie Girl after the Musical. It would be a few months before the portents of this name would become truly apparent.

We returned home late on the Sunday after a weekend away and collecting you was our major priority, you had been on your own little holiday at the Breeders for a few days.

“I have very bad news for you, the dog must be put down” were the words that greeted us as we stepped from the car.

Shocked and horrified, we were told that somehow our beautiful female Cocker Spaniel had started to develop male genitalia and was the cause of great embarrassment to the breeder.

Phew; we had initially thought you had some dreadful disease; a sexually confused dog was way down the list of things we had been dreading.

We insisted on taking you home and sought advice from the Vet; his view was that there was nothing other than the Breeders vanity to cause you an untimely end.

Charlie Girl became Charlie and you would live with us for many years. You were there through the births of three children, you were there through financial ups and downs, you were there every day when I would come home and devilishly tease you with smelly socks, tying them around your ears and watching the frustration as you struggled to get them off.

You accidentally became another bridge between my parents and myself; we would take you down to the farm and you were given the run of the garden to protect you from the farm dogs.

No dog had ever before breached that particular Berlin Wall. The look on my father’s face as you would race down the path and then launch yourself onto his carefully raked gravel, leaving a trail of destruction in your wake, was a sight to be seen.

Resigned tolerance for your behavior became a bond of love and affection as you would go down to the farm for holidays and become a constant companion for Mum in the time you were there.

She would tell of walking through the house and hearing your racing footsteps as you followed her movements outside on the timber verandah. You needed to be close and you needed to be loved.

Jassy, Annie and Kayla became your personal playthings, there had never been a more protective guardian, although; it must be said your bite was more to be feared than your bark.

Friends now laugh at the irony, when I tell them about our hermaphroditic dog; some even cruelly point out that you were not the only sexually confused animal in that household at that time. You handled your confusion so much better than I did.

It is perhaps almost biblical that you died of a snakebite on one of your many farm sojourns, Mum found you lying peacefully under a rose bush. There was no sign of any struggle and it looked like you had been bitten in your sleep.

We cried as Mum told us over the phone about what had happened, and how Dad had buried you in the flower bed with a cross for the children to identify your resting place. The thought of this difficult and tough man shedding tears as he laid to rest a pet dog was surely a sign of the effect you had, on all who knew you.

Almost a perfect end for the most beautiful of animals. We all loved you Charlie.

Love and tears

 

Bruce

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s