The idea of Charlie was first sparked when I worked last summer at the animal hospital, met a Boston Terrier named Inky, and fell head over heels in love with the breed. I worked all summer, determined to get my own Boston Terrier. And I had found the perfect one in Sophie, a little tiny girl born into a litter in Texas. I prepared for weeks for Sophie's arrival and talked about nothing else. But unfortunately, a week before she was to come to me, she developed a bad case of mange, and I finally decided, with a heavy heart, that it would be much too cruel to subject a 10-week-old puppy with mange to the cargo hold of a commercial airliner. I was sad but still determined to get a Boston. A girl Boston. I found a breeder here in Tampa, and all the puppies were adorable. But the girls were all huge for some reason, and I wanted a small puppy. The two boys were identical in size and almost identical in personality. I finally decided, after two hours at the breeder's house, playing with all the puppies, that I would call them to me, and the first boy to come to me would be the one. Not only did the little boy with the three spots on his muzzle come to me right away, but he promptly settled his tiny head in my hand and was fast asleep within seconds. My heart was his.
And now, a year later, I wouldn't trade Charlie for all the girl puppies and all the money in the world. He is absolutely my best friend. He is the only guy in my life that I can say with 100% certainty will be there for me and love me to his very last breath. There is nothing filled with more simply joy than coming home at the end of the day and sitting in front of the TV with a warm doggie in my lap. He gives me unconditional love, loyalty, and devotion, and all he asks for in return is steady meals and somewhere warm and comfy to sleep. I can't ever stay mad at what I honestly think is the most adorable face on the earth.
When it comes down to it, I have to say that Charlie has often been the only thing keeping me going during the roughest times in the past year. For example, after the Brett fiasco, when I felt like my entire world was crumbling down around me, when I was convinced that nobody gave a hoot if I lived or died, when I didn't even care if I lived or died, I had to stay strong, because Charlie needed me. And somehow he would always know when I needed him. He was always there to lick my face until my tears turned to laughter and nuzzle into my lap and make everything better. He got me through that more than anyone else did, really.
So happy birthday, Charlie. I love you so much, and I'm so glad that I was blessed with you.