A year ago this weekend our entire world changed when Charlotte joined our family. I wrote about it a few days later (when the shock had somewhat worn off) both about being able to give her a forever home as well as personally what that meant to me, and the bordering on woo-woo connection she and I have connected to Snickers, one of the dogs I lost as a teenager. It’s been incredible having Charlotte as part of our family – I can hardly believe it’s already been a year since we brought her home. In some ways it feels like it was just yesterday, but most of the time I just can’t imagine our home and family without my favorite wild thing.
When I look at the progress she’s been able to make with overcoming her past traumas and shitty street dog socialization and I’m astounded. Baby gates no longer separate our house and she sleeps in bed with us at night, accompanied by our sweet and bossy old cats who keep all of us (including her) in line. Charlotte is special needs, and dog reactive (other than with Mercury whose her very best friend), she still needs special attention when out in public, has good days and bad days, but the measurable progress with rehabbing our rescue girl have been incredible. The fact that this week we will walk to the dog park in the mornings and she will successfully engage with other dogs leaves me choked up because a year ago that felt like something we’d never share.
I’ve partnered with dogs to earn elite sporting titles and done other “impressive” things with dogs, and yet when I look at Charlotte and see how far she’s come I’m every bit as proud as I’ve ever been of a dog. Charlotte takes such pure blissful pleasure in simple things – a favorite squeaky toy, rolling on the carpet, splashing in a Brooklyn lake. She’s teaching me patience, and most of all to remain centered in the moment and not allow myself to become overwhelmed by fear of what might come. Charlotte has Snickers eyes and I believe that it was him that brought us together – he knew that we had a lot to teach each other, and a lot of love to give one another. Happy Birthday Charlotte and here’s to another year of adventures.