Charles Russell

Charlie. Char-Lee. Choch. Wee-Wee.

Rest in Peace Buddy.

You were 8 weeks and I was 36 when Dennis very specifically picked you ‘for his soft eyes’.

He said your job was to keep me safe. To keep an eye on me when we moved to Weed in 2010.

Good job Buddy, You did a good job.

14 years of you by my side: 24/7/365.

Always watching me. Right there. Steps away. Always in sight. Me always watching you too - those soft and joyful eyes.

Nothing is the same.

The house is empty.

Meals are silent.

Nights are seemingly unbearable.

You are everywhere and no where simultaneously. Your absence echoes. There isn’t a space you hadn’t  reached.

We hear your footsteps on the flooring, your scratch at the front door, the thud when you land on the bathroom rug, the snarky snap of the lid to your dog feeder alerting us you want to be fed now or I’m behind schedule. The way your paws landed on the bench at the foot of the bed to assist you to getting up. The soft breath of air I felt (and smelt) on the pillows we shared. You are Everywhere.

My car is meaningless now. Sure, it’s a car and it has purpose and it functions. But, I bought it so we could road trip, so you would have additional room to stretch out and be comfortable. So you could roll dawn alllll the windows. Your muddy paw prints from the park on Thursday have dried on the middle seats.

I’ll keep rolling down the windows in your honor to take the sting out of the obviousness of your absence. The wind helps.

The shop is hollow. I’ve been avoiding the UPS and USPS drivers, neighbors. I don’t know how to tell them. You were The Mayor around there. It was your territory and you monitored it closely, sauntering the pathways and along the grass at your leisure: sniffing, marking, pooping on Sidney’s coveted and manicured grass. You always looked at me strangely when I picked up your turds, always.

My office is vacant. Your water bowl has dried up. What the fuck am I going to do with your gorgeous Balinese wood bed? I must have X-ray vision because I see you there too.

There are balls, squeaky toys, numerous beds, a variety of blankets, pillows, food dishes, food, multiple ramps, gates, various leashes, collars, several vests, shoes for winter, lots of things for summer, a life vest, sleeping medications from the vet, bottles, jars, tinctures and supplements from holistic practitioners to keep you in precisely tip-top shape.

The obvious next best move, in my mind, is to have it all bronzed, shellacked, encased, mounted and displayed on the largest wall in the living room (with museum quality lights), lit up like the Hollywood sign because these things are important. They are precious.  Yours. I carefully selected it all to suit your needs and wrap you in safety.

It was early and whatever happened we will never really know but it was your time and you knew it. Thank you for coming to us, letting us know, waking me up and alerting me that you needed help.

Your pain was unbearable to us too. My soul cracks open and I can not speak when I recount those moments.

Dennis, cautiously, ran red lights and broke speed limits on empty backroads and the 101. Your heavy body in my lap as I sang our special version of You are My Sunshine, rubbing your little white forehead wrinkle and letting you know it was okay to go while silently begging you to stay - knowing your body had endured too too much and you needed to go bhut were holding on.

If there was anything that could have been done to keep you here I would have done it, anything. No matter what. We would have done it.

We buried you in the field, along the lane, your purple glow necklace activated so you could always see and find your way home. Of course, I’ll design a fabulous monument, mosuleum style, Liberace-like because it feels appropriate to honor the excellence of your sweet, sweet soul in grand proportion.

Charles Russell you lived, I mean you really lived, happily, with enthusiasm and joy that made every day a damn delight.

The trails we hiked, paths we walked, lakes and rivers we paddled. Me always behind you and you trotting back to heeler me behind the knee to hurry it up. The roads we drove. And our final epic journey to Baja for the holidays. All of it: so much fun. Joyful. Thank you for showing me that there is bliss and sheer happiness in the little things.

We are going to love you for the rest our lives.

You were such a good boy.

Dell was right when he said you were a Champion.

Until we meet again.

09-09-2009 to 01-26-2024



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