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While I think I bore the most pain from this little story, I think I also learned the most.

Sometimes, when you get some distance between you and your troubles, you can see things with a little more clarity.  The guilt and sorrow of letting go of Charlie stays with me still.  Maybe it always will.  I still miss him.  Maybe I always will.  I think I see, though, that he was never meant for us.  We had a role to play in his life, and though I wanted this to be his home, forever, it simply wasn’t possible.  Just the same, I loved him. 

We all needed Charlie.  Charlie taught us to be compassionate.  He taught us that patience and love can make a difference.  And that trust doesn’t always come easy.  He taught us that sometimes loving something means doing something that hurts.  And that sometimes loving something, and having your heart broken, means that someone else’s dreams will come true.  And that when one door in life closes, another one always opens…you just have to look for it.

Amazing how much a crazy, scared, little, lost dog can teach you such profound life lessons.