I’m not really certain what I expected when we brought Charlie home. I guess I knew there would be an adjustment period. I knew that he would need to learn his way around, to learn our faces, to understand that this is his home. I would be lying if I said I hadn’t wondered after a few weeks whether we may have made a mistake. A part of me wondered if a rescued dog could ever be rescued from his own limitations. And I have wondered, too, if Charlie will always be like a ghost in this house — here, but not really.
But there are telltale signs that I am becoming rather attached to him. The wagging tail…I’d forgotten how wonderful a wagging tail is. And I happen to think he is the cutest thing ever when he is sleeping. I love his feet, his whiskers, the white tip of his tail, the way he sniffs the ground, his howl. I find myself anxious to see him when I’ve been away from him. I love that he follows me around. I love how excited he is to see me in the morning, and how he likes to be scratched in that spot right in front of his ears. I love how he leans into me and nearly falls over for enjoying that little scratch so much.
And Charlie? I think maybe all hope is not lost on this little dog. On our long walks through the neighborhood, when he runs — when his big ears flap up and down and his eyes are bright — you can see in his face what joy must be like for a dog. Yes Charlie, this is your life now. This is how it’s supposed to be.