This April will mark one year since my Charlie died. As a family, we’ve had a lot of adjustments to make. It hasn’t been easy on our other two dogs, either. Charlie was the leader of their pack. Gradually we’re all adapting. Since Charlie would scratch on the door when any one of them wanted in or out, the girls are finding their own way to tell us. Charlie would also be the one to noisily notify us if they were getting low on water. The girls haven’t figured out a way to tell us this yet, so we’re having to make sure their water bowl is full.
Emotionally, Charlie was the empathizer. If one of us were upset or crying, he would come give us a hug. If the baby cried and Charlie got there before one of us, we’d get a dirty look. He’d always check on the baby, too. Though Baby A was too small to snuggle with, Charlie would nap near him while he napped.
Now the girls are starting to fill in for Charlie’s emotional duties. Nala comes to comfort me when I’m upset, and Layla checks on Baby A and sleeps near him. When I was sick recently and took a nap with Baby A, Layla joined is and snuggled up to my toddler instead of me.
And so now baby A is growing with his dogs. He loves them so dearly, and they love him. I wonder how this dynamic would be different if Charlie were still here, but I know he’s up in dog heaven watching his family and smiling. Except when A runs; Charlie hated it when people ran!