Friday, July 3, 2009

Fat Charlie Went a-Walking!

(treasured photo by Laurie Erickson)

One of my favorite stories is Fat Charlie Went a-Running! , (thanks to Whippet World for the online hosting). The story tells of Fat Charlie's return to run in a race after a long injury lay off.

The top photo is of my dear, late friend Carolyn giving Fat Charlie a cool sponge bath and a kiss after that very race.

May I tell you just a bit about this dog? He is twelve now. His is a mush, my softest whippet. When he was born he was a big fat white marshmallow. If another dog in the house has done something Against The Rules, sweet Fat Charlie looks mortified.


Leave a thawing London broil or an entire loaf of ciabatta bread on the counter? Fat Charlie appreciates that I left such a fabulous treat just for him. He rewards me mightily for this good behavior, with dancing kisses and happy wags.

He rarely asks for anything, and when he does, he does by staring handsomely at me. About three times each morning he hops down from his spot on the couch. I look up from my typing or sewing and see a Fat Charlie with the exact expression you see in the red-bordered photo. It is up to me to determine what he needs. Usually he only wants a scratch, a kiss, and a return to the couch with his blankets re-arranged. Sometimes a drink. Occasionally a trip outside for a sunbath in the papasan chair.

Fat Charlie is a very good dog.

He was getting slower and slower on our morning walks. And then he stopped going altogether.

At walk time he would get in his crate, looking at me. "I don't want to go," he said.

This dog who would stay in our big yard at the farm for hours, lying in the sun, scanning for squirrels and fun, loving life. I would call him inside and he would look at me and wag just the very end of his tail. "Must I?" he'd ask. "May I stay out here a little longer?"

This dog who would turn inside out when he heard the word 'walk'. Who could spell w.a.l.k. and o.u.t.

Now he didn't even want to go.

I blamed the city. Sidewalks are hard on arthritic feet. Stupid City Squirrels: all evil temptation and no fun. Horrid cats everywhere. And it has been so hot.

Again, this morning at walk time, he put himself in his crate and got his biscuit. When I got to the kitchen door with Mama Pajama and Easy, I did what I've done every day since he stopped going - I tried once more.

"Fat Charlie, want to go for a walk?"

Well, he changed his mind. He came flying out of the dog room (I never shut the door on his crate) with a big grin. And we went for a walk. Lots of time dawdling, lots of sniffing, lots of soaking up the sun in this glorious unusually cool morning weather.

I think I started calling Giacomino Very Old Dog when he was twelve.

I can't imagine calling Fat Charlie Very Old Dog. He's just my big, fat, marshmallow puppy.

(how lucky am I: Laurie Erickson photo)

hug your hounds


  1. We know that expression. Jakey does the same thing -- comes over and looks at us intently and leaves us to interpret whether it's a treat, or a scritch, or a quick trip to the "pee-bush."

    You said "Fat Charlie is a very good dog." We are sure "Fat Charlie is a great dog!!!

    Wirey love and a happy fourth!!

    Jake and Just Harry

  2. Ahhh, a Good Day.

    Electronic hug to you and your hounds.

  3. Such a beautiful Marshmellow he is!


  4. What a handsome boy! We're so glad he decided on that walkie!

    Love ya lots,
    Maggie and Mitch

  5. Deaw Patience
    I think Fat Chawlie's expwession could make Mommi do anything in the wowld. I was so happy to wead that he decided to go out and wif joy at that
    Iwould love to cuddle youw big mawshmellow boy
    smoochie kisses
    pee ess..poootew has eaten the pictoows on my blog and one of them was the twiboote to Giacomino..I am vewy upset..pleez don't think I wemoved it.

  6. And he is the world's BEST bed snuggler with the hardest as* I have ever slept with!

  7. Ah yes..."the look." I love .that look. It makes me feel wise and strong. It doesn't matter what Gus wanted in the first place, he is always happy to get whatever it is that I figure out. And then happy to give me another chance to get it right.


  8. Ahhh we are glad he had fun.We would do anything for that face as well!! Love A+A

  9. Fat Charlie... you are adorable!
    Glad you went out for a nice walkie!
    Kisses and hugs

  10. Such great news - and equally great to have you back on your blog, sounding like things are feeling more right - treasure each day and appreciate each moment - the stuff of life is good!
    Buffalo Gayle

  11. This post has me still smiling. Thanks.

  12. Yay Fat Charlie!!! You make a wonderful bed dog too!

  13. gordy and georgieJuly 4, 2009 at 12:24 PM

    Oh Fat Charlie-you look so cuddly and cute! Can you come over and hang out with us? We'll make sure there are good treats on the counter.

  14. Such a precious hound... and such a precious picture to treasure forever. He isn't a Very Old Dog yet, but he is definitely a Classic.

    A Happy Fourth (with paws over ears)to the Waggle

  15. awe I don't think he is a very old dog yet, maybe just a little slower but not very old. One thing I know is he is VERY handsome, and I know handsome, believe me...I own a mirror. ;)

  16. Aww, Charleeeeeee! We're so glad you changed your mind about the walk!!
    Hugs and kisses,
    laurie, spats, rivet and simmer


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