What a beautiful puppy he was! For us, meeting Charlie or Chayo, was love at first sight. He was so gorgeous, active, and cute - oh my - how could we resist? Nobody could! When we finally took him home, he adopted us as his family.
Always very independent he refused to sleep in my bed - even though I was dying to have this little cute fuzzy baby lie beside me. He decided he would sleep on the floor on his “comfort blanket”. Everybody in my family was crazily in love with our bundle of joy!
Soon afterwards, I took him to the Vet for a check up and she made a horrible declaration: he was unfit for purchase due to a “heart murmur”! Imagine our heartbreak when we heard this news - we could not give our baby away - not after knowing how wonderful and loving he was. We then decided to go for a second opinion, and to our relief it had been a misdiagnosis! Imagine our happiness to find out we would be able to keep our precious Charlie (still no nickname yet). My daughters, 4 and 9 at the time were just ecstatic and Charlie saw them as sisters.
Not everything was fun and games of course. There was the training part: waking up in the middle of the night to take him do his business and trying to rescue my furniture from his teeth. He was a baby and his gums were itchy. It did not matter that he chewed up my brand new shoes or my living room table! I could never get mad when he looked at me with those lovely eyes, kiss me, and made me melt!!
I think that it was around this time that we first started to use his nickname – Charlie became Chayo. As Spanish-speakers it was a very familiar name. He always came running when he was called and loved his stroll in the park. He loved it! He owned the place and marked it as his territory every time we went. At a playground close by, he would laugh as he went up and down the big slide. He had so much energy - it was hard even for my daughters to keep up with him.
Oh, so many wonderful memories! He was in every picture, on every video, everywhere. Even when we visited our homeland he came with us. We took him to the beach and he was so happy walking with us and swimming with us even though he never did like water very much, he would jump in the water if I jokingly said: “Come Chayo! Save us! We need you!!” He would come to try and “save me”.
He used to love the house that we used to live in. It had a big tree in the front yard that he owned – it was his tree. Everybody in the neighborhood knew who Charlie was. They did not bother to get to know us, but they knew Charlie. He was so handsome and so popular! When we decided to move into a new house, many neighbours came by to say “Oh no is Charlie moving? Where?” They would all miss charming Charlie.
We finally moved into our new house. He learned to like it even though it did not have his favourite tree to protect. He quickly made the living room his. He used to sleep on my couch and wait for me to start my day with a big kiss. He then followed me around the house all day! He became very adept at escaping into the neighbourhood at will. People began to know him. They would always return him to us. He had a very strong personality - I remember when he was outside and I called him, he would take very slow and measured steps – He wanted me to know that he did not come because I had called him, but because HE decided to. He made the trek on his own sweet time.
Every spring and summer, we would take him to High park. He really enjoyed these little trips and shared a burger with us – it was his favourite thing to do. Chayo charmed all of the female dogs – they always fell for him – he was so handsome and conceited!
How ironic! The vet that told us he was unfit for purchase, helped save him when he was diagnosed with bone cancer, and helped him out of his pain in the end.
We are forever grateful and humbled at being given the chance to have Chayo in our lives. We hope that he was happy to be big part of our family. He will live in our hearts forever!!!
These are the memories I want to share about Chayo. I want everyone to know how beautiful, handsome and gracious he was. Hasta siempre Chayo!