I blame my niece for my getting a puppy. While on a family vacation in North Carolina, Courtney was cruising websites for Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies with me looking over her shoulder, when she found a beautiful little female.
“You need this puppy,” Courtney stated matter of factly. “She’s in Asheville. Go get her.”
I was, at the time, living in New Mexico. While picking up a puppy in North Carolina was easy, transporting her back home to Santa Fe posed a bit of a challenge. But when has a challenge ever stopped me from doing anything?
The next day I drove to the Asheville, to “look” at the puppy. Never, ever let me look at puppies and expect me to walk away. Of course it was love at first sight. “Charlotte” quickly became my partner in crime, my little adventurer, my best office dog ever.
Cavaliers are probably the happiest dogs around. Originally bred in England as loving companions to royalty, they are jolly little dogs, always ready to go, their faces lit with a smile. As a breed, their main jobs are to:
Look at you with adoring eyes.
Follow you around.
Jump in your lap whenever you sit down.
Charlotte was expert at all of the above. Cavaliers also love a good walk and Santa Fe is a very walkable city. Charlotte and I went everywhere together, her tail wagging, eager to meet and greet whomever we met. We went to concerts on the plaza. To pick up the mail. To dances out in the country. And also to work. Charlotte was always agreeable to curling up under my desk while I did my public relations and writing thing.
And then Charlotte needed a friend. (Eye roll – guess who saw another puppy online?) So Charlotte was joined by Chip, a mischievous male Cavalier. And then by a third (double eye roll) who was dubbed Oliver. Charlotte was the queen and the boys were her minions. Together, the four of us enjoyed our Santa Fe adventures.
Eventually we moved back to the Carolinas. Charlotte remained the top dog and took her role as office dog, greeter of all and lover of fun, seriously. She remained the first in my lap.
If Cavaliers have a flaw it’s that they don’t have long lifespans. Ten is considered old if you’re a Cavvie. They also have a number of health issues. At nine-and-a-half, Charlotte was deaf, blind in one eye and had a painful skin issue. Despite this, she greeted each day with her usual joy.
Today, Easter Sunday, was different. Charlotte was desperately sick. My son and I made the difficult decision dog lovers sometimes have to make. It was her time. Swaddled snugly in a blanket at the emergency vet’s office, she seemed at peace. She felt the love. She was happy.
My best little office dog will always be first in my heart. Forever and always. Sweet Charlotte.