The story of our dog Charlie begins with the sad ending of our first dog, Marty. Almost immediately after Papa Nice & I got married, we adopted our first dog – Marty. Marty was a 7 month old Australian Shepherd that had made his way to the SPCA. The shelter didn’t have much information about why he was given up, but after we brought him home we soon learned that Marty had some… “issues”. We worked hard to help Marty overcome his struggles and for the most part he was a family dog that loved us all (in his own way and in his own time). In our minds, Marty was the dog our kids would grow old with.
Our Marty Dog
One night we came home and found Marty collapsed on the floor with a scared look in his eyes. Marty had a heart condition and there was no cure. At age 7, we lost our Marty dog. The heartache of losing our first dog was immeasurable. There was a huge void in our family and we weren’t sure when we would be ready to open our hearts to another furry sidekick.
As time went on, the kids and I just couldn’t take it anymore. We needed a furry critter to cuddle with. The kids needed a pet to hug when they were sad. Never in my life had I been without a pet in my home, it felt so empty.
Papa Nice, being the softy he is, brought home a cat (much to his dismay, but he wasn’t ready for a dog yet). “Abby Cat” filled the void for about 3 months, but ultimately only a dog would do.
We found Charlie on through an online adoption site and I immediately went to see him. His profile said “Australian Shepherd Mix”. We are “Shepherd” people (you dog lovers know what I mean) and I had to be sure he wasn’t part Lab (no offense “Lab” people, but I just can’t take the energy). We needed a dog that was friendly and smart. He had to be good with other animals (since we now had a cat), good with children and a low prey drive (since we were starting to build our Homestead and we didn’t want our feathered friends to become our new dog’s dinner).
Our first impression upon meeting Charlie was…”He’s huge!” Australian Shepherds are typically medium sized dogs, and we had small children in a small house. Charlie’s mom was an Australian Shepherd, but no one knew about his Dad. Charlie was a tall, 75 lb fur-ball and I FELL.IN.LOVE. This was the dog for us! Everyone else in the family wasn’t so sure. The kids were a little scared of his size and Papa Nice wasn’t sure he would fit in our house. But Papa Nice saw the look in me eyes and knew there was no turning back.
Beautiful day with a beautiful dog.
Charlie became a part of the family immediately. He loved us all. He played with the kids gently. He wrestled with Papa Nice. He went on jogs with me. He played with other dogs. He guarded the new chicken coop. We soon learned that Charlie was meant to be our family dog.
Tuckered out after a game of Fetch.
We have since moved to the new Nice Family Homestead and Charlie continues to be the BEST DOG EVER. Sometimes I just look at him siting among us all and tears fill my eyes. He surprises me with every new challenge we present to him. New animals on the farm? No problem, Charlie will love and protect them. New kids coming to visit? No problem, Charlie has cured many children of their fear of dogs. Strangers knocking at the door? No problem, Charlie’s enormous bark will keep them away. Front door left unlocked and the door left open while we are away (not joking, this happened)? No problem, Charlie will sit at the door entrance and wait until we get home.
I’m not sure the words I write could do him justice, but maybe the following pictures will help you seen his awesomeness.
Charlie went camping many times, slept in a tent with us and rode in a canoe.
Charlie is the perfect study buddy, porch companion and loves to nap with his family.
Charlie thinks the ducks want to play. They are really trying to show him who is “Boss of the Barnyard”, but Charlie doesn’t care.
A boy and his dog…going for walks, taking naps and waiting for belly rubs.
Patiently playing “Ponies” with the girls.
Saying hello to the new pigs.
More cuddle time…it’s never enough for Charlie Dog.
Taking a nap in the sunshine with his “Fur Siblings”.
Playing outside in the snow. Charlie even tries to hop on the sled and ride down the hill.
We love you Charlie Dog and hope everyone finds their own BEST.DOG.EVER. to be a part of their family!
🙂 Mama Nice
Tagged: Australian shepherd, best dog ever, dog, dog and cat, dog and ducks, family dog, farm dog, homestead, life on a farm, shepherd
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