No matter the season or region, when I take Charlie to the beach he’s ecstatic. Originally poodles were bred to be water retrievers. Now, to be smart + loyal companions. Charlie’s happiest when he’s on the beach with Michelle and me, returning a stick we toss into the water for him. He’s aligned with his breed’s history as well as his present role.

We all need mental + physical spaces like this to trigger and sustain our ecstasy.





One day at a time



As I drove over to see my mother who was about 94 at the time, I thought about Charlie and then, for some reason I began imagining a conversation that my Veterinarian and I would have some day: that some of Charlie’s lumps have become cancerous and that he only has a little time left. The experience felt so real that I cried as I drove. It also left me wondering why the impact of his loss would be so great – aside from the obvious – like being together 24/7 for so many years. It struck me that my time with Charlie is brim-full of kind, innocent and wondrous times that we've shared and that this unique period of my life will have to come to an end. 

Later that morning I helped my mother make a card to give to her favorite caregiver Bobby. When Bobby thanked her for the card, and said “Julia, you don’t need to give me a card”, my mother expressed in German the sentiment that I was to translate and share with Bobby in English: 

“This small gesture of kindness is nothing compared to your ongoing kindness and compassion.”

When I came home from my visit with my mother I found Charlie waiting for me at the door. 

I asked him if he’d like to go to the beach. “Yes” he indicated by stamping his feet and wagging his tail. In that moment he re-taught me another key lesson:

“One moment, one step, one walk, and one day at a time.” 

Charlie has changed me for the better one moment, one step, one walk, one day, one week, one month, and one year at a time. And all Michelle and I did was allow him into our home, and into our hearts. Time and love did the rest. 

Time is healing the hurt that I feel related to his loss, but the love for him remains.




Charles Convey 2002 - 2017


Charlie died at 7:00 PM, Saturday June 24, 2017. In our last eleven years together I worked from home. Charlie hung around my office as I worked, was at my side on our three daily walks and at Michelle’s feet at night. We took over 14,000 walks together and covered over 25,000 kilometers. For the time we had together I’m eternally grateful. 




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