9.18.2008

Charlie's Bear

Today, Max and I took Charlie to be boarded for a long weekend. We leave for Bavaria tomorrow (with our ultimate stop being Oktoberfest on Sunday evening). Ordinarily, Charlie would travel with us, but the thought of crazy, drunken throngs potentially stomping on our little guy prevented us from bringing him along this time.

It's the right decision, of course. But this afternoon, I did experience a moment of emotional panic when I realized I had forgotten to pack Charlie's favorite toy, a little stuffed bear, called, creatively enough, "Bear."

Every night, Charlie sleeps with Bear by his side. And on those rare nights when he forgets to grab up his favorite toy before heading for the bedroom, Charlie always ends up remembering eventually, leaving his comfy spot for only a moment to run off and get the bear. It's as if the raggedy, stuffed, creature is Charlie's security blanket, and I feel terrible I sent my dog off to the hund pension for the weekend without it.

Those of you without pets might think that it's silly for those of us with them to attach human-like emotions to our animals. I, for one, can't help it. I have come to the conclusion that animals, in their limited ways, do express their thoughts and feelings. Charlie shows his displeasure, happiness, fears, and preferences as well as anyone. He is a demanding, high-spirited, high-maintenance dog, and according to Max, not unlike his primary caretaker. But he is also a very sweet and social creature that plays especially well with children and other dogs.

The last few weeks, I've entertained couples who, like me and Max, do not have children but do have pets. And just like mothers and fathers talk about their children, it's amazing how much time we, pet owners, spend talking about our furry friends. In fact, sometimes our pets dominate the conversation.

And for the next four days, my terrible faux pas--forgetting to pack Bear for poor, lonely Charlie--will dominate my thoughts and, no doubt, conversations. Hopefully, the beer will help.

Do you have pets? If so, do you attribute similar emotions to them?

24 comments:

Kissashark said...

Oh golly yes! My dogs make their feelings very well known on a rainge of subjects....I know it's anthromorphosizing but I honestly believe they have feelings and emotions just like we do, they just vocalize them differently.
I don't board my dogs because of their size, it's just not feasible but I have forgotten to make sure they have their favorite treat before I leave town...and I always feel awful!
We just traveled to the NW for a job interview for hubs and we spent most of the trip talking about our dogs. Funnier still is while we walked around Seattle we found ourselves looking for other dogs to pet and talk to just to ease our anxiety over leaving our beloved dogs at home.

Me said...

You are SO right.

Funny. Just today I had a discussion with a gentleman who finds me attractive and I asked him if he likes dogs and he said "I tolerate them" and I told him...ah..well, I have one....he then proceeded to lecture me how dogs aren't children yadda yadda. I assured him that I am well aware that my dog is a dog, but that he's nevertheless my buddy of 6.5 years who is loyal and who I take care of and I have responsibilities...so just because he wants to go on a 12 hour road trip (and he doesn't want the dog there), doesn't mean I will leave the dog alone that long.....

Needless to say...NAXT.

Zhaan said...

Awwww no Bad Bear!

My cats all have unque personalities. And sweet as they are they can be moody.

Have fun at Octoberfest!

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

Oh, he's too adorable with his bear...

In my life prior to husband and child, I had animals...and they were the next thing to human. They have personalities...they have lives...and you find yourself treating them as another extension of yourself.

Miss Expatria said...

My Cal has an entire voice and persona for Ladybird "Squirt" Johnson, our calico, and it's not even some kind of passive aggressive way to say stuff to me. He literally has invented an entire frame of reference for her and everything he says in the Squirt voice is stuff that is solely her.

We also have sat around for at least two hours talking about her as we watched her sleep.

We totally prepare a plate for her for dinner.

The fight we had about getting her fixed was legendary.

Rositta said...

My black lab has been in doggy heaven for a few years now and she was never crazy about toys but our best friends have a Golden lab that has a whole basketful and some very favourites. When they come to visit they always bring them along and I get it, why not. Have a good time...ciao

Danie said...

Charlie looks like he's smiling. How cute!

Sizzle said...

I was raised with pets so pets are family to me. I'm currently childless and my cats are like my kids. I swear I get more choked up about pet stories than I do about babies.

Claire said...

I think animals have personalities, just like us!

Cxx

meno said...

I just love it when people take good care of their furry children. Good for you!

(I am a total fool for my cats.)

Shelly said...

I'm so with you, I would feel really bad forgetting a toy for our pup Bergie. Heck ya they have feelings, they pout, they express joy...and this morning Bergie flirted like crazy with the tree trimming guys, the little hussy!

eusmaca said...

Chica... I totally understand, since I have Cleo and Mocha and I in the same boat, Tom and I leave for Maine tomorrow and we leave them for a total of 4 days!!! Plus, with Tom I have gain Rufus and Maggie (the dogs)... but we don't board them... we have a pet sitter, who comes to the house and they stay withing their environment and their routine. Yes, it may be a bit more pricey than a boarding house, but, like you... these are my baby and would you leave your babies with strangers? I think not!

Charlie will do ok without Bear, like children, they also don't hold grudges.

gemma said...

Love the pictures of Charlie and his bear. My boy was named Bear and he was such a peach. We boarded him rarely but the first time, he was about 2, I told the owner about his medication and how he needed cheese with it and about his quilt and special chew toy and the owner took Bear's leash and as he walked away said, "Come on Bear, I'm going to teach you to be a dog again."

It always worked too. He would come home and it would take me a while but I would get him right back up on the couch and drinking water from a cup in no time.

The beer will help and Charlie will do fine. Have a good time.

connie said...

Charlie is so cute with his bear. He will be happy to be back with you - and bear - so I am sure all will be forgiven quickly.

We call our cats "the furkids". They were practice for our non furkids. Nightmares, toilet training, separation anxiety when we left for work, insane and improbable damage to the house, etc. All prep for human kids.

Our kids have been involved with our cats since birth - actually prior to that, as they'd always snuggle my belly when I was pregnant. A purring cat could calm a crying baby, and if that didn't work, the cat would run to me to get help. The kids talk to them as if they should understand English and talk back (they do, I think).

Yea... Our cats are our family, not decor, or accessories.

Dallas said...

Aww, he's cute with the bear.

We once put our pup in a kennel and left her with her favorite toy, but I guess because of sanitary reasons, they didn't allow toys and threw it out. That made me feel like a bad pup-mom then for losing her toy.

kenju said...

Charlie's cute with that toy in his mouth!

I have had animals all my life and I anthromorphosized each and every one of them!

A Touch of Dutch said...

Oh, cutie :D
Have a wonderful time in Bavaria & the Oktoberfest!

Anonymous said...

If you feel that way, I honestly do not understand how you can eat meat. Are those animals different just because no one chose to love them? Do they not deserve the same care Charlie gets? What makes the chicken or pig or cow that you're eating any different? Pigs in particular are so social and loving, and if you've watched any video of a slaughterhouse, you'll know that they are terrified before they are killed. Just something to think about while you're missing Charlie. Have fun at Oktoberfest, just get into the tents early before the doors are closed b/c it's at capacity.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous....thanks for information. Stay away from the sausage counter ok?

Jill said...

Oh I always feel the same way when I forget Libby's blanket when I take her to get boarded!

Hope you had fun on your getaway!

Ron said...

OMG, Diane...first of all, Charlie is the cutest little thing!!!

And the photos of him with his little toy are PRICELESS!!

And YES...without a doubt, I'm a HUGE animal lover, and have had several cats in my life, and to me...animals are more human than most humans I know.

And they feel things more deeply than most humans.

Animals seem to communicate on a much HIGHER level of communication, than talking.

They communicate with LOVE!

Wonderful post, Diane.

Thoroughly enjoyed it!

patches said...

I don't think it is necessary for me to answer this, since I'm a cat with a blog.

Just a trumpet player said...

I made that mistake once. Moka made sure to let me know that she wasn't that pleased with my behavior ! She now brings me her beloved frog as soon as she notice her bags being made...

AmyD said...

Heavens, yes!! CL and I refer to our puppies as "our girls." If outsiders heard us talking about them, they would totally think we were talking about our human children!

"My girls" communicated with me in so many ways. I can tell when they are sad, mad, tired, jealous, bored, etc. I feel extremely guilty leaving them during the day while we are at work, especially since they always do the big SIGH thing that breaks my heart. I fear I spoil them with treats to make myself feel better, but it works. ;o)

Hope Charlie was able to function without Bear! So, so sweet that he has a buddy!