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In Loving Memory of Charly, The Greatest Dog in the World

October 11, 2017  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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Beloved Saint Pyrenees, Charly Marcum, 9, went to heaven October 9, 2017 after succumbing to the painful effects of bone cancer. She is survived by her treasured family members, including parents, Chris and Julia, and her spunky sisters, Greta, Faye and Polly, whom she spent all her days protecting, loving, playing with and waiting for them to come home.

Charly came into our lives when we really needed her. We had been struggling with secondary infertility for years and our oldest, Greta, was lonely and longing for a sibling. Charly became her first friend and sister, and stole the hearts of our entire family. Now, just weeks after our third daughter was born and completed our family, Charly had to leave us. It doesn’t feel fair, but at the same time, it feels like a miracle. She carried us through so many years of heartache, filling our home with love and warmth and left us when she felt her work was done.

Last Tuesday, when we woke up, Chris found Charly on the couch in the living room. He was immediately taken back because Charly is not allowed, nor has she ever been, on the furniture. “Charly? What are you doing?” I came running and knew right away that something was not right. She had arthritis for a little over a year and we treated it with medication, but this felt different. When she hopped off the couch, her back leg was swollen and lame. We made an appointment for her the next day and the vet confirmed our worst fear–bone cancer, advanced. Her somewhat normal limp that came and went from arthritis disguised the cancer and now it was spreading quickly. We selfishly begged for one more weekend with her (by the time Monday came, her breathing was labored and one of her front legs had also developed a tumor) and we made the most of it. Chris cooked her all her favorite foods. It snowed–her favorite! We took one more road trip to the mountains. We took family pictures and stayed up extra late stroking her long, soft fur. Monday still came too fast.

Chris and I both agreed that losing Charly was the greatest loss we have ever experienced. She exuded a non-stop pure love that we took for granted and now that it is no longer there, it physically hurts. Our house feels cold and empty and devastatingly quiet. We miss the sound of her lapping up her water. The sigh she let out every time she laid down. Her dog door opening and closing. The sound of her collar jingling when she scratched her own chin. The dining room chairs scooting across the tile floors as she tries to get whatever food Faye dropped at meals. Her soft little bark she’d give us, almost as if saying, “Sorry to interrupt..” when she needed to go out and we forgot to re-open her dog doors. The sound of her nails on the floor. Her snoring that rumbled the entire house and relaxed us all throughout the day. It’s all quiet now. It’s hard. And cold and empty and quiet.

We stayed up late on Monday, all snuggled in our bed with the girls and told our favorite Charly stories. Like when she stole my Christmas stocking two years in a row and buried it in the snow, not to be found until spring. Or when she spooked a couple of cows at my in-laws house so badly that they charged through the fence. Or the first time Chris tried to give her a bath and could barely get all 150 lbs of her IN the tub, let alone a much more slippery version out of it. And that time she came running down the stairs so fast, barreling into the girls room, we all jumped up and screamed because we thought we were going to get trampled. We also shared what we would miss most–the way she followed me around all day and would sit at my feet wherever I was working or on top of them if I was especially cold. She’d park it under Faye’s chair during meals, happily cleaning up after every meal. The way she was always waiting at the front door when we got home. And somehow, we’re even going to miss the way she would bust into our bedroom every night while we were watching a show and the door would land right in front of the TV, requiring us to step over her and shut the door until she decided she was sick of the show and wanted out again. Cue another courteous soft little bark. Every night. 

While she can be spotted in so many photos of our home and projects we’ve done with brands–the very last photo I took of Charly, the day she died, was on the Charly sofa we designed with Interior Define. We named it after her because it was big and cozy and family-friendly, just like her. It’s comforting to know her spirit lives on in our home, and in the homes of so many others.

Just when we felt our family was complete, it suddenly doesn’t feel whole again. But now we’re not looking to add a dog to heal the wounds of a longed-for child–we’re aching to heal the wounds of a missing dog. Until we meet again, Charly. <3

 

We’re so grateful for all the condolences we received over the last week. I would love to put together a post of all the helpful, thoughtful, wonderful things that have aided in our grief during this difficult time. Look for that in the coming weeks. 

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What do you think?

  1. jana says:

    so i know that this is seven months late but i am still so sorry for your loss as a family. i’ve had your blog saved for a couple of years to eventually go back & read & finally, several months ago i started (from the beginning! ha!) & have just caught up to this point. and man. even after only reading about charly for several months now, rather than years like most followers, i am still so sad & touched by this. ive found myself constantly leaning over to my husband at night to show him pictures of her. he lovingly knows you as “the bloggers with the saint pyrenees”. :) it’s very obvious that charly was truly loved by so many thousands of people that didn’t even know her personally & that is so just so sweet & incredible. losing a pet is always devastating & in my experience, the loss of each one gets harder as i get older, not easier but it’s worth every ounce of heartache. anyway, i’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading & “getting to know you both”. i totally appreciate bloggers who truly seem authentic (plus great style helps too!) & you guys do so hopefully this is still going by the time i get caught up to present day! haha!

  2. Gabriela says:

    I am so, so sorry for your loss……………..now his in heaven………whith my Duke……….

  3. K. Mosher says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. My family dread the day we lose our beloved Pirate – being 13 we know each day is a treasure. He is the sweetest part of our family and has been the best dog we could’ve every hoped to own. Everyone who meets him wants to take him home.

    You’re definitely right about our pets getting us through some tough times with their love, loyalty and devotion. Dogs are so patient – they always seem to be waiting … for us to feed, walk, play, notice them, or just come home. They are definitely a gift from above.

    Thank you for sharing your story of Charly.

  4. Jaime says:

    So, so sorry for your loss. It’s definitely the worst part of having our beloved animals in our lives. Holding my baby dog a little closer and giving her more kisses knowing that one day she will leave us and break our hearts too. My thoughts are with you.

  5. Lee says:

    What a sweetie your Charly was! There’s nothing in the world so genuine as the undying love of a dog– I suppose that’s why our hearts feel broken. Our little rescue is 14 years old,,, I watch her age a little with each passing day and am trying to savor every moment. ♥

  6. Vickie says:

    So sorry for your loss. I think in one of your stories you posted a piece of artwork, a drawing of Charly and I would love the info on the artist. Thanks so much.

  7. Krista says:

    i don’t even know what to say. with no children of our own, our dog is our fur-baby. I can’t imagine the loss you’re feeling right now and I wish that you’re heartache would go away. BUT the loss you feel means you loved Charley HARD and that’s a special thing. Best wishes to you and your family at this difficult time. May Charley be able to open and close doors in doggy heaven and sit on all the furniture. ;)

  8. Gabriella says:

    My heart breaks for you and your family as I know how hard it is to say goodbye to a furry family member who seemed always close by and full of love and comfort to give, yet never asked for anything in return. Dogs are such wonderful creatures that give us the chance to truly see what unconditional love and kindness are. This was a beautifully written post for Charly and I am sure that your girls will be thankful to be able to look back upon the wonderful memories you have of Charly once they are older.

  9. Suzanne says:

    I am absolutely devastated and heartbroken at the loss of your sweet and beautiful girl Charly. My heart aches right along with you. I read your post at work with tears streaming down my face. She will be deeply missed by me as well! Thank you for sharing her with all of us – I will miss her so. Many hugs to you and your beautiful family.

  10. Asta says:

    Sorry for your loss of your beautiful, wonderful dog…

  11. Val says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute! Charly would be proud!

  12. Casey says:

    I am not really a dog person, but I am 1000% a Charly person! Feel for you and the heartache you all are feeling.

  13. Vanessa B. says:

    Our furry family members touch our hearts in a very special way. I know the pain of losing a furry friend and I’m so sorry you are experiencing now. Charley was obviously a sweet, sweet girl. Your post is a beautiful remembrance and ode to her.

  14. Laura says:

    I’m crying reading your beautiful tribute to your beautiful girl. We just lost our Springer Spaniel Chelsea last month, also at age 9 and also to a quick growing cancer so I know all too well the ache that you all are feeling. The hole that these incredible souls leave behind in your home and your hearts is so deep. We had lost our first Springer Lilly when I was 10 weeks pregnant with our daughter (now 1) and to then lose her doggy sister so soon afterwards has been extremely difficult. These were our first babies and we had imagined our daughter growing up with them by her side. I hope that when the time is right, both your family and ours can bring another wonderful dog home again.

  15. Terri says:

    What a wonderful tribute to a beloved family member. I too just lost my dog, Jujubee after almost 11 wonderful years with her. It’s so difficult.

  16. Kala Morry says:

    This is beautiful. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. She truly came into your lives when you needed her.

  17. Dora says:

    What a heartfelt, beautiful tribute to such a sweet and special girl ???? It truly seems like you were lucky to find each other. You gave her a loving home and she gave all her love to your family. Thank you for sharing her with us these past few years. She will be missed by your readers as well. Praying for strength and healing for you and your family as you grieve.

  18. Shelley says:

    It sounds like Charly led a truly loving and lovely life. My sincerest condolences to you all.

  19. carmen says:

    I am so so sorry, we lost our girl Krinkle 10/20/16 and it still hurts, so I understand.

  20. Gayle says:

    How much it hurts now is a measure of how much love she brought you. When I lost my last pet, I made a donation to our local shelter in memory of her. It helped. I’m especially thinking of your girls, who must be heartbroken. I’m so sorry.

  21. Allie says:

    Reading this at work and trying to choke back tears. What a special tribute to a dog that obviously meant more than the world to you and all your readers. I honestly felt like we all knew her through your photos even as strangers. I have lost 4 dogs in my 29-year life and the feeling never gets easier- you truly lose a piece of your heart and home.
    Whenever my family reflects on memories of old, we always associate them with the special furry family member in our life at that time as if they were one of us. May your memories and photos of Charly comfort you and your family at this time.

  22. my heart is bleeding for you all, I too got my ellie just as I was in need, I had abreak down ans was lost in self pity. We went to a rescue and found my wonderful ellie, she has been my love and light for the past 10 years!!. I swear my recovery time increased because of her undying love. So I feel your pain, I dread the day I have to say goodbye to her. Wait a few weeks, then see if you can rescue an animal who needs you as you need them. sending love and condolances, yours sue.

  23. In a six month period three years ago, we lost our 18 year old kitty and 13 year old lab…and had to make the dreaded and painful decision both times. It was heart wrenching. Fortunately my daughter had brought home an incorrigible Anatolian Shepherd puppy the year before, and last year a beautiful black Maine Coone stray adopted ME! Today our home is once again filled with furry demands, never ending pet hair and shredded rugs stained with drool….heaven. I was never (and still claim not to be) a “dog person.” But they are my “babies” and I can’t imagine a home without them! My heart goes out to you…this post brought me back to a very dark time in our lives…but as I lay here in bed surrounded by my “furry babies” I can tell you without question, you may never love another dog like you love Charly…but trust me, there is room in your heart and home for another! Someday.

  24. Alessandra says:

    So so so beautiful! You touched my heart and I can feel every word you wrote. We had to say goodbye to our dog Sunny three years ago. We still miss him, but that is okay. The memories will last forever. It is wonderful to see what an amazing life Charly had. Thank you for sharing this. A big hug (although we do not know each other) from Germany, Alex

  25. Eric says:

    I skip a day and come back to your blog to find this tragic news! I’m so sorry for your loss.

  26. Shirley Ortiz says:

    May the memories you made last you a lifetime. Beautiful Dog. My condolences on his passing. Loosing a pet is just as painful as loosing any beloved family member. May you find comfort in all the beautiful memories I am sure you have of time shared with Charly. God bless you and your beautiful family.

  27. April says:

    All I can say is that it really, really sucks. We lost one of our goldens, Sammie, in July. All morning she was fine, her usual silly self and 2 hours later, she had collapsed. We were heartbroken. Her sister, Phawne was lost without her. As we have always owned 2 dogs we knew that a new girl will never replace our Sammie but it does fill your heart again. We just adopted Morgan. Take your time. You’ll know when you’re ready.

  28. Anita says:

    Absolutely beautiful ❤️️ We lost our beloved Boykin, Joe Willie, last year and still feel the pain everyday. Thank you for sharing Charly with us. Prayers and love.

  29. Ellen says:

    That was beautiful Julia! I love you guys!

  30. Karen Simon Peterson says:

    I’m so sorry for the loss of Charley. I loved seeing her whenever I read a post. It’s so unfair that our pets have such short lifespans. I read your post with tears in my eyes.

  31. Christine Lawton says:

    Chris and Julia,
    I am deeply sorry for your loss. We said goodbye to our beloved chocolate lab, Ferris, more than 5 years ago and still feel the emptiness of a world without him. How lucky that Charley came into your home and took hold of your hearts when you needed her most, and how beautiful that she shared her life with such a loving and kind family.
    Keeping you all in my thoughts. Blessings to Charly. Rest well sweet pup.

  32. Kendra Dinh says:

    I’m so sorry for your lost. But how lucky Charly was to have a full life filled with people who loved him dearly and wonderful adventures with his family. His spirit will remain with you all. Peace to your ❤️.

  33. Jody says:

    Oh dogs. Some of the greatest souls on earth. They say dogs don’t live as long as we like bc they love the right way – right from the beginning – & love with their whole heart. They complete what they are meant to do quicker than us humans.
    May the days ahead be filled with some comfort & peace knowing your dog loved you & you got picked to receive all that love.

  34. Heather says:

    I can’t hold back the tears as I read your sweet tribute. How blessed your girls were to have such a loving companion ❤️

  35. Dawn says:

    Such a sweet tribute, made me cry. Our pets are family. Thinking of your family now.

  36. I’m sorry for your loss. I know how much a “furbaby” can mean to a family. We lost our husky a few years ago as we were struggling with secondary infertility. Our hearts were hurting and the house felt empty. Only a month passed before we found out that I was pregnant. Our 2 year old has never known the joy of having a dog because I struggled with how to fill that void and not feel like we were “replacing” our dog. It’s taken some time to reach this point but we are now feeling ready to bring in a new member of the family. Thank you for sharing your stories of Charly. I feel she will always be with you in your hearts!

  37. Codie says:

    Such a beautifully written piece with such love! Prayers and hugs!

  38. Gary lancaster says:

    My heart goes out to you all. Charly was surly a blessing to the family. She was beautiful. A sweet spirit. My prayers are for you and may god bless you.

  39. Beth says:

    It really seems like pets know when it will be okay for them to leave their people. Charly stayed strong long enough to welcome Polly to your home and make sure that everyone was in a good place and gave you the time you needed to say goodbye. It’s so impossibly difficult to say goodbye to a pet – and yet, the grief is completely worth the infinite love and companionship that they give us without question. How wonderful that you were able to make her last days special and comfortable. As lucky as you were to have Charly in your lives, she was even luckier to have been adopted into your loving family. My thoughts are with all of you <3

  40. Lauren says:

    My heart aches for you. That was beautifully written. It brought back the physical and emotional angst I felt after losing our Karma in March. The devastating pain and void has subsided, but I think of her throughout the day and still miss her tremendously. Lots of love for you and your family. What a wonderful dog ????????

  41. Kara says:

    I am so moved by your beautiful tribute to Charly. I recently lost my “forever dog” of almost 16 years and it was by far the hardest day of my life. A lot of what you wrote resonated with me and although it brought me back to the pain of the loss, it also reminded me of daily nuances my Georgie contributed to life. Thank you for sharing your feelings and please accept my heartfelt condolences for loss.

  42. Carolyn says:

    I am so sorry for your loss and the empty space it leaves behind. Much love to you all.

  43. Corinne says:

    I loved seeing Charly in your pictures and getting to know such a sweet animal, even if just over the internet.
    Lots of love to your whole family.

  44. Elena says:

    So very sorry for your loss. Pets are such a beloved part of the family.

  45. Meg says:

    So many tears!! What a sweet tribute. She looked like the best dog! So sorry for your loss! Your girls will remember her forever ???? what a beautiful life she had!

  46. Jill says:

    I am so sorry for the loss of your Charly – how much our furry kids are tied to our human ones. We got our Isaac when our oldest daughter was in kindergarten and we put him down (he too had cancer) the week after we took that same oldest daughter to college (August 2nd). We should have probably done it the week before she left but she didn’t want that to happen during her last week at home so she said a very tearful goodbye when we took her to the airport. He stayed strong and was ‘hanging in there’. But by the time we returned, he made it known it was his time. He gave us 13 1/2 wonderful, faithful years – Our house is too quiet – we miss him SO much……
    What a wonderful tribute you wrote to your faithful girl.
    xo~

  47. Steph says:

    I can’t hold back the tears as I read your beautiful words of gratitude for Charly. I am so terribly sorry for your loss.

  48. Olivia Petzy says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss. My childhood dog, Atticus, died from aggressive and advanced bone cancer when I was 20 years old and twelve years later, I still cry when I think about him. It was similarly swift and shocking and I agree that in many ways, it is the greatest loss of my life. He was only seven, and it felt so unbearably cruel. I encourage you to take time to grieve and mourn, and I want to validate your feelings of great, deep, loss. Some people do not understand the loss of a beloved dog. and for those of us deeply bonded with our dogs, the grief is profound and real in every way. I am thinking of you all. It will ease with time. What a powerful thing to share and acknowledge with your girls: that even knowing great pain would come someday in the mysterious future, you opened your hearts to great joy in the only moment that is guaranteed, the present.

  49. Gaby says:

    I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. This is truly a lovely tribute to her. Sending you and your family so much love.

  50. Julie S says:

    Aw guys! I’m not even a dog person and your story so touched my heart. You made it clear what she meant to your family over the years. I hope the grieving becomes healing in good time, and you can look back on your time with her with joy.

  51. Meryl King says:

    ???????? my heart & head ache @ the thought of this loss. My deepest sympathy.

  52. Kira says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about Charly. The loss of a dog is so difficult – they are such an integral part of your family. I have been through it too and it is really tough. Just remember that you will always have the memories! When you think of her and miss her, she will always be with you through your memories. Best wishes to you and your family.

  53. Lesley Sparks says:

    I feel your pain and loss. I loss my miniature dachshund little over a year ago at the age of 9. Even though i have her ashes my heart still aches for her.

  54. Lesley Sparks says:

    I am truly sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  55. Lori Corden says:

    It’s tough to rationalize the special bond that occurs between dogs and humans. Why we become so attached to them emotionally must have some ancient root in our evolution. All I know is, it is real. Sharing your loss and pain.

  56. Rachel says:

    Crying reading this and can’t imagine your loss :( thank you for this post and I will be hugging my fur baby a little bit tighter today.

    Sending love and prayers. xo

  57. Ariel says:

    I am literally bawling over here. I am just so sorry for your loss. My husband and I have three dogs (and a baby on the way) that are our children. I know one day we’ll go through this too. They have such short lives, but make such a big impact. I hope your sweet family finds healing. Prayers to you ❤️

  58. Emily says:

    :'( I’m all teary-eyed. What a sweet girl you had. Condolences to you and your family <3

  59. Kara says:

    I so rarely comment on blogs anymore, but i just wanted to say I’m so so sorry for your loss and many hugs to you and your family. Losing a pet is hard and yet we keep committing to adding these wonderful. furry, fuzzy, short-lived creatures to our families. It says something that we’re willing to endure this time and again for the love and comfort they bring to us.

    Also the picture of Charly eating off the kitchen counter while standing on all fours – not even having to stretch – made me giggle through tears as I read your love for her.

  60. Sara says:

    So many tears while reading this. You gave her such a wonderful life.

  61. Susan says:

    Charly left some huge paw prints on your hearts. I’ve been through this and it does physically hurt and it’s too quiet. My dog used to follow me everywhere like Charly did you. She used to wait for me sleeping in a ball right outside the bathroom door while I showered. The first shower I took after she died I will never forget. There was nobody there holding the door shut and it broke my heart, I didn’t want to open it. Luckily with time it gets easier and the tears turn into smiles into laughs. Sometimes all at once. Charly is never really gone I’m sure you still feel her presence with you.

  62. Chris Dunham says:

    I know how that feels and it takes a long while before the new normal feels normal. Your post was a wonderful tribute to her. Made me cry.

  63. Andrea says:

    Like your oldest daughter, I was raised with a large dog, a great pyrenees. She lived a very long life and passed
    when I was in my teens. The house felt strange for a very long time. When I went off to college, my mom got other dogs, smaller, medium but never a large dog like our pyr. The other dogs didn’t stay long. I think my mom missed our big loveable pyr, too and the other dogs just couldn’t fill such a huge hole. I’m so glad you have many family pictures with her. I hardly have any with my pyr. I need to dig those out and frame them– my first best friend. Thanks for reminding me of her.

  64. Liz says:

    I cried so much reading this post. I am so very sorry your family had to say goodbye to your sweet girl.

  65. Cyndi J says:

    My first reaction when I read the title of the post was “No.” I’m so, so sorry. Her loss is heartbreaking. I lost a beloved cat almost two years so I understand. That also was my first real loss. Pets touch our hearts like no other. All my best to all of you.

  66. Christine says:

    I have followed your Charly posts throughout this past weekend with tears in my eyes – my heart aches for all of you. Your family is in my thoughts and I hope you find comfort in all the happy memories you had with Charly.

  67. Heidi says:

    Awe, this is always such hard news. We lost a beloved greyhound to bone cancer very unexpectedly, so I’m so glad you at least had a few extra days with Charly. My thoughts are with you, I know how difficult it is.

  68. Kasey says:

    This is such a beautiful tribute, Julia. I am hurting for you and your family, and know all too well the unbearable, physical, pain that comes with losing a pet you loved so deeply and so dearly.
    This passage helped me when we lost our heart dog to cancer this year. So I will leave it here, even if it’s already been, hoping it will bring some peace to you as well.
    “Dogs lives are short, too short, but you know that going in. You know the pain is coming, you’re going to lose a dog, and there’s going to be great anguish, so you live fully in the moment with her, never fail to share her joy or delight in her innocence, because you can’t support the illusion that a dog can be your lifelong companion. There’s such beauty in the hard honesty of that, in accepting and giving love while always aware that it comes with an unbearable price. Maybe loving dogs is a way we do penance for all the other illusions we allow ourselves and the mistakes we make because of those illusions.” -Dean Koontz

  69. Danielle says:

    I cried when I read your post last week and I have been praying for your family ever since. This tribute is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read, and I wept again. The love we share with these precious animals is hard to describe. Hugs to all of you

  70. Afton says:

    You all may have been lucky to find Charly….but she was so VERY lucky to have found you, her family. Happy thoughts for the days and weeks to come!

  71. Corine says:

    The most beautiful post. Ever. Sweet Charly. You guys gave her the best life. And she gave you all her love. Her loss is tragic and heartbreaking and beautiful and tender. To watch your family honor her this week was so touching.

  72. Rachel says:

    What a beautiful tribute to Charly. Our hearts and prayers are with you and your girls during this sad time.

  73. Emily says:

    I am so, so sorry you had to say goodbye to your Charly. Letting our pets go is the most difficult thing we do as the people who love them- and it will always feel like we’re making the wrong choice.

    About a year ago, we had to put down Buster, our beagle. He was 13 and had lost his eyesight practically overnight from diabetes right after we moved into a new home (that we were renovating top to bottom) and it was a difficult transition for all of us. However, instead of adjusting to life in the dark, Buster became very aggressive. He was scared and his fear caused him to not be his once sweet, snuggle-obsessed self.

    For months, I gave him the care he needed- patiently guiding him so he could find his way and dutifully administering his insulin. But one night I was picking up clothing from the floor of our bedroom and brushed against him while he was sleeping. He was frightened, and bit me (not normal behavior for him) and actually drew blood. Tears streaming down my face and blood running down my arm, I knew it was time to let him go. He wasn’t himself, and I couldn’t live with myself if I knew he was capable of such aggression and he bit someone else, especially a child.

    We consulted with our vet and ultimately decided to put him down after much thought and prayer. I have never felt such guilt, shame, and anguish over a choice- was I letting him go because he had made my life increasingly difficult or because he had a poor quality of life? At the end of the day, we knew it was time.

    About a week after he was put to sleep, our vet sent us a handwritten note in the mail. Buster was a good dog, it said. He was kind and loyal and his life mattered to the people who loved him. And letting him go was the right choice. I stood in the driveway sobbing because in that moment I realized I just needed someone to tell me I had made the right choice, despite knowing in my heart it was.

    There will always be a Buster-sized hole in my heart, but the good news is that loving again is possible whenever you and your family are ready. I wish dogs could live forever. Lots of love to you and your family.

  74. Kirsten says:

    Oh my goodness. I am so, so sorry for your loss. We have 2 dogs in our family and I can’t even begin to imagine the hole it leaves in your heart and home. Hugs to all of you.

  75. Irene says:

    I´m so sorry for your loss. I remember you writing that Charly was a couple years older than you thought and how painful it was knowing that you had less time together than expected. Such a tragedy that this time was cut even shorter, but I am sure she treasured every moment together as much as you guys did. Sending you lots of hugs and love from across the pond xx

  76. Emily says:

    Hugs to all of you! I am so so sorry to hear about the loss of Charly! I really don’t have words.. Our pets are such important members of the family.. All they do is love, and they leave us too quickly.. I’m glad you were able to spend a few days soaking up each others love…

  77. Danna says:

    This post leaves me sobbing. We had to put our beloved, overly large, beautiful, perfect sheltie, Tango to sleep last year. I still come home and look for her to greet me. When everyone piled out of the car and went into the house, she stood in the kitchen door looking into the garage waiting for me. She followed me everywhere. The quiet you described is deafening. The love of a dog is pure devotion. I have been so sad for you. I’m so sorry.

  78. Leena says:

    I’m not a pet person but I’ve been following your Charly posts. You’ve made me cry with every one and I’m very sorry you’ve lost her. Sending you and your lovely little family my sincerest condolences. Also sending positive thoughts that you’ll find comfort in the happy memories.

  79. Nichole K says:

    I’ve made it through all of your instagram and facebook posts holding back the tears, but they got me today. Dogs (pets in general) add so much to our lives and I’m so sorry that you’re missing your big fluffy girl. She’s still watching over your family. ((Hugs))

  80. Trisha says:

    A beautiful tribute! I’m so sorry for the heartache your family is going through.

  81. Sarah says:

    Such a sweet post. My heart is breaking! Sending love and condolences to your family and you grieve and heal. <3

  82. Pamela says:

    My heart is aching for you, tears in my eyes as I read this. I have felt your pain, we lost our 15 year old Cock-a-poo last year. I naively thought she would live forever. I know I will feel unbearable pain when we lose our aging Golden. Just the thought makes me nauseated. I am so sorry for your loss. I don’t think anyone understands how hard it is to lose a pet you love so much until they experience it. I know I didn’t. I told my husband I don’t know if I can go through it again, but then what’ s the point of living without the immense unconditional love of a pet? Our dogs have taught our four children what is it to love without boundaries, to empathize, and how to be there when someone hurts. I have one daughter who is a NICU nurse and one a LDR nurse, both credit having our pets for the passion they have for helping others. I am praying for healing for your family, and that your children always have a pet to learn how to love big, learn how to survive loss (a part of life) and learn how to support others unconditionally. Thank you for sharing your life with Charlie. I wish you peace.

  83. Vicki says:

    Such a beautiful post to honor a beautiful family member. The pain is real and lives on for a long while. Tears rolling down my cheeks in empathy and memory of my own sweet babies that we’ve lost to cancer and other terminal and painful illnesses. So very sorry for your loss.

  84. Carly says:

    Both of you ig feeds have had me teary all weekend. You can see the love your family has for this furry member. She was a beautiful dog and seemed to always be watching over ever body. She will continue to watch over you from above. It’s not easy. I have an aging dog as well and I feel there isn’t a ton of time left with her. This just breaks my heart.

  85. Meagan says:

    I’m very sorry to hear about the loss of your lovely Charly. Pets are a part of our family, and their loss is felt as such. Your description of the house being quiet and empty is apt and is exactly how we felt. Coming in the door without the usual greeting was the hardest reminder of the loss. Our beloved animals are never forgotten. I hope your wonderful memories of Charly bring you all some comfort and peace as you grieve her. She was so lucky to spend her time being loved on by your family! In case you haven’t seen this already, this poem was shared with us when our dog passed:

    Rainbow Bridge

    Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

    -Author Unknown

  86. Jess says:

    My heart breaks for you guys. We have two dogs who are such a huge part of our family and the thought of losing them is…no words.

    My Grandma sent me this poem when my Dad died of cancer a few years ago, it has always brought me such comfort knowing the pain he was in before he died. Thought I would pass it along:

    God looked around his garden – And found an empty place. – He then looked down upon the earth, -And saw your tired face. – He put His arms around you – And lifted you to rest. – God’s garden must be beautiful, – He always takes the best. – He knew that you were suffering, – He knew that you were in pain. – He knew that you would never – Get well on earth again. – He saw the road was getting rough – And the hills were hard to climb. – So He closed your weary eyelids – And whispered “Peace be thine.” – It broke our hearts to lose you – But you did not go alone… – For part of us went with you – The day God called you home.

  87. Susan says:

    Condolences on the loss of your darling Charley.

    We just did this very thing in January, with our beloved Boomer. He was ten, and also succumbed to undetected cancer. We can empathize about the too-quiet house, the change in routine, the constant emptiness that their loss creates.

    Please know that while your hearts will be forever changed, they will not be forever broken. Be gentle with yourselves at this time. Something that helped us was donating Boomer’s things to a local rescue (when we were able, of course).

  88. Michelle says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Sounds like you gave her the best life while she was on this earth.

  89. Erin says:

    The love dogs bring into our lives is incomparable. My parents had a St. Bernard when I was born, and though she left us when I was just 4, I still remember how it felt snuggling up to her warm and cozy body. Your girls will carry Charly with them throughout their lives, and how lucky they are to have those beautiful memories.
    My heart is with you all as you heal. And my gentle giant will be getting a few extra cuddles in memory of sweet Charly.

  90. Thalia says:

    Been following your (and Chris’) posts on Instagram and am so sorry for the loss of Charly. This is a beautiful testimony to the blessing she was – and is – to you and your family. Lots of prayers for you all during this time!

  91. Shellie says:

    My heart hurts for your families loss. Prayers for your healing

  92. Danielle says:

    This beautiful post made be bawl. We experienced a very similar loss recently: our daughter was born the same day as yours and we lost our beloved dog of eleven years just four weeks later. Our loss, too, was very sudden — our dog’s heart ruptured on a Wednesday and he was gone by Sunday. Those last few days with him were so special and he spent them alternating between standing guard over his little sister and licking her hands and feet. Even six weeks later the grief is still unbearable — our house feels so empty and quiet, despite the presence of a newborn, and I feel I’m mourning not just for the loss of my best friend but also for the memories we didn’t get to make, namely, seeing our daughter grow up next to our little guy and watching them become best friends, too (something I looked forward to my entire pregnancy). You described what we’ve been going through so eloquently and it’s obvious that your love for dear Charly was strong. Sending love to the two of you and your girls.

  93. Staci says:

    I’ve been following the instagram photos of your journey in saying goodbye to Charley. From a dog lover to another I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. Nothing can ever replace the magic that a dog can bring to a family, it’s its own special feeling that is indescribable. How do they know? How are dogs so observant that they can tell when we need love, are sick, cold, or lonely. Call me crazy but I swear we have people soulmates and dog soulmates. Charly was your families soulmate. Sending you and your family all the tears, hugs, and love!

  94. Carrie Campbell says:

    Just crying here at work. So sorry for your loss. Dogs are the best friends and companions.

  95. Mrs. Molly Craig says:

    This is the most beautiful tribute!! I have tears in my eyes… Sending BIG hugs & love to you all xoxo

  96. Michelle W says:

    so sorry for the loss of your beloved Charly.

  97. Dee says:

    What a beautiful post to honor Charly. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  98. Nat says:

    My heart is aching for you and your family. I’ve experienced that loss too, and never want to go through it again. And it kind of puts me into a mini-panic when I have my newest family member on my lap (Maggie’s a 14 lb shi tzu) and realize that some day I’ll have to say goodbye to her too. So much more I could write, except that I have tears in my eyes. So I’ll just leave it at that.

  99. Melanie says:

    I am so so deep down in my soul and bones sorry for your family. I wept yesterday multiple times thinking of your loss and am crying again now. Dogs are such beautiful souls, such important members of our family. They heal and nourish and love and challenge us in all the ways we didn’t know we need. It’s so unfair these wonderful creatures can’t stay with us forever, though they do in our heart. All my love to your sweet family in this terribly hard time.

  100. Alison S. says:

    I was crying through the whole post thinking of your dog and my own dogs. It is just such a sad time even though we all know that our pets don’t live as long as we do.

  101. Ellyn W says:

    I’m so sad for your loss of Charly and reading this beautiful post just moved me to tears. What a wonderful gift she was in your lives.

  102. Christina says:

    Very, very sorry for your loss. My husband is a veterinarian and the days that he has to help end the suffering of a beloved pet really takes it out of him. They become a part of the family. They are a presence and when the presence is gone, it is a very real loss. Prayers for you during this time of mourning. May you be blessed with beautiful, joyful memories of Charly for the rest of your lives!

  103. Hilary says:

    I opened this up at the doctor’s expecting normal content and now I find myself crying for your family. Wishing your family the best during this hard transition. I’m glad you had such a wonderful life with her!

  104. Kelly Kestler says:

    I’m sobbing at work reading this… We lost both our dogs this year, and it is the most unbearable silence to have a home devoid of animals. My heart breaks for you.

  105. Erin says:

    omgoodness. I am so sorry for your loss. Such a beautiful soul! I’m glad you and your family were able to treasure every last second with Charly and shared all these memories with the girls. She will forever be in your hearts.

  106. Abby J. says:

    Sending much love to all of you. I know it hurts deeply. But I hope you can look back on what a good home you provided for Charly with love and pride. You gave her a life and a family full of care and love, and there’s absolutely no doubt she was a Good Dog.

  107. Chelsea says:

    I’ve never commented but I saw your news about Charly on Instagram and my heart has been broken for your family, and now this lovely tribute has me in tears.

  108. Christina says:

    I’m not a “dog person” but I’m human and teared up multiple times reading today’s post…I am so sorry for yalls loss!

  109. Ashley R says:

    I’ve never personally owned a dog, but I was there when my in-laws had to put their dog down. He had cancer too and was covered in tumors. He was such a sweet dog, always putting up with our then toddler son who always loved on him a little too hard. It was a hard adjustment to not having him around, but even to this day, 5 years later, we still talk fondly of his quirks. I think it helps us feel like he’s not too far away.

  110. abby says:

    this is a very sweet tribute to charly. it’s very hard to say goodbyes to pets. i’m very sorry for your loss. i went through a similar experience about 8 months ago with our sweet little walter. walter was a street dog for years (according to our neighbors who had seen him around for years) and was the most matted, dirty dog i had ever seen when we took him in. he quickly became a part of our family and, simply, loved love. he loved being part of a family. we learned at the beginning of this year that walter had crohn’s disease, which the vet said is pretty much the equivalent of stomach cancer in dogs. we tried a few things, but he was quickly deteriorating. having to decide to stop treatment and put him to sleep was, by far, the hardest decision we have ever had to make. i know exactly what you mean when you say this was the hardest loss you’ve experienced–it was for me and my husband, too. it’s almost unbearable. but we found a peace knowing that not only did walter bring such a joy to our lives, but we felt like god brought us to him at a time he needed someone to love on him. we cringe thinking about him going through the horrific things his body was going through while still on the streets with no one to care for him or love on him. so, we see it as god knew what would happen with little walter and led him to us so he could spend his last few years on this earth getting the love and care he deserved. i think the same is probably true about charly…god knew what she would eventually go through and brought her to you guys so she could experience a love and a family like she deserved during her final years on earth. i hope you feel some peace during this tough time…and i’m glad you are remembering the good and funny times with her!

  111. Noelle says:

    I’m so so sorry for your loss. Charly looks like she was such a sweet girl! We lost our 10 year old 100 lb rescue to bone cancer several years ago and it was devastating. She actually had her leg amputated as we tried (unsuccessfully) to stop the spread of the cancer (Everyone assured us that dogs do great on 3 legs, but not so much 100 lb, 10 year old dogs with cancer, learning to adjust in January ice storms). At the end of the day, I question if we did the right thing because her last few months were uncomfortable and sad for all of us. But it was hard to let go… We haven’t yet brought a new dog into our family, but we’re about to add our own third little girl in a few months, and I think once we’re all settled, a new pup is not too far off in the future. They bring so much unconditional love into our lives. So glad you had the time you did with Charly. It takes a long time to get used to a home without our pets… I still expect Lola to come running when the door bell rings, or if I’m cooking bacon… but time does heal and we can be so grateful for all that our furry friends teach us!

  112. Claudine says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss. I know exactly what you mean about the house feeling cold, empty and quiet. It is wonderful that Greta and Faye will have memories of Charly and sweet and funny stories to tell Polly as she grows up.

  113. Katie says:

    My heart aches for you – we lost our first dog early this year to a fast moving cancer as well. It is a terribly hard loss to heal from; even now, months later I have tears in my eyes thinking of him. This line – “Chris and I both agreed that losing Charly was the greatest loss we have ever experienced. She exuded a non-stop pure love that we took for granted and now that it is no longer there, it physically hurts.” – is so so so true. Take care of yourself Marcums.

  114. Danielle says:

    I’m so very sorry! She was a beautiful dog and I, too, loved seeing her in your pics. Wishing you peace at this difficult time.

  115. MFR says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this experience and your pain. It makes me pause and appreciate our sweet family dog. I needed to be reminded that she is so much more than another being to be cleaned up after ;)

    Hugs to you!

  116. Karen F says:

    I am so very sorry for your family’s loss. RIP, dear Charly.

  117. Meredith says:

    This has me in tears at my desk (desperately trying to get it together, because nothing screams “professional!” like crying before 8 AM). I’m so sorry for your loss. I have a 12-year-old basset hound who is absolutely my world and knowing this day will come doesn’t make dealing with it any easier. Emily McDowell has a beautiful card: “I think people who don’t believe in soul mates just haven’t met the right animal yet.”

  118. Carol says:

    Thank you for rescuing her, for loving her, and for sharing her with all of us. So very sorry for your loss. Rest in peace, Charly girl.

  119. Brittany says:

    Such a beautiful tribute to your family member – sending my condolences.

  120. Bobbi Huffman says:

    So sad. I will miss seeing Charlie in your photos. We went through this two years ago with our Golden Doodle so I know how it feels and it is so hard. ❤️

  121. Emma says:

    Hi darlings,

    Words fail. We have recently had this too with our boxer of ten years. Massive amounts of love to you all.

    Em&Kate xx

  122. GJ says:

    That was really beautiful. So sorry for your loss.

  123. Dani says:

    Whenever you had a Charly story on the podcast or photo on the blog, my heart was warmed instantly. In a way, it seems like Charly has become like family for us too… maybe that’s why I’m bawling. So sorry for your loss, and thank you for sharing a part of her sweet, happy life with us. Sending prayers and virtual hugs your way.

  124. Liz says:

    I’m not an animal person … but I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face and feeling so sad for your loss. Keep sharing your Charly stories. There’s lots of readers that will miss her, too.

  125. Oh guys. I’m so sorry. I’m devastated for you. xx

  126. Julia Bill says:

    What a beautiful post honoring your beloved Charly. I’m crying as I write this because I’ve been down your road too many times with my own Saint Bernard and Newfoundlands and I feel your pain. Our big dogs are here with us a relatively short time, but what they add to our lives is immeasurable. I’ve been giving my current Newf Halsey extra love and attention this past week in honor of Charly. I can imagine after losing your constant companion you hear the echoes of Charly right now. I’m sending you good thoughts and strength to get through this very difficult time.

  127. Kristin says:

    Oh my gosh, I am so very, very sorry. But I’m so glad you all had each other, because there was so much love!

  128. Jen says:

    What a beautiful post. Certainly got me weepy on my morning commute.

  129. Sarah says:

    Yes. It just won’t be the same. Instinctively, you’ll push out your chair from the table to miss hitting her and then you’ll remember she’s not there. You will go to unlock the doggie door and then remember that you don’t have to. Someone will knock at the door, she won’t bark and then you’ll remember. You’ll walk by the dog section at the grocery store, remember that you don’t belong there anymore and then keep walking.
    Losing our basset hound four years ago broke our hearts. People comfort you differently when a human family member dies. You’re meant to bounce back faster when a pet dies. It’s difficult .
    My father died this year and the night he left us, I thought, “I bet Bruno jumped on him, knocked him over, and howled when he got through those pearly gates.” It made me smile then and still brings me comfort to know that two spirits I love so much are together.
    I’m so sorry for your loss.

  130. Kerry says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Charly was a blessing and amazing family member. I’m so grateful you found each other. Warm sympathy ????

  131. Kelly says:

    Oh my heart is breaking for you and your family. The memories of losing our first family dog came flooding back as I read your beautifully written post – along with the tears. My thoughts and prayers go out to you all.
    Best,
    Kelly

  132. Ellen says:

    So sorry for your loss! She was a beautiful dog, both inside and out. Praying for your family!

  133. Patricia says:

    I am truly sorry and so sad to hear this heart breaking news. I do understand completely how you feel, as we have also gone through the loss of a beloved pet. It really is losing a member of your family who was loved deeply and the loss will be felt deeply. It does get a little easier with time but you will always miss your beloved Charly ….but it was clear on this blog that she had a wonderful life with you all and was well loved ….????????

  134. Eve says:

    Oh guys. So sorry to hear this. She was a gorgeous girl, I loved seeing her in your pics. Thanks for the beautifully written post xx

  135. Stacy G. says:

    Oh, Julia, It’s so hard to say goodbye. So hard. I am glad that your family and Charly had each other.

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