Chuckwagon March 14, 2006 - November 13, 2015
Chuckwagon was one of eleven puppies. He was the last puppy and the largest. When the puppies were small, Phil and I decided that because Jake was so helpful in the care of the dogs, he should be able to keep a puppy of his own. (Doesn't every boy deserve a puppy?) Jake's choice was Chuckwagon. From when Chuck was eight weeks old, the two spent hours together cuddling, playing, watching TV, even playing video games. At night, would Chuckwagon sleep at Jake's bedside, helping ease a mother's ever-present concern for her son's safety.
Chuckwagon was a very laid back, easy going personality. Not much ruffled him. He loved visitors once he'd done his Mastiff-ly duty and woofed at them. Chuckwagon was a true homebody and although he enjoyed selected field trips, he was happiest settled at home in his corner in the kitchen. When Jake went away to the Marine Corp, Chuck decided that it was his place in the family to keep an eye and ear on Grandpa. He was often found "snoozing" (with one eye open) underneath the window in Grandpa's office. Doing what mastiffs do best, Chuckwagon made a great "baby monitor" of sorts. He could be depended on to come find us if he perceived that anything was amiss.
Chuckwagon had bum elbows from a very young age. We knew that compensating for them would take it's toll on his hips as well and we always thought he would be the first of the brothers to cross the Rainbow Bridge. However, he proved us wrong and was, ultimately, the last of the three. We knew the time had come to say goodbye to Chuckwagon and Kodi and we entertained the idea of letting them cross the bridge together, just as they had come into the world. However, Jake wanted to come home to be with his boy at the end and Kodi couldn't wait for Jake. We said goodbye to Kodi, and when Jake got leave a week later to come home, we said goodbye to Chuckwagon. Needless to say, it was a tough week.
Our neighbors still have a little Chihuahua, albeit a different one than the one they had when we moved in. However, I can't go into the backyard and see or hear their Chihuahua without thinking of Chuckwagon. He absolutely loved going out and standing at the fence to have a conversation with Chocolate nextdoor. He would even go and softly woof, asking if Chocolate could come out and play. I have to believe that Chuckwagon has found some other tiny friend in Heaven to keep him company until he is reunited with "his boy".
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