I have only two images of Charlie on this computer. The classic, Charlie in the snow, and a family snap shot with the whole menagerie, circa 1993 - Mum, Gill, me, Heidi the Weimeraner, and Cherokee & Bradshaw the Persian cats. Charlie died seven years ago this week. Seems like forever. Seems like yesterday.
That dog could make you laugh & cry and he loved everyone, and everyone loved Charlie. He was remarkable. The snow photo: he loved snow. But that day - when I opened the door, the snow was deeper than he was, and as he disappeared into it, he jumped up with a confused look on his face, and then he just set to enjoying it. We were snowed in, in Croeserw. Later, he was bedraggled and dripping with ice, and still loving every second. Living with him brought unexpected joy every day.
Matty is a totally different beast; not so prolific with his affections to the population at large, his gentle soul has done the impossible and worked its way even deeper into mine. He is the most affectionate animal - but I think only to me. The rest of you have to take my word that the slightly shy and diffident dog you see is far from the whole story. There is a whole different Matty waiting for you to leave, which is why he is pleased to see you, and to see you go!
And this is Ben with Martha. I think Martha & Matty are very similar. She won't come to me. I've been here over a week, and she's come close once. But with Ben - she's all over him. And Gill tells me she is the most loving cat. Here she is, cuddling a can of Mountain Dew. I believe Gill.
I still miss the most sociable animal ever. And have in his place a remarkably different one, so similar on the outside, occupying just as much of my heart.