Charlie: The Little Dictator

And so breaking news: Charlie is here to stay!

My husband tried but couldn’t resist the charms of a little dog with such a big personality.

Some people would say we got stuck with rather a bad deal. At 12, Charlie is well past his prime. He is active and excitable for now, but I know that old age problems could crop up at any moment.

He is far too tiny to be of any use as a watchdog. And in safe Hong Kong, I doubt we will ever need him to be either.

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He suffered an eye tear when he was a puppy and though it hasn’t affected his eyesight, it gives him a rather distorted look. When his eyes are open, he looks like he has a tear duct in the middle of his eye and when he sleeps, the red underlid droops out and he looks like his eyes are open and bloodshot.

And then, there is his smell. When we first got him home, he was flatulent. To put it mildly. Just as we settled to watch TV, he would launch a stealth stink bomb and within a matter of seconds, it would be man, woman and children down.  That has slowly been corrected with a better diet and a healthy dose of probiotics. There’s also his wet dog smell, but to be honest, with HK weather being as gloomy as it is currently, he can’t be blamed for smelling like a wet dog when he is one! And then there is his mouth. The less said the better. I have tried brushing his teeth, but it is going to need more than that and even regular scaling to remove the tartar that’s built up over the years. He might need a saw to cut through those disgusting mounds!

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All in all, some would say Charlie is not a prize catch. But when I see the unconditional love he gives me and my kids, the patience, consideration and selflessness that they are learning while caring for an eccentric old dog, I believe we have gained something priceless.

And so now, we’re scouting for names. Everyone has come up with ridiculous names that reflect how they see Charlie. My son wants to call him Mr Clock. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why. Perhaps, because when he runs after us, following us everywhere we move around the house, his paws make an annoying tick-tocky sort of noise. My daughter wants to call Bunny. Why? That’s a bit easier to guess. Each time when  Charlie sees us come home, he does a 20 minute bunny hop, totally not befitting his senior citizen status. My husband wants to call him Tiberius. Because he has boldly gone where no dog has gone before… Errr… I mean to my husband’s heart, of course! I want to call him Tyrion. It’s obvious. You should have GoT this! A short dog with a scar on his face.

Ah well, until we all agree, let’s just re-examine Charlie for now. Like his namesake, Charlie Chaplin, this one has a funny face, a ridiculous walk and makes us laugh without ever saying a word. He entered our world and took it over so smoothly! Hmmm.. I think he will remain Charlie, our little dictator.

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