My eight-year-old Boxer, Charlie, has always been the happiness in my life. From when we got him, back in 2011, I knew I had met my best friend. Charlie would attend all of my little league softball games and run around with me at my brother’s baseball practices. One of our favorite activities was playing field hockey in the backyard. He was the most competitive defensive player I have ever met.
Charlie has also been around for all of my heartbreaks and the struggles our family has been through. The older both he and I get the more I start to think about who he would be as a human. I often wonder how my perspective would change if we lived as humans together.
Dara Senechal 2011
Younger Charlie was a pain in the ass; your classic toddler. He got into everything and always had something in his mouth.
As a child, I think he would be the bully of elementary school, but if he ever got in trouble, would probably cry and beg for no punishment. I would expect this younger version of him to hang out with the meaner kids in town. Charlie would be the one to act the toughest in the group, but always be the one to get scared over something stupid.
To this day when I let him outside, he barks at anything that moves and chases it into the woods. As soon as he calms himself down, he walks back to our deck and launches himself into the air because a leaf on the ground looked at him funny.
Teenager Charlie is a whole different story, though. Throwing away his past and learning that being a punk isn’t the way to make friends, he would figure out who he was meant to be: calm, cool, collected, and the heartthrob of all the ladies. I could picture him as the stud of the baseball team. He would get his natural ability from watching my brother and I play. I’m not sure if he would be the ace pitcher that could hit home runs or the shortstop with the highest slugging percentage, but he would definitely get MVP of every game.
Teenager Charlie and I would be when we got the closest. In real life, he would be older than me but he would still be my getaway driver on days that drained me.
On most nights in high school, I wouldn’t be able to go to sleep without crying. As soon as the first tear would race down my face, Charlie would be there. He has met every boyfriend I’ve ever had, even the ones I should’ve never brought home. As a best friend should, he showed me the unconditional support I never got from my “friends” in school. Without ever saying a word (because he’s a dog, obviously) he saved my life on multiple occasions.
As the years passed, I’ve noticed that his happiness is limitless. Anything you say to him, his tail never stops wagging. He has lived with three other dogs that meant the world to him, and has had to watch all of them go. Even through those passings and the loss of all his favorite squeaky toys, his infectious joy never fades.
Through this, I see the “therapist friend” come out in him. Everyone has had, or currently has, a friend that they can pour their hearts out to and get the best advice from. For me, that has always been Charlie, which seems kind of weird to admit.
Rachel Senechal 2020
Now, at eight years old, Charlie has officially reached his prime. I am proud to say that if Charlie was a human right now, he would be my favorite grandfather.
Being my support system since I was a child, he would always have my full trust. If Charlie was a human, he would hold my hand when I got scared. We would take walks around the places we could only dream about going and he would be at every family function and my sporting events.
Before COVID, my parents would attend my softball games and Charlie would take the trip with them. He would be sitting by the fence, watching my every move, getting more excited with every step I took. After the games he would run to me, almost knocking me over, but would jump with pure joy.
Charlie would be the one to say a prayer at Thanksgiving dinner. You would definitely find him passed out on the couch after eating too much turkey.
Although it would be cool to see Charlie as a human, I’m happy he’s my pup. He always lets me talk as much as I want, I get to have dance parties without having to worry about being judged, and I get to cuddle with him whenever I want. Overall, I don’t think he would change much; maybe just how he looks and that he could talk.
The talking might be something that would take some getting used to, though.