A Stuffed Dog


I adopted Vader from a longtime pug lover, Joan Foster. A year before I met her, her husband Charlie, a gregarious man, well-loved by everyone, died. The two used to raise and show pugs together and after Charlie's death, Joan began to take in more rescues and befriend many more people with other breeds of dogs. As the years went by and many of the pugs whom Charlie had raised died, we would comfort ourselves by saying "there goes another one to be with Charlie," or "I guess he's with Charlie now."

As more years passed and the rescues and her friends' dogs died, we would laugh by saying "Wonder what Charlie thinks of that one? He's probably saying, 'a poodle, Joaner, really a poodle?" Or when Ginger, the beagle-basset hound-pug mix passed, "Oh my, what do you think Charlie thinks of Ginger? I bet he's saying, 'Joaner, what have you gone and done now?'"

So you can imagine the smile amidst the tears, when my friend Norma called me up and reassured me that Vader was now with Charlie and when, after a pause, she asked, "Can you imagine what he thinks of Humpie Doggie? This tops it all.  He's probably saying 'Joaner, what have you gone and done now? A stuffed dog, Joaner, a stuffed dog?'"