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Don Smitley Finds Comfort Spending Time with His Dog, Charley

I have mentioned my parents’ dog, Charley, in several posts. It’s time he got some attention! Charley is a five-year-old poodle-terrier mix who has become a light in Mom’s and Dad’s lives. He is sort of goofy (truth be told!) and always makes them laugh and smile.

The relationship between Dad and Charley is an interesting one. Throughout Dad’s mesothelioma, Charley has been his constant companion, never letting Dad out of his sight. He follows both Mom and Dad around the house. But once Mom leaves for work, they become a dynamic duo spending a lot of time playing, walking, watching TV, and napping in the recliner that they share.

Dogs tend to be a lot of company, and Charley is no exception. When you talk to him, he seems to understand every word that you say. So… we all find ourselves carrying on conversations with him from time to time.

He also seems to sense when you’re not feeling your best. Charley is usually pretty hyper, jumping on your lap and demanding attention. It was interesting that when Dad returned from his pleurectomy last February, Charley was extremely gentle and spent a lot of time just resting with him.

My husband and I also have a dog, Gus. He’s been a great source of comfort for us as well, always bringing happiness to our lives. Put Gus and Charley together, and you have a comedy show!

These animals are just one more aspect of our lives that we have to be thankful for. God works in mysterious ways; maybe he brought us our dogs to make us smile and realize that maybe laughter is the best medicine after all!

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