It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved Labrador Retriever, Charlie. Charlie's full name was Coach's Lineman Charlie after his breeders Kenny and Sherry Galas. (Kenny was a line coach on Steel's youth football team.) Charlie was gifted to us by the Galas family. Charlie was born March 28, 2008, and was one of 12 beautiful puppies in a perfect litter. Charlie stood out as the biggest puppy with the lightest color. Charlie also answered to the names; Chuck, Charles, Charlie Barley, and Charlie Bear.
Charlie was not a typical, high strung Labrador puppy. With his quiet temperament, he was suited for service work. Before his first birthday, Charlie had graduated at the top of his obedience class, received the "AKC Canine Good Citizen Award" and certification with "Therapy Dogs International" as a therapy dog. Charlie's first assignment was with the Stanislaus County Library. The "Read to a Dog" program was started after we approached the library to volunteer. Charlie and Kelli were the first dog/handler team in the program (that continues today.) Charlie also worked with Optimal Hospice which included visiting the terminally ill and their families as well as work with a grief support group for children survivors. Charlie's last assignment as a therapy dog was with Casa de Modesto where he visited the patients once a month. He loved his work as a therapy dog and thoughtfully consumed every treat the patients offered him including jelly beans and cough drops.
When Charlie wasn't volunteering, he enjoyed swimming and playing tug-o-war. He loved his little friend Daisy but was always afraid of her (even though he outweighed her by 100 lbs.) But Charlie's favorite pastime was following Kelli around the house and staying as physically close to her as possible.
Things we will miss about Charlie:
-- His devotion and adoration.
-- His warm greeting and welcome every time we came home.
-- His intuition and response to those in emotional distress.
-- His love of peanut butter and string cheese.
Charlie had some special friends. He will be missed by his first dog-sitter Brooke Lemos, his last dog-sitter Landon, the entire Galas family, and every patient he ever encountered.