Big Birthdays: Dr. Lori & Charlie The Dog Child


On the same day, we have two big birthdays in our family. First came, Auntie Lori. She is Nathan’s one and only sibling, his older sister. Auntie Lori is a doctor, a surgeon, loves fancy shoes and fine food. She can also out drive any woman and many men on a golf course. Auntie Lori doesn’t mess around. But she is a role model to our kids and a fantastic friend to Nathan and me. 
Auntie_Lori_ChristmasI hope our kids grow up with the drive and determination of Auntie Lori. They will be a success!

The second birthday today is that of our beloved dog child, Charlie who is 12 years old today. 

Charlie DogCharlie has been Nathan’s dog since he was a puppy. He was Nathan’s best friend until I entered the picture. Charlie gave me a few stares down through the years. I know he wonders why I got to start sleeping next to Nathan instead of him. But not to worry, Charlie has lived a posh life. He eventually became a granddog. With Nathan’s past corporate career and travel, Nathan’s parents started to take Charlie overnight. Eventually, he moved in. Then we moved back to the prairie, minutes from Nathan’s parents, Charlie established a joint custody arrangement with us. He keeps a pillow at both houses along with food, treats and water. He stays overnight at our house from time to time. But mostly, Charlie the dog child lives with Nana and Grandpa, who dote on him daily. 

Today, I went over to Nana’s where both girls were playing. The girls tried to get Charlie to take a birthday picture.

Charlie Dog BirthdayAs my friend Kelly pointed out on this picture earlier, Anika was her usual silly self, trying to get Charlie to smile. Charlie was patient. Elizabeth was smiling but worried about her aggressive sister and protective of Charlie. He is our special dog child, who has adapted to much change through his twelve years of dog life.


But together, we are a family.

Happy Birthday Auntie Lori. We hope you are reading this from your phone on a beach or a green golf course, soaking in some sun. Don’t hurry back to the cold, frozen tundra anytime soon. 



  1. Dorine says

    Today is also my sister’s birthday. I had to chuckle when you said Charlie couldn’t figure out why you got the bed with Nathan instead of him. The summer we were first married, we lived with Greg’s folks until we moved into married housing in August. Sam, Greg’s black lab, was not fond of me taking his spot next to Greg on the bed. He would whimper and whine all night, even though Greg hung his arm over the side of the bed with his hand resting on Sam’s head. After a week of that, I told Greg it was either Sam in the laundry room or me on the family room couch!!!! Happy Birthday to Charlie, Lori and Marilyn!!!!

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