We have a number of firsts in the dollhouse this week. One of these is the fact that we had only a five day stretch between foster dogs, saying goodbye to Kizzy on Saturday and welcoming Charlie on Thursday. Also, and perhaps most notably, is the fact that we have a pitty princess for a houseguest this round.
Miss Charlie (yes, she’s female) is just shy of a year and a pitbull God-only knows mix. I’m calling her the Uma Thurman of the canine world, since sometimes I think she’s breathtaking and others I am stunned by how fugly she is. In fact, The Electrician’s first words upon meeting Charlie were “What is wrong with this dog?” Poor Charlie has a big ol’ pitbull skull but the narrow, pointy snout of something smaller; sadly I haven’t been able to get a photo in profile to show you what I mean. My husband thinks she looks rather possessed because her eyes are such a pale blue they appear white in certain lights, but I keep telling him she’s like a movie star.
Anyway, Charlie was returned to SCARS due to severe allergies in her adoptive home. She was originally in another foster home as a baby, suffering terribly from parvovirus. Charlie was one of the lucky, very few, puppies who survive this devastating illness. She has been much loved and well-cared for as she has grown into an adult, which makes her very different from the neglected and/or abused dogs we often foster.
Please excuse the sad, dead appearance of our back yard. Spring has almost decided to visit Alberta, but we’re still waiting for rain. Despite the lack of romance in their play venue, Charlie and Sherman are madly in love (apparently he likes redheads as well as blondes) and play very nicely. She’s even said hello politely if exuberantly a few times to Leroy, who assumes his ” there’s a new dog in my house” position with every hair standing at attention whenever she passes by to swipe him with her giant tongue.
It’s definitely a change of pace to care for Charlie. We’re used to seeing dogs with zero self-confidence, dogs who have never seen stairs and don’t know most humans are actually trustworthy. Heck, our last foster dog peed in submission if I moved to quickly or sneezed a little too loudly!
Miss Charlie is a diva, to say the least. She has a sweet personality and is not at all aggressive, but she has definitely been pushing our buttons to see how much we’ll let her get away with. The answer to that, little red dog, is zilch. We won’t talk about the fact she tore the screen out of my back door while I washed dishes, okay? She got away with that one, but please don’t tell her it’s a victory on her part.
This dog is built of determination, brains, and a double helping of energy. She’s also about the strongest dog under fifty pounds I think I’ve ever met. The Electrician and I are certainly on our toes right now, but things are improving every day as Charlie adjusts to life in a new house and with new people. This is a creature who gives a zillion kisses when she’s in the mood, and responds to commands with what I swear is a raised eyebrow when she’s just not feeling compliant. She raises that eyebrow often right now.
Miss Charlie is in beautiful physical condition; her muscle mass puts her ten pounds over my eyeballs-only estimate. We won’t talk about how much work it was for me to pick up a wriggling pitbull to figure out her weight. She’s considerably smaller than Sherman but far closer to his weight than you’d guess. All her vaccines are up-to-date and she is spayed. As always, you can find out more information about our lovely foster dog by going to the SCARS website.
Charlie needs a home with people who will provide strong leadership and meet her considerable needs for mental and physical exercise. It’s important to me Charlie goes to a home that is educated about leading tenacious dogs and prepared to work with her to help her be the best dog she can be, because it seems there are far too many people out there who are into pitty-type dogs because of the reputation they have for being tough or “cool.” I’ll gladly say it: how your dog behaves says far more about you than how she looks. It is your job as the human to ensure your dog’s conduct makes him or her an ambassador for mutt-kind, regardless of breed.
Charlie’s not the dog for just anyone, but I know she will make the right person or family a loyal, deeply loving pet for many excellent years. She’s really growing on me, especially since it’s sunk in that I mean business and very good things come to dogs who listen.
And after she’s adopted, I can get a new screen for my back door. Good things all around.
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