Mammal Mondays: Charlie Has Gone Home!

Friends, it brings me great joy to share that Charlie went to a wonderful new home tonight! Finally, after eight weeks of diligent work to help her break her bad habits and become accustomed to not running the show, our little red head met the ideal family to love her for the rest of her days. She’s not quite a year old, so Miss Charlie has lots and lots of days to share with her fantastic new people.

As much as we waited (and waited, and waited) for the application from an ideal family for Charlie, it was still a little tough to watch her go. Funny, because she was one dog I didn’t once entertain the thought of keeping. There were many days I asked the universe to please, please have the right people contact us soon because I was out of patience. We have watched most of our movies and t.v. shows with one eye (each) on the screen and one eye (each) on the little red dog. My yard has been destroyed, is largely grassless and is pitted with “pitty holes;” what was what a solid back door screen is now a tattered row of peaks more than a little reminiscent of those banners flapping over an abandoned used car dealership.

Miss Charlie was a heap of work. She kept me on my toes far more than any of our other fosters, and pushed her luck on a regular basis. Thankfully, the good news about a “fixer-upper” is the amount of progress such a pooch can make. It’s been like Extreme Makeover: Mutt Edition. The little red dog who trotted gleefully down the sidewalk with her new people tonight was a different animal than the one who first arrived here. She went from a squirrelly, poorly-mannered dog I couldn’t have adopted out in good conscience at the time to a lovely creature with just a few rough edges left to smooth out.

To sum up: a dog who was nearly unwalkable now heels with only moderate, intermittent pulling–and sometimes goes whole blocks with a slack leash. This same little critter, who one snatched food and toys with no regard for the fingers holding them, now lies down while her bowl is being filled and waits to be released before starting her meal. She, who howled like a dog aflame the first night I put her in her kennel, now willingly goes to her crate on command and stays there with minimal fuss. The dog who nearly bowled me over at every opportunity to get through doors and up stairs first now sits and waits for release to transition to new areas. She’s very quickly becoming a rock star.

Charlie is like a completely different dog. She tested my patience in a way I’m not accustomed to with dogs, over and over again, and pushed my creativity to find ways to help her improve. Trust me, I’ve never before hauled the iPod dock downstairs hoping Vivaldi might help a canine relax. I’ve never purchased my canned foods based on their suitability for a dog’s backpack cargo. I’m proud of myself and of my awesome husband for sticking it through with her, even in those many, many moments I would have gladly sold her to a traveling circus: cheaply.

Most of all, though, I’m truly proud of Charlie Bear for responding, if slower than I would have liked sometimes, to our efforts and for getting well on her way to being the dog she was always meant to be. I’m thrilled she will spend her life being adored by people who are committed to helping her be an ambassador for doggy kind and the pitty breeds in particular.

And so, a wonderful adoption on Canada Day for our red and white dog. If ever there was a reason to set off some fireworks, here we are. Huzzah!

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Well done!! It’s thanks to YOUR tireless work that Charlie Bear is an acceptable pet. I’m sure that her new family will be forever grateful to have such a wonderful character in their lives but she would probably have never reached that without your help. Now you’re prepared for most anything and future challenges will be a breeze. 🙂 Bravo!!

  2. Jody says:

    Glad that Charlie has a great new home. Hopefully her new owners are as on top of it with training as you are, and will continue to teach her good manners so that the lessons stay with her and they want to keep her always.

    I’m also seriously impressed with your training. Have you thought of charging for it?

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