Charlie is the reason that I established the rescue. I found Charlie on Facebook in July 2011. He was located at the Mahoning County Dog Pound in Youngstown, OH. He was abandoned by his owner and tied outside without food and water. I wanted to do something about animals so I thought, at least, I could adopt him and give him a home. When I saw him, he was worse than I thought. When we stepped into the kennel area, all dogs barked and tried to get our attention, except him. He just sit in his cage quietly and looked at the floor, no eye contact at all. There was no hope in his eyes. When we were leaving, Charlie didn't want to leave. He was panic. He thought the shelter was the only place where he could have food and water. On the way home, he eventually relaxed and realized that this is not so bad...
My vet was shocked to see him. He said Charlie needs to gain at least 20 pounds. He was 40 lbs when we got him. Considering his size, he should have been at least 60 lbs. So the order from the vet was letting him eat as much as possible. Charlie was happy about this. He gained his weights back. But there is more. His paws were flat, his legs were crooked, his head and neck structure was abnormal, and worst of all, he had a big lump on his throat. What these means he had been abused and kept in a cage for a long time. He couldn't eat anything without chocking. I took him to 3 different doctors and after several sessions of x-rays, we finally got an idea about the lump. It was the scare tissues caused by trauma by his previous owner, the abuser. His esophagus was extreme narrow considering his size. The bone in his head showed evidence of trauma. He had herniate disc on his neck. Charlie couldn't run. His leg trembled all the time. He always had short breath after walking (sometimes I was even afraid of taking him for a walk). He chocked from eating anything almost everyday. I had to soak his food in water to soften it for him to eat. Another thing the vet found out about Charlie is that they couldn't open his mouth widely during his neutering surgery. It was very difficult for them to put the oxygen tube in his mouth. This is also part of the trauma which damaged his jaws. I don't know what have happened to this poor guy... no matter what, he suffered greatly and the suffering had became permanent physical damage on him.
But, Charlie was a happy dog. I have never seen him whined or felt sad about anything. He enjoyed his life and made the best of everything. He enjoyed sun bathing in the back yard, sleeping with me, loved the attention from people. He is smart too! First day after I got him, we kept him in my garage (with air conditioning) and wanted to gradually introducing him to my little dogs (Charlie was the first big dog I have ever owned.) During the lunch break, I came home to check on him. I couldn't find him anywhere. I heard noises from upstairs. Then he came downstairs to see me! I realized that he found the doggie door and got into my house and went to my bedroom to sleep in my bed (imaging how my dogs felt when they saw this big guy walking into the house!) He was already house broken, no training needed at all. I took him to a dog training class (for golden retrievers). The trainer was mean to us because Charlie doesn't look like those "golden beautiful dogs". She asked us watching instead of letting us join the class. Toward to the end of the class, she finally let us practice what we saw. Charlie did EVERYTHING perfectly.The trainer's jaws were dropped. Of course we didn't go back to the class anymore. We proudly left the place with our head up. My Charlie was smarter than those golden retrievers!! But I still took him to a pit bull training class. He finished the class and earned his Canine Good Citizenship!
I planned grape tomatoes, do-nut peaches, and strawberries. He enjoyed his "salad bar" very much. He even knew how to pick the good ones to eat! Charlie loved life, He liked every dogs, people, cats (anything moves)! Charlie was the first dog who accepted Elliot when he came to my house as my foster dog. People know Elliot knows that he was in some way dog aggressive. But Elliot got along really well with Charlie because of Charlie didn't discriminate any dog. Charlie was very kind to Elliot. He had to say hi to anybody he met. He lived in the present, enjoyed his treats and food, loved a good nap and massages. There is nothing he didn't like.... well there are some: he didn't like vacuum machine, mower, nail clipping, ear cleaning, and most of all, bath! But he was a brave dog. He finally let me trimmed his nail and put ear drops. He did his best to be a good boy. He WAS a good boy.
I only have had him for very short 3 years. Charlie's died from chocking. He was only 5 when he died. It was too short and too young for this wonderful boy. He deserved more time to live a better life for what he had gone through. But I understand that God had his reason to let Charlie come to my life. He showed me what an angel is. He taught me how to enjoy my life. He wanted me to save more dogs like him. Now his mission is accomplished and it is time for him to return to heaven to God. It was my honor and pleasure to spent the 3 short years with Charlie. I will never forget about you, Charlie. My sweet angel. You have taught me so much about how people could hurt an animal, how brave you were to live your life and also how grateful you were to enjoy your life. It is time for me to move forward and to carry your legacy to save other dogs like you....Charlie's Wish Animal Rescue is here because of you!
--- Laura Cheng, Director of Charlie's Wish Animal Rescue
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