Monday, December 06, 2010

There's No Dog Like ol' Charlie

We have an old shaggy dog named Charlie. On most days he looks like he just got out of the spin cycle of our old Maytag washing machine, and at other times like Albert Einstein on a bad hair day. Like most of our mutts, Charlie is a "throw-away" dog.

We live on a dead-end road where some people think it's acceptable to dump their garbage, deer carcasses, and unwanted animals for us to enjoy. But Charlie's story is a little different.

Charlie lived with a family across the road from our house. They had three or four young children along with Charlie and another dog of questionable pedigree.

The family lived there about a year but they kept to themselves. On warm days you could hear the kids out in the yard playing. I've often heard one of the little girls calling Charlie up for supper. "CHO-LEEE, come here boy, CHO-LEE," she'd call. You could see her and the unkempt mutt rolling around in the grass having a large time.

I think the father must have lost his job and gotten behind on the rent, because one day they were gone with no forwarding address. The only things they left behind were their two dogs.

The mobile home is a rental and there has been a number of families who lived there through the years, so it was not an unusual situation. Except, they'd left Charlie and his friend. 

We assumed they'd be back, and apparently Charlie and his friend did too because they camped out at the end of the driveway and spent their time looking down the road, waiting for their family to return, but they never did. 

It was hard for Jilda and I to imagine the family abandoning the dogs, knowing how much their children loved the critters. While it is true that dogs are a man's best friend, the opposite is not always true.

After a few days, Jilda started leaving bowls of food and water for the dogs up in their driveway. I didn't realize this at first, though I would not have objected. We already had four dogs of our own, so I thought about taking them to the humane society where they could hopefully find a home. 

But Jilda pointed out that the two dogs seemed to be soul-mates and that the chances of someone taking two adult, scruffy looking mutts were slim.

After several weeks, Charlie and his friend Dawg began to venture into our yard and eventually they decided to live with us. 

A few years ago, Dawg went to that happy fire hydrant in the sky and Charlie mourned the loss for months -- he can be quite moody at times. 

Charlie, who is older than Dick Clark, is the smartest dog at our house. We learned the hard way that he figured out how to open the gates of our backyard chain-link fence. We came home from an overnight trip and all our dogs (except Charlie) greeted us from the front yard which is outside the fence. I assumed a prowler had been in our back yard and left the gates opened, but nothing had been disturbed.

A few days later, Jilda watched out the back door as Charlie leaned up on the back gate and knocked the latch open with his nose. Our other dogs darted out the gate to freedom while Charlie ambled back to the deck. As Jilda stepped outside, Charlie looked up as if to say, "those dogs are not smart and you should put them down as soon as possible." I'm convinced that if the dog had thumbs, he'd be able to crack safes.

Charlie is part of our family and we love this wacky mutt. He loves it here too, but sometimes on warm, sunny days, he seems to get a little melancholy, and he will amble up to the end of our driveway and look off down the road.


  1. That is the saddest damn story I've read in a while. Now I'm all teary crying and I need to go to bed and I won't be able to sleep till I blow my nose and stuff. Happy now?

    That's a good story. What a blessing Ya'all are to Charlie and he to you.

    When you said he could crack a safe if he had thumbs, I thought you were going to tell me he got a paying job!

  2. Awww...I feel bad for the kids too having to move so quickly and leaving their pets. That's so sad. Thank you for taking them in since they obviously needed some extra TLC. Nice story.

  3. I love this story personally. Happy endings do that for me! Thanks for the visit, drop by anytime.

  4. Aww. I like Charlie. :) I am glad you took him in and gave him a place to rest his scruffy head. It is sad he misses his little friends. I don't think people realize the depth of loyalty a dog feels.

    This was a great post.

  5. What a sweet story. It's sad when people leave dogs behind. I don't get it. It was kind of you to take them in and make them part of your family.

    Have you seen the movie Hachi? It's with Richard Gere, and it's about the loyalty of a dog. I watched it with my sons the other night, and cried like a baby at the end. A must see for dog lovers.

  6. Kids and dogs can pull my heart strings quicker than anything else.
    Jilda and I both had a soft spot for throw away dogs.
    All of the dogs we have now are getting old and when they are gone, we will again search for a mutt that someone has thrown away.
    Julie, I have not see Hachi, but I will look for it.
    Thank you all for your comments.

  7. I just wanted you to know how much I liked this story. I wish I had a Charlie in my life. Being abandoned is sad, hard thing, even when your life goes on just fine. I wonder if dogs feel that too.

  8. Dog lover! Sweet story, I think I would like Charlie.

  9. This is such a heart wrenching story with a fabulous ending. You and your wife must be saints to take these dogs into your home even with having four already. How very very wonderful!

  10. Anonymous12:48 AM

    top [url=]free casino bonus[/url] coincide the latest [url=]casino[/url] manumitted no store bonus at the leading [url=]bay attend casino


Please consider sharing

Email Signup Form

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required