Charlie joined our family Dec. 31, 2015, and we tearfully kissed him good-bye March 31, 2017, taken far too soon by cancer. But what a wonderful 15 months we had together. Charlie was mostly Golden Retriever, with a bit of something else, and that combination resulted in an irresistible and unique personality. When people asked what he was, I would answer Golden Retriever with “someone else’s ears”. He had all the affection and charm of a Golden, but was basically a very loyal, one person dog. He got so he enjoyed friends and visitors, but didn’t seek attention from other people as is typical of the Golden temperament. His foster Mom described him as having “Precious Moments” eyes, and it was his eyes that connected us. You could read what Charlie was thinking by the expression in his eyes, and he maintained eye contact whenever he wanted to communicate, which was most of his waking moments. Even when he was sleeping in the evenings on his comfy dog bed in front of the T.V., every so often he’d wake up, pop his head up to see exactly where we were, hold eye contact for several seconds as if to ask, “Are we staying out here for a while longer before bedtime?”, and then, satisfied everyone was staying put, lay his head back down again.
He wanted to be wherever we were, and would get up to follow, even just a few steps away. Charlie was a dog who loved knowing what was going to happen next, and he quickly grew to love his daily routine. He was usually always with us, and came on shopping trips and errands, out for lunch to doggie-friendly restaurants, anywhere we had to go, Charlie loved to come too. As soon as he figured out where we were going, he would get excited, and get a big, ear-to-ear smile on his face, especially if where we were going involved getting a little treat. Any drive thru places like McDonalds, Tim Hortons, the ferry, even trips to the dump, always meant a treat for Charlie from the girl at the window, and he loved that and showed his appreciation with his huge, toothy smile.
He had favourite things he loved to do, the dog park became a favourite destination, and another favourite thing in the Spring and Summer, was to go for lunch at the outdoor, dog-friendly restaurants and sit with us at the patio tables. He looked so happy to know we were so proud of him, he was always on his best behaviour, and was content just to be there with us, and invariably was brought a special treat from the servers, sometimes a milkbone and sometimes a sausage. When I would leave him in the car to just go into a store to pick up something, the greeting I would get the minute I came back out the door, would melt anyone’s heart. First he would stick his head out the window as far as he could, with his huge happy grin, and give little howls of joy and sometimes bark as I was getting back in the car. We went through the same routine at home. He didn’t bark or howl when he was left alone, but the excitement we all went through when we came home was fun for all of us. He would get so excited, we’d play chase up and down the hallway, he’d jump and pirouette in the air, and then gallop up and down again, barking and howling with excitement.
He exuded joy in so many little things, it was as if he was making up for lost time as soon as he started his new life in the States and here in B.C. It was almost as if he couldn’t believe that everywhere he went, everyone he met, was kind to him, told him how handsome he was, and wanted to pet him, a big change from the streets of Taiwan! He loved the beach although he wasn’t a swimmer, partly because his coat when it really grew in, was so thick, he almost looked like a little sheep. He exuded happiness, and brought joy and delight to every day he was here with us, communicating with those eyes constantly. Charlie was the poster boy for the Taiwan dogs, and gave so much love and joy. Thank you Golden Bond, for giving us this very special boy. He’ll always be remembered with much love and appreciation for his joie de vivre.
He was a treasured boy and will be very much missed.
Larry, Dawne and China
Charlie joined our family on New Year’s Eve, and is now a card carrying member of our family. We drove down to Victoria to pick him up, and simply put him in the back of our SUV with his new buddy Paolo, and drove home with him. Naturally he was nervous, and unsure of what was happening. He allowed us to pet him, but he didn’t really seem to enjoy it and didn’t appear to be reassured by being touched, so we decided to just let him get used to things at his own pace. Of course he was most interested in the routine involving food, and seemed anxious that when Paolo’s dinner was put down, that was it, there wouldn’t be enough for him. Once he realized that the dinner dish in my other hand was for him, and he had his own eating spot, he appeared to visibly relax.
After about a week, we had our first breakthrough. Charlie was left at home with Paolo and Larry for a couple of hours, and when I returned, we saw his first real smile and wag. His response to me returning home became more and more exuberant each time, until soon not only was he smiling and wagging, but he was giving little husky howls, he was running up and down the hall, sometimes even leaping right over Paolo. In addition to this, he was starting to come over when Paolo was having his morning pets and cuddles on the floor and seemed to tell us he was ready for some of this himself.
Fast forward, he’s been with us two months now, and he is an affectionate, happy boy. His indoor manners are impeccable, especially for a former street dog who wasn’t used to living in a house with people. He has never counter surfed, he doesn’t chew anything, in fact he follows Paolo’s lead and seems to watch what he does. He now politely takes turns with treats for himself and Paolo. He gets very excited when he knows we’re all going for a walk, or better yet, a ride in the car. He runs up and down the hall, smiling and leaping for joy, and comes right over waiting for his leash. Every once in a while we catch him giving Paolo a little nuzzle or a kiss; the two of them lie together beside each other and get along very well. He’s a bit of Velcro boy, and when either of us moves to another room, he’s right there with us. He seems to exude happiness and we love to see him close his eyes and smile when he’s getting a massage or rubbed under his chin. He loves it when we talk to him, along with Paolo, and we’re so glad we brought him into our lives. He’s turned into the most trusting and trustworthy, loyal boy so quickly, and has become a perfect fit for our little pack.
It’s absolutely wonderful watching dogs like Charlie and Paolo “blossom” and get to appreciate all the good things in life. And he gives as much and more than he gets. It amazes me that I can see the love so clearly shining through his eyes toward us both, after all he’s been through and all he’s suffered at the hands of people in his past life. I didn’t expect that, I didn’t think he’d become so trusting and loving so soon, if at all. And of course, Paolo has been very good for him, as he’s so mellow and calm and trusting and happy. Thank you Golden Bond.
Charlie was adopted on January 1, 2016.
Charlie’s Available Story:
Hi everybody, I’m Charlie (#2632) and I am one very mellow boy. We don’t know a lot about my background but I was rescued in Taiwan and I’m really happy to be in a safe foster home now, and I’m really forward to a furever home. I grew up with my brother who didn’t get to come with me, so I’m really hoping to find a home with another mellow dog so I’ll have a buddy to be around. I live with my foster mom’s two dogs and I really like being around them. I’ve never been around cats since I’ve been here, but a mellow kitty might be a good buddy for me too, but I don’t know for sure.
Some stuff you should know about me: I like to ride in the car. I LOVE to be petted and brushed. I really LOVE to go for walks and I have perfect manners when I walk, never pulling, just trotting right along with you, but I’ll probably never be a jogging or a running partner. I don’t jump up on people, don’t chew things up and I don’t dig. I do love sleeping on the dog beds.
I really like people and I’ve been around my foster mom’s young grand kids and I did great. Everybody who meets me, loves me…could you? Overall, I’m pretty low maintenance. Just give me lots of love, pets, brushes, plenty of food and walks and I’ll be the best buddy you will ever have. I promise!!
Notes from foster mom:
Charlie is one of the most mellow and sweetest dogs I’ve ever met. I think it is very important that he is in a home with another mellow dog as he really seems to need a canine buddy. A really mellow kitty might be OK, but he’s never been around one since here, so not sure. He really likes human companionship and shows it all the time. Charlie has the most wonderful eyes. If you have ever seen a Precious Moments statue…well, those are his eyes. So endearing! This little guy has the most gentle personality and perfect manners ever, so if you are looking for a great companion he could be the one for you.