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Meet Charlie

December 19, 2011

We have a new member of our family!  Meet Charlie…

(No, he’s not chewing the shoes!)

Last Thursday night we went to meet a dog we had seen online.  His name was Enzo and sounded like he might be the perfect dog for us.  When we arrived at the rescue we were given a very detailed application to complete.  Afterwards, one of the volunteers took us into a private room to discuss the application and meet some dogs.  We told her which dog we were interested in and she began asking questions about our fence.  Turns out the dog we were wanting to see is a “jumper” and would most likely escape our yard.  We agreed that we couldn’t have a dog that would get out and decided to look at some other dogs.  I was afraid Tay would be upset by this because she was VERY excited about Enzo but she understood and was looking forward to finding just the right dog. 

The first dog they brought us was a dog named Charleston.  I had seen him online and probably would not have asked to see this particular dog.  Here’s what they had to say about him on their adoption page…

Charleston, along with his brother Corbin and sisters Dixie and Savannah, was an owner surrender. We have no idea what happened to all four of them before they came to us. Whatever it was, it seems that Charleston may have been the one to internalize it all. A big brother who took in all the sadness and pain so that his brother and sisters could have a fun life. Corbin, Dixie and Savannah are all fun loving, playful, friendly and they love a good snuggle. Charleston will approach you from behind to get a quick sniff in but doesn’t know what to do from there. He really wants to make friends, but is still learning that people can be good. Our volunteers at STAF work very hard with dogs like Charleston to make sure they do realize that they can be happy. You can be a dog and worry only about dog things, like where you hid your bone. Charleston is just now beginning to learn these lessons.

Charleston’s estimated birthdate is March 2010. Our hunch is that he’ll be one of those great, undemanding dogs – very happy to be near you, but not always in your face for attention. He’ll be incredibly devoted to the human who wins his heart. Could a patient, kind hearted human help him develop confidence and trust again? Corbin, Dixie & Savannah sure hope so, as do we at STAF

I was concerned about the “baggage” that this little guy might have and wasn’t sure we could handle a dog with “issues”.  Regardless, we met him and he was a nervous wreck.  We spend some time with him and were able to pet him but that was about it.  Yet, there was something about him…  It was also interesting that his name was Charleston.  Tay had already decided that she wanted a boy dog and would name him Charlie. 

We also met his brother, Corbin.  The website describes him as playful but we found him to be just as nervous as his big brother.  He seemed like a good dog but we weren’t really drawn to him.

Next up was a VERY friendly, VERY playful dog named Deacon (I think, I keep messing up his name).  Wow!  What a bunch of energy.  He would make someone a GREAT dog but just didn’t feel right to us.  We all agreed that we’d like to visit with Charleston again.

They brought him back in and although he wasn’t any more social than the first time around, he did seem a bit more relaxed.  We all thought he has the potential to be a great dog and decided we were interested in adopting him.  This particular rescue group likes you to take the dog on a “home visit” to make sure the dog is a good fit for your family.  We arranged to pick him up on Saturday and keep him almost two weeks before we decide for sure.

We went to pick him up on Saturday and again, he wasn’t overly social with us but he did appear more relaxed.  We easily got him into the car and we were off.  We expected a difficult drive home but he was wonderful!  He relaxed enough to lay down and even put his head on my lap for a short time!

He was a little nervous about getting out of the car and may have peed a little in the car.  Oops!  We got him inside and he quickly explored our house and discovered that he prefers to be upstairs.  Brian’s office seems to be his favorite place to hang out.  He even likes to snooze under the desk.

Tay & I took him on a walk yesterday and he did great on the leash.  He really seems to like being outside.

We’ve only had a couple of issues so far.  One is his love of upstairs.  He doesn’t want to come down!  We thought it may be the hardwood floors (did you know this is a common issue for dogs?).  The other is that he wasn’t eating or drinking.  I did put a little food in his cage and discovered that he will eat it at night when he’s alone.   He finally took a big drink of water after a walk this morning.  Whew!  We were getting worried about him not drinking.

Today I’m working on getting him used to being downstairs with all of us.  I’ve blocked the stairs off and so far it’s going pretty well.  He walks around to see where I’m at, comes over to “visit” and then gets in his cage for a few minutes.  Then he does is all again.  He WANTS love and affection but isn’t sure how to give it or receive it.  He did do two things today that I think show he settling in a bit — he nudged my hand to pet him and  he licked my hand.  He’s now asleep under my desk while I’m working at the computer. 

We have until the end of the home visit to decide for sure if we want to officially adopt him but I think he’s already stolen our hearts!  Tay already picked him out a Christmas present and I think I heard Brian promise him a Green Bay Packers leash & collar!  LOL!  Yep, I think he’s ours!

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