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post #1 of 281 (permalink) Old 02-23-2016, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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Charlie

I adopted Charlie from a rescue group that had pulled him from a shelter. He needed a home that could, and would, take the time to work with him, help him heal, and show him what it was like to be loved. At perhaps one or two years old, no one knew for sure, he had been through a lot, so helping him feel safe and settle in, was a process that took almost a year. 'Life' had taught him to be wary, to keep his distance, keep himself safe, it took a lot of patience (on my part) and a lot of courage (on his part), learning to trust again, was a big hurdle for him to overcome, but one small step at a time, over the years, we have forged a friendship, a partnership, a one of a kind bond, built on love and trust, we have a lot of fun, he loves to learn tricks, go for walks, and just hang out on the couch (or bed) with is 'Mom'.

This is the boy who stole my heart, the moment I laid eyes on him.

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'Don't pity the rescue dog. Adopt one. And be proud to have their greatness by your side.'
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post #2 of 281 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 12:56 AM
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Sometimes we are just meant to meet each other
and you two have come together & worked hard
and now get the rewards with lots of
love laughter loyalty & fun times ahead
Their is nothing like the relationship you build with your dog, it is amazing what they bring to us ,it takes love ,commitment, patience ,understanding ,time but gee it is worth it!
He is gorgeous and you must be pretty special too
well done
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post #3 of 281 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 08:06 AM
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You rock!

Few have the patience needed to bring rescue dogs around. Wonderful to hear another success story. Enjoy each other -

"With a broken heart I watched your paw prints slowly melt with the snow, the spring rained fierce with sorrow, but the summer brought green grass anew. Your paw prints that covered the yard are gone, but know, my sweet buddy,that they are forever all over my heart."
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post #4 of 281 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 08:57 AM
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Charlie's beautiful, what a special boy.
When these dogs decide to trust us and give us their hearts, they do it with everything they have and are.

You are lucky to have each other.
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post #5 of 281 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 09:29 AM
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Charlie

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charliethree View Post
I adopted Charlie from a rescue group that had pulled him from a shelter. He needed a home that could, and would, take the time to work with him, help him heal, and show him what it was like to be loved. At perhaps one or two years old, no one knew for sure, he had been through a lot, so helping him feel safe and settle in, was a process that took almost a year. 'Life' had taught him to be wary, to keep his distance, keep himself safe, it took a lot of patience (on my part) and a lot of courage (on his part), learning to trust again, was a big hurdle for him to overcome, but one small step at a time, over the years, we have forged a friendship, a partnership, a one of a kind bond, built on love and trust, we have a lot of fun, he loves to learn tricks, go for walks, and just hang out on the couch (or bed) with is 'Mom'.

This is the boy who stole my heart, the moment I laid eyes on him.

Attachment 619562
From Charlie's story I can see why he stole your heart. He would have stolen mine. You are a special person!

Tucker, Tonka, and Karen

SNOBEAR at the Bridge
Dec. 23, 1999-March 27, 2010


SMOOCH at the Bridge.
Feb. 14, 1999-Dec. 7, 2010
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post #6 of 281 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Patience, and more patience, is key, no matter where our newly adopted dogs come from, they are not likely to behave in the manner we expect, they are likely to be 'cautious', stressed and confused until they begin to 'believe' what has happened to them is a good thing for them

Charlie was the most amazing 'teacher', I had a lot to learn, early on, he helped me understand that I had to let go of my 'expectations', what I thought I needed him 'to do' for me, and let him 'decide' what he was comfortable with. Had to let go of the notion of 'fixing' him, and focus on learning from him.

As with any, every, newly adopted dog, it took some time to discover what 'life' had taught him, 'who' he was, for him to 'tell' me, what he liked, was comfortable with, and what he was afraid of, he had a big list. His world was 'small' for a very long time, it was months before we could even venture out of the yard, helping him feel safe and happy at home was the first on the list, of what I could do for him. Giving him space, time to decide, some dogs will need more space and time than others, room to move away if he felt the need, the choice to approach if he would (or could), I always had treats in my pockets, for those special occasions, he wouldn't take them from my hand but would eat them off the floor.

Changing how they feel (counter conditioning- working to create positive associations) about the things they may be concerned about, many dogs will have just a few 'concerns', some will have more, but they can be worked through, let the dog set the pace, moving forward as they are able, goes a long ways to building the relationship and their trust. Whether it be, touch, the leash, the collar, being left home alone, new people, new dogs, slowly introducing them to new things, watching their body language will tell you how they 'feel', and if they are concerned, helping them learn that they are safe and going to be 'okay', in the presence of whatever it is, may take some time, patience and practice, but works to build their confidence, and their trust in you.

Give them the skills they need to fit into your life, take the time to teach them what you want them to know, don't assume they 'know' anything at all. Some adopted dogs have some skills under their belt, which they will reveal once they begin to settle in, some have not been given the opportunity to learn much at all. Keep it simple, to start with, don't ask for too much, keep it positive, make it easy for them to be successful, and reward them for the behaviors you want to see them repeat.

Take a moment to consider, from your newly adopted dog's perspective, what it might be like to have your world turned upside down, it is stressful, worrisome for them. They don't forget what their previous lives/experiences have taught them, the good or the not 'so good', (but they are willing to 'forgive', for some it may take some time), take a 'chance' on you, and move forward to a happy, fulfilling, and fun life with you.

Love them for 'who' they are, help them be all they can be.
A loving, trusting and valued member of your family.


'Don't pity the rescue dog. Adopt one. And be proud to have their greatness by your side.'
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post #7 of 281 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 12:14 PM
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So very true. Letting go of "expectations" and enjoying the journey are critical to letting the rescue dog live the best possible life.


Duke (Birthday May 31, 2012)
Charlie (Gotcha Day March 10, 2014)
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post #8 of 281 (permalink) Old 03-04-2016, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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Though I have always done my best to prepare Charlie for what lay ahead, vet visits were scheduled with extra time allowed, knowing it might be a challenge for him to be able to allow someone he sees once in a while, to work closely with, let alone, touch him, sometimes things happen and I don't get that chance.
We ended up in an ER vet clinic on Valentine's Day, not how we had hoped to spend the day, but Charlie had torn a nail, and he needed to be seen. I expected the 'worst', that he would be terrified, perhaps even shut down, but he surprised me, and made me so proud. When we got to the clinic, it was busy, he was a little worried, a little wary, but was able to focus his attention on me. I requested and he responded with some 'waves', 'shake a paw', targeting my hand, easily responding to my requests, followed by some yummy treats, keeping his mind busy, helping him to relax and ease some of the worry, while we waited to go into the exam room.
We got into the exam room, Charlie was not sure about the vet, she took her time, fed him some treats, and was soon able to pet him, then while I held his head, scratching his neck, though by now he was refusing the treats, he allowed her to look at his foot. Knowing that the vet was going have to clip his nail and bandage his foot, I didn't want to risk traumatizing him, or having them forcibly restrain him and make the experience worse, should he struggle out of fear. I opted to have him sedated for the procedure, safer, didn't want to risk him biting anyone, and easier for everyone. They brought him to me a short time later, weaving like a drunken sailor, asked us to stay a while longer, as his legs folded, and he slowly melted to the floor, as a precaution and to let the sedation wear off a bit more. Once he was able to stay on his feet, and walk out the door, we headed home where he spent the rest of the day having a good long sleep.
Given the choice I would never put Charlie in a situation that I knew would be scary for him, but advocating for him, insuring that I made things as easy on him as I possibly could, keeping him 'engaged' and 'thinking' prevented a difficult situation from being a terrifying experience for him.
I am beyond proud of him!!


'Don't pity the rescue dog. Adopt one. And be proud to have their greatness by your side.'
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post #9 of 281 (permalink) Old 03-05-2016, 03:20 AM
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Thank you for sharing your journey with Charlie with us. I, for one, am learning a lot.

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post #10 of 281 (permalink) Old 03-05-2016, 03:22 AM
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Such a sweet face, thank you for rescuing him!


Valery - Seymour, Sunny, and Stella's Mom
Seymour - Am CH Scotts 24K Aureus 79
Sunny- GCH CH Quailwood Sunshine After the Storm
Stella- U-CH Quailwood Aureus Great Expectations
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