My Dog Charlie
Paw Selected by My Dog Charlie...
I Thought I Lost Him...
I have a great dog. I suppose everybody that has enjoyed the companionship of a dog will say the same thing. But really, I have a really great dog. He is a six year old chocolate brown Cocker Spaniel. Now, had I been given a choice I would probably have a German shepherd or a Doberman both of which not only make good companions but provide a certain fear factor in anyone wishing to harm me or my property.
My dog; Charlie was just under one year old when I adopted him. It was very obvious at the time he had very little obedience training and I had never owned a dog. Sure, we had dogs when I was kid but they were family pets. I wasn’t looking to get a dog, it just happened by mere happenstance. Charlie’s previous owners had loved their cute little brown puppy but life ended prematurely for them. The dog needed a home and I had one.
Early in our relationship I realized how smart Charlie was. He seemed to understand my commands. He cherished the times I let him run free down by the creek. When he wandered too far I’d yell for him to stay where I could see him. He would trot towards me wandering off in another direction often looking back to see if I could still see him. I’d tell him to get a toy. He’d look at me with his big eyes as if questioning me. I would clarify and tell him to get his duck or his squirrel and after a few moments he would come back in the room with the right toy dangling from his mouth. He was smart. He is smart.
Charlie loves people especially women. Approached he bows his head, raises his rump, wags his chopped off tail and whines until I allow him to approach someone. When they reach down to pet and play with him he acts like I never give him any attention though I pretty much spoil him. And as they leave he sounds ferocious barking and yelping as he voices his disappointment. Charlie loves attention so much that he will leave his dinner bowl to find and be with me which now isn’t too hard since we live in a motorhome. He’ll only eat if I sit with him. Always has been that way. I suppose he feels he was left behind by his previous owners and he doesn’t want that to happen again.
It was about three months ago when I almost lost my best friend. I was in the high desert of New Mexico and had been making dinner plans with my neighbor; Diane another full time RVer. We decided to grill out and invited some of the other temporary residents of the RV Park to join us. While Diane got the grill ready and the sun began to dip below the surrounding mountains, I took Charlie for a walk in the cooling desert.
I saw Frank walking a large blonde Lab; a permanent resident of the animal refuge adjacent to the campground. Calling Charlie to my side I connected the retractable leash to his collar and walked towards my friend. As Frank and I talked about nothing of great importance, the two dogs sniffed at each other like dogs will do. Suddenly, there was a flurry of activity as the Lab spun around for no apparent reason and attacked Charlie. The leashes became tangled and I watched in horror as the larger dog sank its teeth into Charlie’s back lifting him into the air; all four of his legs off the ground trying to make contact with firm ground. Charlie cried out a forlorn squeal something between a yelp and a cry for help. His brown eyes met mine begging me to do something.
Someone had told me that during a dog attack a swift blow to the aggressor’s solar plexus would end the confrontation. My dog was blocking my target. I tried to pull the dogs apart as did Frank with each of us straining on the leashes. Finally, in a fit of panic I raised my voice and cried out for help. Frank; feeling my pain, reached down ignoring the danger to himself and grabbed the larger dog by its snout and yanked hard shocking the animal causing it to release its death grip on poor little Charlie.
Charlie fell to the ground and crept towards me whimpering. Blood oozed from the deep puncture wounds in his back as it mixed with his curly brown coat. I sank to my knees trembling as much as Charlie. Gingerly touching his back I tried to see the damage while my brave dog lay still allowing me to do so. Diane having heard the commotion ran down to help. She offered to take Charlie into her RV to clean and doctor his wounds. Thanking her, I took him back to my RV thinking if he was dying I needed to be with him.
Of course this happened on a Saturday evening when all area vets were closed. I cleaned and bandaged his wounds with items in a cheap first aid kit I had with me. Charlie felt good enough to jump up on the leather sofa in the salon where he often sat with me. I made a nest of towels for him and he quickly fell asleep. I stayed next to him and cried softly.
I don’t know if he remembers being attacked. Occasionally he will awaken me at night with his whimpers as he if he is having a nightmare. I reach over and pet him assuring him I am there for him and he quiets down returning to a restful sleep.
I have a great dog.