By Brittany Anderson

Once on a fall Saturday morning, Charlie came into our lives. Charlie was a scared, frightened, little male Cavalier puppy. His brown and white short fur was covered in ticks. He hid in the back of his crate and he was really sad. His old owner didn’t even want to say goodbye to him. On the way home, Charlie and I stared into each other’s eyes. I could tell that he was really scared and had been treated badly. I tried to tell him that he would have a good life with us and he snuffed at the thought! You see, Charlie’s previous family had just turned him over to us as a rescue dog and he didn’t know the good life – yet!

When we arrived home, my sister, mom and I, just walked Charlie around outside. Daddy offered him a cookie but he didn’t want it as he was afraid of the cookie! We introduced Charlie to our other Cavalier, Lucky. Charlie and Lucky sniffed each other and Charlie’s tail was under him while Lucky’s was out wagging. Then Mom took Charlie inside and put the gates up so Charlie couldn’t wander throughout the house. We put his dog bed down and he laid on it as if nothing was wrong. He didn’t explore. He just sat on his bed with all of his toys and watched us.

Later that day Charlie decided to explore. Since he had been crated most of his life, he was enjoying the freedom. He raced through the house and paced non-stop. He was almost afraid to sleep. He was afraid to be alone and sometimes howled if we were on the other side of the gate. It was sad to see him so frightened and we knew it would take time for him to learn to trust.

Since Charlie was a rescue dog he had to be checked out by our vet to see if he was healthy or if he had any problems in his life. Our vet put him on the counter and examined him. What he didn’t immediately notice was that Charlie had five ticks on him. I found those and Dr. Bleck helped me get them out! The vet told us that Charlie needed to gain a couple of pounds because he was as skinny as a toothpick. He also told us to put antibiotic cream on his tick bites and watch him carefully for a week or two. Other than that, Charlie was healthy and his heart sounded good. That was good news as Cavaliers can have heart problems.

After several days, Charlie learned to trust me so he started following me everywhere. He turned into a great young puppy who couldn’t stop chewing. He loved tennis balls, rawhides, ropes and kongs. He especially liked his Booda toys – squeaky toys shaped as small stuffed animals. His favorite spot in the house was the screened-in porch. If it had been summer, he would have spent all day out there!

Charlie was put up for adoption after he settled in. He was still afraid of new people and loud noised though he was doing better. During the days he was waiting for a forever family, he played with Lucky and I. We shared treats, snuggled on the couch, watched movies, ran through the leaves and played tag. We washed up before dinner and Charlie got a cookie after dinner. We became very attached to him.

One evening a family came to visit Charlie. They walked outside with him, gave him treats and played with him. They were very nice to him and really into dogs. We talked about Charlie’s temperament and about the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed. They stayed for almost three hours and Charlie liked their boys.

Just before Christmas, Charlie went to his forever home. I miss Charlie very much though I’m glad that he’s happy with his new family. They are taking very good care of him and now I’m looking forward to a new puppy of my own – very soon!

Brittany Andersen