Nearly two years ago, a stray dog named Charlie was taken in by a shelter. The then 3-year old was extremely anxious and it became quite clear to shelter staff that he probably never had a home of his own at any point in his life.
While at the shelter, the staff found that Charlie wasn’t too fond of other dogs and would sometimes try to attack them while out for walks. Eventually, Charlie started to bark at anyone who even looked at him in his kennel.
He was so terrified of anyone coming remotely close to him.
Due to Charlie’s high anxiety, potential adopters shied away – put off by his overly nervous nature. Even though Charlie was loved by the staff and volunteers – who knew deep down Charlie was a sweetheart – potential adopters didn’t get to see that side of him.
Charlie’s foster, Mary Jones, said, “When I first met him he was scared to death. He shook and cowered into the corner of his kennel. Over time, he became more accustomed to the shelter routine. I used to take him out on Saturday’s, just to hang out and get a break from the shelter.”
After more than a year at the shelter, Charlie still didn’t have a home. So, the shelter decided to transfer him to a quieter location in the country to help with his anxiety. While the change of scenery did help a bit, there was still no interest in Charlie. That’s when Jones decided to become his foster parent.
Jones has three dogs of her own – two small and one large. While Charlie is perfectly fine with the smaller pups, he is not a fan of the bigger dog. So, Jones decided to foster him at her workplace.
He immediately became the office manager – running around the space, sleeping on the couches, and stealing the coworkers attention.
“They were family, they had no choice. Seriously, the adored him,” Jones said.
The office became Charlies first (temporary) home. Everything was going great until Jones found some lumps on his neck.
“The vet game him some antibiotics, hoping they were just swollen due to an infection of some sort. When he finished the antibiotics, the lumps were still there. I then took him to an animal specialist where they some samples,” she said.
A few days later, the lab confirmed it was lymphoma cancer.
Jones was devastated. Dogs with lymphoma typically only have about one to three months to live. Jones knew she had to officially adopted Charlie – if only give him his very first home before he passed away.
“I want to let him live out his life as my beloved pet. When the time comes, I want to be able to hold him as he goes to sleep. I don’t want him to be alone,” she said.
Because Charlie doesn’t get along with Jones’ larger dog, Austin, she made arrangements for Austin to live with some family members so Charlie can live out his time in peace. Jones wants Charlie to experience life like he deserves.
Charlie acclimated quickly to life at Jones’. He follows his new mom around and absolutely loves to go for rides in her truck and cuddle with her in bed. She can’t believe this is his first home.
Jones decided not to go for intensive treatment after Charlie was diagnosed. Instead, she’s showering him with love.
“My heart ached for him the very first time I saw him. Now, he has become my soulmate,” she said.
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