Charlie

Quick Facts:

  • Breed: Yellow Lab mix
  • Gender: Male, neutered
  • Age: 6-7 years old
  • Size: 70 pounds
  • Good with…
    • Dogs? Yes, if introduced slowly!
    • Cats? No, sorry!
    • Kids? Yes, 9+!

My name is Charlie, and I am the bestest boy ever!

History and Why We are Looking for a New Home

I was originally adopted from a shelter in Tennessee by my current owner’s ex-girlfriend. When they split up, she took me with her far away, as she was my official owner. Unfortunately, she was very unstable, and living with her was really rough. Not only did I have inconsistent access to food and water, but she would be gone sometimes (to jail or other places), leaving me homeless. When she went to jail, the police put me in a shelter, but then I went back to her when she got out. During this period, my current owner/dad did everything he could to help me, but his access to me wasn’t great. Luckily, 3 months ago, he was awarded legal ownership of me, and I’ve been living a MUCH happier, calmer, more stable and consistent life since! He is soooo nice, and has another pup (an energetic youngster named Odin, also on the website looking for a new home) and thinks of my needs and is really helping me develop trust and security. He says I am doing great!

He wishes he was in a position to keep me and Odin, and give us both a terrific life, but he just isn’t. Between living in a small apartment, working his job, and the fact that my needs as a calm, middle-aged guy (e.g., a calm, quiet life) and Odin’s needs as a young energetic pup (e.g., loads of activity and adventure) are so different, makes it impossible for him to provide the life that would make each of us happiest. He was so relieved to be able to save me from the rough life I had, but he knows he can’t be my dad forever. He promises that he will find a great new well-matched home for me (and Odin too!), that will be stable and consistent and provide all that our hearts desire! Sounds great!

Personality

I’m a big loveable cuddlebear! I love nothing more than to just lounge around relaxing with my human! Once I get to know you, I am the most loyal and loving dog ever. I greatly prefer to be in the same room as you are in, and will move with you from room to room as you go about your day. I don’t need your constant attention by any means, but I do really need to be near you. Laying at your feet as you watch TV, work on the computer, or read a book is my favorite thing! If you want to give me attention– talk to me, teach me something, take me for a short walk–more the better, but I am really super content to just be by your side!

Because I’ve been through so much, I’m humbled just to have a warm (in winter!) or cool (in summer!) place to be, a trusted loving human nearby, a good meal twice a day, and fresh water. I am incredibly loyal and am very eager to please you. It makes me SO DEEPLY HAPPY when you reassure me that I am doing a good job and am a good boy! I’m really not totally sure what humans want and expect, but I am so interested in learning, and my current dad says I have already learned an incredible amount in the 3 months that he has had me.

Since my former owner was so inconsistent and life with her was so chaotic, I am confused about some things. Things like…”am I responsible to protect everyone when out on a walk? Are strangers likely to be friendly? Are other dogs potential friends? When you leave, are you coming back?” I just don’t know the answers to these questions, so feel a little bit anxious in these situations. My fur might stand up, I might bark a little bit, or look to you with an unsure look, and you will be able to tell that I am just a bit anxious. Given my very rough past though, the fact that I don’t stress out more than this is kind of amazing! I would be so helped by being with a calm owner (like my current dad/owner is!) who can be reassuring to me when I get nervous, and who will expose me to new situations in small doses, with lots of treats to teach me that good things happen in these situations.

My dad thinks it’s hard on me when he leaves the apartment, but I don’t do any destructive behaviors…I bark a little bit and then plant myself at the front window, watching and waiting for his return. That’s it. No chewing stuff up, no barking for hours, nothing like that. He might be right that it makes me anxious, but I do a great job keeping it together if that is so!

I’m very food and treat motivated which is awesome for training! My Dad has not taught me any tricks, but I do sit very patiently for treats or food. I love meeting calm, friendly people that like to give me ‘pettins’ but it’s easier for me to meet just one or two at a time at the moment. Big groups are very confusing to me at this point!

Cohabitation

Adults: LOVE THEM! Sometimes I need a minute or two to watch them and recognize that they are nice and nothing to be worried about, but I suss that out pretty quickly and then I LOVE FRIENDLY PEOPLE! If you can ask people not to put their hands all over me for the first minute or two, until I come over to say hi, I would appreciate it. People rushing in at me really quickly makes me a bit nervous, and takes the fun out of the meeting.

Kids: We think I would do great in a home with calmer kids, in the 9+ age range. I have adored the nice kids I have met, who are calm and let me sniff them and then pet me gently. I would not enjoy living with young kids because they make so much noise and run around and things are just way more chaotic. That stuff would make me nervous.

Dogs: I live very well with Odin, but truth be told, his energy level is not an ideal match for me. If someone wanted to adopt us both, that would be fine, but I’m fine being adopted without him too. Even though he is much younger than me, I do seem to take my cues from him, and seem reassured about being alone in the house when he is there too. So, probably living with another calm, friendly, nice dog would be my ideal, but I might do fine living on my own if I wasn’t home alone too much. You being away for a 40-hour work week would be very, very hard on me.

I go “on alert” when I see other dogs out on leashed walks, and it seems like I am part-anxious (Am I supposed to protect my owner from this dog? Is this dog friendly or not?) and part interested (Ooh! A dog!), so could use some positive reinforcement training to help me learn what my role is there. I don’t pull very much at all on a leash…a bit if I see another dog or a squirrel or a deer, but otherwise, when I get to the end of the leash and feel the tension, I stop and wait for my dad to catch up! I walk slowly and carefully because of my very sensitive cleft foot (see Medical, below) and much prefer walking on soft ground (grass, dirt) to hard surfaces. Gravel and rocky surfaces are really tough for me, they hurt my foot. A bootie might help me with the hard surfaces, we’re not sure. I’m really hoping that there is a fenced yard with nice soft grasses for my feet, as I don’t need really long energetic walks. My Dad says I’m generally a very low maintenance guy. I just love being outside and sniffing around if it’s not too hot or cold out.

My dad took me to the dog park once and I was SO NERVOUS for the first 5 minutes, but when he finally took my leash off, I calmed down somewhat, started exploring all of the sniffs on my own, and then 5 minutes later, found a dog to try to play with. That’s pretty good for a dog who hasn’t had much experience with other dogs! Truth be told, the dog park is probably way too stimulating for me at this point, but having some 1-1 dog playdates might be super nice!

Cats: No thank you! I want to chase them, sorry!

Favorite Activities

  • Belly Rubs!
  • Cuddling!
  • Occasional zoomies!
  • Walks/Outside on grassy surfaces!
  • Mealtime and treats!
  • Lounging/sleeping!
  • Window watching from my favorite chair!
  • Finding the perfect spot to dig!

Medical

I am in great overall health, and am up to date on vaccines!

I have a special foot that was cleft when I was born. It’s more sensitive than my other feet, and I need you to try to walk me on softer surfaces and let professionals do my nail clipping, which I need regularly (every month or two) because the nails grow into the pads if not very consistently clipped carefully. Dad thinks that getting me a special bootie or shoe for the winter might be really great for me, because if it’s really cold, I lift that paw to indicate that it hurts and I want to go inside please.

Summary

I am the best, sweetest, most low-key guy who has been through a lot of rough stuff and is looking for a loving, calm, sweet, forever home. You will be amazed by how loving and appreciative I am about even the small normal things in life. Come and meet me!

So if you think Charlie might be the perfect addition to your family please fill out an online adoption application and live close to Ithaca, Syracuse, Binghamton, Rochester, or Elmira. We do home visits on every applicant, and can’t do home visits where we don’t have local volunteers. The rescue will forward it to my current mom, who will a) be in touch with you and b) make all decisions about my placement!

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