Wednesday - October 18, 2017

Charlotte’s Story

Meet Claire, Po and Charlotte!

“Charlotte was born in August 2014 in small-town Arkansas. She lived her first year and a half there with her mother and siblings in a small rescue, then moved to Toronto on Valentine’s day 2015 care of Coveted Canines Rescue. We had been living together for a year by that point and had weathered a fairly dramatic health issue: Claire has a series of strokes in May 2015, resulting in a hospital stay, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation and some major changes to both lifestyle and abilities. It was rough, but we made it through the worst of it, got engaged, and wanted to add a pup to our lives. Po had wanted a dog since he was a little boy, and Claire’s parents had recently rehomed their border collie, so it just made sense.

We had been looking around for awhile, eventually partnering with Coveted Canines to find the right match, when we got an e-mail about Charlotte, nee Brittany. The first time we went over to meet her, she growled. She loves dogs, but only bonds with her closest humans. Despite the initial concern, she warmed up to us by the end of the introduction and we fell in love with her calm, sweet, easy-going way. A home visit proved that she’d fit in nicely with our cat Margaret, so we picked her up a few days later.

On her first night home, we set out her dog bed next to ours and she proceeded to hop in with us. We tried to get her back into her own bed about five times before acquiescing. She still sleeps with us and, despite the fact that we change the sheets a lot more now, we wouldn’t want it any other way. She got used to her new life really easily. There were a few learning curves to living in a big city, but we were able to work through a few minor issues around guarding us and our home by having extra treats on hand during walks and by putting up a baby gate at the top of our stairs to keep her from running right down to the door to bark at foot traffic outside. She’s still a little stand-offish around people outside of her immediate family, but we’re working on it.

Charlotte loves the park. She’s all about being friends with other dogs, but she’s over it pretty quickly. Mostly she’s in it for fetch. Well, it’s not fetch so much as her bouncing around and gruffly barking for you to throw the ball, which she then chases for a brief moment before plopping down to chew on and it and getting indignant if you try to take it back to throw again. It’s an unconventional play style, but hey, she’s happy.

It was really sweet to watch her bond with our cat. Margaret was adopted back in 2010, so she’s been an only pet for a long time. Charlotte is so gentle and respectful of her boundaries. Slowly they went from being in the same room to being on the bed together and soon enough they were cuddling, alternating positions between big and little spoon. Margaret takes it a bit too far sometimes by trying to lick inside Charlotte’s ears, though. It weirds that pup out.

About 6 months into our time with Charlotte, she had a grand mal seizure in the middle of the night right on top of us while we were all asleep. We rushed her to the 24-hour emergency vet and they told us it was likely idiopathic epilepsy. Tests backed it up, and we now have her on three different medications and see her vet and neurologist pretty frequently. It’s scary to see them happen, and she’s definitely confused and uneasy immediately afterward, but we’ve been reassured that they’re mostly just alarming to us. They happen fairly regularly now, but we know what to do to keep her safe and what to look out for. Slowly they’ve been becoming less and less severe as we’ve tweaked her medicine. It’s not ideal, but we’re more than happy to take care of her and give her the best life possible.

We basically spend a lot of our time with her talking about how lucky we are to have found her and how great life is with a dog. She’s not the type to learn a lot of tricks, but we have taught her how to snuggle. She’s well-trained in that respect. Honestly, we could not ask for a more perfect match. Charlotte made our family what it is.”

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