The Marvelous Mystery of Charley the Dog

by Gregory B. Gonzalez

I often look at my dog Charley and wonder what his life was like before I adopted him. I only know what his foster parents, my friends Juan and Alicia, have told me- that Juan was driving home from a business trip when he saw Charley on the side of the road, beaten and bloody. He had a swollen left eye and was hobbling on three legs, with one injured.

Charley had spent two weeks in a kill shelter, with no one looking to adopt him. So when the shelter informed Juan that they were going to put him down, Juan took him in and fostered him until they could find a home.

According to what I was told by Alicia, there were people they knew who wanted him, but she refused to give him up because none of them seemed to fit. Someone even offered them a hundred bucks for Charley, but she didn’t back down. Alicia was determined to find him the perfect home. And for whatever reason, she thought it would be with me.

For my part, I never really wanted a new dog. Not a little one, anyway. I spent most of my days going from place to place, not having time to devote to a needy dog. So when I was asked to watch him for a week, I moaned and groaned about it, not wanting to be stuck at home with a mutt.

Related: Every Dog Has Its Day Even Charley

But in the course of that week, I fell in love with the little creep. I credit his big ears with that. I take him virtually everywhere I go, and I watch him like a hawk.

Anyway, in the time I’ve had him, everyone I know has fallen in love with my fuzzy boy, but nobody loves him more than me. I spoil the shit out of him. I shower more affection and love on Charley than he can stand. It’s gotten to the point where I make myself sick! I never wanted to be one of those dog owners, you know the ones who live for their pets- who dress them up in outfits and treat them as if they were their own children. Ick.

And though I’m not THAT bad, I still find myself devoting a lot of time and attention to him. Good thing I’m not dating anyone! Which brings me back to the subject of why Charley is such a mystery to me. It defies logic as to how or why anyone would mistreat him or not love him.

Charley isn’t like other dogs. I’ve been around enough of them to know. I know a lot of dog owners would probably say the same, but believe me, if you’re around him for more than five minutes, you’ll see it, too. It isn’t just his personality- it’s something you can see in his eyes. He just knows. Sure, he won’t fetch the paper or my slippers, roll over to save his life, and will sleep till noon if you let him, but he’s just got a certain way about him. I’ve said it before- in order for me to love a dog this much, he’d have to be something special.

Alicia and I have formed a lot of pet theories about Charley’s life before Juan found him. It’s pretty clear that someone gave him some training; he doesn’t pee or crap inside the house, he doesn’t beg for food or wreck the house when he’s alone, and he mostly does what he’s told. He’s so well-behaved, it’s a little scary. Whoever owned him at least loved him enough to show him the ropes. So why would they just abandon him?

Related: Charley the Dog vs The Squirrel

Alicia thinks that he wasn’t abandoned; she’s of the opinion that maybe he got lost and wandered away from his home. But my problem with that theory is, if you loved a dog so much to go all that trouble to train him, why wouldn’t you do everything in your power to find him? If it were me, I wouldn’t stop looking until I couldn’t walk anymore.

As for me, I think he was dognapped and used as bait for dogfighting. My reasons for thinking this are threefold- one, in the state of California, we have a rash of small animals being kidnapped and used for dog fighting bait, mostly done by the Asian gangs. Dogs are taken from their homes when their owners are gone and they’re stuck in the yard during the day.

Then there’s the fact that Charley HATES big dogs, especially German Shepherds and pitbulls. He gets in attack mode the moment he comes across one. I figure he was taken from his home and abused, which would explain his injured condition.

The other thing is, I think Charley remembers his abuser because he gets super crazy whenever he meets a skinny, white hipster-type of guy, sporting blond hair and a beard. I think this because Charley went bat-shit insane at the sight of my friend Andy, who looks like that. Charley also had the same reaction to a similar looking fellow at the doggie park.

At one time or another, I’ve thought about doing some investigating on Charley’s background, but as curious as I am, I have to admit that I’m afraid to. What if he was taken from a loving family who wants him back? I don’t want to lose him. I love the little creep too much to give him up.

Whatever the case, I console myself in the knowledge that he’s got a home and he has a family who loves him. Charley is my doggie now.

They say you can’t choose your family, but in Charley’s case, he can, and he did. He chose me to be his master, and I hold that close to my heart. Charley is my best bud. That’s never gonna change. I let him choose his own pack, and the people he loves love him in return. That’s true family.

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Posted by on October 21, 2018. Filed under COMMENTARY/OPINION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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3 Responses to The Marvelous Mystery of Charley the Dog

  1. Bill Formby Reply

    October 21, 2018 at 10:43 am

    Greg, you have to watch the little creeps. They will steal you heart and you will never get it back.

  2. Michael John Scott Reply

    October 21, 2018 at 11:20 am

    Bill is exactly right. My dogs are like my kids and I love them just as much. It’s just too bad they live such short little lives. In 2018 alone I’ve lost three of my dogs and I miss every one of them every day.

  3. Rachael Reply

    October 21, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    A nice story indeed.

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