Charlie, a crossbreed family dog from Staffordshire, hasn’t had the most straightforward life, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been able to overcome every challenge thrown at him.
He was abandoned as a pup, finding himself in a re-homing centre before being rescued by his new owner Val Dickens. However, Charlie had some behavioural problems early on, which made him a bit of a handful in the new environment.
Beginning in 2003, Charlie was taken to the Danesford Obedience Club for classes and with plenty of hard work, he managed to complete the Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme Gold Award, which is the highest award available in the UK’s largest dog training programme, in just two years.
"During the training we really bonded and he became so much more obedient and a lot calmer too. It was such a lovely course as it gave Charlie and I confidence and we even went on to compete together in obedience, flyball, agility as well as being in the Danesford dog display team - we even walked in the local carnival," said the owner Ms Dickens.
However, it wasn’t to be an easy life for the now very well-trained Charlie, he was diagnosed with cancer, which led him to need to have his right eye removed. Yet, this was not enough and a year later the cancer came back, and his remaining eye required laser surgery to treat the problem.
Val explained that Charlie made a recovery and, at the ripe age of 13, is due to have a “nice retirement”.
Yvonne Kelsall, a Kennel Club accredited instructor at Danesford, explained how despite everything Charlie has been through, he is now a model dog.
"Charlie has come on in leaps and bounds since he started. He was not good with boisterous dogs and also a bit wary of some people. He is such a happy dog now and really is a good citizen despite everything he’s been through," she said.
Written by: Hannah