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  •  Three years ago, we made the best decision in deciding to adopt another ESS.  Zoey then came to us and is the BEST dog ever.  She is not only beautiful but so well behaved and is loved by everyone. We can't thank MAESSR and Debbie enough for giving us Zoey.                                                                                                                                                                                                  Judy Minnick, NJ              

Customer Testimonials
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Charlie XXII

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Entered: 10/23/2012
Status: Adopted
Age: 8
Color: Liver/White
Weight: 45 lbs.
Gender: Altered Male
Location: Lansdale, PA
Health: UTD, HW- receiving vitamin supplements to slow vision loss
Temperament: Good with people as young as 3, good with other dogs, not good with cats

Charlie XXII's Story . . .
Update 09/10/2013:   “This loving Springer is a smart young man and easy to train.”
Charlie has moved to a home where he is an only dog, which suits him just fine.  He does not really like to get involved with other dogs—a sniff here and there and he is ready to leave.  He is getting more and more relaxed each day, but still needs to learn how to greet new people—he runs up to them barking and playfully nipping at their hands—not polite Springer behavior!
This handsome gent barks when he needs to go outside or when it’s time to eat.  He does not give up if he has to poop; he’ll bark until taken out.
His foster mom is trying to break Charlie of his habit of sucking on bedding.  She blocked all the loose bedding behind her and invited him onto the bed with just a sheet.  He hesitated and was a little annoyed but got on the bed.  She repeated this a few times with the bedding back on, removing the bedding from his mouth if he sucked on it.  Smart boy that he is, he now has the idea that he is not supposed to suck on bedding.
Charlie knows “sit” and, on a 25 foot lead, will “come” 100% of the time with no distractions……good boy!  Training with distractions is in his future.  He eats fine by himself, not noticing the vitamins put in his canned food. He has a few stuffed animals and knows they are his for play.
Charlie does not see so well at night.  When his foster mom took him out on the first night in his new home, he walked into the glass storm door as all he saw were lights in the house.  He only did that once.
This loving Springer is a smart young man and easy to train.  He only wants to please his family.  A furever family is out there looking for some pup just like him!
Update 08/09/2013:  "Charlie will follow the children anywhere and is willing to play any game they want."
Charlie moved to a new foster home so further testing could be done on some of his possible health concerns.  He made the transition like a trooper and has settled in like he always lived there.  There are young children that visit this foster home and Charlie LOVES them.  He gets so excited when they come over that he just quivers.  Charlie will follow the children anywhere and is willing to play any game they want.  It appears that Charlie is hoping for children in his forever home!
Charlie went to a very-respected and well-known veterinary ophthalmologist to have his eyes completely checked.  Two vets that previously had seen Charlie said he did not have cataracts, but another vet believed that he did.  MAESSR wanted a definitive answer on this sweet boy’s vision.  The veterinary ophthalmologist concluded that Charlie does not have cataracts.  However, he did say that "Charlie has some minor focal areas of thinning in the retina that is likely an inherited form of retinal degeneration.  This breed has several forms of retinal degeneration and it is usually slow to progress.  The condition starts with a gradual loss of night vision; then, later, day vision is also lost.  In Charlie's case the condition is early.  It is not painful but, unfortunately, there is no proven treatment as the retina is composed of nerve cells like in the brain, and those do not regenerate."  He recommended that Charlie have his eyes checked again in six months to see if this is progressing.  Charlie will be taking a vitamin supplement that is believed to slow the progression of the vision loss. 
Charlie loves to sleep in the bed cuddled up close to his foster dad.  He thinks men are just the best!!!  This boy has an amazing temperament and a love of all people.  His foster mom believes that some lucky family has been waiting for a boy as sweet and nice as Charlie.
Update 07/02/2013:  "Charlie has made terrific progress in his foster home.  His anxiety is almost completely gone and he no longer takes medication for it." 
Charlie has made terrific progress in his foster home.  His anxiety is almost completely gone and he no longer takes medication for it.  He now exhibits a calm demeanor.  In fact, he will go to the door calmly, come out of his crate calmly, and enter or leave the house as a calm boy.  Good boy!  Charlie just loves all activities that come his way, including trotting on the treadmill!
Travel is in Charlie’s immediate future as he will be joining another foster family temporarily.  It is hoped that, while there, his vision issues can be diagnosed and any necessary treatment planned.
Send your good wishes Charlie’s way as his journey continues.

Update 05/02/2013:  "With consistent guidance and love, he’s learning what’s expected of a well-behaved Springer."

Charlie was returned to MAESSR’s care through no fault of his own. His adoptive mom had a huge change in her work hours and knew that he would be left alone in his crate for too many hours. Because she loved Charlie, she felt it would be best for MAESSR to find him the home he deserves.

Charlie returned to a different foster home, and his new foster mom has found him to be a sweet boy, a very sensitive type that she likes to call “an old oak tree soul.” The look in his eyes and significant panting revealed his anxiousness. He is adapting nicely to life in his new home where his anxieties seem to be lessening as the days pass.

Exhibiting some less than desirable behaviors initially, such as darting around the house, counter-surfing, barking, and leash pulling, Charlie is learning who’s in charge. With consistent guidance and love, he’s learning what’s expected of a well-behaved Springer. One behavior that his foster mom became aware of was Charlie’s apparent food aggression with high value food, such as beef bones. Although normal food elicited no response, the high value treat caused Charlie to grumble and show his teeth. The treat was removed immediately, and his mom thought she was in for a series of teaching experiences to reshape this behavior. Surprisingly, it took just one demonstration for Charlie to understand that this was unacceptable behavior. He now offers up anything his mom asks for, which she finds HUGE. Since this can often take weeks or months for a dog to resolve, it’s obvious that Charlie is a smart boy and a fast learner. He just wants to please his people.

Meeting new people at a pet supply store was a happy experience for Charlie. At one point he excitedly jumped on an older man and was given a firm “NO” from his mom. Charlie accepted it and then greeted the man politely. He is friendly with all of the humans in his foster home, and loves to receive affection and belly rubs from them. Although his foster canines enjoy his energy, the resident cat is none too pleased with running for her life. While chasing might be just a game to Charlie, the cat is not a fan of this type of activity!

Charlie is on a schedule for meals, exercise and play. He does very well with the schedule and is happy to start each new activity. He does wonderfully on the treadmill, loves the outdoors and indoors, and eats well. At night he sleeps in his crate. Although he seemed disinterested in playing games, his foster mom continued to try and eventually engaged him in a game of fetch. Charlie loved it and played with her for 20 minutes. It was a great bonding experience which left Charlie with a different look in his eyes. His mom thinks it was self-confidence.

Later attempts at playing fetch were not greeted with much enthusiasm until his foster mom began running after the ball herself. The idea of “who can get to the ball first” was exciting to Charlie and he began playing again. Unfortunately his foster mom slipped on a rocky area and came down hard on her shoulder and elbow. Although nothing was broken, she was in a lot of pain and Charlie recognized that. Instead of running to the ball he ran to her, instantly lying down beside her. He looked up in her face, licked it a few times, with his concerned eyes focused solely on her. Her tears were not from pain, but from the realization of what Charlie was doing for her. He had already been down this path before when his original owner died, and he was in full protection mode with his mom. She will never, ever forget Charlie’s loyalty.

Something that his foster mom is concerned about is the strange behavior Charlie exhibits when he appears to have spotted something fascinating to look at. He looks up in the air, gazes intently at “something,” follows it, and eventually barks at “it.” While she can distract him from this behavior, it isn’t easy to do so. A trip to the vet determined that Charlie has cataracts, though there could be another physical reason for his gazing at something that isn’t there. Continuing evaluation of this is underway.

Charlie is one sweet, smart boy. Keep your fingers crossed for his continued progress in his foster home and for his journey to the anxiety-free, happy life he so deserves.

Update 02/12/2013:  "Charlie is also a less anxious dog than he was a month ago. His worried look is gone and, though not a cuddle bug, his overall expression is softer and more inviting than when he began medication."

After a good faith effort to resolve Charlie’s anal issue with dietary change, he visited his vet once again. An exam confirmed infection in one anal gland and treatment began immediately. Charlie was such a good boy in the hands of numerous techs and his vet on subsequent visits for continuing treatment and follow-up checks. Thankfully, his problem is over. There’s no more scooting across the floor, no more incessant licking at his tail and no more “tell-tale” odor………yeah for Charlie!

Charlie is also a less anxious dog than he was a month ago. His worried look is gone and, though not a cuddle bug, his overall expression is softer and more inviting than when he began medication. He offers a paw at times now. He often chooses to nap at his foster mom’s feet in front of the couch, rather than behind it. He rarely barks at her anymore and if he does, a smile or laugh at him usually diffuses his angst. If he spots the horses next door and begins to bark, he can be redirected now. He’s beginning to show his first interest in a ball. He had the cutest look of surprise on his face recently when he chased and got to a tennis ball before the resident dog. His vet (who has seen him a lot lately) feels he’s more interested in his surroundings and less anxious. Crating continues when his family is away as Charlie has a tendency to scratch at doors but, with a loaded Kong to occupy him, he rarely protests his family’s leaving anymore.

Charlie’s also getting to go with his family more these days. He visited a dog park for the first time and did well. He met others dogs in appropriate doggie fashion and their people, one by one; then he trotted off to explore the rest of the space on his own. When sirens passed by on a side street, he hardly noticed. Charlie tail-gated that day with another MAESSR volunteer in the parking lot of a moderately-busy strip mall. He had the leisure to jump off the tailgate and explore to the end of his leash or to stay aboard and get treats and lots of calming strokes from his new friend. He alternated between the two with ease.

He also explored a huge meadow on a 25 foot line one warm afternoon. For an hour his foster mom mostly followed Charlie. His nose was at work constantly but he wasn't frenzied in what was a rich environment for him. There was little pulling on his line; the pace was more like a purposeful stroll. He would change direction with a "Charlie, this way" and was a lot of fun to be out with.

By best account Charlie hit his 4th home in less than 4 months when he came into MAESSR’s care. He’s scrambled to adjust to an overload of change ever since and is making great progress. He’s almost ready for one more move………that being to a truly forever home. His new family will need patience and a willingness to accept that he’s a work in progress. He really has no special requirements but his family will want to indulge some of his little quirks. As an example, Charlie eats much better if someone remains in the room with him when his bowl is put down. If left by himself, he tends to halt eating before he really gets started……:)). Charlie likely hasn’t reached his potential yet but is well on his way. If you have a heart for a little dog that still needs someone to love, please keep a close watch on this boy. He’s one who will give back all that is invested in him………………

Update 01/08/2013:  "In consultation with his vet and other MAESSR vols, the decision was made to begin Charlie on a medication to assist with anxiety."

Post-surgery Charlie wore an inflatable collar for 2 weeks until his stitches came out. He quickly learned to navigate as a “wide load” and healed without a hitch. A lot was accomplished while he was under anesthesia. Two benign lipomas were removed and one sebaceous cyst was drained. The last lump, the one that prompted the surgery, was removed with wide margins and was likely benign as well. As sometimes happens with cysts, Charlie’s refilled quickly and may need to be revisited if it irritates him or becomes bothersome during grooming. His family is keeping an eye on that for him as well as on something new involving anal glands. Hopefully, increased fiber in Charlie’s diet will eliminate this odiferous issue!

Most Springers tend to relax as they settle into foster care. An intense boy from Day 1, Charlie became more anxious as weeks passed. He accepted touching but didn’t seem to derive any comfort from it at all, not from brushing, petting or massage. He would sit politely when asked but consistently with his back to people. When invited onto the couch, he readily accepted but opted for the far end, out of reach of any cuddling. If encouraged to come closer, he either held his spot or retreated to the floor behind the couch. Frequently Charlie would lock eyes with his foster mom and bark insistently with a huge outdoor voice. Often it was really unclear what he wanted or needed; if nothing else worked, his foster mom resorted to barking back, hoping to lighten the moment. What a hoot!........but not productive. No toys caught his interest; no dog could tease Charlie into play. Life seemed sadly overwhelming for this handsome boy.

In consultation with his vet and other MAESSR vols, the decision was made to begin Charlie on a medication to assist with anxiety. Though early on, Charlie’s overall expression seems to be softening; he can enjoy a paw massage now. When out on a loose leash walk, he looks back frequently to see that his foster mom is coming along………very encouraging to see.

Keep fingers crossed that Charlie’s best days are ahead.

Original:  "Charlie needs someone to love………ASAP."

Charlie needs someone to love………ASAP. He’s a dog who’s lived in a loving relationship all his life. Sadly that came to an end a short time ago when his Florida owner died tragically in a 4-wheeler accident. At the time Charlie was with his loved one and remained with him for 3 days until they were found. A Good Samaritan in Florida stepped in to help Charlie and, un-imaginably, died a week later. Yet another caregiver, a daughter in West Virginia, stepped in on behalf of Charlie and would gladly have become his forever family, but Charlie was not kind to the resident cats in her home. And so, he became a MAESSR boy.

At his vet check, Charlie was stoic and calm. The vet found numerous lumps and bumps during the exam which became Charlie’s only issues. One on his back was assessed as a benign cyst, requiring no treatment as it wasn’t bothering Charlie. Another lump on his underside midline was assessed as a lipoma. The vet was less certain of the 3rd lump, found on a leg, and recommended that it be removed. For Charlie, a minor surgery is pending. Otherwise, he is a healthy adult at a good weight.

Charlie has settled into a foster home with 4 adult male ESSs. He has an odd obsession with one senior and licks him a lot. Fortunately, that senior doesn’t mind the attention. When Charlie bounces into the space of the most senior foster, Charlie accepts appropriate correction in stride. Charlie isn’t playful with the 2 younger resident ESSs and often becomes mildly agitated when they play robustly but, overall, he gets along with everyone well. His foster mom suspects Charlie hasn’t lived as part of a pack in previous life and could be quite happy with one or two other dogs or as an only dog.

When it comes to people, Charlie does well. His excitement at greeting folks is obvious. His outreach takes the form of licking everyone and anything within reach. He’s definitely a lover boy. He has settled into the routine in his foster home. A few expected accidents happened in the first week but, with close supervision, Charlie has become reliable with his house-training. He is crated alongside the residents when his family is away; he will bark upon their leaving but is calm and quiet when they return and shows no signs of serious upset during their absence. He willingly goes into his crate when asked and is eating his meals there. Charlie has run of the house when his family is home and will opt for the far end of the couch when everyone settles for the evening. He must be encouraged to come alongside for cuddles, and alternately, he must be watched lest he nervously nibble or suck on couch pillows or blankets. Soft toys have been offered as substitutes but don’t necessarily fulfill his need. His family suspects this is a nervous behavior that is already lessening. At night Charlie sleeps on a doggie bed in his parents’ room. He would gladly sleep upon their bed but will “off” when not invited up.

Charlie’s leash training has begun. He will sit on request and takes treats very nicely in line with the rest of the pack. He enjoys being out in his fenced yard as long as his foster mom is there; if she’s not, he’s likely to bark a request that she come out to play too. Though not excessive, Charlie is often verbal with his wishes. When it’s time to eat, he may sit in front of his foster mom and bark a direct prompt. If the water bowl has been lapped dry, he may bark to let her know. At times a bark, that is otherwise unclear, means it’s time for Charlie to go out. It’s really amazing how expressive a dog can be, and, Charlie never barks for naught!

As at home, Charlie has been comfy with riding in a crate for road trips. He’s a people dog and, though not in one’s lap, he is most often at one’s feet while indoors and always in the same room. He’s surely been treated well all of his life, and, is adjusting to major changes as well and quickly as he can. He’ll make a wonderful and loyal companion for someone who will love him as much as he loves them when the time comes. In the meantime, keep fingers crossed that his suspicious lump will turn out to be “nothing.”