Charlie's Mission

Sometimes our blessings are multiplied. Sometimes the things we hope for come to us in abundance. That's what happened to our friend Charlie. And it all started with an ad for senior adoptions on our website:

Seniors: Are you the kind of family that has a laidback lease on life? Do you like to take time to smell the roses? If so, you may be in for a treat! Charlie is an 11-year-old Brittany Spaniel that has left the boisterous and rowdy years of puppy-dom behind him and with age has developed an appreciation for life's quiet moments.

Older pets are often the perfect match for seniors. They're calmer than a puppy, require a lot less exercise, and love to spend quiet time with their guardians. All Charlie needed was one senior to give him a home. Instead, he's getting more love than he ever imagined.

PAWS Magazine Issue 79 Charlie Close Up

"He's very popular," says Teresa Copstead, "there are some people here that actually fight over him." Copstead works at Aegis of Edmonds, an assisted living community for seniors with 65 residents, and one new four-legged friend. Charlie.

"He drops in every now and then," says Jane Itzkow, a longtime resident of Aegis. Jane's lived with dogs and cats her entire life and thoroughly enjoys the company of this sweet spaniel. "The slurping and slopping makes me feel at home." Jane's room is one of Charlie's favorite spots, according to Activity Coordinator Jennifer Grand, "He comes in to visit, sits by her feet and won't leave."

But Charlie likes to spread the love, wandering the halls, looking for company and maybe even a treat. "He loves the treats," says resident Barbara Sharkey. "He can't get enough." Not to worry, there's an endless supply here at Aegis. "We make treats for him right here," says Grand. "That's one of our activities...we even have a dog bone-shaped cookie cutter." Grand reaches into a huge ceramic jar to fetch Charlie a biscuit. Ever the gentleman, Charlie sits patiently. His big eyes sparkling, his tail in a controlled wag. With the prize finally in his possession, Charlie's off to fi nd another friend. He doesn't have to go far before finding another hand to stroke his coat, or another smile to make him feel at home. But it might be that Charlie is the one making them feel at home. "You can see it in their faces," says staffer Heidi Flynn, "they just light up when they see him, it's amazing."

Charlie heads back down the hall, stopping for a moment to sniff the door of a room with a cat inside. Unimpressed, he continues on his journey. He's got blessings to count; 65 of them, to be exact.

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