Charlie needs your help


Charlie was “discovered” by a caring couple who noticed that he was tied to a rear door of a house they were visiting. After a few conversations with his distracted owners, they discovered to their combined horror this was Charlie’s life, tied to that rear door. The byproduct of young children and no interest or time left for little Charlie. So, there he stayed 24 hrs a day. Heat, Cold, or Rain, just waiting for some attention. Charlie, it seems was just another example of a dog that was no longer the cute puppy and no longer a wanted pet.

“Would you give us Charlie”, the couple asked? “Of course,” said the owners. With that short conversation Charlie’s life changed forever. Off to a new home, a vet visit, and a trip to a groomer for a warm bath, a clip, and a blow dry, things that Charlie had not felt in years. The vet visit for shots and a health checkup, discovered that Charlie needed special care as he had a few medical concerns that were scary and would require expensive diagnostics to better understand what the heck was going on. So, Charlie life savers called Westie Rescue to see if we could offer a lifeline. The answer was of course! That is what Westie Rescue is all about, helping Westies who need a second chance at a great new life.

Charlie in happier days, right after his first bath and grooming

Fast forward through phone calls to co-ordinate a road trip up and down the interstate with Uncle Stephen that ends with Charlie falling into the arms of Wendy Opel, a wonderful 30+ year volunteer, and the great Doctors at Greater Annapolis Vet Hospital (GAVH). As happens with all Westies who come into the program, Charlie received a health exam, shots updated, blood screening test to see what’s beneath the surface of fur, and good medical expert analysis. This Vet Hospital sees more Westies each week than most vets see in their life time. Westie Rescue has run through over 1,000 Westies through their caring hand and hearts in the past 26 years.

The first results required more tests, an X-ray for possible internal damage, something that looked like broken ribs was explored, and grave concerns about a large and growing sign of an impact on his side. It was decided to invest in Charlie’s life and spend what it takes to see him through the processes of this crisis.

His next step was to be a few days of rest in foster care, before any exploratory surgery would be performed.  One with a low-tension environment, good food and gentle hands to care for him.  All found in a wonderful little farm run by Diane, a volunteer with Charlie got his own warm bed, food, water nearby, and a grass covered yard to wonder around. It was all short lived however, as Charlie quickly showed signs of being overwhelmed by pain. He was quickly transported back into the vet hospital for a hurried surgery on a large mass that was growing on his side.

When the mass was opened, a flood of puss and blood poured out exposing something foreign in his side.  As the Vet pulled at the object, out came a long bamboo BBQ skewer that had been thrust into his ribs, through internal organs, and then broken off, leaving five inches of the skewer inside him just below the skin. As his organs that had been punctured requiring specialized surgical skills, Charlie was transported quickly to the nearby Emergency Vet in Annapolis, MD, where he underwent immediate additional surgery to close openings and have antibiotics injected into his little body. 12 hrs later the word came back that he had made in through surgery and was recovering wonderfully. The next morning, he was ready to step out of intensive care and back into the waiting arms at the Vet Hospital. There they would keep a 24/7 eye on him, change his dressings and clean the impact area daily.  Thanks Drs Daher & Woodburn and the wonderful staff at GAVH for saving Charlie!

Day One: Discovery
After Surgery
This is the item removed from Charlie. The material you see attached is skin, infection, and puss.

Over the next few days, Charlie will be in the observation area at the hospital to ensure his little body is fighting any infections, reducing the swelling, and begins to close the tear in his side.  Each day after a walk, the Doctors refresh the bandages and clean the impact area with saline solutions. So, his recovery is in wonderful and caring hands that offer up a few treats during the daily retinue. In the image below you can see that Charlie is doing better each day.

Aug 21 Update: This is Day 5 after surgery
Impact Aug 23 Day 7 Note: the closing of the hole in poor little Charlie…

Meanwhile, our job at Westie Rescue is to raise enough donations to pay for all his medical care and when he is ready, to find a nice new home for Charlie where he can regain his strength and happy tail wags once again.

Costs on Medical Care to date:

  • Emergency Vet surgery: $3,800
  • Vet Bill: $3,600 so far and rising
  • Vet Bill: $1,400 Neutering & Teeth Cleaning w/extractions (9/15/2020)
  • Costs of Love: $0
  • Charlie happy, well and ready for his new home:  Priceless

Want to help Charlie pay off his medical bills so Westie Rescue can help the next Westie coming in?

Please donate today!

Donation Link:

Westie Rescue MidAtlantic | Westie Rescue USA

Westie Rescue podcast:

5 thoughts on “Charlie needs your help

  1. Hello Stephen,
    I am just heartbroken for Charlie that he had to endure such pain under the hands of the previous owners.
    I wish that they could prosecute them for cruelty to animals. Is this possible?
    Thank You to the wonderful lady that had the insight to see what was going on. And believe me they would no longer be my friends.
    I will donate and please keep us posted to his progress and let me know if they can get justice for Charlie by prosecuting!
    I had 2 wonderful Westies from your organization and thank you for the wonderful work that you do.
    Be safe !

    1. Heartbroken and I cried so hard!! I’ve always been a Westie lover and can NEVER imagine evil acts toward them, or any animals.
      I’ve shared the info with some friends, join to be a volunteer, foster parent, and will donate too(just like we used to when we lived in VA)
      Keep up good work!
      Prayers for Charlie for smooth recovery!

  2. I am grateful to those who rescued him and also took such great care of this sweet boy. How old is he? I would be interested in paying a significant portion of his vet bills if I could adopt him when he is well enough to go to his forever home. My former Westie rescue passed away from a heart attack 2 months ago at age 13 but lived a very happy life. I would happily spoil and lovingly care for another rescue if possible. I live in the country in a house with a large, fenced in back yard in a gated community. Very safe for dogs:))

  3. I’ve a wee tale for Charlie:
    Well, now, and would ye look at yeself. Aren’t ye the strong wee man. Ye withstood the pain, ye suffered through the lonliness of solitary confinement and all manner of degradation, and all for the crime of growing into the fine wee beast that ye are. A dirty shame ‘twas done to ye. But ye persevered. ‘Twas the strength of that immense Westie spirit that ye have stuffed tight into yer own bonnie wee self. Aye, and yer verra own Westie guardian angel was surly watching over ye.
    Naw, now don’t look askance. I have it on great, good authority that the West Highland Guardian Angels do indeed exist. For t’was told to me by the MacGreggor himself. And ‘twas told to him by his own, dear, sweet mère.
    Now a West Highland White Terrier is a bonnie beast indeed, so it stands to reason that a Great West Highland Guardian Angel was once a true terrier right here on the earth, like ye and meself. ‘Tis a poor showing for humanity itself that a beast’s life can be filled with pain and suffering, and no manner of mortal help can keep it here on earth. Even with the help the strongest of angels, a life can be brutally short, keeping a body from finding its verra own loving forever home.
    But ‘tisnt the end of the story. You see, the light of the Westie spirit canna be doused. It can be dimmed, but that heart will always glimmer forth. Such a beautiful light calls to the verra angels, who carry them into the sky to live with them among the stars. These Westies find their forever home with the angels. These poor wee souls in life find themselves in all their glory—which is only their rightful place—as guardians for furry wee folk like yeself. Now tis true, a Westie in life is as perfect a beast as a body can be, but a Westie Guardian Angel is indeed the grandest of beasts. They glow. Their great hearts shine forth with the love, and their plucky coats glimmer with the very light of the stars of a clear night sky. And of course, being Westies, it stands to good reason that their wings are just right.
    To see one is a tricky thing, for this canna only happen in the worst of storms on the darkest of nights, when the fierce winds blow at the windows, and the thunder shakes ye bones, the lightning lights the skies with all manner of flashing and clashing, and the rain a’ beatin’ down like ‘twill be Noah’s flood again. That ‘tis when ye might catch a glimpse of them. Ye must brave the storm and look up into the sky, and there in the clouds they’ll be chasing off the lightning, barking away the thunder, and snapping up the verra raindrops. To see one is grand, but to ever feel the love of a true Westie heart is a verra special blessing, for it will warm ye heart for all the rest of ye days.
    But here’s the thing. I hear they like to pose as the good doctors that make ye body well, and the kind workers and volunteers, who shelter and share their homes. I know ye feel the love of the heavens through their tender care. And everyday I pray me thanks to them and all the heavens for saving and loving furry, wee folk like yeself.
    So, me bonnie wee Charlie, dinna fash yeself. Work on getting yeself well. Ye’ve the care of the verra angels themselves, and ye’ll never be alone again.

  4. There are no words to describe how inhuman people can be to animals. I am a westie lover and have had them for over 40 years. They are kind and loving fur babies. I hope he will find a forever home soon. Keep us posted. Thanks

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