Meet Charlie, a very special 11-year-old golden retriever. Several years ago, Charlie’s world forever changed when he had both eyes removed as a result of glaucoma. Though the pup seemed to deal with the change quite well, he began to show less and less excitement for life as time went on. That recently changed, however, when a new member was added to Charlie’s family.
As The Dodo reports, Charlie’s owners, Chelsea Stipe and her husband, could tell their dog needed a friend. They suspected he’d benefit from having someone around who is younger, so they adopted a puppy named Maverick. It didn’t take long before the Stipes concluded that they were right.
The two dogs soon became inseparable. Maverick’s curiosity and enthusiasm rubbed off on Charlie, who began playing more himself. “Charlie has definitely been more playful and puppy-like since Maverick came around,” Stipe told The Dodo. “We’d buy him toys and he wouldn’t think about playing with them. Now, they’re just constantly playing with each other.”
While Maverick is only a few months old, he has already picked up on the fact that Charlie can’t see. Curiously, he has adapted to help the older dog. “He knows Charlie is different,” Stipe said. “He’ll put toys in front of him. He’s very aware, when Charlie starts to move, to be on the lookout for him. When they walk together, Maverick helps keep Charlie in line.”
When Charlie rests, Maverick can often be found lying next to him. It’s as if the pup wants his senior friend to know he is not alone.
“It’s amazing. They’re just such a great combo. They’re always together.”
In a period of months, Charlie went from a sleepy, rarely-active dog to a playful pup open to exploring the world with his new best friend. It seems clear from the new friendship that Charlie still has a lot more living to do and that Maverick is partly to credit for that.
“Charlie’s an older dog. We used to think we could lose him any time. But now, with Maverick, it’s like he got this jolt in him, this zest for life again. If he had eyes, I know there’d be a twinkle in them.”
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