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Dog smells like iron and dust. I'm sitting in the backseat of a rental car parked in front of my house, wting for the r freshener to kick in. I feel like a fool. My dog, Charlie, has a litter box, a water bowl, a bed, and a leash in his own house. Why have I brought him all the way to the rport in a car with no r freshener?
When I got home from work, Charlie was a ball of fur in the backyard, rolling around in a dirt pit while his owners took the afternoon off. I yelled at them, "Can you two stop playing around and go take Charlie to the vet? His leg is broken." They drove off, leaving him behind.
Charlie is an 11-year-old golden retriever who is, according to my mom, the most wonderful dog ever. Charlie was a rescue, and because he's my best friend, I feel responsible for him. I would do anything to protect him, and I'm sure that his owners feel the same way. When I found out that he had a broken leg, I was frantic. He needed to go to the vet, but I didn't want to drive him, so I called my mom, who was staying with me for the summer. She knew that Charlie had already had his shots, so she went to the vet and got his bill. Then she came back with the paperwork, and the vet bill was $500! It broke my heart to see my best friend in such pn. It also broke my heart to realize that the vet bill had been sent to my parents. I was so upset that I went back and took Charlie to the vet myself, after all. But when I got to the office and looked at the bill, it was $1,500. I was so surprised that they had charged me for the first visit and not my parents. That's when I knew I had to do something.
In addition to paying off the $500, I had to pay an additional $1,500 to get Charlie's leg fixed. We went to the vet office, and after they set his leg, I left to get Charlie a nice place to rest in his kennel. When I returned with the carrier, I found the owners wting outside the office. They asked me, "Are you still going to get Charlie fixed?"
I was so upset, I sd, "I don't know if I can do it. I'll think about it."
As I drove away, I was shaking. I thought, "What the heck was I thinking? I can't just let this happen to my friend. I'm going to do it." So, the next day, I took Charlie home and did my best to take care of him. It's hard to say exactly what happened to him. He healed very quickly and was back to his old, happy self in no time. I know that it's not right that I should have had to spend $1,500 of my own money to pay for his surgery.
I felt that I had a responsibility to my mom to pay the bill, but what about all the other dog owners who are in a position like mine? I decided to open a small fund-rsing campgn at work, called Operation Charlie. We were able to collect the money, but even more important, I found out that there are others who have also had to spend big money on their dogs.
There are more than 8 million dogs in shelters and rescue centers around the world. The majority of them are healthy and need medical care. The fact that dogs don't have medical coverage makes their health care much more expensive than it should be. We want to change that. Operation Charlie is a group of dog lovers and dog owners who are committed to changing the system.
When the owners of a dog come to us for help, we don't turn them away, but we try to make their lives better. This may mean, for example, having them take their dog to the vet or paying for the bill. I can't tell you how many times I've been a recipient of this kind of help. As I write this book, Operation Charlie has already rsed more than $200,000, all in small donations from caring people.
This book tells you how to rse and spend $1,000, but Operation Charlie will never end as long as the world needs dogs.
# Operation Charlie
HOW TO FIND A NEEDY DOG
You may wonder, "Where do I start with Operation Charlie?" The first step is to find a needy dog. Many people think that they can't do anything for their dogs. But the truth is, we need each other. It's a cycle of help and help and help.
The best way to find a needy dog is to go to your local shelter. If there are no shelters near you, there are many online, including the National Dog Cat Alliance and the Humane Society of the United States.
After you find a needy dog, make sure that you do your homework. Check to make sure that the dog is vaccinated and is spayed or neutered. Ask how long the dog has been at the shelter. Make sure that it's a happy dog. And most importantly, make sure the dog doesn't have fleas, which can spread dangerous diseases.
The next step is to go to your local vet. If you know the name of the shelter that has your dog, call the shelter and ask how you can help. They will tell you to come in and see your dog, which you can do during your regular office hours. You can also leave an application at the shelter, saying that you would like to foster the dog while you're looking for a home for it. You may also be able to arrange for your dog to stay with a vet's practice during a time when you're not able to see it.
# Operation Charlie
HOW TO SPEND A $1,000 BUCK
1. Your first step is to contact the shelter.
a. Find your local shelter on the Internet or by calling the National Dog Cat Alliance, 800-D