Charlie the senior Mastiff was the longest resident at the Rancho Coastal Humane Society. For 9 months, the 174-pound couch potato was overlooked because of his size. He had been put up for adoption after his loving mom passed away, so he just wanted somewhere safe and comforting to live out the rest of his life. As much as the shelter staff adored the sweet dog, they were just as eager for him to have his happily ever after. So, they spread his story far and wide. As it turns out, the person who adopted Charlie, in the end, wasn’t a stranger at all.
Charlie’s Heartbreaking Loss
Charlie had the perfect life as a puppy. His mom was his favorite person, and she gave him all the love and snuggles he could dream of. But she couldn’t do it alone. She turned to her neighbor, Tim Yanitor, to help her build a dog-friendly fence for her yard. Eventually, Yanitor became the woman’s caretaker, which of course, included caring for Charlie.
Yanitor loved Charlie like he was his own dog. But when Charlie’s mom passed away in her 60s, Yanitor was left in a tough spot. He and the large pup needed a place to stay. Sadly, he soon realized that he couldn’t afford to care for Charlie, no matter how much he wanted to. Animal control came to take the dog not long after, and Yanitor had to comfort Charlie as he climbed into the truck.
“When they came to get him, it was a horrible day,” said Yanitor. “I mean I was – because of her death – I was going to have to move. He trusted me, and I climbed into the back of the truck where they keep him and he followed me in. We sat in there and I didn’t want to get out. It was rough.”
As Yanitor walked away, Charlie barked like crazy. It broke Yanitor’s heart, but he knew it was the right thing to do. That was the last he saw of Charlie, until now.
A Familiar Face
For National Dog Day, a news story about Charlie aired. The shelter hoped it would help him find the forever home he deserved. But no one could have expected what happened next. The news story caught many people’s attention, including Yanitor’s.
Since they parted ways, Yanitor had started working as a caretaker for another woman named Lisa. She had her own dog named Burt, who was also a Mastiff. Yanitor quickly fell in love with Burt like he had with Charlie, but sadly, Burt passed away about a month before Charlie’s news story was posted.
Lisa wasn’t looking for a new dog yet, but when her friend sent her Charlie’s story, she fell in love. She wanted to adopt the gentle giant, not knowing he was the dog Yanitor had lost 9 months ago. Not long after, Yanitor saw the story. He was overjoyed to see that Charlie was okay. Thankfully, he was now in a good enough place to care for the pup again.
Yanitor was nervous to see Charlie again after all this time, but the Mastiff recognized him right away. He playfully tackled him and showered him with kisses. Then, Charlie headed home to be with Yanitor and Lisa. Both of them promised that Charlie would never have to spend another day at the shelter. He could grow old in a home full of love and support. That’s all the sweet pup ever wanted.
Sometimes, life works in mysterious ways, but it’s always heartwarming to be reunited with old friends. Clearly, Yanitor and Charlie were meant to be family for life.