Charlie was a stray dog that rescuers found living on an orchard along a main road in California.
Every day, he had to survive loud cars and wild coyotes while desperately searching for food.
To make matters worse, one of the first things rescuers noticed about him was that he had a broken leg.
The poor pup was so scared.
Whenever anyone came near him, he would take off hobbling away. However, that wasn’t even the biggest secret that they discovered.
For 989 long days, Charlie survived out there on his own with a major disability, even worse than the broken leg. You’ll see in the video posted below that it’s a miracle he ever made it.
A kind woman named Rosa tried to offer Charlie food and water, but it wasn’t easy getting through to the pup.
He was wary of anyone who got too close. However, that’s when Danny from A SafeFurr Place Animal Rescue got involved. The man was determined to get Charlie to warm up to him.
“It was very odd that he would just be sitting there. All of a sudden, his head would perk up and he would get up and just start running,” explained Danny to The Dodo.
“He would always run south in the orchard… I’m like, ‘why is he doing this?'”
Danny had seen enough strays to know that something was different about this one.
The behavior of the dog just didn’t really make sense. Danny understood that it was going to take a lot of persistence and time to earn Charlie’s trust.
“It was very easy to tell, obviously his leg was in very, very bad shape. It was almost like a rabbit, how he just kind of hopped,” said Danny.
Eventually, Charlie started to warm up a little bit.
When Danny would pull up alongside of the orchard on the main road, the dog would pop out to look while still keeping his distance. Danny would leave him some food and water in a bowl and try to become friends, but the pup was pretty difficult. He was still in a lot of pain.
Soon, Danny came to another startling realization.
After waving his hand in front of Charlie’s face one day and getting no reaction, he knew it had to be true.
Charlie was also blind!
He had been surviving in the orchard for years on his own with a broken leg and almost zero vision. Now, everything started to make sense. It explained why Charlie always sat there until someone got close and then took off running. It also explained his weird behavior of running south.
“I started to realize that each time he would run, there was a large truck running south, that’s what triggered him. And he would bark at the truck like he was trying to get the truck’s attention,” said Danny.
Charlie couldn’t see, but he could hear and feel the movement of the trucks on the highway.
Danny imagined that Charlie was chasing after the trucks because he thought that they were “his” truck and that his owners had finally come to take him home. Danny knew that he had to rescue the pup and find him a new loving family to live with.
Eventually, rescuers earned his trust enough to get him on a leash and get him into a crate.
That’s when his behavior totally changed. He instantly started to warm up to people again.
They surgically removed his broken leg which, surprisingly, gave him more mobility than he had before.
He has made an incredible recovery.
Running around on three legs is not a problem for Charlie now. He is no longer in pain, and that’s the most important thing. While he still can’t see very well, if at all, he gets around just fine.
Plus, he has a new loving family to take care of him. His many years of struggling to survive in the orchard are finally over, and now, he can live the rest of his life in happiness.
Check out the video below showing Charlie’s rescue and the full heartwarming story.
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