Charlie and Ginger McKinch



Charlie was my forever foster. I am so grateful that he came to me and stayed.


Charlie came to us via the sheltie transport system from a kill shelter in Hammond IN. On a sunny summer day Kristen delivered a very sad looking pink skinned, piglet of a dog to us. They said they called him Shadow, but that never really fit, and he was quickly re-named Charlie, the ugliest dog in the world. There really wasn’t a lot of sheltie visible in those days.


Charlie’s story isn’t really sad, and I don’t believe he was ever abused; he’d just come on hard times.


Charlie’s original owner was a 91 yr. old senior who’ d been found having had a stroke. There were 4-5 dogs altogether that he cared for as best he could. His home was a mess- but the dogs were fat, sassy, filthy and flee ridden. When they got to the shelter Charile’s coat was so bad they just shaved him down. We don’t think the dogs were ever outside much as his paw pads were pink and soft like a babies.


I know he was loved by the old man as his favorite thing was to have you pet him with your feet, while you sat in the recliner. Charlie loved affection, but squealed if you tried to pick him up. A lap sheltie he would never be! I work at home so he became my constant companion. He taught ALL of the dogs to howl – even the big black ones! Noah, his blind step brother teaches all of the dogs to spin – so it all works out. He began the choir practice daily about 9:30 am, when he decided they had all been left outside long enough!


He was in charge of answering the phones –at least that was his take on things. Whenever the phone rang, if I was in another room he’d race me to it, barking like a crazy man all the way! Always leaving me to explain the cacophony to the caller. He had also decided that it was his job to announce our arrival to the barn for morning and evening chores. He would start the crazy barking and try to herd all of us in the right direction. (Actually, this was a very aggravating bark on most days – but he wouldn’t let it go) Now I have to admit I kind of miss the noise – I still take the same path to my chores, but it’s awfully quiet and I am reminded of him daily.


So that is how Charlie came to the farm, and found his home. His hair never came back in right. He hated to be groomed, and was not very good about hygiene. He was forever a dirty scrappy farm dog and I like to think he was happy as a pig in mud – not a description that many true shelties will have anything to do with.


Anyway that’s his story and it took so long for me to send it. I started to cry every time I thought about it. Attached is a picture of Charlie and our other SRCI rescue Miss Ginger, who also passed this summer. They were both wonderful additions to our family and we will always be grateful to SRCI for those gifts.


Linda M. McKinch, RN, OCN