Charlie the life-saving rescue dog
Pooch was abused by dog-fighting ring
A miniature poodle saved from a life of misery as bait for a dog-fighting ring has now been trained to help people prone to seizures.
Charlie, who is 12, was rescued after being abused and beaten in illegal dog fighting rings in Arizona.
The little dog suffered life-threatening injuries while being used as bait to teach other dogs to fight.
Now he lives with Susan Martinez and Keith Webster in Portlethen – and has become something of a local celebrity.
Charlie has even taken part in local church plays, and offers assistance as a seizure alert dog.
Mrs Martinez, 56, explained how she and Charlie found each other in America eight years ago.
She said: “When I lived in Arizona, I was diagnosed with a pretty bad lung disease and I had to stop working. I was pretty depressed.”
It was then that a friend, who is a vet, told her about a very poorly dog who would “wag his tail” every time she thought about putting it down.
Mrs Martinez added: “He was expected to die and she told me to take him, to give him a good home for when it would eventually happen.”
However, Charlie got “better and better by the day” and grew strong enough to recover.
Mrs Martinez said: “I decided he would have to have some sort of animal service training, to keep him by me at all times.
“So, Charlie was trained to be a seizure alert dog since I have a seizure disorder. He will go up to somebody when they’re about to have a seizure or a stroke, and circle around them to let them know they should sit down.
“Charlie also lays between the person’s head and the pavement or hard surface so they don’t hurt themselves.”
Mrs Martinez met northeast man Mr Webster in America and took Charlie with her when she moved to Portlethen.
Mr Webster said the friendly pet “brings the community happiness” and enjoys meeting smaller dogs and children.
“He’s a community dog. He’s even taken part in some plays in the church.
“They led him by his leash to the small stage when they were retelling the story of Noah’s Ark. He’s had some life.”
SUPERDOG: Susan Martinez and Keith Webster with miniature poodle Charlie, who was rescued from dog fighting rings in Arizona and has become a local celebrity after moving to Scotland.