When Charlie Osman replied to an online ad for a family pet that needed rehoming, she had no idea what she would walk into. A man waving puppies in her face opened the door, Charlie looked past him to see an infected, bruised bitch left to die in a cage. Pops was traumatised following a back-street spay. Fast forward nearly four years, Pops has flourished into a fashion icon, therapy dog and campaigner against puppy mills. Charlie has written an open letter to the breeder
“Bitch number 3” now has a name, she is called Pops and she is amazing.
Do you remember what you said to me when I begged you to let me take her? “That one’s not for sale – it’s dying”?
Well firstly, “it” is a “she”, and she was failing to thrive due to neglect, abuse, overbreeding and lack of love and care.
Sure, it took a while: the physical recovery took a few months, and there are life-long issues with her health because of your greed and lack of compassion. The emotional recovery is ongoing. We have overcome many hurdles, including her crippling fear of men, anxiety and basic social skills. But with a little love, a warm bed and two meals a day, she has grown in every way to become a wonderful animal who means so much to so many.
Pops is not the sharpest tool in the box, a silly sausage if you will, but she is certainly the one that brings the most joy. I belly-laugh every single day at her escapades and I pity you because you don’t know what you lost. That little lump of whimpering skin and bone that you didn’t even say “goodbye” to is worth far more than you will ever know. You weren’t worthy of her. You were just not a good enough human being to deserve a friend like Pops, and I hope no other animal ever has to endure you again.
Pops is loyal, brave and sassy. She has a soul so good and eyes so deep that I’m certain to have magical powers. She has the power to transform a child’s perception and irradiate their fear of dogs; she has won prizes for her beauty; she has raised money for important animal welfare charities; she is a dog model and a therapy dog for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia at the local hospital (as a Therapaws dog, the therapy-dog programme by London dog rescue Mayhew). The joy Pops brings daily is staggering. If only you took the time to look, to engage and to love her, you would have seen this.
I may be biased because she is mine, but there is a whole army of people that will vouch for this magic little lady, my best friend, Pops. Your loss was my gain and I thank you, from the bottom of my heart. because of you, I am loved unconditionally. I have an excuse to get out and explore more of my city and beyond; I get to meet wonderful like-minded people and I have the noblest sausage-shaped sidekick a girl could ask for.
Your “trash” will always be my treasure.
The puppy mill Pops was rescued from has been shut down, and the breeder has been prosecuted.