Why Charlie Machete didn’t die

This week’s series on traveling without your pets is being interrupted.

While traveling without our pets last weekend our peace of mind was interrupted by a phone call. It had nothing to do with Scooby and Luke, who were enjoying posh accomodations you’ll hear more about in a few days.

The phone call was about this guy:

Consider it his one phone call from the doggy slammer, ’cause that’s where he was.

Specifically, Charlie Machete was doing the jailhouse rock in Omaha, Nebraska, where he had been surrendered by an unknown party. That is, not the people to whom we adopted him.


Thank goodness Charlie Machete’s microchip history revealed Zach’s and my contact information, for he was put on the euthanasia list. (As we always expected, he did not exhibit his best qualities in a shelter environment.)

With help from several women of the wonderful animal rescue network, we were able to get his euthanasia order stopped. So yesterday, Zach traveled to Omaha and sprung our sad, black foster dog from death row.

Four months after being adopted he’s now back at the Wayward House.


Are we eating humble pie? A little bit.

Although I still believe Craigslist can be a legit way to find a worthwhile adopter (it’s how Luxor the cat came to me, after all), no matter where new prospects come from we’re going to increase the stringency with which we screen them  and harass adopters who don’t keep in touch with us.

Our most recent interaction with the people who adopted Charlie Machete in March occured about a month and a half ago and included no troubling updates. Knowing not all dog parents feel the need to compulsively post pictures of and stories about their pet, we trusted that things must be OK.

Also, we had an agreement that should these people be unable to keep Charlie Machete he should be returned to us.

We may never know what really happened. “Landlord issues” were cited on Charlie Machete’s intake records at the shelter.

The important thing is, although he came quite close, Charlie Machete didn’t die. I can’t even fathom the guilt I would have experienced if he had.

Thank goodness for the microchip provided by Friends of KC Animals and the support we received from the rest of the midwest animal rescue community.

Now, it’s up to us to keep searching for his perfect forever family.

If you or someone you know is interested in meeting or sponsoring Charlie Machete, please contact me at


About crystalwayward

I live with two formerly wayward dogs. I care deeply about the environment, and I think gardening is a revolutionary act.

Posted on June 19, 2012, in Dogs, Fostering, Machete and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 51 Comments.

  1. Oh my goodness! I’m so glad that you were able to be contacted and able to to go get him! I hope he feels comfortable back in his temporary home and that you will find someone to love him forever soon!

  2. Thank heavens for people like you. He looks like such a cute, cool dog. Hope he finds a perfect Forever home soon. People do the strangest things. My cat, currently the subject of this weeks blog, had a similar experience and this constant home moving always makes the animals harder to re-adopt. I wish people would take their feelings into account when they do this

  3. Whoooaaaa, WHAT?!?! Talk about a close call! So did the new family never change his microchip information, or does it keep a history? Are you going to try to contact the family who adopted him to find out what happened? I can’t even imagine the whirlwind of emotions you must be experiencing right now! Oh Poor Charlie! Thank GOODNESS it worked out and he’s safe with you!

    • We aren’t sure what happened and haven’t made contact with the adoptive family yet. They had been really eager to change the microchip over to their contact information, but it seems they never did. Thanks for the empathy. Fortunately, he seems to be adjusting quite well to life back in the Wayward House.

  4. That top photo is Machete’s “C’mon, guys… you know you really missed me” face

  5. So glad he’s safe. Now we just need to find him a new home!

  6. Thank you for sharing this, Crystal. Sorry to hear this happened, but very thankful for the micro chip that was implanted.

  7. You should call the cl adopters and rip them a new hole.

    • Not to excuse the situation (in which we bear some culpability), but my gut tells me the apparent interim rehoming was done with good intentions. If nothing else, it is clear that Machete was at least cared for in the past four months. His weight is the same, his coat is shiny and he shows no signs of physical trauma. I’m counting our blessings for that.

  8. So glad he’s safe and it looks like he remembered you and Zach w/o an issue. 🙂 Charlie is a very lucky boy.

    • Despite the reports of his not being a gentleman in the shelter, Zach says Machete was well behaved on his way out. And his recognition of us and our home was instantaneous. He knows he’s safe again and has become my shadow.

  9. Close Call Charlie! Also WTF!? Not even an email to say, hey we are giving the dog you clearly care so much about to these other peeps or turning him into the shelter. Wow! Peoples, they amaze me. Still. They probably shouldn’t but still.

    Never update his microchip. Never. Machete is very fortunate to have you watching his back.

    • Agreed! I think the only way his chip will get updated is if he goes to a personal friend and even then maybe it’s good for a dog to have a backup network to call upon in an emergency. After all, “Machete don’t text,” as they say. 🙂

  10. What a scary, close call! I am incredibly thankful the microchip had your information attached to it. Crystal and Zach, THANK YOU, for saving this boy numerous times. You are blessings! I am happy to help network him.

  11. So crazy. What about the adoption contract? We have a very clear statement that all dogs need to be returned back to us on our adoption contract, or people risk legal action. Did they just not read that part on the contract?

    • Because we have been fostering independently, I don’t think our agreement was formal enough or strong enough. However, we will hopefully soon be working with a group that will take care of that part for us to better ensure nothing like this happens again.

  12. I can’t even imagine how scary that must have been! We don’t get to keep in touch with the people who adopt our fosters, and this makes me think we should find a way. I’m very thankful that Rusty was returned rather than his former owners keeping him, although he hadn’t been in foster before his return.

  13. Did you ever stop to think Maybe Charlie keeps coming back because he is home? I think he is adorable! Now that you have rescued him once again and from a terrible environment he is going to love you all the more! Black dogs Rock!

  14. Love a Happy Ending and Here’s to Finding His Forever Home – Good Luck!

  15. What a beautiful guy, I hope that you find the right place for him.

  16. Thank goodness for the microchip!

  17. He is beautiful, and I am so thankful that he has come back to you.

  18. This is truly a foster’s nightmare. I am SO happy things worked out ok, but it’s so easy to go to the worst place in your mind! I just placed my first foster and it was so stressful. Your decision can impact the rest of the pup’s life. Luckily things seem to be working out ok and now you can find Charlie his PERFECT forever! You’re doing a great thing!

  19. Oh Crystal! I just now saw this post. What a harrowing experience. I’m so glad everything worked out okay.

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