Kimberly Robinson
Charlie and Mercy Crisostomo both love running, but for the next two years, he will be running shorter distances. He's also got a future as a retriever she said and she plans to get him acclimated to the sound of shotguns so she can take him duck hunting.

Pet of the Week: Charlie has a future as a duck hunter

Mercy Crisostomo has only had her dog Charlie for a short time, because he hasn't been here that long. She got Charlie, a English/American Golden Labrador Retriever, from her friend Erica whose dog had puppies. "He came and sat next to my feet out of four little puppies. I had gone to see them to see if it was a good fit and out of all of them all the others were biting at my feet and he just sat right next to me." She named him Charlie after a co-worker who is a dear friend. "He's the sweetest guy ever so when I found my dog I named him after my friend."

She has only had him for less than two weeks (he was born on Dec. 13) so he's just over 4 months old. He currently weighs 30 pounds and will get up to be 90 pounds.

"He goes by his name now and he sits and he shakes," said Crisostomo.

Charlie is eating Blue, described as "Healthy, holistic food for dogs" from Petco. He gets treats from Mud Bay. "They are really good up there. They selected them for him."

So far Charlie only has a tennis ball and a stuffed bird he enjoys chasing and chewing on.

Charlie is a puppy so every morning they go for a walk for 45 minutes and he gets dropped off at Crisostomo's parent's home, while she goes to work. "In the evening we go for a five block run and he's so tired because he sleeps like 12 hours a day."

She's had to make some adjustments to her life to fit Charlie in changing her schedule so he can go outside when necessary, and taking him to the dog trainer. "The obedience school is for him but it's for me too. I think it's important for the owner and dog. I'm going with a local guy, named Christian, and he's a dog trainer I met at C&P Coffee. They all said he's the Dog Whisperer."

She hopes to train him in the next two years to be a duck hunter and runner. "I want him to go and fetch the duck. I've heard they are good for hunting, running and as a companion," she said. "Hopefully within the next two years he can get acclimated to the shooting sound of my shotgun. I'm going to take him out to Quilcene where my girlfriend's sister lives and they have a skeet shooter to get him adapted to the sound, and throwing a stuffed animal out into the canal.

She is a runner but until Charlie gets past the two year mark he won't be doing any distance running. "He just goes for a few blocks right now and then just lays down and sleeps," she said laughing. But he does love to run. "We turned on the treadmill and he just goes on by himself and he runs for 18 minutes and waits and then goes back on. He just trots."

"He really likes water. I lost him the other day in the house and there he was in the tub. He just wants to take a bath all the time. When I'm in the shower he's sticking his head in and I'm like, 'Don't look at me!'"

Charlie has some ready to go dog buddies. "My cousins and family members within a couple of miles of my house have dogs so it's nice."

Crisostomo sums Charlie up as, "He's the best friend in my life and I think at this time because I'm going to school and working I have the time so it's nice to have somebody who just shows unconditional love without any requirements but my companionship."

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