Since the dawn of time humans and dogs have shared a special bond and relationship which some would say is unique in history. This is especially true of my faithful old friend Charlie, the Border Collie who bravely and courageously passed away on 7th February 2017, aged 15. He had been by my side since he was 8 weeks old and was intelligent, funny, caring and loved life. He led a remarkable life and touched so many people with his zest for life, his undying love for his dog ball or Frisbee and a willingness to please all of the time. I craved his attentive gaze and his relentless love of chasing a ball and he craved my attention and the time I gave him on a daily basis. He took dog loyalty to a new level. He was my best friend and I was his. I am of course heart broken, but also extremely honored to have been part of his life.
Now, I know that there are those among us that will think that I am being too melancholy and over egging my tribute to Charlie. But this is not meant for those people. This is meant for those of us who genuinely know what I am talking about. You have all have owned that ‘special dog’ in your life and Charlie was mine. Charlie was there when all three of my children came along, when we moved house, when we went on holidays, and we experienced great times and sad times together. He was always there for me, no questions asked, faithful, loyal and full of love. All he asked was for me to return these excellent qualities he possessed, feed him, walk him and throw his ball for him which of course I did.
In life you either have empathy or you don’t, there is no in-between for me. This spans across feelings not only for people but also for our pets. I, like a lot of you have loved and lost cats, dogs, horses and other smaller pets. They all leave a sadness because we miss them but it also reminds us of our own mortality and how fleeting life really is.
I love my life and especially my family which includes the pets we share our lives with. The one thing I am not going to say is, “That’s it, no more dogs, it is too heart breaking!”
And it is heart-breaking, and I am raw and sad at the moment, but I also know this will pass.
What I actually said to Kelly my wonderful supportive wife last night was that we will have another border collie in time (he or she will be the 5th in my lifetime), because in my humble opinion the love and happiness a dog brings to your life far outweighs the short term sadness you experience when they eventually leave this earth.
What you probably are not aware of is that Charlie was the inspiration behind Winston & Porter ®. The business may not have existed if it wasn’t for him! Although our life and work experience has always revolved around pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals in some form or another, it was a need to improve Charlie’s quality of life that led us to seriously research the best ingredients and correct levels for an effective dog joint supplement. When he was ten I noticed that he was becoming lame sometimes after a walk. This started to get worse as he neared his eleventh birthday so Kelly and I started to research and experiment with ingredients and formulas. Charlie was a willing subject (he always liked his grub) and within 2-3 weeks we noticed some dramatic positive differences about him.
Firstly, his coat became softer, shinier and very healthy. His stools were healthy, regular and of normal colour and consistency. He had more energy, but the main difference was that his lameness had disappeared and he was moving much more freely without any stiffness. We were understandably very happy and he was a different dog! He was happier, had more energy and could now run again without grimacing.
To cut a long story short, Winston & Porter was born and very quickly we were seeing a big difference in dogs who were using our products.
We genuinely care and are passionate about improving dog’s health around the world. Our products are top quality and they work. We want them to work because we want your dog to be healthy and be the better dog he or she can be. Just like Charlie! When a customer contacts us to tell us that they cannot believe the change for the better in their dog it really gives me a warm glow inside. Now that Charlie is gone, his legacy will live on in all the dogs that benefit from the Nourish + C range That makes the team and I extremely happy and proves we are on the right track to cultivate incredible dog health globally. Knowing Charlie’s benevolent personality it would make him extremely happy too.
So, Rest in Peace Charlie my old friend, you were one in a million and an inspiration to many dogs for the future.
R.I.P. Charlie McManus, 2002 - 2017