Will you be the Charlie to my Cheers?
By Olu Anthony
Meet these two buddies who share a love-hate relationship but are very much attached to each other. On this week’s Pawfriend, we have Charlie the labrador and Srihas, nicknamed Cheers.
Please introduce yourself and your pawfriend to us.
Hi, I am Srihas Mawalage. I go to St. Joseph’s College Colombo 10, and I am 11 years old.
I have a pet dog, who is a one-year-old labrador named Charlie. He is a very good dog, just a little immature sometimes.
I named him Charlie Sirius Black, because he is black and I am a Harry Potter fan.
Srihas, what is the kind of home that your dog or all dogs belong in?
I think all dogs belong in a home where they are not only regarded as a pet, but also a family member. Charlie himself has been a part of our family for some time now. I think that is the bond every family should have.
How often does he eat?
Three times a day, excluding the treats. He gets them at random times. That is, if we have to leave the house early, or on a random occasion, he gets an evening meal.
Do you think he enjoys being outside or inside?
I think he likes both. But I think he is happier when he’s around us, so that’s mostly inside.
How often does he go potty? When did you start training him?
No one is sure how often. He goes when we let him outside. Also, we did not have to train him. He learnt that on his own. It’s like it naturally came to him, because when he was small, we kept him outside.
How do you deal with his good and bad behaviours?
When he is bad, we have to scare him with a stick. Sometimes, he must be punished. But when he is a good boy, he gets a lot of treats. That keeps him in a good mood for the rest of the day.
Do you take him on walks? Do you think it’s important?
I used to take him on walks when he was small, but ever since he grew up, my grandfather takes him because I can’t control him alone. No one can easily handle him. They go on walks every morning.
I think walks are important to keep them active and exercised.
Do you allow him on the furniture and on your bed?
At our house, he is not allowed to do so. He sleeps outside. He has been sleeping outside since he was three months old. Before that, he was always inside. But now, he’s used to being outside.
We used to take him in when he was small because of the animals that might be outside that he probably would not have been able to fight since he was just a puppy.
Who keeps him in control when he is not behaving?
Mostly my grandfather. Charlie barks at everyone when he is upset. He would friendly-bite everyone just to show that he is annoyed. Everyone needs to carry a stick around at that time. Treats barely calm him down.
Tell me one more interesting thing about Charlie.
He is not scared of the one thing almost every other dog is – the vacuum! Instead, he fights it! Also, his behaviour when we play fetch is interesting. He never returns the ball. You must force it out of his mouth.
How old were you when you got Charlie? Why did you want him?
I was 10 and he was only six weeks old.
I have always wanted a dog. I really like them. There was a stray that I used to pet and feed when I was small and before I got Charlie. One day it went missing and never came back. So I wanted one of my own that I could look after every day. My aunt chose him.
How has having Charlie impacted your life?
It is not easy to take care of a dog. I know that now since he is my first pet. After Covid, I was very lonely. I did not have anyone to play with, since I am the only child. That is one of the biggest reasons why my parents got me Charlie – to take care of him and for me to have a companion. During the first three months, he was not playful at all. My uncle told me that he would be energetic later on, and he certainly is.