By Sadie Hunter
Charlie is often lovingly called Meatloaf by his owners.
The 9-year-old rescue dog, a corgi mix, has lived with his owner, Beth Chalupa, and her husband, Frank, in their Noblesville home since February. During his time with Beth’s family, she was inspired to write a book about Charlie through his eyes, “Saving Meatloaf: Through the Eyes of a Shelter Puppy Named Charlie.”
“I started it in July 2015,” Chalupa said. “It took me a year to write it. The first part of the story, from when he was born to when he was originally adopted by my brother as a puppy, is made up. And from the time he’s three 3 of 4 months old, that’s all true. He went from my brother to my mom, and then Frank and I officially got him in February.”
Chalupa said Charlie was initially moved around in the family because of some personal issues with her brother. So, Chalupa’s mom began taking care of Charlie.
“Mom had him for 5-1/2 years, but she’s 82 now,” Chalupa said.
Chalupa, originally from Indianapolis, and her husband, originally from Chicago, at that point had just completed building their home in Noblesville after moving back to the area from Chicago. When they moved into the home in February, Chalupa said her mother agreed to let them have Charlie.
“I’ve known Charlie since he was a puppy. I just got attached to him,” Chalupa said. “It was just the connection he and I have had from day one. It was almost like I knew I would have him one day.”
The book is filled with anecdotal moments from Charlie’s life, from Charlie’s perspective, from where he started to where he ended up, Chalupa said.
In addition to Charlie, Chalupa and her husband own Pebbles, a 12-year-old, 117-pound Newfoundland. However, she said she didn’t own her first dog until she was 37, a blue Chow Chow.
“We never had or wanted real children,” Chalupa said. “I felt like dogs are what would enhance my life, and I really felt like I needed to get (the story) out there,” Chalupa said. “If somebody reads this, and it saves one dog from being lonely or abandoned, or just a life of despair, my goal will be accomplished.”
“Charlie was very thin when (my brother) had him, but once my mom had him, you know, she was giving him little pieces of an ice cream cone or chicken, and he got kind of chunky,” Chalupa said. “So, when my husband (Frank) first met Charlie, he said, ‘That’s not a Charlie, that’s a meatloaf.’ So, we call him Meatloaf, but we also call him all kinds of names, like Christmas ham, Tootsie Roll, but Meatloaf is his main knickname.”
MEET BETH CHALUPA
Residence: Lived in Chicago before moving to Noblesville in February. Originally from Indianapolis.
Family: Husband Frank, two furry “kids”: 12-year-old Pebbles, a Newfoundland, and 9-year-old Charlie, a corgi mix.
Education: Graduated from Southport High School in Indianapolis. Received a degree in dental hygiene from the Indiana University School of Dentistry.
Career: Retired dental hygienist. Frank works as a Chicago business owner and deals in commercial real estate.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Where to buy: Amazon.com.
Formats: Kindle, paperback.
Price: $3.49 Kindle, $6.99 paperback.
Published: Aug. 22, 2016.
Description: “This book tells a heart-wrenching story, written through the eyes of a puppy who overcame the odds of being an abandoned pet. It is based on true events and people that paved the way for ‘Meatloaf,’ AKA Charlie, to travel through his journey in life. You will experience the gamut of emotions: tears, laughter, disappointment and frustration, while finding yourself engulfed in his adventure.”