Cheddar had spent his entire childhood with the same family until he was about 8 years old when one of his parents was afflicted with cancer. They no longer had the time or resources to care for Cheddar, so they took the difficult decision to transfer him to a rescue organization in the hopes of finding him a loving new home. The already senior dog was forced to leave his only home, but he was promptly adopted into the best new family.
Cheddar made it plain how thankful he was to them for adopting him from the moment he came into his new home, demanding constant attention and wanting to be around them at all times, every day.
Cheddar’s mother, Shelley Vassall, told The Dodo, “He is very, very needy.” “He can’t possibly be alone.” Cheddar just wants your undivided attention, so if you start petting him and then stop, he’ll either bump your arm with his head or tap his paw to tell you to keep going. If he could, he’d have you sit for hours simply touching him.”
Cheddar loves everyone he encounters as long as they’re ready to pay attention to him, and he doesn’t normally pick favorites – that is until he met one of his neighbors and fell absolutely in love with her.
Cheddar and his mother were out for a stroll shortly after he was adopted and came upon an elderly couple sitting on their front doorstep. They came to a halt to talk with them for a while, and Cheddar was immediately taken with the woman, Jean. They stayed with them for a while before leaving, and they’ve been back to see them every day since then since Cheddar won’t have it any other way.
“If we can, we try to get there every day,” Vassall said. “They reside across the street and around the corner from us.” Cheddar is very noisy when we don’t see her for more than a few days and she hasn’t seen us. He knows exactly which street they’re on, and even if we don’t go that way, he insists on yanking on the leash and turning in that direction. If we walk by the house without intending to go inside, he positions himself in one location and stands there until you succumb.”
While Jean brings Cheddar biscuits every time he visits, the main lure is the bond he shares with her, which is unlike any other bond he has. Visiting her every day provides him with such delight, and all he wants to do on his visits is spend as much time as possible with her.
“When he sees her, he reacts that only a few people understand,” Vassall added. “Cheddar isn’t a barker, but when he’s really, very happy or thrilled, he talks a lot.” We spend most of our time indoors when we come in the winter, and Cheddar just wants to sit by Jean’s side and be caressed. That is all he desires. We spend time in their backyard in the better weather — spring, summer, and fall — where he loves to roll in the grass with his leash or a tennis ball and then sit next to Jean for more attention.”
Every day, Cheddar anticipates his meetings with his best friend, and Jean, of course, anticipates them as well. Thanks to his amazing family, especially his favorite Auntie Jean, the sweet golden retriever is now 11 years old and still has so much energy and love to give.