Champ - Max's new friend (even though Champ is a dog!)
Max will tell you all about Champ in his own words:
When I was interviewed by Jemima Pett recently, I enjoyed it so much that I decided to give this interviewing lark a go myself and so I conducted an interview with a very brave little dog called Champ ... yes, I did say "dog"! Now I know, as a rule, I wouldn't dream of speaking to a dog, but I'm making an exception in Champ's case as he's a very special character indeed. Read on to find out what he told me ...
Max's interview with Champ
Hello Champ! My name’s Max and I have to tell you right from the start that I’m … a cat. Now, I hope you don’t have a problem with that, because I must confess that I don’t normally speak to dogs! However, I admire you so much that I’m making a special exception in your case and I hope that you’ll be willing to answer my questions.
Actually, while we’re on the subject, what is your opinion of cats? Do you get on with them?
Max, I have to say that while I don’t know many cats, I consider cats to be supremely intelligent creatures. I mean, they usually manage to work out how to open doors to the fridge or the food cupboard while us dogs would just sit and wait for someone to notice our “I’m hungry” expression.
Hmm, I think you and I would get on very well, Champ! People have often described me as a bit of a hero, which makes me feel quite proud, but I freely admit that you have been a far braver animal than I have ever been. Do you feel like a hero?
Actually, Max, when I think of your time travel adventures and especially the recent one in Troy where you had to put on a disguise and face danger, well, that’s very heroic. My Foster Mommy Suzy tells me I am a hero because of managing to survive being treated so badly by my previous guardians. People wrote letters to include in my book and they said I was so brave I had inspired them to overcome their own problems, so I am not sure. Maybe I am a hero, but I think I should remain modest.
No, don’t be modest. I think you’re definitely a hero. But who is your hero?
That’s easy: my Foster Mommy Suzy and my other Foster Mommy Kelli at SAFE Rescue. They are first on my list (plus all the other lovely people at SAFE Rescue). Then there’s my ‘Dogtor’ Slaton, the vet who made me well again. My fans and Facebook friends who all sent love and funding so I could have special food; and then I have to say that anyone who saves animals is a hero. So, I have quite a long list but I think that’s allowed. I wouldn’t want to leave anyone out.
You have lived through a very difficult and challenging time, but have fought hard to come out the other side, when other animals might simply have given up. What was the hardest part for you and what kept you going when things got tough?
I actually thought I would give up. So many times I wanted to just lie down and die. Everything hurt, and my whole body was sore. I couldn’t drink any water or eat any food; I couldn’t even walk anymore. But I believe there is an Angel for Animals, and one day he said, “Enough.” After that, I was rescued just like magic. It was a long road back to being me again, but I didn’t give up. Now, “Never give up!” is my motto.
You poor thing, Champ. How on earth did you learn to trust people again after what you’d suffered?
That was very easy because from the moment I was dumped at the shelter, everyone took such good care of me. They all showed me such love; they all told me I must live, so I did. Then Safe Rescue took me in and they all told me how much they loved me as well. I came to get well at Foster Mommy Suzy’s house. It was like a doggy dream come true. My Facebook friends sent me soft cosy blankets; people sent me special food; I can’t tell you what it was like. It was like being in heaven. When you are with people who show you every minute of the day that they truly love you, then it’s easy to trust and love again.
Your saviours all sound wonderful. Do you have any advice for other animals out there who might be in a similar situation to your own?
I know there are so many animals out there in even worse circumstances than I was. I know so many animals are suffering, and that without help so many of them won’t make it; they won’t be saved like I was. I just pray the Angel for Animals gets lots and lots of helpers so that they can fly over all the cities and hear animals crying for help. They can tell the Human Angels where to go and rescue the animals. I say my prayers every night that this will happen. I am so lucky my Angel heard my inside crying because I actually couldn’t even bark or whine anymore. Never give up, the Angel for Animals hears you.
I really like the idea that there’s an Angel for Animals. Perhaps that’s who has been keeping me safe during some of the dangerous situations I’ve been in. So, what are your plans for the future?
I am working very hard doing marketing for my book, making sure everyone knows about animal abuse, and how they can help end it. I have a Twitter profile now (@ChampMyStory) and I hope my Tweets make people listen. I only Tweet happy-ending stories as well because sad-ending stories make me cry. I am also working on my next book, Champ & Joe: Best Friends Forever, with my blind friend Joe. He also needs to be made well so someone will love him and adopt him soon.
I hope that Joe is as lucky as you and that a kind family will adopt him too.
If you had 3 wishes, what
would they be?
1) That no animal will ever suffer pain, hunger, or abuse again.
2) That every animal finds a loving home with a Forever Family.
3) That my book Champ: My Story of Survival will inspire the whole world to make a difference to the lives of all animals, wild ones as well.
What is your favourite food?
I am the luckiest dog in the world. While I was very weak and had to have special nourishing food, some lovely people began sending me the most delicious meals from Homemade Doggy Dinners. I think that has to be my favourite food. (www.homemadedoggydinners.com)
Ugh! Doggy dinners? I’m not too sure I like the sound of those. Each to his own, I suppose.
Do you have a favourite
toy? I have a velvet reindeer with long dangly legs, which I like to play with, as well as a collection of stripy mice.
Oh, that’s an easy one. I love my ball! I have a special bright green one. I prefer the ones with the squeaky inside although I had a bit of an accident with my orange one. It broke! Maybe it was defective?
I loved the story which Fiona Ingram wrote about your adventure with the dognappers, although the flying part sounded scary. What did you think about that? Would you like to be able to fly?
That was an amazing adventure. Now, here’s a little secret and you must promise not to tell any humans because they won’t believe it anyway. (I say ‘tell’ because I know you are a talking cat) My adventure really did happen. I am sorry to say the flying part was scary. I kept thinking I might throw up. I can’t believe humans like to fly around to different places. I don’t think I’ll be doing any flying again in a hurry. In my next adventure, I’ll keep all four paws on the ground.
I’m with you on that one, Champ - I don’t think I’d like flying either. The Pigeon Ladies in the story were rather wonderful. Although I’m a cat, I have nothing against birds and never try to catch them (in fact, I’m a bit scared of them, to tell the truth, but please don’t tell anyone, will you? I’d never live it down!). Anyway, were you surprised that birds were willing to help out a dog?
Actually, in the beginning Miss Prudence was very suspicious of me. I think she must have had a bad experience with a dog. But the Chicken Ladies persuaded her that I am a very polite and respectful dog and anyway, Miss Prudence loves telling everyone how important pigeons are in war time. I don’t think she wanted to miss the chance to see some action. She was great!
What do you think was the best part of the story?
The first best part was seeing Coco and her guardian Lauren so happy to be together. The second best part was knowing all those dogs that got kidnapped were returned to their guardians and everyone was happy again.
It will soon be Christmas. How will you be spending the festive season and what are you most looking forward to?
I will be spending it with my wonderful, loving Foster Family. I love happy times together, and I love getting gifts. Of course, I can only give my Foster Family lots of woofs, tail wags, and love, but really … that’s the most important gift of all, I think. Love is the very best gift in the whole world. My Christmas wish (and I hope Santa is listening) is that every animal without a loving Forever Home and Family gets one this Christmas!
Thank you for allowing me to interview you, Champ. It has been a real privilege for me and I wish you much happiness for the future. You deserve it. And I hope you have a very Happy Christmas with your lovely foster family!
Your new friend, Max
Thank you, Max. It’s been an honour to chat to someone as elegant and intelligent as you are. Have a wonderful Christmas too!
If you'd like to buy a copy of Champ's book you'll find it for sale on Amazon. Just click on one of the following links:
A thank you letter from Champ
Max's "Thank You" certificate from Champ and S.A.F.E. Rescue