KAREN Martin will never forget two things: her brave little protector Charlie the dog and the overwhelming generosity of her neighbours.
Charlie, a miniature Jack Russell cross, was found hanging by his chain and lead over a back fence, more than a week ago.
Ms Martin, 39, and her partner Lionel Lennon, 50, who are both legally blind, suspect their loyal pet was deliberately killed while they were away from home.
Police are investigating.
Since The Standard’s report on Charlie’s death appeared on Monday, Ms Martin has been inundated with heartfelt messages from well-wishers and has even had food baskets left on her doorstep at Townsend Street in Mortlake as an offering of goodwill and kindness.
“I have never felt so loved in my life,’’ Ms Martin said. “I just want to thank people from the bottom of my heart.
“Charlie’s life may have been taken by someone evil, but I know now that there are good people in this community.’’
Mr Lennon said Charlie was on a long chain and would have put up a hell of a fight scratching the attacker, who it appears has picked him up and thrown him over the high fence.
“There is no way in this world that Charlie could have jumped that high by himself,’’ Mr Lennon said.
“He was getting on, a bit overweight and had never jumped anything in his life.’’
Mr Lennon said that after the couple had returned home from Melbourne last Thursday, they expected Charlie to bark and happily greet them like always.
“When I didn’t hear him I feared the worst,’’ Mr Lennon said.
“I walked out the back and when I saw what happened I just kept saying ‘Oh my God, who could do this?’.’’
Mr Lennon said Ms Martin had been visiting her sick mother and he had been attending a funeral before returning home.
“For that little fella’s life to end like that, it was just unbelievable.’’
Mr Lennon said he told Ms Martin to remain inside so that she would not witness her beloved Charlie in such a horrific state.
Police were called and Mr Lennon said the officer told them an accident was unlikely.
“Someone did this to Charlie and I hope it’s a stranger and not someone we know.’’
Ms Martin is getting back to normal without her mate.
“I’ll never get another dog,’’ she said. “You could not replace him.
“What is making things a whole lot easier for me is the amazing reaction of the people around here. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you.’’