Keith Jones and Cara McCollum were the perfect young All-American couple. The two up-and-coming Philadelphia newscasters had been dating for 2 years when they adopted a puppy named Charlie together.
Jones adored the Mini American Shepherd from the start, but when McCollum tragically passed away in a car accident last February, Charlie became his lifeline and reason to go on.
Not only did the adorable pup remind him of happier days with McCollum, Charlie expressed an uncanny ability to intuit when Jones was feeling low. He described the incredible empathy of dogs in an interview with Paw Culture:
“They have this amazing sense and amazing ability to understand how you’re feeling before you even realize you’re feeling it.”
2016 has been an unimaginable year. I’m grateful beyond words for my family, friends, loved ones, NBC10, Villanova Basketball, and dear supporters.
Happy #Thanksgiving! #Novation
Charlie became Jones’ shadow after McCollum’s passing, accompanying him to work at Philadelphia’s NBC News 10 and leaping into his lap for a face licking session whenever he sensed that Jones was down.
My puppy Charlie is the best dog ever. This mini American shepherd knows me better than I know me.
Watching Charlie enjoy the simple pleasures in life like a good meal and an extended play session, helped Jones to focus on the positive at a time when it would have been so easy to spiral downwards into despair. The bright-eyed dog is a constant reminder of the legacy McCollum – just 24 at the time of her death – left behind.
“My late girlfriend Cara taught me it’s not the years in my life that count, but the life in my years,”
Jones’ upbeat Facebook postings of Charlie and the laid-back dog’s on-air appearances on NBC 10 even caught the attention of The National Dog Show. The Philly-based AKC exhibition named Charlie their unofficial 2016 spokesdog in honor of his therapeutic influence on Jones.
Paws’ing for a commercial break. Sometimes my dog likes to sit like a human to be interviewed on NBC10 Philadelphia At…
Jones is a life-long pet lover and serves on the board of the non-profit organization, Main Line Deputy Dog, which provides service dogs in-training for people who have mental health problems and physical disabilities. He told Paw Culture:
“Dedicating my time to Main Line Deputy Dog—the perfect marriage of service dogs and people in need—is a no-brainer. The past four years volunteering on its board have been incredibly fulfilling to me.”
Just some PDA with NBC10 co-host Charlie on this morning’s show. It’s gone to the dogs. #miniaussie
The one-year anniversary of Cara McCollum’s death is approaching, and although it will be a dark and difficult time for Jones, he feels stronger knowing that Charlie is by his side.
Featured Image via Facebook/Keith Jones
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