Charlie Sheen pays for therapy dog for teen injured at Wisconsin Dells
FOND DU LAC – It’s been almost three years since Teagan Marti fell 100 feet from a ride in the Wisconsin Dells. The Florida teenager was left with brain, spine, pelvis and internal injuries during a family visit to Extreme World in 2010. But Marti will soon get an expensive therapy dog to help her. Surprisingly, actor Charlie Sheen is paying for the dog.
Marti chose to name her new puppy Charlie, after the man who donated $10,000 to help train it, though this Charlie is a girl. The English Golden Retriever was born in Judy Essman’s home. She said this was an unusual request.
“It’s the first one that’s ever been chosen specifically to do something like this,” said Essman.
She said even thought it was a hoax when she got a call asking for her bank account information so Sheen could wire the money for the dog. But Essman says the process had to begin quickly.
“It had to be 6 months old by September so we just got started and had a litter of puppies,” she said.
The calm canine will be one of the first steps toward independence for the 15-year-old.
“She has been struggling to make a comeback and this dog will be companion and so helpful to her,” says Teagan’s mom Julie Marti.
Professional dog trainer Jake Guell got the call from Essman, asking him to help instruct Charlie on how to be a companion assistance dog for Teagan.
“This puppy doesn’t even really know what she’s doing and how much she’s going to help a young girls life,” Guell said.
Guell is already hiding lessons into the pup’s playtime.
“She’ll be tuggin on this rope just like tuggin on a door eventually with a rope tied to the handle,” he said.
And Charlie may only be 15 pounds right now but once she’s all grown up and Jake’s finished training her, she’ll be able to flip light switches on and off for Teagan.
Charlie was chosen from a litter of nine due to her calm demeanor and her larger size.
“Eventually she can use the support harness to help Teagan walk as well, that will make a big difference,” he added.
A big difference thanks to a timely treat from an unexpected helping hand.
“Charlie Sheen, what he did was gracious and kind, and I just want to thank him from bottom of my heart,” said Julie Marti.
Jake plans to use the extra money donated to start his own non-profit organization called “Tails for Life” to help train other puppies like Charlie for those in need. Fromm Family Foods in Mequon has donated a year’s supply of dog food for Charlie and Veterinary Village in Lomira is providing veterinary care during Charlie’s stay in Wisconsin.