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Tributes Charm the 'Houdini' greyhound of Dover

A dog that won a town's heart has died.

Charm the greyhound hit the headlines after a seven-year struggle to find a permanent home.

Karen Walker with Charm in 2016. Picture: Gary Browne
Karen Walker with Charm in 2016. Picture: Gary Browne

He was nicknamed Houdini because he kept escaping from his accommodation when he felt anxious.

He had an extraordinary ability to get away, squeezing through windows and climbing over 7ft walls.

Owner Karen Walker told KentOnline: "Charm passed away this month, but his final five years with me were spent very happily for both of us.

"He was warm, safe and loved.

"So many people in Dover had fostered him or so many people knew a friend that had.

"So it was hard to go anywhere without someone stopping me to ask: "'Is that Charm?'

"So everyone has a Charm story."

The much-loved pet died on February 12, aged 14, of a suspected heart attack.

He had been in kennels for seven years before Ms Walker, of East Cliff, Dover, rehoused him in 2016 for the rest of his life.

Miss Walker explained:"He had many failed adoptions and fosterings due his separation anxiety.

"He would normally find an escape route and get out if left on his own. He did a few times with me and became affectionately known on my street as Houdini.

Charm lived in East Cliff. Picture: Google Maps
Charm lived in East Cliff. Picture: Google Maps

"He would find a way out somehow, through a window, over a 7ft wall or onto a low roof.

"But with time and patience, we made it through all of his issues."

Charm had been found as a stray aged just two and was saved from being put to sleep in Wales in February 2010 by Chancepixies Animal Welfare in Gravel Lane, Dover.

Miss Walker, now 54, adopted him in May 2016 after she saw his picture at the Pets at Home supplies store in Folkestone.

Previous foster placements had failed because his separation anxiety made him run away and he did it for a week at Christmas and New Year 2015/16.

Karen Walker after adopting Charm five years ago. Picture: Gary Browne
Karen Walker after adopting Charm five years ago. Picture: Gary Browne

Miss Walker said: "People would take him on straight away because he was so appealing but it wouldn't work out."

She adopted him while running a holiday let business from her home so she could put him at ease by not having to leave for long periods during the day.

It has been a particularly sad time for Miss Walker as her father Eric died of cancer on January 20, aged 87.

Miss Walker, a Liverpudlian, had taken on Charm just after moving to Dover from London to be closer to her mother, Joan, who had Alzheimer’s Disease.

She died in June 2018.

Harry Houdini was an American escapologist at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries who could get out of handcuffs, chains and straitjackets.

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

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