The Charlie Bravo Story

Deeeeep breath…

Dad here; for those that have been here since the beginning, you’ll remember how difficult it was to break the news that Stevie had passed. But in the spirit of family, we thought it was vital to keep everything out and in the open, and like the photographs on this page, with no filters; what you see is what you get.

The story of Charlie and the story of the crate are inextricably linked; no crate, no Charlie, no story, as horrible as that may sound. It wasn’t until she was freed from that stinking, vile, situation that she could become the vibrant, shining, flouncing gooberhead that she is today.

Every time that Charlie posts about the importance of leaving your crate, I’ve personally feel like the biggest hypocrite on the face of the planet. My crate in this particular case was my job of 21 years, and the lock was my company car and four weeks of vacation. I don’t mean to discount these things, as they were blessings from God and vital to the story of Charlie: if I hadn’t been looking for another way into the office to avoid highway construction I wouldn’t have discovered the back roads where I later found Charlie. And if I hadn’t had access to the car and vacation time, I couldn’t have been able to make the trips to rehome Dash and still take Charlie west, and on and on.

So yesterday, I was freed from my crate. Check that; what makes the story even better is, that, on the day of my 21st employment anniversary, I was swatted on the nose with a rolled up newspaper, driven home and unceremoniously dumped, into my own driveway. As I watched the tail lights of my former crate narrow and recede into the distance, I could hear the CHARK! from the back yard:

“Yo, dad! Are you coming back here to let me out or what?”

This post is not to garner sympathy for myself, as I know that those of you in far worse situations. I don’t mean to even insinuate that my situation is bad; to the contrary, this is an incredible opportunity. Neither is it meant to generate ill will towards my former employer; for the last two decades, they have been a great company to be a part of, but recent events have forced them to make decisions based on fear, and a decision based solely on fear is always the wrong decision.

But it matters not; that was then, this is now, and now is time for the next chapter.

In case your wondering, mom has seen the effects of the last few years and also thinks that this can only be for the best, and we all know, momma knows best. Will it involve change? Most assuredly. Any idea where those changes may take us? No idea, but as you all know, it’s always a party at the Casa, and you’re all invited along for the ride.

Now get off the bed, Charlie, we have things to do!

Join the discussion

  1. Christine Kallestad

    well “Dad” what an amazing way to look at adversity. Wishing you to find your rainbow as Charlie has and find your way through to something new!

  2. Liz Bell Dotterer

    Prayers lifted for you and your family during this time of transition. May you keep the positive thoughts. He will use all things for good.

  3. Sherri Turner Boyd

    Greater things are coming. Let the Lord guide your steps and see where the new adventures take you.

  4. Linda Lee Nicolosi

    Sorry to hear but I’m a firm believer things happen for a reason.

  5. Deb Silva

    Wow, you and I had just talked about this before your trip. I know things will work out the way they are supposed to. There can only be good things ahead for someone with your integrity and kind and generous heart and soul.

  6. Mikki Calm

    Funny how things can go from zero to fifty in seconds flat. But as I look at the picture you chose for the back ground for your post , I can’t help but think all things happen for a reason. You have a greater purpose in your life and now it’s time to begin this new phase. Not only do you have hundreds of people that you’ve touched behind you, but the almighty CHARLIE has your back as well. Your Karma (if you believe in such things as I do) is about to show you how much you mean to people, how much you’ve helped others.
    Follow the path that life and love has made for you. We will all be right behind you.
    Your new life has just begun!

  7. Sue Polley Dauphinee

    Just remember “when one door closes another one opens ” God Bless,

  8. Sharon Loska

    There is always that window out there. Sometimes we get thrown through it. It happened to me. I’ve looked like a fish on the bottom of a boat. My steerage is still askew. Faith in whatever may be there. Wherever it may be. Love you, Charlie. You can tell Bret he’s pretty OK himself.

  9. Ellen Simpson

    Go get ’em, Dad. You’ve got this!

  10. Jill Barrowclough Alexander

    You have faith – let it guide you. You will continue to touch lives of those who you will never meet.

  11. Kathy Eubanks Finley

    I personally know exactly how you feel, I was “freed” after 32 years with a company. But life goes on, you will find another job and hopefully like me one you enjoy more. I now work with your awesome wife and son. I get to read and hear of the compassionate things you and your whole family does for people and animals, love that. Thinking of you, now go sign up for unemployment and think about what you want to do next. Hugs for the whole family.

  12. Jeanne Mancinelli

    Sounds like a gift from God. He has unlocked your personal crate, left the door open and is waiting to see how you will grow. As Charlie would say ” CHARK DEIUM!”

  13. Roxanne Diebold Scurich

    Someone had already made the comment that first popped into my head-“when one door closes..”. But I have another– God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. And you’ve handled everything else so far! You’ve got this! Prayers.

  14. Robin D Mahan

    Momma knows 🙂 Things do change, whether we’re ready or not. You are supported, you are loved! Every little thing is gonna be alright.

  15. Danielle Scott

    Well now you get to join Charlie in her success!!! (Don’t worry, we all know she loves you!)

  16. Jamie Merritt Sims

    So many times I have seen this happen and what comes after is so much better than what was before. Happened with my husband in the first couple of years we were married. Keep the faith, keep believing and probably when you least expect it, that one particular door will open to you!! We’re with you Dad. 🙂

  17. Heather Shaw

    I’m going to say something rather odd…but….Congratulations on your emancipation. Everything happens for a reason.

  18. Mollie Walls

    Writing should be your next adventure full time. You do it so well! Chark on!

  19. Sue Robilliard

    My husband was ‘liberated’ from his job of 30+ years back in 2012. Now he wonders how he ever had time to work! Enjoy the rest of your life, and please keep the Charlie adventures coming

  20. Angela Miller

    Change is usually scary. But, keep moving forward and on to better things!

  21. Kim Griffin

    I’m happy and sad for you. Happy that you now have the freedom to look at different options and sad because 21 years is a long time to be at a job and then be let go. I’m sure God has other plans for you, mom, and the inmates at the Casa. Writing more books about your adventures, perhaps? Regardless, I along with all of the other followers of CB look forward to following along no matter what the future holds. I’ll keep you in my prayers!

  22. Melanie Stubbs Rogers Smith

    I have all the faith in the world that everything will work out great!

  23. Sam Howard

    Now ye can find what’s at the other end of that rainbow.

  24. Kathleen Ellis Delatorre

    A new chapter in your life begins. Run with it.

  25. Susan Regan

    Best wishes in all your future adventures!

  26. Christine Carr Reese

    It’s a bummer to leave a job, no matter how it was done. But, I can tell you that it will change your life for the better!

  27. Janice Mecca

    All the best for you. I know the feeling because it happened to me. Things work out and anyone that cares for animals like you do will find your way.

  28. Sandy Runyon Lough

    Life’s a funny old thing, isn’t it? Sometimes it makes decisions for us without so much as a “by your leave” that free us to do things and have experiences we didn’t have a clue we needed or wanted. Annnd breathe. You’re golden. (But you already knew that, Dad…) keep on keepin’ on.

  29. Shawn Suriano-Wellden

    All things happen for a reason and in God’s plan. Regardless change makes me as nervous as a mama chicken trying to get her baby ducklings out of the pond. I’m in the middle of a change season myself so I’m going to watch and see what grand things happen for us all!

  30. Tonya Clark

    I went through the same thing this past spring… and it was the best thing that ever could have happened to me. It was funny – I have been following your page almost since it began, and as I was driving home from that last day at the office, I actually had the thought that Charlie would be happy to see me out of my crate…

  31. Pat Stibbs

    God has bigger things in store for you.

  32. Pam St John

    Wishing you all the best, and I will be waiting to read what your future holds for you and Charlie.

  33. Jill Baker DeAquair

    Blessings will come your way, dad. God be with you, mom, and the Casa!

  34. Diane Ragusett

    You know what that old saying is. When one door closes, another opens. And think of it is as a new adventure in the next chapter of your life!

  35. Luke Sherwood

    Proud to follow miss Charlie and of course, who could forget stevie, with her cheeky grin.

  36. Tammy Schuck

    Hoping perhaps you had retirement set up and can now enjoy some time for yourself with the ones you love including the four legged babies. Goodness knows we are excited to watch the next chapter. Prayers are with you during this adjustment and will pray for a favorable outcome, one that makes you smile everyday! XOXO

  37. Paula Foresman

    My mama has always said “Everything will work out” and you know what it always does. Best wishes and good luck on the rest of your adventure!

  38. Maria Dawybida Minerley

    You’ve got an open window there! Chark diem!!

  39. Jody Hess-Franey

    You can only look at this as a blessing in disguise – there’s always a rainbow after the storm! Chark the day!

  40. Sherrie Myers

    The same thing happened to my husband. He got demoted at a job he had done well for 25 years. The demotion meant a loss in pay so bad he had no choice but to seek other employment. We were so broke we went to yard sales to find things to put on EBay to tide us over while he searched for a better job. One Saturday morning while we were out yard sailing, we heard an ad on the radio for a company looking to hire. He applied and got what turned out to be his dream job of a lifetime. He made better money with far less stress and the commute was a lot shorter to boot. So hang in there. You never know what’s around the corner.

  41. Nancy Ann Babyak

    Hugs to you… Or a stiff drink… Whichever is needed today friend!

  42. Penny Toews

    Life throws you curves for a reason….seize the day!

  43. Jackie Kruger

    There’s a silver lining in that rainbow. You just need to see the opportunity knocking on your door. Sorry to hear about Stevie. Rest easy at the rainbow bridge girl.

  44. Barbara Hager

    I survived one of these situations and you will too.

  45. Lisa Mizell

    My father was put in the same position after many years of faithful employment. He faced it with his characteristic optimism. He was given the opportunity to help develop a new company with many more opportunities to meet and work with people, which he loved. His former company came to realize how invaluable an employee they had cut lose, but he never said a negative thing about them. We lost him last Spring, but I will never forget the lessons he taught me about resilience. Best wishes to you on your new adventure.

  46. Elizabeth Daniel

    Sometimes life pushes us in the direction that we should have found for ourselves…Not that this doesn’t cause angst when it’s not our decision..Hopefully they took care of you and you have a bit of time to figure things out…good luck! You are going to do just fine…

  47. Liz Sierra

    I lost my job after 11 years in February. Being a single mom I was scared but with God guiding me I found a great job that I love making more money. I was in the oilfield and watched for a year before I lost my job so many others who lost their jobs. It turned out to be a blessing.

  48. Lorna Sullivan

    Xa bit scary but it will work out for the best ❤️❤️❤️

  49. Lori Catlett Shaffer

    Funny I find myself in a similar situation today.
    But, change is inevitable. It’s all about how you deal with the change that determines the outcome.
    Best wishes for your new adventures in this exciting next chapter.

  50. Jana Blackwood

    So sorry about your unexpected emancipation. I believe that there’s something better out there for you. Prayers for you.

  51. Kathy Moody

    My husband and I have been down this road twice. Once when our boys were pretty young. We have managed to stay above water and he is now embarking on new job project in Africa. A new beginning is out there and waiting for you. Chark on!

  52. Stephanie Weimer Clouser

    I believe there is a reason for everything. After a bad day at work, this post helps push me to liberate myself from my crate. Thanks, “Dad”.

  53. Michelle Langenbach

    After 10 years on the job, I was dealt the same treatment. But know that it is for the better. The real reason of the change will present itself soon enough. 🙂

  54. Jules Mccron-Lackie

    I don’t know if I should be happy for you or sad?? Maybe a little of both.

  55. Fran Scott

    All I can think is “Free at last, free at last…”

  56. Lisa Taylor

    Everything happens for a reason and they all work out in the end good luck.

  57. Heather Roberts

    Congratulations! I’m so excited to watch this journey of yours!

  58. Nancy Gilman Sciascia

    Congratulations on escaping your crate!

  59. Kathy West

    There is life after a job! Enjoy this time and see where the road leads. I know you are bummed out today but there are good things out there and when the time is right, you will start the next chapter……I will pray for you.

  60. Kimberly Toal

    You sir…Are an inspiration to a lot of people. Where this next journey takes you no one knows….But I myself and I’m sure a lot of others look forward to hearing about all 9f them!

  61. Susan Jensen Bittner

    When one door closes…..another one opens. Sometimes we’re so caught up in life, we can’t see the opportunities that lie ahead of us. But that’s easy to say when I’m on the outside. Maybe this is a blessing.

  62. Pat Wayland McWilliams

    Your attitude is amazing! Will keep you all in my prayers.

  63. Rose Upjohn

    You and your family, two and four legged, are respected, cared for, and loved by hundreds who have never laid eyes on you. How many can say that? Your legacy would never be where you worked. It is how you live.

  64. Red Maryann Cook Godbey

    When “He closes one door, another always opens”!! I am Positive HE knows what HE is doing!!
    Even if we don’t!

  65. Jane Boyer McGuigan

    God bless you! I left my gov’t job of 10 years ago 38 years ago. It was a little difficult, but all these years later I am absolutely amazed of the good that came from it. God will lead you to the next phase!

  66. Martina Spears Tatum

    I think it is wonderful that you have freed yourself and are ready for a new chapter in life. I have recently found myself wanting to be free from the “cage” of 30+ years of being a nurse. Nothing wrong with nursing and the career has provided well enough for me, but it is time for life changes for me and I will with God’s help make it happen. Good luck to you and keep following that rainbow.

  67. ChrisTina Elliott

    FREEEEEEDDDDDOOOOMMMM! Been there..done that…..just recently and I’m past the old age of 50 myself…trust me…..GOOD….THIS IS…..

  68. Diana Handros

    In 2008 I became permanently laid off after 16 years. I did end up seeing a new door open though I must say I must still work full time for a few more years.

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