The Charlie Bravo Story

Skinny Minnie

Dad here; a few years ago, a “friend” used to spend his lunch hour fishing at a secluded spot by the Arkansas River. He came back telling me of a friendly black dog who had apparently been abandoned, and wanted me to go pick it up and keep it “just for the weekend”; yeah, right. I did take her some food, but we didn’t have room at the Casa; the Unreasonable Bug had not yet bit.

Or so I thought.

What I didn’t put together until just today was that this girl had been dumped in the same general area where we found Charlie, Stevie, Beau, et al, some years later.

Anyway, mom, Alex and I went to see a movie that night. As we walked out, a huge line of thunderstorms was approaching from the west, and all I could think about was that goofy black dog down by the river. And this is NOT the place you want to be heading on a Friday night, the actual name of the boat ramp was Outlaw Landing, named by the locals due to the nefarious activities that always seem to be occurring there. The area was so bad that the police actually shut it down, and the road was eventually bulldozed.

But there we went, bag of dog food on hip, can of Deep Woods Off and pistol in pocket. As our headlights illuminated the desolate scene, the clouds of mosquitos parted to reveal the black girl curled up in a hole, motionless except for what would become her trademark:

Her thumping tail.

We loaded her up into the back of the car, and she turned out to be the happiest dog that has ever resided at the Casa; even when she was in deep doo doo with mom for eating the chickens, her tail could not stop wagging. Although it was years ago that she spent a short time as an inmate, she is still regarded as one of the most remarkable dogs that ever graced the Casa del Whackos.

I’m sure you’re thinking “but what does this have to do with Bull Taco?” Well, since you asked, I’ll tell you…

There are some dogs that have made their mark over the passage of years, dogs like Uki the Wonder Dog, Beebe King, Max E. Million. And then there are a select few like Stevie Mae and Skinny that are so special that, like a shooting star, they make an indelible impression in a very short time.

Bull was one of these, x10.

I didn’t even think that I particularly liked Chihuahuas until the slick-headed little bandito made the Casa his lair, now I can’t quit thinking about getting another. Too soon? Maybe, maybe not; as you know, things have a,strange way of working out around here.

And as to the dogs that brought about Max and Bull’s demise, trust me when I tell you that the situation is being taken care of in the proper manner. I’m sure that some would like to hear all the details, but I promise you, you do not. All I will tell you is that Thursday afternoon, I discovered that this old fat man can still cover some real estate; I was barefoot when I first heard Bull’s screams, and while I don’t remember touching the ground, the bottoms of my feet bear testimony that I evidently did.

A million charks for all the kind words, and a special thanks to my buddy Kyle for volunteering to post the bad news as I physically could not.

We’ll talk more tomorrow…

We be of one blood, ye and I.

Join the discussion

  1. Pam Robards

    God speed and peace to the residents of beloved Casa.

  2. Heather Payne Allard

    Never too soon. Someone once said to me, that a tragic passing was for another’s life starting. Keep doing your work. They will come.

  3. Cindy Hooks Webb

    This might be a dumb question, but do we need to do a fund raiser to build a better fence? I don’t know your yard or acreage situation, but I would be more than willing to help.

  4. Marlene Petsche

    I am heart broken Bret. I did not know what happened to Bull. But, I am glad something is being done about this. It has to stop.

  5. Eileen Myers

    I too did not know what an impact those small creatures called chihuahuas would have on my life until the choice to have a small dog or none at all was presented to me…now we have three… they are like lays.., can’t just have one…and although my heart is heavy for bultaco…I understand the need for another!!!!the choice to adopt another is up to you and yours…. we all heal differently. … can’t wait to see what the future bring to the casa….. through it all I look forward to your story

  6. Tammy Jones

    It is amazing in we have never known each other or met face to face but my heart feels so heavy and slightly grieves over this. Your words do teach me to keep the heart open even through the pain. Persevere through the race of life, hold tight to the good, and cling to those that uplift us.

  7. Jannie Maxwell

    Be safe this weekend with this crazy weather coming in. My heart still aches for your loss, hugs to you and the inmates.

  8. Jan Davis

    Dad you are a special man, with a big ❤️ thanks for all you do for the unfortunate dogs who cross your path (or should I say fortunate) Wish there were a few more like you out there..

  9. Kathy Moody

    I have reached out to several agencies there in your county. They need a fire built under them. It makes me so angry when animal owners are so irresponsible. Just give all the family members a big hug and keep them close.

  10. Ethel Sleith

    When I suddenly lost my beautiful black Lab, Ruud, it broke my heart. A few days later I told my grand-daughter, Charlotte, that we had to go visit Kitty and Puppy Haven. “Oh Nana! It’s too soon!” I had to explain to her that all I wanted to do was fill that gap in the line waiting for treats before bed. ‘The other two sat in their usual places, leaving Ruud’s space unbearably empty. It’s never too soon. There’s always another out there, desperate for help, and no way of better honouring the one who has left, than giving another a home. And what better home than at the Casa?

  11. Rhonda Vaughn Waterbury

    So sorry for your tragic loss!

  12. Patti Saunders

    You can never have too many Chihuahuas. My son has gradually adopted 5. They are wonderful little creatures. I am so glad to hear something is being done about those awful dogs. I can’t post what I would like to do to them AND their irresponsible owner.

  13. Kathleen Ellis Delatorre

    What a wonder pack of friends and support you have!! You are truly blessed and so are your inmates.

  14. Whitney Wallert

    I am sure that Bull will make his choice known of the most perfect chi chi to grace the casa with their presence.

  15. Liz Starshak

    What a beautiful and very special tribute. My heart sincerely goes out to you during this difficult time. Many hugs and prayers to all at the Casa.

  16. Jayne Brewer

    Big hugs to you and all of your family, Brett. You will know in your heart what is the right time to add another inmate. It isn’t to replace (as I well know) but to give even more love. The Winingar family obviously has loads to go around. Prayers for Bull Taco.

  17. DawnEl Robinson

    I heart aches for you. This is the little guy I found abandoned 3.5 years ago along a rural highway. He has changed my life completely & couldn’t imagine my life without him.
    Much love from Chico, Ezzy & me.

  18. Jeannie Collier

    I am totally sickened by this. Why don’t people control their dogs. My heart aches for the terror Max and Bull endured. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  19. Shawn Suriano-Wellden

    I am a believer that ones passing allows another’s rescue. Maybe a little nutty, but I’ve personally experienced the identical traits and habits of a passed one in a new rescue. Can’t explain how or why. I do believe there’s a purpose in everything and if we look through the right lens we will see it. Praying for angels of peace, wisdom, and healing over the casa.

  20. Robin D Mahan

    Glad it’s being taken care of. Glad your heart stays open, even through the pain. I believe it’s never too soon. In my heart, it’s not “replacing”, cause you can’t. It’s just choosing to give that love to another that needs it. ❤❤❤

  21. Julie Yost

    The loss of an animal just breaks every heart string I have and even more with a tragic loss. Bless this sweet furry face. I’m so sorry for your loss. . .may you run through the puddles of heaven with all the lost furry loves of us all! Hugs to you and your family. Sending you prayers of strength!

  22. Nancy Lee Robertson

    My Buster was attacked, a few years ago, by a part Wolf part German Shepherd. It had formed a pack with two others. Buster was protecting me & my little dog Shatzie. Those dogs had knocked me down. Buster to the rescue!!!
    My neighbor was coming home & stopped & chased the dogs off. Buster was really chewed up. I doctored him for weeks.
    After the Wolf dog went after my other neighbors horses, it met its demise.
    Buster is my hero.

  23. Susan Stroda

    Prayers for the Casa; may you find the arms of Jesus comforting you and yours.

  24. Carol Lingster

    omg….you heard your baby scream?….my heart hurts for you.
    hope your hurting heart heals a little each day; we all need your heart of gold to cheer and inspire us with your Casa posts.

  25. Janice Mecca

    Omg I can’t believe this happened again. Some people just should not have dogs. I’m so sorry you have to go through this. Be strong and continue to save the unloved.

  26. Andrea Bates Gerlach

    I get teary every time I read your writing. He was a cutie pie for sure.

  27. Jody Hess-Franey

    We’re all a little better for having been able to share Bull through you – he left his mark for sure.

  28. Faith Kidwell

    I could not post yesterday and i am sorry for that, but i could not wrap my head around what happen, I hope you know that my thoughts and prayers are always with you and the casa family! you know you have a very special place in my heart not only for the work you do with rescuing but because i got my beautiful Gaea from you, please remember if you need anything i can be there in a flash. Love you always We be of one blood, ye and I. for ever!

  29. Carole Walker

    Another beautiful pooch! Xxx

  30. Lori Stiefel

    Yes Sir, we be of one blood, ye and I! It greatly pains me to even touch on the thought of the events of Thursday but I find comfort in knowing the situation is being taken care of in the proper way. It’s amazing how by chance, these wonderful souls, like your plucky little Bull Taco, find us and captivate our hearts!! Without even trying!!! Keep on doing what you do Mr. Winingar, the world is a better place because of people like you!

  31. Michelle Melvin

    What are they going to do about those dangerous dogs?

  32. Rita Wise

    Another story that causes a tear and tug at my heart. You and yours are so very special for your love for your ‘roommates ‘

  33. Sam Howard

    We all be of one family Bret, and from the looks of what I’m reading all of us Wackos could get the job done for you. You and the inmates are loved deeply. Pride cometh before the fall.

  34. Mickey Snuggs

    Jeeze 2 dogs that is 2 to many. My sympathy

  35. Mickey Snuggs

    Short time? Don’t tell me she got eaten by the dogs

  36. Deb Brunelle Charron

    Man, thank you for that update. Keep on keepin on, we all love you guys. One of my companions is a chi, smart little whip with soulful eyes, right against my hip as I tap the tablet. Get another one! From a shelter!

  37. Connie Allard

    Thank you for sharing !!

  38. Cathy Rothmann Sparta

    I always considered myself a “big” dog person until 8 years ago when my daughter insisted we get a Chihuahua. That is one of the best decisions I have ever made. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  39. Gail Morse

    Skinny Minnie is a cutie, so happy the situation has being taken care of, love & healing thoughts are being sent to everyone at The Casa ❤️❤️❤️

  40. Sandra Fisher

    My heart breaks for you. I have 2 Chihuahuas, one a lover, the other a protector. The protector would have done exactly what Bultaco did. Fierce little buggers! Such a tragedy, but you will know when the time is right to make a home for the next one in need. There is a plan in place for that to happen.

  41. Robin Howard

    I couldn’t contribute to the cost, but I can sure as heck build fence. Don’t let my old age and gender fool you. I’m quite capable and would be most happy to help. Have my own tools too.

Leave a Reply

Win a Free Calendar from Charlie & Dad

Join the Charlie Bravo Family

And you’ll be entered to WIN a FREE! Charlie Bravo Koozie!

> While supplies last
> Winners will be picked at random and notified by email


> Don’t worry, we’ll pick up the shipping too!
> You’ll also be eligible for future prize drawings, coupon codes and MORE…

We hate spam, too. We won’t share your info with anyone.

x