The Charlie Bravo Story


How can the powers that be discriminate against that which they cannot even properly define?

When we found Charlie huddled in her crate, she weighed less than eighteen pounds. Due to her thin face, slender build, and tan feet, we initially thought that she was some type of hound mix. Then mom’s concoction of puppy chow, condensed milk and raw eggs began to take effect and she began to fill out(Charlie, not mom); that thin face and body was the result of extended starvation, and those feet were actually snow white, just stained brown from standing in her own crap.

When it became evident that I had accepted a PIT BULL!!! into my house, I was not pleased. I have to admit, I had drank the tainted Kool-Aid that the media loves to force down our throats; if I was to believe them, I didn’t have another dog, I had a snarling time bomb that I could pet only if I dared.

Well, we all know how that one turned out; sure, Charlie is rambunctious, self-centered, obnoxious, and a total diva, but can change in a microsecond to be a total love bug. If I happened to live in a city that had Breed Specific Legislation when I brought this bedraggled dog home to the Casa, I would quickly find myself a criminal as it became evident what she really is.

And had I known that she was a pit/lab mix when I found her, should I have left her? Not on your life. Besides, for better or worse, pit/lab describes the vast majority of unwanted dogs in Arkansas as it is; why city governments make it even more difficult to adopt these maligned animals is beyond me.

Then we have Claire, another foster fail of indeterminate origin that just happens to have a large head, although more round like a boxer instead of square like a terrier. Is this a pit? Who makes that call?

And then there’s Titus Pullo. There’s no denying this big lunkhead his heritage; he’s a full on bully. We have no idea where he came from, just showed up one day and has been hanging around ever since. There has not been issue with any of the other dogs since he has taken up residence at the Casa del Whackos; as a matter of fact, he suffers indignities inflicted by Micro Polo that even I won’t put up with.

So here we have it, three dogs with certain levels of certain characteristics living in a house with a guy who never wanted a pittie in the first place. And when the dust settles at the end of the day and they finally decide to pile up on the bed smother me with slobbers, they’re not terriers, hounds, huskies, retrievers, spaniels, whatever label humans decided to give them eons ago.

They’re just dogs, and that is the highest compliment I can give them.

We tend to fear what we don’t understand, or what the media tells us to fear. Do you realize that the whole “pit bull” hysteria can be traced directly to a Time magazine cover story in 1987: Pit Bull-Friend and Killer? Talk about sensationalized journalism; I wonder how much extra ad revenue that muck-soaked kennel liner of a magazine edition raked in. Before that, bullies were the darlings of American culture, owned by Helen Keller, Mark Twain, Thomas Edison and my favorite president Theodore Roosevelt, who used the term “bully” to describe something “excellent” or “exemplary”.

Teddy was simply the man; I would love to have met him.

To paraphrase Daniel Wallace in “Big Fish”: when I discovered Charlie, I discovered that most things I consider evil or wicked are simply lonely, and lacking in social niceties. All I ask is that the terrier breeds be given the same consideration that you would want your dog, or yourself for that matter, given.

We be of one blood, ye and I.

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