The Charlie Bravo Story

Hope riseth (slowly) in the morning

Dad here; 0600 and an icy, steady rain is falling at the Casa. The first order of the day is to shuffle down the hall like a portly Pied Piper, leading a procession of presumptuous popinjays towards their personal Porta-Potties. With that taken care of, it was time to face what could very well be an unpleasant sight in the kitchen, as things weren’t looking too sparky for the old girl when we finally turned in last night.

Before I hit the light, I was greeted by the rhythmic thump of a tail on linoleum; there was still Hope for the hopeless. She was yet unwilling to rise and shine, but her labored breathing had eased considerably, and more importantly, there were no more evidence of another fluid technicolor canine yawn, or “carnival salsa”, if you prefer. The other dogs came in from outside, paid their respects, and promptly reclaimed their rightful real estate on (my side of) the bed.

As today is a carbon copy of the day after we initiaIly found Charlie in the crate, I couldn’t help but once again pause and consider of how she would have survived the night, laying in the cold rain with nought but wet leaves for cover. As in the case of the Charles, the answer is “probably not”.

That was then, this is now. I can’t count the times since then that we have been advised to start a GoFundMe, form a nonprofit, etc, but I have never felt right about what I viewed as profiting from the plight of a desperate dog. Then there’s that whole “pride” thing; surely we could generate enough funds through book sales, tshirts, etc, to finance the rescue opportunities that keep presenting themselves, and the travel opportunities that keep the creative juices flowing.

But the story has never found traction in a particular product, as it has always been about the message; that of the crate, that we all have them, and the best way out of ours is to help others escape theirs. That no matter where we are at on our own particular journeys, our personal contribution to society still matters, regardless of what a soulless media would have us to believe.

But the question that has tormented me for the last four years: how do you put a price tag on a gift that was freely given to you?

In dealing with past fund raising efforts for others, I’ve learned to dislike the normal crowdfunding efforts as they seem to put the financial burden on a few good hearted individuals, and are usually quickly forgotten in the maelstrom of desperate causes we are all faced with daily. Then a buddy of mine told me about Patreon, where supporters of a certain artist, musician, blogger, etc, can donate a recurring small monthly amount to help keep such efforts afloat. Historically speaking, without patrons such as these, usually royalty or at least those of the upper class, there would have never been a Mona Lisa, a Romeo and Juliet, an Ode to Joy.

Personally, the idea of like-minded people helping each other appeals to me much more.

So here we go; recent developments on the job front have “encouraged” me to take the leap, and see where this road takes us. We were not put on earth to settle for the norm, but to rise above the grind; the dream is to not just maintain the status quo, sneaking in posts and journeys here and there between soul-sucking sales reports, but to take this bad boy nationwide. To follow the example set by Steinbeck, to travel with Charlie, by bike or by van, and tell the stories of those people and places that others would leave forgotten, even of the followers of this page.

Together, we can make this happen. I am placing a link to the Patreon page in the comments below; any amount, however small, makes a huge difference. And in the case of Hope’s immediate expenses should they arise, mom’s PayPal is, or the mail is PO Box 711, Mabelvale, AR 72103.

And speaking of Hope: mom just told me she(Hope, not mom) dragged her blanket(again, Hope’s, not mom’s) from the kitchen into the living room, and shanghaid Claire’s bed where she can watch the squirrels raid the birdfeeders in the rain.

We be of one, blood ye and I.

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