The Charlie Bravo Story

I’m ready for my close UP

When I say it’s always an adventure with the Charles, I’m not exaggerating. Last week I took a wheel by the local Cycle Gear to get a tire mounted, and of course Charlie just HAD to go. And as she is an absolute diva, she’s more than a little obnoxious when it comes to her demands to being the center of my attention. Although I had struck up a conversation with a guy who had some things to say that I needed to hear, Charlie’s insanely loud CHARK!!-ing made it difficult to communicate. The man’s name is TJ Boarman, he’s gone through and is going through some incredibly rough times and seems to be coping with it by reaching out to others less fortunate.
This is our kind of guy; you’ll be hearing more about this cat in future posts.
As it turns out, TJ is also a highly sought-after professional photographer, and saw something in Charlie that he wanted to capture with his lens, as there is really no other way to describe it. He proposed a photo shoot, and bring the motorcycle; how could I say “no”?
The timing was perfect, as Charlie has been a bit put out lately with having to share the spotlight with the new kid at the Casa, the scruffy MacDuff; a personal photo session was just what the doctor ordered to fortify Charlie’s inner diva. But I have to admit, I wasn’t too sure about the whole thing, as I’m used to being the one behind the camera, even if it is just a smartphone most of the time. But hey, let’s roll with it and see where the front wheel takes us.
It was awesome. Not only did TJ bring out the big guns, two of his disciples showed up to assist as well. Lights, camera, action, they had it all at that deserted downtown parking lot. Then he threw me a hard-breaking curve ball: he mentioned shooting some “memorial” type shots back at his studio.
Whoa. This hit me right in the giblets, as Charlie’s age has been on my mind a lot lately. Although I don’t know exactly how old she is, she has been turning gray at an alarming rate, and I DON’T LIKE IT ONE BIT. I would do anything to keep her young, but unfortunately, that’s the one gift that’s not mine to give.
But as it turns out, it’s almost impossible to maintain any amount of melancholy with Charlie in the vicinity. While we were setting up for the inside shoot, she was ambling up and down the hall and introducing herself to various studios. She even invited herself into a private massage session; I can’t imagine what that client thought when an obnoxious black ox came barging through the door of a studio on the third floor of one of Little Rock’s more posh office buildings. I take that back; I can imagine it, but feel that it would be better left if I didn’t recount it here. I have a pretty twisted imagination.
When we finished and said our farewells, the Charles and I saddled up to head home to the Casa and the chores that needing tending to. But somehow those mundane tasks didn’t seem quite as pressing as they had earlier that morning, so we peeled off to the west of town and took the long way home.
And I do mean long. Supertramp kind of long.
By the time the Honda rolled into the driveway, Charlie was dozing with her head on my shoulder. Although her eyes were closed, her big black snuffle was twitching, reading the wind that was funneling past my helmet directly into her graying muzzle.
Am I bummed that she is slowing down? You have absolutely no idea, or then again, I’m sure that most of you do. As it states in the first book of Charke, verse 3:16, “Verily, it sucketh”. But life is too short to dwell on the negative, and this is especially true with dogs.
So for now, we’ll keep the throttle wide open and worry about the price of gas and speeding tickets later. She gets to continue wake me up in the dark hours before dawn to demand that I tell her, over and over, that I love her, and I get to continue to obey her royal whims.
Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me.
If you’re in central Arkansas and find yourself in need of a world class photographer, look up TJ Boarman. If you’re wanting to do some Christmas shopping without having to leave your dogs at home, head on over to
and check out her store; new items being added daily.
We be of one blood, ye and I.

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