The Charlie Bravo Story

MacDuff’s Last Ride

Intense love doesn’t matter, it only gives‐ Mother Teresa
Before he was interred yesterday, MacDuff took his last motorcycle ride. Although he would have preferred to ride on the back of the Honda, circumstances obviously dictated that he ride in the sidecar; the throne on the back was occupied by none other than the Queen herself.
We took the same circuitous route that we have taken without issue hundreds if not thousands of times without issue, but somehow found ourselves a bit lost. I guess this was as much a testament to my state of mind than to my navigational skills. But we eventually got things turned around and made it back to the Casa just in time for the services.
For over nine years, Charlie’s story has been my mission; the last two of those have been spent in an attempt to prepare both you and myself for her eventual decline. As you know, MacDuff had proven himself a worthy successor to the motorcycle throne on his trip to Colorado last spring, but there is much more to this page than just stories of travel.
One of my favorite sayings is “when you’re walking on eggs, don’t hop”, and easing MacDuff into Charlie’s spotlight while still being respectful of her position has been a delicate operation. Easing into this transition was the driving force behind building the sidecar at a time when circumstances dictated that finances would have been more wisely spent elsewhere. But sometimes you are just driven to do things that seem ridiculous to others, and here we are, even though I am no longer even partially aware of where “here” is.
A few weeks ago, my three (and a half, as he’ll be quick to remind you) year old grandson Jude told me, completely out of the blue, “Charlie had Nama”. Do what? Charlie “had” Nama”? What does that even mean? His answer: “Charlie had Nama a long time ago for when she is gone”. As if this wasn’t strange enough, I remember thinking at the time, “what about MacDuff? He’ll still be around as well, won’t he?” But then again, here we are.
Although Nama is a good little dog, I have to be honest; I’m not feeling it, the type of visceral connection I have with Charlie and had with MacDuff. Like a junkie looking for a fix, I’m fighting the urge to engage in “scrambling” behaviour, desperately looking to fill a void that I know will increase every time that I begin to write or ride. But quitting either of the two is not an option, so deciding how to navigate this unknown territory seems to be of paramount importance. Maybe I just need to take some time to pause and consider how unimagined events might develop, but pausing has never been a life skill that I’m that familiar with.
On the other paw, my tendency to put my business in the street is more than just a bit embarassing, as people have been losing pets since the beginning of time; who am I to think that my story is any better or worse than any of yours? I promise you that I do not. Maybe this whole process is part of Charlie’s mission; then again, maybe it’s just the fact that I have a big mouth.
I’m fully aware that many of you want to know the cause of MacDuff’s abrupt decline, and that is totally justified. The problem is that so much happened in a twelve-hour period that that would be a post in and of itself, and that’s a post that I’m not yet prepared to write. It seems to me that an immediate verbal autopsy of the events as they occurred in the wee hours of the morning is unbecoming to the memory of such a badass little dog. Let me “embrace the suck” for a bit; I promise that the facts will eventually be disclosed, as you definitely deserve to know. Until then…
We be of one blood, ye and I.

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