On a cold, raw day in January, my son Zach and I were making a high speed pass through a rural area east of Little Rock when we spotted a dog crate partially hidden in the weeds beside the road. Something – or Someone – made us stop and check the crate. What we found was beyond horrible…
A full sized dog reduced to a ragged, scabby skeleton, smelling so strongly of death that we couldn’t stand to be downwind, her white feet stained brown from standing hunched in her own feces.
As she had oozing abrasions on her hips, spine, head and legs, we initially thought that she had been hit by a car until we realized that these open wounds weren’t road rash at all, but contact sores from constant contact with the inside of the filthy crate.
Her length of incarceration is unknown, but it was long enough for her claws to grow back under and into her pads to the point that she couldn’t walk, and long enough for her to grow desperate enough for escape to attempt to chew out the top of her plastic prison in a frenzy of hunger and claustrophobia.
Not one word of discussion passed between Zach and I concerning what we needed to do, but as we were both riding motorcycles, how to accomplish it?
Putting her back in the crate was NOT an option, so we had no choice but to leave her and ride hell bent for leather towards home, hoping against hope that she would still be there when we returned with Zach’s truck.
The seriousness of the situation was compounded by the fact that one of the bikes ran out of gas, and it was quite some time before we could get everything squared away and back to where she lay.
I was surprised to find her huddled against the very thing that had recently been her former prison, and felt my heart sink when she didn’t move as we approached.
I was sure that we were too late. But then I heard an almost inaudible growl, and I thought, “if you’ve got enough strength to growl, you’ve got enough strength to live,” and we got her loaded up into the back seat of Zach’s truck and headed home to the Casa del Whackos.
As we already have numerous dogs, adoption wasn’t a consideration, but life is what happens when you’re making other plans. Soon, the ragged girl began to not only blossom into the black beauty she is today, but to find her own voice.
As Zach and I were riding Honda CB motorcycles on that incredible day, she named herself Charlie Bravo, and this is her story.