The Charlie Bravo Story

Roll back the curtain of memory

Dad here; two years ago today, I had the honor of meeting many of you for the very first time. We had recently found Charlie, but her story had yet to really take hold. I was scheduled for surgery to reverse the colostomy when a freak snowstorm blew through Little Rock, effectively shutting down the hospital and postponing the resection until the following week.

I was NOT pleased.

Playing in the snow has always been a huge event at the Casa, and this instance was no different. The only snow Charlie had ever experienced was from behind the bars of the crate, and she absolutely lost her mind, flouncing, rolling, charking, charging around the yard with reckless abandon.

Little did I realize that this particular time would be the last to find both kids still living at home; my main concern was getting that plastic leech off of my gut.

During trips inside to warm up, I began to notice a miraculous occurrence; Charlie’s Facebook page began to go viral, with over ten thousand “liking” the page in one twenty-four hour period. Messages began to flood in from all over the globe, first a wave from South America, then a tidal surge from Italy, and on and on, so many texts in so many languages that I had to take a crash course in Google Translate just to keep up.

All things happen for a reason; I often wonder how different this story would have turned out had I been undergoing the scheduled surgery at the time Charlie’s story exploded. As is often the case, the very delay that I so hated was the exact thing that I needed.

Now the growth of the story has settled down a bit, but like a bed of hot coals, always ready to spring back to life.

Since that initial explosion, many have looked at the story and offered suggestions as to how we could profit financially from the story, but nothing had ever seemed “right”; let it never be said that I profitted from Charlie’s suffering. Besides, the rollercoaster events of the last two years has been payment enough: finding and losing Stevie; losing a job, finding a job; losing a company car, gaining two cars; finding a puppy tied to my trash can, finding a brother in California to take the little varmint in. Multiple road trips out west “just because” this is what Charlie lives for, and what keeps her story alive. Losing a traveling companion, but gaining a daughter in law, and on and on; for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

So what is my destiny? I am expressly grateful for the new position, and plan to work it to the best of my ability, but at the same time, I know there is something else “out there”. Mom and I watched “Hacksaw Ridge” last night, and one thing hit me hard: every time Desmond Doss would bring another wounded man out of the battle, his prayer would be “dear Lord, just one more”.

Just one more. Whether it be a deserted animal or a deserted town, a lost person or a lost cause, this should be our calling; we can’t save them all, but we can save some.

Chark diem.

Join the discussion

  1. Tonya Clark

    I have been following Charlie’s story since close to the beginning, and although I don’t always comment, I never miss reading a loading a post. Everything does truly happen for a reason, and my life has been full of changes in the last two years as well. You have such a way with telling the stories and letting us take what lessons we will from them – thank you for that :-). I do believe that I will take my own rescue girl out for a romp in the snow now…. have a great day from Newfoundland, Canada!

  2. Sarah Reynolds Adair

    I’m just glad you “found” us all!

  3. Faith Kidwell

    Dad, i have been part of your family since almost the beginning, and love the stories and adventures, I to have made changes to remove myself from certain “crates”, thanks to Charlie’s stories, if it was not for “Her” encouragement and inspiration i would properly since be a prisoner of my “crate”, also thanks to you and your rescue work i have a beautiful addition to my fur babies. you know i love you, and all the Casa family, thank you for all the laughs the tears and adventures.

  4. Marlene Petsche

    Beautifully said Dad, Charlie’s story has changed thousands of lives as has the inmates at the Casa. This has been your calling and your book is wonderful. everyone should read it!!! Dan and I have been with your story from the beginning and we are still coming out to see y’all in spring. Keep the stories coming. 🙂

  5. Yvonne Adams

    I look forward to Charlie updates…no matter who is “voicing” the update. Your willingness to be real with both good and bad, happy and sad, adds a dimension to my life and fills space I didn’t know existed.

  6. Anne Hesse

    I live Charlie’s story

  7. Porscha D Ward

    Love all the updates! Thanks for reminding me that sometimes periods of waiting are necessary for our stories to come together.

  8. Anna Staffini Cammelli

    So true! Seen Desmond Doss’ story me too: extraordinary! The same feelings that you have inside.

  9. Linda Simeone

    Your writing and your heart are beautiful. Thank you for continuing to share both with us!

  10. Debbie Vowels

    Thank you for keeping Charlie’s story going and sharing with us all. Look forward to your posts ❤

  11. Rachel McGill

    Beautiful people… two and the four-legged.

  12. Jannie Maxwell

    Forever loyal! Whether during the mundane or during chark madness, it’s all for a reason.

  13. Diane Brannon-Keech

    You and Charlie have been one of the most positive things to happen to me. I have become friends with your followers outside of your blog, least we remember Darling Nikki, my forever bad ass!

  14. Maria Dawybida Minerley

    You know what I love about your story (as it is ongoing….as are all of our stories)? The perspective. It’s all in how you look at things. Life is CHALLENGING. I love this particular musing because you consistently reflect a loss with a gain. I think we have to look at the whole picture of our lives, not just THIS PIECE that were going through at the moment. Keep charking!

  15. Debbie Colasante

    ❤ this post!!!! Can’t believe it’s only been 2 years?! That seems like ages ago!

  16. Deb Brunelle Charron

    Great message, Dad. Blessings to all.

  17. Luke Sherwood

    You both have come along way in the past two years, what a transformation.
    It’s been my honour to follow you and Charlie and the funny times at the casa since the beginning, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
    I look at your casa, and then I look at my lot and there isn’t much difference in the nuttiness of the fluff.
    Congrats to all of you, and to stevie who is watching from above.

  18. Charlie Bravo - The Motorcycle Rescue Dog Story

    Wow, what fantastic yet humbling responses… another day draws to a close at the Casa; the rain has Charlie feeling a bit more cuddly than usual, so she has burrowed under the covers…

    Max and Bultaco are not pleased.

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