The Charlie Bravo Story

Rough Weather Ahead

From the National Weather Service:

WARNING: A warning is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is occurring, imminent or likely. A warning means weather conditions pose a threat to life or property.

ADVISORY:  An advisory is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is occurring, imminent or likely.

WATCH: A watch is used when the risk of a hazardous weather or hydrologic event has increased significantly, but its occurrence, location or timing is still uncertain. It is intended to provide enough lead time so those who need to set their plans in motion can do so.

To be clear, this post is not a “warning”; it’s somewhere between a “watch” and “advisory”, but I’m watching the skies nonetheless.

Everyone knows that Charlie is getting older. She is still the Queen of the Casa and shall retain the title until she decides otherwise, and we all know that THAT will never happen.

But more important to me is that she’s still my girl, regardless of how I see her slowing down a bit. Some of the signs? She won’t just bail off of the bike when we stop, but waits for me to find a partially elevated grassy spot for her to dismount. The same thought goes into her exiting the CRV. Where the other dogs pile out as soon as I open the back door, Charlie will go the front seat to exit via the driver’s door, as it’s a good deal closer to the ground.

And a couple of nights ago, I even had to help her up on the bed.

But the Charles still lives to ride, even though her middle-aged girth makes the Charkstream a bit more confining than it used to be. And MacDuff helps keep her young with his constant strafing attacks; she can only take it for so long before she must arise from her siesta to punish his insolent antics.

So do I dread her passing? More than the fires of hell. But what would even more horrendous is if I were to go first, and that opinion is not based on selfishness. As horrible as losing a dog may be, we at least have the knowledge that they are finally at peace and we’re the ones left here to pick up the pieces.

So, I’m going to do something I learned years ago, and that is prepay for that final trip to the vet. When it came time for Uki the Wonder Dog to cross over, I couldn’t do it. The thought of using a DEBIT CARD at such a time caused my gut to twist. I had Mom pay in advance and arrange for me to enter through a back door, as I didn’t want to go stumbling through the waiting room like a blubbering jackass. Shortly thereafter, I heard the saying “it’s always too soon until it’s too late”, and that has been my mantra ever since.

Sound a bit fatalistic and/or depressing? I assure you that it is exactly the opposite. By doing the insanely difficult thing far in advance, you can then focus on the years you have left together.

And while none of us are promised tomorrow, I can assure you that Charlie isn’t anywhere being finished, just entering a different phase.

And definitely no less respected and revered as the Queen; there is no way the shameless hussy would allow it.

We be of one blood, ye and I.

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