The Charlie Bravo Story

The Claire Bear

One of the downsides of the mayhem at the Casa del Whackos is that the temperament of the more forceful personalities overshadows than that of the more introspective inmates. Charlie, Titus and Ajax are extroverted forces of nature, while Claire, Mia, and Marco provide the introverted yin to the yang., and sometimes their voices get muted by the background noise.

Which leads me to Claire; the Claire Bear came to us as a foster. Something in her past life had traumatized her to the point that she wouldn’t even budge from her kennel at the shelter, and once she was out, she wouldn’t go back in.

She was an emotional trainwreck.

We brought her home to let her hang out and socialize with the other outcasts at the Casa. Although it took a few days, soon she was eaaaaasing her way up onto the couch. That was three years ago and now she has became a fixture, especially at bedtime; there is nowhere she would rather be than with her butt jammed up against my side.

But it’s obvious that she needs her own universe in which to shine, so I’ve always held to the belief that she deserves a less frenetic home. But the right person has never came along to sweep her off of her feet while at the same time be willing to deal with her idiosyncrasies. And I totally get it; the world is a busy place, and taking on a dog is a lifetime committment, if not yours, definitely theirs.

Then a few weeks back, we received word that the rescue organization had a home for Claire up north. My first question was “will they let her sleep with them?” This would tell me everything I needed to know to let her go with a clear conscious. When I didn’t feel totally comfortable with the answer, I called up there myself, and sure enough, my instincts were right. She wasn’t going to an actual forever home, but to another foster in an area where orphaned dogs are not as plentiful than here in Arkansas. The intent was totally sensible, but another foster? I couldn’t see it happening.

Plus, I think that to be a foster requires that one has to have an ego, a belief that “no one else can bring this dog back from the brink like I can!” And that’s one of the things that makes it so hard to let them go, as why would you be happy about sending them somewhere else?

So we passed on the situation, and now the Claire Bear is a permanent inmate at the Casa. As far as the attention deficit, we’re going to just keep spreading it a bit more thinly but never neglecting to completely cover the toast. She has overcame her fear of cars, and even started going out into the backcountry with Charles and I. She’s going to need some medical attention, as her knee is giving her some issues, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

And I have no idea how she knows, but have no doubt about it, she knows. It’s obvious in how she now carries herself, in her lopsided grin, and in how apt she is to do the “peepee dance”, when her tail wags so hard that it flogs her sides and causes her back feet to skitter around on the linoleum. She’ll never be a Charlie Bravo or Titus Pullo, but that is a good thing, as the world needs balance, and the Claires of the world are just as vital as the Charlies.

So much so that Charlie is willing to give up one of her Charlie Bravo days in honor of Claire Bear losing her visa and attaining total citizenship.

(Uh, dad, that is only one day, right? And next Friday, we will once again return to the correct and lawful calendar?)

Yes, Charlie, we will, but until then, let’s let Claire have her moment in the sun…

Happy Claire Bear Day!

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