The Charlie Bravo Story

Toy Story

Dad here; it’s midnight at the Casa, and the house is full of snoring, whuffling and farting canines. I have to get up early in the morning, and you would think that I would have at least as much sense as the inmates, but they have a distinct advantage:

They don’t get all spun up over social media.

I, on the other hand, log on with perfectly good intentions; I’ll have a great idea for a post burning a hole in my brain, only to have it immediately drug into the sea of negativity and extinguished. But not tonight…

Charlie has been a bit more cuddly than usual this evening, so I decided to kennel up the hairy instigator Woodrow “the Dog Blocker” MacDuff and spend some quality time with the Queen. I realize that might sound a little creepy to some, but as is becoming more the case as I get older, I really just don’t care. Life is too short to be overly concerned with other’s opinions.

Remember the movie “Toy Story”? I can’t watch it anymore. Like Andy, I’ve always had a Woody (get your mind out of the gutter); although he had many toys, there was one more special than the rest. In my case, the first Woody was Uki the Trail Dog, but as he began to slow down, Beebe the King showed up to play the part of Buzz Lightyear. I always felt guilty dividing the attention that Uki once had all to himself, but waddya gonna do? Uki was a truly legendary soul mate, and it was devastating when it came time to part ways.

It somehow seems that the best dogs seem to dig the deepest holes.

But having Beebe in the picture at the time somewhat eased the sting of losing Uki, although I even still feel guilty about that. But when Beebe began to flag, Max E. Million seemed to just appear, another Buzz succeeding a Woody. Then Beebe passed away, and it was just Max and I, dog-wise, for years; that little goober was the most loyal dog I’ve ever seen. He and I crossed the country together, his fuzzy butt perched permanently on the armrest no matter how many hours I would spend behind the wheel.

Then Charlie Bravo made her improbable debut. I can truthfully say that Max was never neglected in the attention department; he would never have allowed it. But one can only imagine what it was like having to share a Dad with not just a new dog but an elemental force of nature such as the Charles; a Woody and Buzz combined. But the two amigos got along famously with just a hint of jealousy until Max’s tragic demise a few years ago; if there is an upside to a sudden death, it’s that the suffering is bypassed enroute to whatever is on the other side of that door.

Now Charlie is slowing a bit. There’s no doubt that she’s still the Queen, and always will be; nothing gets that sassy diva more fired up than the prospect of a ride with Dad on the Honda. But what once were 12-14 hour days in the saddle crossing the Southwest are now 3-4 hour rides right here in Arkansas; not a bad thing, it just is what it is. I’ll take what I can get as long as she’s able to ride, and then we’ll figure something else out.

And now there’s the Jude Bear; is such a grandson the penultimate Buzz Lightyear, preparing me for the next stage in life? Maybe so, or maybe there should be no comparison. Jude belongs to his own parents, as it should be; I just get to borrow him occasionaly and teach him bad habits.

But Charlie’s all mine. except the part that also belongs to all of you; and I’m good with that.

We be of one blood, ye and I

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