The Charlie Bravo Story


Fall decided to take a leaf of absence at the Casa del Whackos this year, and we have went straight from the humid hell of summer to the climate north of the wall. Winter is coming, you say? You know nothing, Jon Snow…

Mom left the electric blanket turned on, a fact that the inmates were all to quick to discover and unwilling to give up any real estate to a weary stranger just looking for a place to jot down a few words. We haven’t done an update on the critters in quite some time, and as there has recently been an influx of new family members to this page, I figured it might be time for an update to bring everyone up to speed. So here we goeth…

Dad: me

Mom: her

The inmates: what normal people refer to as “dogs”

Family: y’all

The Casa del Whackos: this asylum that poses as a home for wayward infidels

“Chark diem”: a Charlie bark is of course a “CHARK”; hard to define, but when you hear it, you will immediately know it for what it is, a demand that the attention be immediately be returned to her. So “charm diem” translates literally as “seize the day, Charlie-style”; every day out of the crate is a good day.

The Charkstream: whatever means of transportation that Charlie chooses, be it the car or the Mini Van Gogh, but usually the preferred method of conveyance that Her Royal Highness prefers is on the back of one of the motorcycles.

Now, the inmates:

Marco Polo: the smallest dog with the largest mouth, a long haired chihuahua acquired from the Little Rock Animal Village. The story is that his previous mistress had advanced Alzheimers and would forget to eat, and as a result, forget to feed this self-centered little goober. By the time I heard his sob story from Betsy Robb (“he just needs a hero!”), he was pretty far gone. Now he is a classic case of a dog that has been misnamed, as he should have been dubbed “Skittles”, as that’s what he does; skittle here, skittle there, skittle around everywhere.

Ajax: the shelter had him listed as a chihuahua/dachshund mix; I would like to know what they were smoking when they came up with THAT description, and when will it be legal in Arkansas without a prescription. He is actually an unholy mix of terrier and garbage disposal, with ears that save us much money on WIFI and satellite TV charges. It really doesn’t matter that we named him Ajax, as he comes running at the mere mention of any other inmate’s name, even if I happen to be in another time zone.

Mia: mom’s dog, a Finnish Spitz and the last of her name. She’s the caretaker of the bunch, ensuring that everyone arises in the morning when SHE decides on the appointed time, then uses her anteater-like tongue to ensure that everyone starts the day with squeaky-clean ear holes.

Claire Bear: can I brag? Claire is my favorite recovery story; even though her physical condition was nowhere near that of Charlie’s, or of the scores of others that have passed through the Casa, she was an emotional train wreck. Terre Wood of Novastar rescue asked if we would take a look at fostering another pittie mix that was having some issues, and I saw Claire in the next kennel. They said there was no hope, as she was so traumatized that she wouldn’t budge from her corner; challenge accepted. Long story short, she ended up in my lap for the long drive back to Little Rock, and she’s still here today, a classic “foster fail”. It would be nice to find her a home, as she’s such a meek dog that it’s difficult for her to develop her own “mojo” in the shadow of Titus and Charlie, but there’s an ego problem involved: mine. Like foster parents everywhere, I’m convinced that no one else can do it better.

Titus Pullo: another misnamed dog, as he should have been called “Tommy Boy”, or even more appropriately, “Mommy’s Boy”. The massive oaf just “showed up” at the Casa; no micro chip, no tags, no tats(although I think he wants one, maybe a heart with “mom” on his forearm”). I was in the process of finding him a home when I was informed by She That Must Be Obeyed that he wasn’t going anywhere, so here he be stayin’, y’all, inhaling any and all passing snacks with a gaping maw that looks like it originated from a Star Wars creature. Mom does not miss a chance to take him inappropriate places to “show him off”, something I could NEVER be accused of.

And the there’s Charlie Bravo, the ultimate diva; the rules do NOT apply to her. This is never more evident than when I sequester the other inmates in their palatial quarters in the Casa north; the Charles will remain hunkered down and incognito on the back porch until she hears the “clang” of the gate. Then she immediately goes into full flounce mode in full view of the other dogs, “I’M GOING WITH DAAAD! I’M GOING WITH DAAAD!”, until I can fire up the bike and appease the Royal Pain in the Butt with a tour to appear before her loyal subjects. Upon meeting Charlie for the first time, a buddy of mine once told me, “I used to envy you, now I just pity you”, and this pretty much sums it up; she is quite the handful. But I have never have been able to find it in me to “train” it out of her, as it is who she is; she wasn’t made for polite society, and that’s polite society’s loss, not ours. Don’t stay where you’re tolerated, go where you’re appreciated, where an occasional thrashing about in the grass with an airing of the royal loins is not considered a faux pas.

But there’s one thing they all value above all else: solo time with dad. Even if it’s a short trip to the Dollar store or a walk out to the burn pile, it’s a chance to reconnect without competing with the rest of the pack of hairy lunatics clamoring for attention. Sometimes alone time with the Father is what we crave and don’t even realize it, or a time of meditation; even a computer works better if you just shut it off and let it reboot for a bit. Everyone should spend at least fifteen minutes a day somewhere quiet, preferably under a wide open sky…

…but if you’re REALLY busy, make it an hour.

We be of one blood, ye and I.

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