The Charlie Bravo Story

What is Charlie Bravo?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we know she’s a dog, what is “it”? I’ve been trying to define it for the last six years, with varying degrees of success. It’s the message of the crate, that we all have them and the best way to escape ours is to help someone else escape theirs. The message that all of our contributions make a difference, no matter how insignificant they might appear at the time. That it’s the journey, not the destination. That regardless of where we are in life, we are all a critical piece in the master puzzle.

That every day out of the crate is a good day, hence Charlie’s motto “Charke diem”.

But that’s a lot of “thats”. After watching Charlie charge around like the force of nature through the snow today, I can finally condense the message down to one line:

Living well is it’s own revenge.

Then if I condense that sentence even further, I come up with two words: Charlie Bravo. So I guess it’s all about a dog after all. She’s an obnoxious, pig-headed, pain in the butt with the social graces of a Neanderthal, but I have no one to blame but myself. She was so shell-shocked when she first found us that I didn’t think she would ever come out of her funk, but not only was I wrong about the outcome, but also the timing. I thought that it would take weeks, when it only took days for her to not only socialize but to begin to exert her iron will.

In the beginning, I had considered training her to be a therapy dog, but quickly saw the futility of that idea. When she first started transforming from the ragged wreck she was to the diva she is today, it seemed such a waste to attempt to train any of the joi de vivre out of her. But on the other hand, I could just imagine her eardrum-shattering CHARK echoing down the corridors of Ye Olde Rest Manor, or her horny paws marking hieroglyphics on granny’s parchment foream. Not good. We decided that reporting from the wide open spaces on the back of a motorcycle was the best place to compensate for both of our social inadequacies.

Besides, it’s pretty apparent as to who trained who. I never had a chance, as she had me outsmarted from the beginning.

Then it really struck home tonight. Charlie should realize that she’s not a spring chicken any more, but she does not live within other’s boundaries. She instead spent a large part of the day once again flouncing and bounding around in the snow like a goofy puppy. She is now utterly exhausted and wadded up on the couch, and for a fleeting moment I caught a glimpse of the ragged skeleton she once was.

Every thing in life is cyclical, and for every thing there is a season. All we can do is to live each moment of each season as it comes to us, and let next season fend for itself.

We be of one blood, ye and I

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