Our Charlie...the dog you love but hate. In this pic had gnawed a hole in the fence large enough to poke his fat head through to see what he could of the front yard. On the rare times he managed to escape, just sauntered from the back yard into the open garage door and plopped down by the kitchen door waiting to be let back inside. If the garage door happened to be shut, had to huff and puff it all the way to the front and stare into the window which went all the way to the floor beside our front door, once again waiting to let back inside.
That was almost ten years years ago.
You'd think a puppy who cost three thousand dollars would grow up to be a stellar and super smart dog.
Not even close.
When he wants in or out of the house and doesn't immediately get his way, has the most annoying whine which actually sounds like a little kid.
I remember shortly after aquiring Charlie, was in the driveway of our house back in Georgia with my next door husband's son who was trying to fix my Johnny Dear for me. I called Ron my next door husband instead of next door neighbor because was constantly helping me fix things. Lucky for me Ron also had a son who quickly became my "next door son" when his dad was at work.
Kevin (his son) was on his back in my driveway, working on the mower blade when Charlie started whining from our back yard with his fat head poking through the hole he'd chewed in between the gates of the privacy fence.
I'll never forget... Kevin stopped what he was doing and said "Ms. Kelly, do you hear that little kid crying?"
I shook my head (do that a lot with Charlie) and said "That's TJ's bulldog, just ignore him...we try to."
My brother in law came over a couple of summers later after Charlie continued to gnaw away the fence gate, put up a new gate and made a peep hole for the dogs as a birthday present for me (Charlie).
Best present ever!
We all love Charlie, just don't like him very much.
He makes it hard to like him.
He's brat and extremely self centered.
Once Ham went totally blind and after getting Ziggy to replace our female boxer, Rosie (our first) who had to be put down with horrible hip problems during the time were broke as jokes. The three males, with six balls between them started to get into fights with each other.
It was always terrifying and never ended up pretty.
Charlie quickly became to be known as "Scar Face" and with good reason.
Bull dogs don't give up, even when obviously fighting a losing battle.
Once I got my great airport job and had the bills all caught up, took the boys...one at a time to the local cheap "Vet in a Van" who came to our city once a week at ridiculously low rates.
I took Ziggy the first week. He bounced out of the car and was ready to go into that van and find out where all that barking was coming from.
I picked him up an hour later.
He walked out on the leash with the doc leading him from the van and looked woozy at best. I kept him in my bedroom for a couple of days away from the other two and my ole Zig bounced right back.
The next week I took Ole Chas for his (de)Nut job.
Oh, Charlie was all about heading up those two steps into the van to show those dogs barking from inside how tough he was! He was pulling on the leash the entire way.
It was one of the funniest experiences of my life...and had quite a few with the Ole Boy.
They called (less than an hour later) and said Charlie was ready for pick up...minus his nuts. I drove back over in the borrowed truck from my brother in law. I didn't even own a vehicle at the time.
I got an old comforter and spread it over the front seat of the truck first, just in case he got sick on the ride home from the anesthesia.
I waited in the parking lot for over ten minutes, kinda starting to get worried about Charlie and hoping they would soon lead Charlie out of the mobile clinic van on his leash. After a few more minutes passed, the vet came huffing and puffing out the mobile clinic with Charlie, belly up in his arms. The Lug weighed at least seventy five pounds.
The vet was covered with Charlies's white hair and almost stumbled over to the truck to deposit him on to the front seat of the truck.
The first thing I noticed... is Charlie sure didn't come out of the mobile clinic looking like the bad ass he went barking into it as, acting like he was gonna kick some butt.
His eyes were rolling in two different directions, his tongue which is at least eight inches long was dry and glued to his jowls like a piece of dried leather.
It was totally a "What the heck just happened?" look.. and then some.
The vet, sweating like me with a hot flash, rolled him into the front seat of the truck and we were on our way!
I was pleasantly surprised he didn't throw up on the ride home.
Once at our house, had to go get Zach from inside to come pick him up off the front seat of the truck.
He picked Charlie up and carried him, much like the vet...huffing and puffing up to the third floor of our house and put him in our bedroom to convalesce.
I stayed behind in the driveway to drag the comforter out of the truck for washing.
There, right behind where Charlie had been on the seat, was a rock hard (thank goodness hard) big ole turd.
I guess the whole thing scared the crap out of him!
Charlie stayed underneath our bed for two days without moving.
Day three, he finally got up and moseyed down two flights of steps and went outside to pee, like a girl dog...couldn't even manage to lift his leg.
Ziggy bounced back in two days, Charlie was traumatized for a week.
I decided not to have Ham neutered...especially at a low cost Vet in a Van.
Totally blind, would flip out being lead into a strange place with cats and dogs more than loudly meowing and howling.
Ham can keep his two buddies, they're about all he has left.
Ham is over eleven which and way past the life expectancy of a boxer.
He got to peek out of the hole Charlie gnawed when he could see and we tried to get his eyes fixed quite a while back with help from many through a foundation.
The foundation considered it comestic since he was healthy otherwise.
They even had a picture of Ham's dad in the office. Ham's father also suffered from juvenile cataracts.
So we've not only lugged our selves through a decade of financial debacle but three pups as well.
Not one of them has ever complained...except maybe Charlie, but nobody listens to Charlie if they can help it.
For Pete's sake... am just starting to get my own act together after yet another later than sooner life altering change.
But you know what?
Ham's still here alive, and so am I.
Charlie's still around, wearing us all out with his bull dog ways but still love the fat ass.
Ziggy is Ziggy, living up to his name sake (Marley) and proudly prancing to the beat of a different drum.
Dogs are the most wonderful comforting companions a person could ever hope to have...and once again am blessed.
Not one of my dogs have ever complained and love me like nobody's bidness.
Three great kids, three great dogs, a husband who went the distance for us to remain together. Two incredible Sibs and so many friends that would take a calculator to count them all.
When life seems to suck the air out of you...
Always, always know...if you give life your absolute best, never give up and try your hardest...
It will happen.
Maybe not as soon as you want, but quitters never win.
More importantly, if you want to be a winner... never quit.
Sometimes it takes a universe.
Actually... it always does.
Life is a game plan.
Call me crazy (you're kinda right) just hope am never called a quitter.
Til next time...COTTON