This Is Charley

Charley makes the pier look good.

More than 10 years ago, I adopted my favorite furry dude on the planet, Charley.

He was laughed at everywhere we went.

He started out a cute little turd. Then in his adolescence, this happened:

Note the fantastic goatee.

Obviously, he grew into his ears, but he still has a Flying Nun look about him. And luck dragon, as well.

This dog, he’s my first true love. I wasn’t the best dog trainer, so he used to be a bit of a runner. Now, he’s more of a wanderer thanks to arthritis in his back hips.

Every time I speak around him, he wags his tail. To get him to stop wagging, just pet him. Charley will wag his tail so hard that his back feet twist and he looks like he’s dancing. He’s a happy guy.

That’s why it was so devastating to me to return from vacation and learn he’d been in a fight with his little brother, Shiner. A bad fight. One so terrible that Charley’s eyes rolled back into his head and gave up. He lost an upper canine tooth. It’s just gone, roots and all.

Shiner has injuries, too. Mostly scrapes and a few more serious. But Charley bore the brunt of it.

See, Charley has always been submissive. But when we brought Shiner home, he had no choice but to be the boss of the puppy. Now Shiner is 2 1/2, and has decided he wants to be the alpha. It’s a role Charley would gladly let him have. When Chris is around, Chris is the alpha, no question. But on vacation, the alpha was gone. Shiner wanted it. And when Charley decided to go after food that was left out, Shiner wasn’t having it. He attacked.

These boys get along wonderfully when Chris is home, even when they are left home alone during the day (though that’s not happening now).

Now, they avoid each other. Act as if the other doesn’t exist. Shiner plays with Badger.

Charley is recovering, but he’s in pain. He’s on antibiotics and pain meds. The vet shaved the entire area behind his neck to clean the wounds, and I can’t begin to tell you how terrible it looks. I took a picture, but I can’t share it; it’s too sad. He has several punctures, and a lot of scrapes and cuts.

My guy is recuperating in the front room of the house, mostly alone. He’s sleeping a lot.

But when I speak to him, he wags his tail. Through all the pain, he still lets me know he loves me.

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