When my boyfriend and I had determined that a little getaway was long overdue, we planned a great trip to Napa Valley. I wouldn’t think of excluding Charlie, my French Bulldog, and he would never have allowed it at any rate. Charlie was prepared to cast the deciding vote if my boyfriend tried to choose another area. Luckily we all agreed.
Charlie was the first one in the car, and glanced at our luggage as if to say “what do you need all that stuff for?” He remained patient though, and wagged his tail in pure happiness when the engine started.
As always, Charlie stole the show regardless of the circumstances. We overheard some people say “Oh look at the cute….” which eventually resulted in them asking “what kind of dog is that, he’s adorable?” Charlie, like most French Bulldogs, intrigues and fascinates passerbys with his unique appearance and ultra-charming personality. After participating in a tour of a famous winery, we decided to have a picnic overlooking the Valley’s outstanding scenery. There we met another couple who had an adorable Yorkshire Terrier, and as we exchanged dog stories, they commented on how Charlie had what they called a “positive vibe.”
The more I thought about it, the more I agreed. Of course, like all dogs, he sometimes sniffs where he’s….uh…not suppose to sniff, or decides to help himself to something he shouldn’t have, but overall, Charlie exhibits exemplary behavior.
While we were socializing, Charlie made several overt doggie gestures toward the picnic basket. I know if he was human he would’ve been pointedly clearing his throat and nodding toward the food to indicate that it’s time to eat. He seemed to forget about his little terrier friend when we began to assemble our lunch, and his. At one point he decided to help himself to a little taste of the wine! However, my boyfriend and I arbitrarily vetoed that decision.
We met another couple who had a Miniature Schnauzer in tow. This was just after Charlie scared me to death by following some unknown scent over a small hill out of our view. Charlie glanced at the mini Schnauzer with a look of compassion, as if to say “well, you might grow as big as me one day…it could happen.” The two dogs conversed in their own secret language, as my boyfriend and I spoke to the couple.
The man said at one point “it would be fun to have a French Bulldog as a companion for Ziggy.” I couldn’t quite read his wife’s expression, but as they were walking away I heard her making reference to their “small apartment.” I then heard the cajoling tone
of her husband saying something like “it’s just another bed and bowl.” I thought, “Oh boy, Charlie…you’ve done it now!” And somehow at that moment I could clearly picture Charlie saying “have you heard about my new TV show? It’s called Everybody Loves Charlie.”
Ok, maybe I did have a little too much of the grape.
I have to admit, we are not used to imbibing to the extent Napa Valley encourages one to imbibe. I suddenly found myself earnestly wishing that we could turn to Charlie and say “you wanna drive first shift?” Not that Charlie wouldn’t have done his best, but we decided instead to get some strong coffee. When the later did not offer the anticipated results, we asked Charlie what he thought about staying one more night. He answered by quickly retrieving the hotel key from my purse.
Unfortunately, we didn’t realize we had a tail light out, and a police officer pulled us over to inform us of this fact on our way home. I had to laugh when Charlie extended his paw out the back window to “shake” with the officer. My boyfriend had to say “uh..no Charlie, that’s a trick we reserve for visitors at home.” However, we didn’t get a ticket…only a warning. Just one more reason why I never travel anywhere without Charlie!