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We gotta let go of all our ghosts.

Poor Charlie rambles around all the night long, panting with her unexplained anxiety. To our eyes, it's only a little rain. To Charlie, it's utterly overwhelming as she seems certain it will overtake her.

She often refuses to go out and I'm frustrated because I need that task crossed off my list. Charlie shakes but stands her ground. There's nothing for it when she gets like that.

We all say the same words to her and I wonder if she recognizes the sounds as encouragement or if rational thought has been replaced by an embrace of the irrational. Every kind word falls on deaf ears as Charlie cannot hear for the sound of her rapid breath and beating heart.

She likes the alpha male and solely trusts him. Nevertheless, even he cannot calm her when the thunder roars inside her head.

At our old house, though she had a covered sun room in which to take refuge, she'd still cry under the shed. In the mud. What a mess she was. Muddy fur isn't easily remedied. She created such a mess that it took some effort to return us all back to normal. I'd get furious on account of the inconvenience of it all.

Once or twice, her insecurity took to rage and she attacked her own sister. It was hard not to hold that against her because, even though Bella barks too much, she's a good ol' gal and Charlie knows better than anyone how reliable their companionship is.

In my heart of hearts, I know Charlie doesn't want to isolate herself in a muddy cocoon with no space for reason, surfacing only to lash out at those she loves. Absurd though it may be, she's convinced that she needs to protect herself from the natural world where, sometimes, raindrops fall. Believe me when I say, her tears soak her from the inside out and there is no fear of water itself.

You would think a dog could relax a little as she gets some years and fears behind her but a bitch is a bitch is a bitch. When you really think about it, it's unfair to expect anything else because who among us has successfully become something she is not? And, turns out, she's also kinda crazy.


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