Camera Shy?

Miss Charlie, our SCARS foster dog for the past six weeks, had an opportunity to present her beautiful self on Global Edmonton Morning News this weekend. Note I say “had an opportunity,” rather than “Charlie showed our city and most of the province her beautiful face.” Here’s how it all went down.

Knowing Charlie Bear is a bit of a live wire, The Electrician and I decided she needed to be well-exercised before her television debut. Let’s consider for a moment that Charlie can walk a full hour at our maximum human pace and still have energy to burn. The Electrician took her for an extra long roller blade the night before. My awesome husband also strapped on his rollerblades, buckled Charlie into her backpack (with two extra cans of soup) and skated her the 40 minute trip to the television studio Saturday morning. I followed later to meet them at Global a few minutes before our air time.

I’ll pause here to mention how, ten minutes after he first left, The Electrician suddenly came skating through the back door with a look on his face I don’t see often. Apparently, he forgot a poop bag for Charlie, basically guaranteeing she would need to take a massive dump during their journey. The extra fun detail of this movement was that, based on his description, Charlie’s poop somehow remained attached to her insides by some kind of fecal umbilical cord and, lacking a bag or any other options, he was forced to tug on it with his bare hands. She’s been chewing the shrubs in the back yard, so my guess is the branches she pruned didn’t digest well.

My husband is a hairy superhero. Truly. He also has a weak stomach, making his efforts extra courageous.

When I met them at the news studio, both Charlie and The Electrician were panting and he, at least, looked tired. I took Charlie down into the green room and waited for our studio time. Between the new place, the new people, and the two other dogs, she was tremendously excited. In the studio itself, they put me in a chair on wheels–in which I immediately envisioned being dragged off camera–and we waited for the show manager to count us down. I planted my sneakers as much as I could, but my legs are short and the chair was tall: I willed myself to relax so Charlie didn’t feed off my tension.

The stakes were fairly high, really. This dog is a heap of work, has a ways to go, and she needs a home that isn’t mine. We –the humans–were well aware Charlie’s television spot was her best opportunity to be noticed by the right people. All our fingers and toes were crossed.

At first, Charlie was an absolute rock star. She laid down on the floor, facing the camera and, to my relief and surprise, relaxed completely and demonstrated beautiful doggy body language. I couldn’t see her face, but I know how pretty she can be when she’s grinning, so I smiled too and waited for the camera to show off all her best attributes.

Tragically, a split second before the camera focused on Charlie, she leapt up and spun around to face her butt squarely at the lens. Keep in mind she is a very short haired, nearly velvety dog, and there is absolutely no cover for her secrets. That’s correct folks: in her thirty seconds of fame, all Charlie showed the city of Edmonton was her wagging tail and her balloon knot. It was all very hip-hop music video, camera focused on the swaying butt, showing a glimpse of the face at best. I tried to wrestle her back around to show her stunning blue eyes at the camera, and all the audience saw was a willful, wiggly dog who would not do as she was asked. Mostly, they saw her ann-oos, actually.

Remember: I was trying to manage all this crazy dogness while perched on a tall chair with wheels. Frankly, I’m lucky to have gotten out of the situation in one piece.

Thus endeth Charlie’s chance to be just famous enough to catch the eye of someone looking for a strawberry blonde firecracker. No one is going to call in to SCARS about the little red pitbull who was pointed in decidedly the wrong direction.


Come on back tomorrow. If you liked this story, wait until I tell you about the pigeons.


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