Monday, February 16, 2015

Watching Bubba Age

Carolyn J. Rose 

In 2000, I spotted a small gray dog on the TV news segment designed to match potential owners with pets from the local Humane Society. She looked right into the camera and right into my heart. I raced down to Mike’s office yelling, “Get in the car. We’re going to get a dog.”

We’d been three months without a canine companion at that point, and he was at least half as ready as I was. In a few minutes we were in the car and within an hour I was holding Belle. Her owner had died and the family didn’t want her.

Too bad for them! They missed out on a lot of years of love and devotion, friendship and fun.

After taking care of the paperwork, Mike and I hustled her off to a pet supply store for a collar, tag, toys, food, and other paraphernalia. We hustled her to the vet for a check-up and shots. We hustled her around to show our friends. We were, looking back on it all, ridiculously besotted with her.

She was eight pounds of feisty attitude back then, and clearly not a Belle. Mike took the pink ribbon out of her hair and gave her a new name—Bubba. She grew into it, becoming a ten-pound alpha who arranged the days to meet a schedule firmly embedded in her tiny brain. Always fair, she moved from lap to lap, room to room, checking on us, herding us toward the leash hanging by the door, informing us it was time for breakfast or dinner.

She’s 15 now and often we’re the ones who herd her—waving our arms so she’ll see movement, clapping our hands so she’ll hear. She still informs us when it’s time to eat, but mostly she sleeps, curled in a special cushion in my office, snuggled on the sofa beside Mike, or wedged between the pillows on our bed.

Someday she may not wake up when I pet her head or put a dog biscuit under her nose. I hope that’s how it will happen. I hope she knows it’s time to leave and makes the decision herself. I hope she will go off in her dreams to explore whatever comes next for a devoted dog who always knew her own mind.


  1. Great picture of Bubba! She was quite an energetic bundle when we visited a few years back. Sorry to hear she is slowing down. Connecting with another species is pretty special and I love your vision of her transition.

  2. Hi Carolyn,

    I hope that you have plenty more time yet, with the lovely Bubba. However, when the inevitable finally happens, your vision for her is definitely as most people would wish it to be.

    Personally, I would quite like that exit route for myself, although for those left behind to mourn, that might not be quite the ending they had in mind!

    Dog's Homes or Animal Shelters are definitely the place to find a true and worthy animal companion, it is just a shame that, here in the UK at least, there are simply too many animals for the various centres to cope with and many animals face being destroyed!