Colonel Mustard and I, like many young couples, thought we should follow the pet rule before we had kids. you know-- get a plant, make it grow--get a dog, make it happy, then you're ready to have children. I'm certain I never made a plant grow, but at some point we moved on to the dog part and found ourselves a sweet little black lab puppy. We struggled to name him, but the following morning when he had managed himself out of the box and onto Colonel Mustard's pillow, I decided we should call him Bear, since he obviously believed he was our teddy bear.
Several months later, and without the permission of Colonel Mustard, I found Bear a Buddy (a yellow lab that threw up in Colonel Mustard's new truck on the way home!) Buddy and Bear were the best of friends and we loved them. Bear thought Buddy was his chew toy and I often came home from work to see "Muddy Buddy" frantically pawing at the back door, covered in mud.
A year or two later ( I'm getting old and can't quite remember) we moved to Arizona and brought our puppies in tow. Shortly after we moved there, I turned up pregnant with Andrew. Bear and Buddy were my best buds and I came home from work every day and walked them around the neighborhood with my rather large pregnant self. Colonel Mustard was known to come home and let the dogs in the kitchen and lay on the floor and play with them. On occasion, I saw him sharing his popsicle or ice cream with Bear, though I'm certain he would never admit doing so himself.
One day about six weeks before Andrew's impending arrival I called my Mom upset and crying. She inquired as to the cause of the upset and I informed her I was worried that I would never love this baby as much as I loved my dogs. She died laughing....and when she gained her composure she replied, "Honey, when that baby gets here, you won't even know those dogs exist." And sadly, she was right.
I hate to admit, but would be lying if I didn't, those dogs became just that...dogs. I still loved them dearly, but I had children to take care of and they obviously took up a great deal of my time. Many days since then, I have been outside with the dogs and have said to myself, "You know, when these dogs die, I will be almost as sad out of guilt for them not being my babies anymore, as I will for the loss of the dog."
Well, as we all know, life goes on, and dogs do not live forever, and today....today was that day.
We came home from a weekend out of town and our dear old friend Bear had died. Colonel Mustard and I spent the evening digging a grave and burying our little puppy we took home almost 11 years ago....and I am sad...and guilt ridden...and grateful to know that all dogs go to heaven (they really do, it's not just a movie) and I'm certain he is happy there." I am sad I wasn't here when he died.. and very sad that life sometimes happens the way it does and my job as a mother heavily interfered with loving my puppies in the way I wanted to.
So tonight I say goodbye to my Bugga Bear. I will miss your happy face ever eager to see us. I'm sorry we didn't get to play as much as I would have liked. I hope you know you were loved and will be greatly missed--even the tore up flower beds.
September 6, 2001~July 28, 2012