It came so suddenly even though we all knew Bubba the Pug was getting old. The old dog suddenly couldn’t move his legs well. He was just laying there. It was so hard to watch. The kids knew it must be something bad, but they figured the vet could fix it. Heck, five months ago, doctors helped Bubba recover when his back legs had stopped working properly. But suddenly we lost all of that progress.
I knew it was coming. I let Bubba sleep with me all night. We cuddled. I made sure he knew we loved him. It was a long night. But I’m SO glad I spent that time with him.
By morning, there weren’t any improvements… So I set up a meeting at the vet. I sent the kids to school and I took the degrading, elderly pup to the animal hospital. Randy met me there and we said our goodbyes.
What was remarkable was the outpouring of support I received from friends near and far in person and on social media. Since we’ve had years of former students who also dog sat our pups, it was remarkable to see how many people felt a personal connection to Bubba.
Telling the kids… well, that was so hard. The deep, full-bodied bawl. Both of them at the same time. Hugs couldn’t cure it. Crying just built upon crying. My poor babies.
I knew they’d be wrecked so I had already hatched up a plan: We were going to have a Bubba celebration. Instead of staying home and crying, I wanted a party. So we had dinner at our favorite ice cream spot (and a side of mac and cheese from a nearby restaurant). I headed to the party store for the kids to pick out balloons… no particular theme, just balloons that make them smile. Finally, we went to a craft store to purchase picture frames the kids can decorate and stepping stones for a memorial garden the kids decided they want. By the end of it all, we were tired but happy. The kids were sad, but not in a deep, out of control way.
Bubba was my second furbaby before I had babies. When Jordan was a toddler she called every dog Bubba. She won’t remember this… there was a time when she deeply loved that little dog. He was her toy. Bubba wasn’t amused but put up with it all because all he cared about in the world was attention… even if it was a bit rough. As she grew, Bubba was just there. She didn’t dote on him anymore. But it crushed her and Cameron deeply.
Sweet, stinky Bubba. We’ll miss you. Thanks for being there to cuddle at every possible moment. I’m so glad I got to be your mommy. (Here are some fun flashback photos of Bubba with Jordan from the years past.)