Being a Grownup Sucks

Today On Thursday* I had to do something that required me to make adult decisions. If you know anything about me, you know that I avoid being a grownup whenever possible.

In July of 2000, I drove out to Long Island in hours of traffic to pick up a little puppy. I had waited months for him to be born, and got pictures from the breeder as soon as he was. I was very specific about what I wanted, and he was exactly it. When I drove up to the breeder's home, I was greeted by a bunch of beautiful sweet Shar-Pei dogs of all ages. I couldn't wait to meet my new puppy.

As we made our way to the puppy area, the yaps and whines from the little ones grew louder and louder. When I approached the playpen, there were so many of them. Two litters had been born within a couple of weeks, and they were all so adorable. There were big, fat puppies, boisterous and jumping up, and the younger puppies fighting their way toward the front. Standing behind all of the ruckus was a little grey puppy. Calm and staring up with his huge blue eyes. That was my boy.

I scooped him up and took him out to the grass, where he shook his sleepy head, peed, then ran full speed at me. To him, full speed wasn't all that fast, which made his efforts that much cuter.

I named him Bubba, an ironic name for such a little guy, and he curled up in my lap for the long journey home. I already had China, my sweet mutt, who was nearly 2. Bubba was meant to be a playmate for her, and it was love at first sight. She mothered him and helped raise him. They were the oddest pair of dogs, and yet so perfect for one another.

Like any puppy, he had his bad moments, including a taste for leather shoes, remote controls, and table legs, but overall, he was a great pup, and outgrew his taste for contraband pretty quickly. The truth is that he was a pretty lazy puppy, and between short bursts of hard core playtime, it was mostly sleepy Bubba who got captured on film.

He was so quiet, we were able to bring him into a favorite brunch spot on Sundays, because he would simply prop his head into the crook of an arm and doze off.

At about 6 months old, Bubba started having severe allergy problems. He also had typical eye issues because of all of his wrinkles, and from that point forward, he was a very high maintenance dog. This was ok with me, because his charming personality and general sweetness made it all worth it. Over the last couple of years, his health got steadily worse, with short stints overnight at the vet's for various stomach ailments, but he'd bounce back and be his sweet self once again. The last of those vet visits, he didn't bounce back quite so readily, and the past couple of months, it's been more about keeping him as happy as possible. I think I was starting to accept that his time with me was not much longer.

Bubba was very sick for the past several days. I knew I could bring him back down to the specialist and he would likely stay there for a couple of days, but as the last time, the chances of him bouncing back were slim. At just a couple weeks shy of his 7th birthday, I couldn't watch him be sick any longer. Shar-Pei are not known for their long life expectancy. Wednesday, I spoiled him rotten; he, China and I had a family picnic feast on the living room floor together, and he curled up in bed with me. Something he was not normally allowed to do. Thursday morning, I said goodbye to my sweet Bubba through a steady stream of tears. It was the hardest thing I've ever done. It was the right thing. It still sucked.

*It took a few days to write this. Emotional stuff, you know.

Goodbye, sweet Bubba.


Susan said...

oh lil,
this makes me so sad. I didn't know Bubba, but I know how much he menat to you. What a heavy heart...

much love to you.

sitboaf said...

The best you can hope for at moments like that is that your pet will let you know when the right time is.
I think you did fine by Bubba.
I'm glad I got to meet him.
Rest easy, sweet little guy.

kerewin said...

Oh honey, I am SO very sorry. He was such a beauty and from all you told me, so sweet. You're in my thoughts.

Falstaff said...

So sorry to hear about your loss. We had to put our seventeen year old cat down a couple months ago, and this morning when I asked my wife what had her out of sorts, she replied "I dreamed about Bela." They worm their way into our hearts and never leave.

Sorry again.

Jeff said...

Simply...I'm sorry.


MonkeyDragon said...

oh, so sorry to hear -

Anonymous said...


i'm not sure I even knew you had a dog, even after reading you for what seems like years...

I'm so sorry Elizabeth...


elizabeth said...

thanks to all of you for your kind words and thoughts. i haven't gotten back to anyone individually, or even here, because it's been difficult for me to even look at this post once i put it up.

luckily, i've had 4 days of distraction, with my man in town. i can't even express how much it helped, though bubba's absence is obviously palpable.

for those of you who have asked, china is still very much around, very healthy, and she misses her little buddy, but is certainly benefiting from the extra attention (getting spoiled rotten).

again, thank you so much. it never ceases to amaze me how good all of you invisible internet people can be to me.