Where does my love for you begin? The first time I saw you I guess, when Tracey first brought you home, you were the most beautiful little black puppy that I had ever seen. As you grew it became all too clear that you had as much personality as beauty. Maureen, Tracey and I loved your attitude as well, when we came home and discovered your latest mischief and told you what we thought of it, you'd walk away, then turn your little head around and woof, woof (don't talk to me like that). You had so much attitude as a little puppy. And affection poured out from your big heart, you were never without kisses and cuddles, you could cheer any of us up. It was impossible to stay blue around you. If any of your family were down you'd cheer us up, and how you loved to play. Your favourite game was fetch and retrieve a tennis ball that I'd pitch with a hurler. Right from the start you knew how to play, gimme da ball, gimme da ball, you'd be right on to it and bring it straight back, gimme da ball, gimme da ball, and off you'd go again, you were like a little rocket. How those first years flew by. You were so great to walk, right by my side, it was you that taught me why puppies love their walkies so much, you knew our estate so well, but if any of the scents had changed from the day before, you'd know. We'd stop and you'd catch up with the latest, oh so and so came by here a few hours ago and left this scent, so I got the notion that walkies were so important not just for the exercise and the togetherness they provided us, but they were your newspaper or 6 o'clock news. When we walked around the streets, they showed you the up to the minute news about what had happened in your world since yesterday. Oh how I wish I could walk with you again, you strutted with your tail in the air, moving it slowly from side to side, 'I'm out walking with my master, and I'm so proud, I'm the queen of my world and there's no place I'd rather be.' |
And so our life went by, a simple life, but you were very happy, and I was falling deeper and deeper in love with my girl. You held the key to my heart, and always will, tears are flowing out of me now as I tell the story of our love.
When Tracey's little girls came along you showed us why the English call the Staffy the 'Nanny' dog, you loved the little girls right from the start and were so protective and patient with them. You didn't snap or get nasty if their little fingers latched onto your tail or twisted your ear. When Karlee and Kaylah started to crawl and then walk, who used to be there right along with them to make sure they didn't get themselves into trouble. If only I knew how precious those times would be, I would have savoured every moment with you, instead of just storing them away as memories that I call on now, now that our time together has ended so tragically, and well before its time.
When I first noticed that area behind your leg my first thoughts were that it was a cancer, but Billy and Ron Lloyd the vet both said that it was a callous. OK then, I breathed a sigh of relief.
But they were wrong. And that was a fatal mistake, if you were operated on then chances are that all the cancer would have been removed. Fast forward to about four weeks ago, when we went to the vet at the Yagoona RSPCA, my worst fears were confirmed. You had a grade 3 mast cell tumor, I got them to go ahead and operate.
May I have another kick in the guts please sir?
Pathology came back, 'no, we didn't get it all'
The first of the all night crying sessions. Back to the vet we go. My Bubba is on death row, those that apparently didn't know said you had between 3 and 6 months. Lots of cuddles, plenty of tears, but you said there wasn't much pain yet, so we could still go walkies, but I noticed you were getting pretty short of breath. Four straight days of rain, plenty of sleep for you, lots of pats, belly rubs and ear massaging for you, lots of puppy dog kisses for me.
I'd noticed for a couple of days how stiff your little legs had become when you walked. The pain had started, your tail was often between your legs, meaning that you were frightened. That night I awoke to the sound of you crying, I tried my best to comfort you. First thing that morning, 7th December I rang and made an appointment at the Vet, it was for 1:45pm. It was a hot day, but there was a good wind blowing and so I had the windows down in the car so we'd get the cool breeze through the car, you loved it. But in the waiting room you started panting, so I took you into the courtyard and gave you water, which you drank your fill of, and then you done that trademark move of yours, where you put your two front paws into the bowl and splash about, you'd been doing that since your earliest puppy days. Then we were called in to see Charlotte, you liked her and vice versa. She listened to your chest, you were wheezing, the cancer had got into your lungs, she listened to your heart, it was still beating strongly, that Staffy heart of hearts, that had loved so openly and freely. Loved all of your human family, and friends and relos once one of us had let them through the door. I got you the best painkillers, and cotisone for your weakened lungs. Then we went down to the Lodge to see your good friend Maureen. I thought it was just a call in, but it was a goodbye, one last chance for her to pat and hold you. But now you were really breathing shallowly and wheezing very badly.
By the time we got home, I knew we were in trouble, you couldn't get out of the car without my help. We got to the lounge room, you collapsed, it was to be your last movement. My lovely girl was now in the act of dying, my world was crumbling.
Tracey and I, and little Karlee and Kaylah, tried comforting you. We were hoping that you'd stop fighting and just go towards the light, but in true Staffy style you fought right to the end, giving yourself a stroke, which I didn't realise till I saw that you had been bleeding from the nose.
That night I placed you on my best blanket, in your favourite spot, under the computer table, we held a vigil/wake for you, incense, candles, music and beer, and lots and lots of tears. Maureen couldn't be there but she was crying and drinking too. I wanted so much for your poor broken body to come back to life, or to see your ghost.
In the morning the van from Pets at Peace came to collect you. I can't have you with me anymore, (here come the tears again), you have chosen to go where I can't follow, as much as I'd love to (I don't think the force allows gate crashing into heaven). Bubba you've been the best friend that I have ever had, you've shown all the virtues of man, without any of the vices. You've done something that no person in my life ever did, and that is, you never ever disappointed or let me down, and I know how much you loved me, unconditionally and forever, just as I love you. I can see you in photographs, in dreams, and even if I just close my eyes. One day we'll be together again, until then, please wait for me.
11th Dec - Well my girl, its Saturday, you've now been at the Rainbow Bridge for 4 days, hope you've been having a ball and meeting lots of other beaut pets. I miss you more than words can say, yeah, I still haven't turned the water off. If only I could just touch you, give you a belly rub, ear massage, hear you snore, yeah Bubs I miss the sound of your Staffy snoring, a real lady, a drunk trucker couldn't snore any louder, but it was you. I find myself looking for you sometimes, I hear uncanny sounds like your paws on the floorboards, I turn around to look but it's gone. Let me catch you sometime if it is you. Bye for now. Love you heaps, wait for me.
13th Dec - Hi Bub, how's my girl going over at the bridge? Hope you've settled in and met lots of other doggies to play with. Have you met Cujo and Rufus yet? I've discovered a shelter specializing in Staffies, I'll go and visit it sometime. Tomorrow I get your ashes, I'll treasure them as they're my only relic to you. Oh why did you have to leave, I need you so much, I'll have to look for another Staffy, not to replace you but because of you I need a doggy in my life. How I love you, and miss you (here come those tears again). Good night girl, if I'm lucky I'll see you in my dreams again tonight, I've seen you twice in dreams this week, not bad but seven times would have been much nicer. Good night girl, sweet dreams.
14th Dec - Hi sweety, love of my life, don't blush, you know I'm talkin' to you. You talkin' to me??? Yeah, I'm talkin' to you. Today I received your ashes, you were a big girl weren't you? The urn and the ashes are a lot heavier than I would have expected. Today I spoke to a man who owns and runs a Rescue Mission that I'm sure you would support. It's called Staffie Rescue, and he monitors all the RSPCA and Animal Welfare League, all the Council Dog Pounds, and rescues all the Staffies and Staffy crosses before they're pts. Anyway Bubba, because of you, and how you affected me, I need a doggie to love and share my life with what's left of it, I'm getting old you know, which means that you shouldn't have to wait too long before we can cross the bridge together), anyway what I'm getting to is I'm getting another doggie, another Staffy. And so that I'm fair to it, and won't constantly compare it to you, it's totally different to you. You were a lady, well a female at least, Captain Jack is a boy staffie. You were black, with some brindle showing through, he's white with a black patch over his right eye, just like Captain Jack Sparrow. His kennel name is Warren, but you can't call a Staffy Warren, it's just not right. I wouldn't call a Staffy Michael, David, Gaylord or whatever, the names just don't fit the personality of a Staffy. Anyway, Captain Jack is a 5 year old desexed boy, but I don't think that's going to stop sex crazy Nahlah trying to seduce him, or Bella when she's on heat. Remember you were desexed, but that didn't stop you manouvering yourself into position so that if I started patting your head, before long my hand would be patting your back end. So if Capatain Jack's like you then heaven help Nahlah and Bella. Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you, Captain Jack was on Death Row but I rescued him. See what a good influence you are, normally I would have bought a puppy, but there are so many great doggies that humans sentence to death. I'd rather rescue one of them, there are lots of other people that will buy the puppies, even those from the terrible puppy factories. Anyway, I love you heaps, I don't think you're going to have to wait that long, what with my diabetes II and my lungs with asthma the way they are. Maybe this time Captain Jack will outlive me, I'm sure Tracey will look after him if I should. Bye for now my love, I miss you so much, wait for me.
18th Dec - Hi Bubs, hows it going with you, roughing it in heaven, you poor little bugger. Still loving you, missing you and thinking about you heaps. Not crying so much now, am starting to see things a lot less selfishly, instead of dwelling on me being miserable without you I'm starting to perceive how happy you might be at RB, and this lightens me up. Finally got to meet Capt. Jack today, and so did Narlah, wink wink say no more, nudge nudge. You might say they were very friendly to each other. Tomorrow Bella gets to meet the good Captain, and then if all goes well, his life is saved, bye bye to the green mile for him.
I saw you in a dream again the night before last, you were looking fantastic and seemed to be very happy. Keep coming into my dreams lady, I always wake up happy from them. 'Til next time, stay happy, and meet lots of friends.
26th Dec - Well Bubs Christmas has been and gone. Do you remember the Christmases we had together? Do you remember the Bailey's under the tree, you unwrapped it and got into it while we were out. Do you have any sort of Christmas at the bridge? Or is every day like Christmas there? Still missing you and hurting heaps. You'd love Cap'n Jack, he's a very good and obedient dog, you'd tease him about being a goody two shoes. He walks perfectly too, right by my side, the lead is always slack, and he's not a gannet either, he knows what he likes, and when he's had enough. Keep enjoying yourself Bubs, and one day you'll leave the pack and come running. xxxoooxxx Love you.
2nd Jan 2011 - Well Bubs the calendar has rolled over once again, and so let me wish you a Happy New Earth Year. Do you have time as we know it here, or is it just one eternal Now, without any attempt at sense or measurement. Cap't Jack is settling in very well, he's so similar to you in many ways, and yet so different. I'm sure you've looked in and checked on us many times, so you know how much I love you and miss you. You had it much easier than the Cap'n, I've discovered Cesar Millan since you've been gone, and I know that I let you dominate, luckily for me you had no issues through this. That's what a great dog you were. Cap'n is the submissive one now, but he's very happy to be. Anyway Bubs until the day we're both waiting for, I love you very muchxxxoooxxx.
26th January - Hi Bubs, how ya doin' over there, fun fun fun I hope. Well back on Earth it's Australia Day and it's hot hot hot, 40oC. Jackie is a very good boy, obedient and loving, but so were you, and you had heaps of attitude. I miss you heaps, no one will ever replace you in my heart, thank you so much for the time that we had together. Love you alwaysXXXOOOXXX 21st Feb - Hi Bubs, I still miss you so badly, Jackie's a great dog too, but that doesn't stop me wanting you. What are you doing over there, have you got lots of friends? Please send a sign some time. I love you always.XXXOOOXXX. 14th May - How's it going beautiful Bubba, still missing you heaps. You were such a good friend. Jackie is a great dog too, but I'm sure you know that already, you do look in on us I know. Enjoy yourself at the Bridge, and one day we'll all be together again. Love you so much.
8th December, 2011 - Well girl you've been at the Bridge for a year yesterday. Still love and miss you so much. You've brought the tears out of me again as I'm writing this, you really were such a great and true friend. Call in some time, any little sign that tells me that you're around will do fine. Capt. Jack sends you his love, he's such a great dog and beautiful, loyal companion for me, one day we'll all be together again, you'll love the Cap'n. Bye for now, enjoy where you are, until thenXXXOOOXXX.
9th April, 2012 - Hi Bubs, loving you lots, and still welling up right now. On Saturday I had my 60th, great night with the family. It can't be too long til I see you again. Jacky is a great boy, you'll love him too. I'm always thinking of you. Not a day passes that I don't think about what a beautiful girl you were. Have fun, until we meet again.XXXX
13th November, 2012 - My how time slips away, it's almost Christmas again. I hope you're happy and enjoying yourself with all the canine friends you've made over there. Oh no, the waterworks are starting again, I just miss you so much. XXXOOOXXX.
8th December, 2012 - Well Bubs you've been waiting for me at the Bridge 2 years yesterday. It's nearly Christmas time again, you loved this time of year, some of your most famous pranks happened in December. How is it over there? I hope you're having lots of fun, with lots of friends. The Captain is keeping me good company, as you'd know, I've felt your presence from time to time, but when I turn to touch or see you, you vamoose. But at least I feel you looking in. Sometimes in my dreams I see you playing at the Bridge I also see the Cuje, and litte Ruey. Have you met Billy's family of Rotties over there? The Cap'n asks me to say hi to you, although I know you two have met, don't tell me that fur babies can sleep as much as they do without doing some sort of work in your realm. Anyway bye for now. Love you so muchxxxOOOxxx
13/11/2013 Well Bubs, still miss you lots, but I've got lots of photos. I hope you're having a ball at the Bridge, and have lots and lots of friends to play with over there. The Cap'n says hi, so do Tracey and the girls, and Bella. Will always love you. xxxoooxxx
10/11/2014 Well Bubs another year has passed, still loving and missing you heaps. Thank God I have so many beautiful pics of you. Jackie has turned out to be a great dog, you two would have gotten on so well. Karlee and Kaylah are growing into great little girls. Some more good news too, I think Tracey has finally found the right guy for her at last, keeping my fingers crossed. Love you heaps xxxoooxxx