Duke, you came to us as a 16-month-old bundle of fur. You were the sweetest pup I ever knew. You were a replacement for my first Bandit, who was killed by a rattlesnake. You had a huge void to fill when he went to Rainbows Bridge. You fit in perfectly. The Paces and I raised you as a member of the family. You wiggled your way right into our hearts. We decided that you would stay with the Pace family because I was starting a new job 135 miles away in Tucson.|
While I was concentrating on my new job, you were making friends with Shadow and Lucy. They were Carrie's cats and they didn't know what to think about you - This big yellow lab with matching 'yeddow' eyes. One day you were chasing after one of them. You tore your left knee when you slipped on the tile floors. That was the end of that running around stuff. The surgery put you back together as well as into the "Collar of Shame". You hated that collar so much that you taught yourself to walk backwards. You found that was the easiest way to get around corners. We gave you the nickname "Backwards Bubba". You lived up to that name completely.
You came to live with me in Tucson, after my sister thought I needed a reason to get up each day after my truck had been stolen and I lost my job. Well you worked well at that job. Not a day went by that you weren't the happiest dog in the world. When I got a new job and would come home, you always greeted me with a toy in your mouth. That gave you the nickname "Mr. Toys".
You always brought a smile to my face. Then I rescued a pit bull pup that looked like my first Bandit. I named this one Bandit Also. You never loved me any less because you had to share me. You were my "Big Bubba". You always allowed Bandit to steal the toy from your mouth every day. But you were so smart that you would get Bandit off the couch by playing with a toy. When he would get up to steal it from you, you would casually go steal his spot. Very sneaky. No one taught you that. You figured it out all by yourself.
I loved going to the dog park with you. You got along with everyone, Canine or Human. You were the sweetheart of the park. We would spend hours a day. Up to 5 days a week. Winter. Summer. It didn't matter. Sometime you would fall in love with some dog that you would meet, and you would follow them around with stars in your eyes.
You were the best dog to travel with. You'd sit or lay in the back of my car. Then when we got near wherever we were going, you would know it and start barking. The dog park. Carrie's house. The beach with Uncle Jim and Howie. You never gave me any trouble. You were always so mellow. Except when we went for walks. Then you became 'Crazy Dog' and would bark, incessantly and loud until we got out the door. You would strut and dance cuz you were so happy to be on a walk.
When we would visit my sister, you remembered the backwards walking at every corner inside her house. You hated to have to go down the hall for bed at night, so you'd bark at me till I got you into the room to sleep, by laying down towels and rugs for you to walk on. They had a pool and you hated water. A Lab who wouldn't get his feet wet. You were so sweet, that you were afraid that you'd melt. I believed that you would melt too. But, since it gets to be about 200 degrees in the Phoenix summer sun, you would sit on the top step of the pool and cool off. You'd bark at everyone but you wouldn't go swimming.
When Jerome got a boat, you were afraid. Mostly because you were unsteady on your feet. But, you always co-operated and would tough it out. Barking at us when you didn't want to ride in the boat anymore. You adjusted, and came to enjoy the boat. So much so, that you let me dress you in a "Skipper" costume while Bandit was in a "Gilligan" costume. I remember you being so happy and proud, that you actually went swimming in the lake. Well, swimming for you was 'up-to-your-chest' in water and your feet planted firmly in the sand.
You were always a happy dog. As long as your tummy was happy, you were happy. You hated the stairs in the apartment and you would stand downstairs and "Moo" to wake me up for breakfast. Sometimes, it seemed that you were "Starving-to-death". That was such a delight to hear you do, that we encouraged it and you did it regularly.
You never missed a meal. At least, that is, until shortly before you went to Rainbow's Bridge. You knew your time was up. The cancer was eating you up, so you stopped eating. It broke my heart to see you in so much pain and misery. I miss you so, so very much, Bubba. I want to hear you "Moo" again. I want to see you "swim" again. I will never find another "Mr. Toys" like you. I'm sure you have found Laser, Bandit, Milo, Shadow, and all the gang who have gone to Rainbows Bridge before you. So I know you are in good hands. Or rather, "good paws". Until we meet again, I will love you forever and will never stop missing you. Love Momma XOXOXOXO
04/07/13-Hey Bubba Duke, I love you. It's been 11 months since you went to Rainbows Bridge. I miss you like it was yesterday. I miss your "Moos". I miss your barks. I miss your "yeddo" eyes. I miss your trot when we went for walks. We have gotten a new fur baby. Her name is Penny. She is a 4-year old Pitbull. Her parents had to move and couldn't take her with them. So we took her in. You would love her. She also has "yeddo" eyes and blonde fur. She is going to take the role of "Marianne" when we take "Gilligan" out boating. We have an air-brushed picture of you dressed like "Skipper", that we have permanently attached to the boat. Above that, we renamed the boat "Mr. Toys" in your honor. No one could ever take the role of "Skipper" like you did. Penny is also shy around water, like you were. I can't wait till I get to hold you again. I loved the way you were around water and slick floors. Till I can write again, remember, I'll join you someday on Rainbows Bridge and it will be just like you never left. Hugs and big wet kisses to you. Love, Mommy
05/07/14-Hi Sweetie. I can't believe it's been 2 years since you left us. I miss you like it was yesterday. Penny is "Crazy dog" like you. She is high maintenance though. I'm glad you weren't high maintenance. She eats couches & doesn't like her feet touched. You were the bestest dog in the whole world. I want to hear you "Moo" again. I love you Bubba. Till I see you again, keep busy with the other fur babies, knowing I'll come for you one day. Love, Momma XXOOXXOOXXOOXXOO
10/05/14-How's my Bubba? I'm sorry I haven't written in a while. I sure miss you :(. Bandit took me for a drag today :(. My elbow hurts. We were sitting resting during a walk this morning, and another dog got too close. Bandit wanted to say hi to him so bad, and I couldn't stand up quickly, so he dragged me across some gravel about 5 feet. Ouch. Do you remember when you and Bandit took me for a drag here by the apartment? I was so mad at you guys. I wish you could do it again. I wouldn't be mad at you. I would kiss you and hug you like never before :@. Penny is still a "crazy dog", but she went swimming all by herself last month at the lake. I know you would have done that soon, if you were still with us. We could sure use you during the monsoon, when no lightning or thunder bothered you. Both Penny & Bandit are afraid of it and we had a bunch this year. You just didn't like the rain. Well, Backwards Bubba, I love you bunches and cherish your memory. I still smile :) when I think about the "Mooing" you did. I'll talk to you soon. Luv Momma XOXOXOXOXXXOOOXXX
05/24/16: Hi Bubba. It's been 4 years since you went to the Bridge. I sure do miss you. I think about you every day. I've been really busy. We bought a house last summer. You would have loved it. It's on a huge lot, that's all fenced. So you'd be able to talk to people walking by. I have started a veggie garden. Zuccini, peppers, beans, cilantro, etc. . . Bandit and Penny say "Hi". They say you'd love chasing lizards here. They are "Elusive". Some cats have found Bandit, while they were cornered in the shed. You are still my best-est Bubba. I want to take the "Skipper" out on the lake again. It would be like old times. You would go swimming up to your chest, and prance around. And "Bark". I miss you. I love you. Mommy XOXOXO