Wednesday, January 13, 2016

RIP Bella, the love of a dog; a dog of love

I can still see that moment; me walking Mr Confident, a week or so out of the shelter, strutting his stuff through the neighborhood, proudly showing off his human(s)
She was a yellow fluff-ball, who would walk 10 or 15 yards and then lie down.
He was so thrilled to meet a new friend and she immediately went belly up as he approached. Something canine occurred and she responded to him, not with fear but with relief; he was her protector.
Just babies

That never changed.
Her owners and I scheduled regular playdates and walks; she would walk with him, but without him, she'd lie down regularly.
We learned early on that the roles were reversed in water, being a golden, in the water she was a natural swimmer, and it was Bugsy that would stand chest deep and whine as she swam off to retrieve the toy.

On the play-dates I'd bring bones for them and she'd eat both of them and he was OK with that, she could have whatever she wanted.
Bugsy and Bella even had a wedding
So many wonderful smiles
So much love

In the last few months Bella's owner & I have talked about how they were both declining. It's inevitable and for her, she'd owned goldens for ages and knew their health issues, for me I have this over-sized mutt who's had a zillion health issues since puppyhood.
We brought them together a few weeks back and watched them play but mostly both dogs boldly stole food off the patio table as if saying, "ah yea, we know the rules, but we are too old to care"
Sweet Bella, my heart breaks, for your family and for my Bugsy. I am not sure how he'll know or when he'll know, but I do know that he'll cry and whine when we pass your house as he always has.
And he'll do his best to drag me to the back fence to let him in.
Your beautiful smile will be missed.
You were loved and you loved.

So much is said in this photo, 2007
Here they are in 2010, pure joy

Bella, you are already missed. Thank you for being my Bugsy's girl, for being my sweet girl, and for all the smiles. Swim free and fast. Catch that pesky squirrel. Eat all the pub cheese. Steal Bugsy's bones and kiss your beautiful girls.
He'll meet you again.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Goodbye 2015, hello 2016

Hard to believe another year has passed, like each previous year, there were ups and downs, however we are all here to ring in 2016 so I call that a win.

Bugsy has had a rough year, I refuse to count up my vet bills for this year.
However, "Bugsy badger don't care", so they'll be no recounting of the woes.

Twice I was told his time would be coming to an end within weeks or months.  I can only confess that I spent a lot of time, preparing myself.  In each case, the issues resolved and he kept marching on.

He and his friend Paxton aka Bumbles have continued their adventures and laughter inducing antics.

And Bugsy still always greets me with gifts upon my arrival

In an interesting development - the Beast fetched a stick!!

In April, Bugsy and I completed a bucket list event when we headed out to the Northwest mountains of NC, in the midst of a typhoon. No really it was REALLY wet.
No matter.
We wandered in the rain and listened to it pelting our little 19th century cabin.

Or if you are Bugsy, you go outside and stick your head through the railings so you can 'feel' the rain as well as see and smell it.

We hiked some trails along the New River, all alone. Apparently everyone else had more sense.

I learned Bugsy isn't afraid of heights; he was obsessed with the view at the edge!

Then was one of the best moments we've shared (from my perspective), we climbed Mount Jefferson, on a frigidly cold morning. It was truly an exceptional experience for me.

We drove to the beach to visit our Canadian friends and true to form Bugsy and Bradley greeted each other as if they never are out of touch.

Then came our beach trip - it wasn't the smoothest beach trip. First Bugsy and I went along with Pax and his mom but Steve stayed home.

Then Steve arrived as Bugsy and I headed back to Raleigh for him to have a CT scan at the vet school.
Then we drove back to the beach and enjoyed one of our favorite places on earth.

Of course the year was filled with lots and lots of kayaking. Here's a great video of the boys on a 'wild goose' chase.

In late August Steve, Bugsy and I headed to the mountains again, this time to a fancier cabin much more suited to Mr Lee's preferences.
We watched the sunsets and sunrises from the wonderful wrap around porch.
While I miss my young dog, I love my old dog who's by my side much more often

In October we were back at the beach, this time meeting more Canadians!!! The weather was perfect and we all enjoyed a fabulous break from reality.
Bugsy was turbo- charged and brought smiles to many. On the ride home I heard this song and thought, ya know, this is just perfect.

Bugsy was thrilled to have multiple visitors stay with us, so thanks to Chris, Mike and Mom.

A year filled with friends and fun, plenty of smiles, loads of laughter, and some of the warmest, heart-filling moments a life can have.
For everyday that featured this:

We had lots of this:

Thanks for reading!
Lots of love, 
Bugsy & Karen