It is a gray day in L.A. -- cloudy and cool. The kind of
day where you can feel a small storm brewing
in the air.
And that is a good thing.
you see, had it been sunny with blue skies abounding, I
would have really felt bad...out of sync with
But no, on this the second anniversary of Pinche's passing,
the elements have conspired to match my mood.
gentle drizzle falls on the windshield as I drive to visit
Pinche at Pet Haven. Traffic is at a standstill
and it will take me over ninety minutes to drive thirty
miles but that's okay...it gives me time to ponder
the 730 days, give or take a few, since Pinche died.
730 days and oh, how our lives have changed.
I would like to write "for the better" , but it
wouldn't quite be true.
would like to say "we are older and wiser" than we
were two years ago but that would be a half-truth since
we are only older and not really much wiser. At least I'm
in 2006, "Post-Pinche" finds us -- the beautiful Bubster and
I -- facing a whole new set of challenges and
changes, not all of them good.
On the positive side, at least 2006 finds "us" together.
Bubba turned 15 this month and that is a blessing! He is
still here and I am oh so grateful for that but he is not
well...as many of you know, Bubba is now facing a journey of
his own -- fighting a battle with some strange disease
Mega-E has changed our lives but as with all hardships; as
with Pinche's journey, there are valuable life lessons
to be learned.
continue to be amazed at the resilience and fortitude of the
canine spirit. Oh, how strong they are! Pinche
taught me that and now Bubba is giving me a refresher
Dogs are all about living while we often concentrate only on
Dogs love and live everyday to the fullest, for there is no
tomorrow on their canine calendar. I am reminded
of that every time Bubba stops to smell the flowers (and
As I ponder away, I come to the realization that in fifteen
years of life (that's 105 to me and you) Bubba
has hurt no one. He's caused no one pain; has made no one
cry; has not cheated, lied or stolen.
On the contrary, he has brought only joy to those around
him. His brown eyes reflect a pureness of the soul;
love, loyalty and honesty; compassion and comfort.
Who could ask for more?
Even Pinche, with his doggy-dog behavior and unique (i.e.
strange) personality, put up no pretenses. He was
what he was, period. What you saw was what you
dogs are supposed to be the "inferior" species?
730 days later, I still look to Pinche for strength during
times of great physical pain.
And now, 730 days later, I look to Bubba -- yes, a dog -- as
a role model for what I want to be and to bring
to others in this lifetime.
Joy, honesty and loyalty -- the virtues of Bubba. The
perfect gentleman who just happens to be a dog.
It's cold, daytime is quickly fading into night and drizzle
has turned into a slow and steady rain -- and here
I am at the pet cemetery.
As always, I look for the huge tribute to a family of pugs
to guide me to Pinche. Then I search for Tiger,
the "best dog in the world" who watches over Pinche, who was
not the best dog in the world but loved very
How's my boy?
tiny plastic flower lays on his grave....a sign?
Yes, 730 days later and I am still searching for the "sign"
that will give me hope that all is well in the world.
A flower and "what's that?" -- a beautiful pink stone is
encrusted in the dirt over the place Pinche's paws most
likely rest. A stone?
I am reminded of my friend Cyndey-Sue. When we buried Pinche
she looked for a stone to place on his grave,
explaining that it was a Jewish tradition. I wonder how the
stone got there.
I brought Pinche two gifts. The first, two roses from our
garden -- a symbol of the two of us that love
and miss him so.
And his bone. His old rawhide bone, teeth marks and all.
I had hidden it from him years and years ago. Hidden it in a
bathroom counter, pushed behind old blow-dryers that don't
work and the kind of stuff you'll never use but can't part
The old piece of rawhide laid hidden away until one day, a
few months ago, suddenly it was there on Bubba's
a sign that the Bubster still has some puppy left in him and
a unique sense of smell that led him to dig it out
and start carrying it around. After all, it was a small
piece of his brother, a piece of the past that he could
hold between his paws, touch and smell.
he could also chew it and because of the Mega-E, I had to
take it away. I didn't want to but I had to.
So today, I returned the rawhide to it's rightful owner.
pink stone, (seen underneath the flowers) came from a grave
a few steps away. The spot is decorated with about one
hundred of them. How it became so encrusted in Pinche's
grave, I don't know but it's pretty so I put it back.
The small flower most likely blew over from one of the other
sites...there are plastic flowers everywhere although
secretly I like to think Pinche left it for me.
After all, he knew that I wouldn't forget; he knew that I
would be there today for him.
return home to find Bubba not feeling well. It is a part of
our new life, the ups and the downs of a disease
that knows no cure.
So I hold Bubba in my arms. I hold on tightly; tighter than
I should; tighter than I need to. I hold on because
I am too scared to let go...afraid to lose the one and only
constant in my life.
And finally he sleeps, a barely audible snore coming from
his wrinkled lips. The attack has passed and for a
all is well.
the rain gently falls and fifty-one pounds of love and
loyalty lay sleeping in my arms, I know that whatever the
future brings, the two of us will face it together -- with
courage, faith and honesty.
all, that's what friends are for.
speaking of friends, to all of you who wrote today or simply
stopped by to check on us.....
remembering, for still caring.
means a lot, it means everything.
Gigi and Bubba-Dog
| Pinche's Journey | Tales
of the Tails