December 2003

January 2004

February 2004

March 2004

April 2004

May 2004

June 2004


March 25, 2006

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.

For you see, had it been sunny with blue skies abounding, I would have really felt bad...out of sync with
the world.

But no, on this the second anniversary of Pinche's passing, the elements have conspired to match my mood.

A 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 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.

I 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 not.

Life 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 many of you know, Bubba is now facing a journey of his own -- fighting a battle with some strange disease called Megaesophagus.

Mega-E has changed our lives but as with all hardships; as with Pinche's journey, there are valuable life lessons
to be learned.

I 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 course.

Dogs are all about living while we often concentrate only on dying.

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 everything else).

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 got.

And 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
much nonetheless.

Hi Tiger.
Hi Pinche.
How's my boy?

A 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 with.

The old piece of rawhide laid hidden away until one day, a few months ago, suddenly it was there on Bubba's

A sign?

Yes, 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 actually
hold between his paws, touch and smell.

Unfortunately, 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.

The 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.

I 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 moment
all is well.

As 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.

After all, that's what friends are for.

And speaking of friends, to all of you who wrote today or simply stopped by to check on us.....

Thank you
Merci Beaucoup
Muito Obrigada

....for remembering, for still caring.

It means a lot, it means everything.

Gigi and Bubba-Dog


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