It’s with a heavy heart and a very sad soul that I have to share that Bub had to put his four-legged son down this morning.
When I met Bub I just thought it was a sign that he had named his dog after one of my top two favorite Grateful Dead songs.[spotify track=”spotify:track:4sNMjT63fm00DMNxCE6lxN”]
Bub was totally over the moon for this dog and I was totally over the moon for Bub- so, I was left for little choice but to accept and love Rider. Very fortunate for me, Rider was easy to love- most of the time. Although he did love to convince me, in the beginning, that Bub allowed him to do things that he really didn’t- like sleep in the bed and eat people food, Rider was a great dog.
There were times that he drove me batty. He would follow you from room to room. And Lord help you if you were home and it was 7AM or 6PM because that was chow time and he meant business about that! I guess we were alike in that way- under no circumstance am I down with a meal being late! He and his toenails would prance around on our hardwood floors until Bub or I or whoever got up in the morning and fed him.
But, Rider did things that just melted my heart. He would follow me from room to room- never letting me be alone. And he loved peanut butter- we bonded over that love. And he would be so excited when I got up in the morning he would jump, literally jump, for joy! And endearingly he laid outside of Baby Bub’s room at night. I really will miss that big old lug.
About the time that Baby Bub was born, the dog that never had accidents in the house- starting pooping in the house almost daily. It almost put me over the edge. But. My cousin is a vet and I called her and she gave us two options- for her to help us find a local vet that could do a scan and see what was really going on or she could prescribe some meds that would cover up anything and make it incredibly difficult to diagnose anything that might be wrong but the meds would most def make Rider feel better. She hinted cancer or such. I pushed to have the scan done, Bub opted for the meds because other than pooping in the house, Rider acted normal. He was a big, happy 12-year-old Lab.
As long as Rider was on the meds, everything was fine. Until this past week- the dog that never let you forget to feed him- stopped eating. Even peanut butter. It became blatantly obvious that something was wrong- the meds weren’t covering anything. We called our vet over the weekend, she said increase the meds and bring him in on Monday. Bub called first thing this morning. Rider was given the first appointment of the day… I honestly never dreamed when they left that one of them wouldn’t be coming home. After some blood work was done, it became very obvious that Rider was in complete kidney failure and had pancreatic tumors. To prolong his life would have been an injustice to the friendship between father and four-legged son… I am blown away by how upset I am. I have never really lost a pet, much less such a loving and loyal one.
Bub and I are in no hurry to get another dog. In my mind- I’m not ready. Bub has spent the last year cleaning up a geriatric dog’s messes and to go directly into cleaning up a puppy’s messes is just not what he or I want to do. We have decided that the next dog we get will be Baby Bub’s dog and that he will pick him from a litter or whatever. That decision feels right.
Putting a loyal family member down is in no way fun. But, watching that same family member suffer is less fun. Going back through the old pictures is a poignant reminder that we have a yellow lab sized hole in our family now. I’m grateful we had that dog. He was a good dog who loved us unconditionally and without reserve. Oh yeah, just like I accepted him as a part of the package, he accepted me too… Oh Rider, I’m going to miss you now that you are gone.