“I Know You Rider, Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone.”

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.

Rider 1

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.

Rider 2

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.

Rider 3


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.

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  1. So sorry.
    Thought you might enjoy the following:
    Historians consider it one of the greatest speeches ever written about a dog. US Senator George Graham Vest (1830-1904) was one of the leading debaters of his time, and offered this observation on dog greatness when he was still practicing law in a small Missouri town. He represented a man who sued another for the killing of his dog, and after offering the following summation to the jury, he won the case.

    “Gentlemen of the Jury: The best friend a man has in the world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it most. A man’s reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us, may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads.

    The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog. A man’s dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master’s side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer. He will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings, and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.

    If fortune drives the master forth, an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him, to guard him against danger, to fight against his enemies. And when the last scene of all comes, and death takes his master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by the graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad, but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even in death”
    Rider is now pain free playing in that heavenly surf. His only job is to interview and audition puppies for Baby Bub and explain to them how lucky they would be if chosen, and how important their job would be.

    • oh- Mr. Vandiver! Thank you. That was so eloquently put. So very touching. Thank you. I am sure Rider will send us the perfect puppy (one day). Love you. -CA

  2. Wow, guys. You got me crying! So sorry for Coralie, Bub and Baby Bub. There’s no better friend than a dog! Rider had a long, happy life. He knew he was loved and that’s what is important. Thinking of you all! Sending love!

    • (Aunt) Jane, Thank you for your kind words & well wishes. He did have a long, happy life. 🙂 -CA

  3. I am so sorry CA and Bubs! That was the sweetest tribute to a pet I have ever read… and it made me cry cry. Thinking of you guys xoxox

  4. This was such a sweet tribute. I’ve lost some great dogs and I know how painful it can be, but in time there will only be the happy memories- and they will stay with you forever. You can keep him in your heart.
    Love, Beth

    • (Aunt) Beth, Thank you so much. Have you ever read The Education of Little Tree? In it an elder is teaching a younger about life and he explains that if you truly love someone that when they die you only remember the good, never the bad. That applies for Rider- we will forever only remember the good, not the bad. -CA

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