Bubba and I kissing♥
Many of you know me as simply a crazy couponer. Others know me as Missie- The Crazy Coupon Chick from Channel 3 WFSB show Better CT. Beside that, I am friend, a girlfriend and a mother. A mother to my own child and a mother to my many fur babies. This is where Bubbas story begins.
I had been volunteering for a pit-bull rescue helping out at the pound and familiarizing myself with the breed. I had gained a very fond heart toward the bully breeds as they still showed us unconditional love no matter what their human had done to them.
Once people know your love for the breed, the phone calls start coming in. “I got a dog and I don’t want it anymore. Will you take it?” “Can I use one of your dogs to breed with my dog for puppies?” “If you don’t take my dog, I’m going to dump it on the side of the road.” Each and every phone call makes the ball in your stomach larger and larger. I saw things I never wanted to see. I just thought that people who had animals loved them as much as I did and cared for them they way I did. I think I was happier thinking that than really knowing the truth.
Somehow, you have to weed through these phone calls and figure out which one can you help. I had just gotten over having to put down one of the pits from the pound that I had fallen in love with. Her human had done too much damage to her that there just wasn’t any helping her. I was distraught and upset. I never wanted to go back to the pound. I didn’t want to see these things anymore. Then the phone rings. Another pitbull. All I can think of is the pain I felt over having to put a dog down. Could I go through this again in such a short period of time? I had a “What if” for just about every situation. I tried to talk myself out of going but something told me I had to.
I parked in the Walgreens parking lot and waited for this man who had “rescued” a pitbull and couldn’t keep him. I see them turn the corner and instantly fall in love with this pumpkin head of a dog. As he got closer, I noticed that the dog had scars all over his face, was quite skinny and walked a bit funny. That was enough for me. I knew I had to take this dog.
Bubba and I cuddling♥
To the vet me and the dog now named Lucky went. Upon exam, they noticed that his pelvis had been broken and his rear leg was broken in 3 places. But, the saddest part was that it had already healed that way because he never received vet care for his injuries. They had estimated he had been injured at least 7-10 months ago and most likely the cause of being hit by a car. There was nothing they could do except re-break it but they said it was super painful and couldn’t guarantee he would be able to walk better after surgery. The vet told me to keep an eye on it. He may end up with some nerve damage and would most likely need to have his leg amputated at some point down the road.
We got home, and me still be a bit weary of all the “What ifs” bring Lucky right up in my room. I figure he can just stay in my bedroom for awhile until I can get him adjusted to the home. Every day I spent with him, I just fell more and more in love with him. It was like he knew I had saved him. At this point, I wasn’t exactly sure what I had saved him from.
The phone rings again. The man who rescued him told me a guy came looking for his dog. This guy ran a well known fighting ring. Whelp, that explains all the scars on Lucky’s face. I know find out the whole story. The man had found Lucky in an alleyway behind his work and he had been there for quite some time. It wasn’t until Lucky came out and put his head on the mans bumper that the man took him home and called me.
So, I now have a dog in my room that used to fight other dogs! Shit! What do I do? I have 2 other dogs downstairs that I have yet to introduce Lucky to. My “what ifs” start all over again! Oh my God! I just fell in love with this dog and now I might have to get rid of him too! I was just heart broken.
The next day, I am driving down the road and see a sign for free kittens. There is a dog crate filled with kittens. I can’t just leave them! I have to take them. Not thinking of this “fighting dog” I have cooped up in my bedroom, I grab 2 kittens and head back to the vet again. Come to find out the kittens are less than 4 weeks and still have to be bottle fed and their rear ends wiped with wash cloths so they can go to the bathroom. Great. Now I have myself in a pickle. I have a dog locked in my bedroom, 2 kittens that need round the clock care so I decide to do the unthinkable. I bring the kittens in my bedroom.
Bubba with the baby kittens
Once I entered my room, this is when I saw magic happen. I had only had Lucky for a few weeks but I saw his heart that day. He was the gentlest creature I had ever met. This huge, muscular dog laid on the ground as low as he could to get his nose near the kittens. They took to him immediately. One slept in one of his arms, and the other kitten in the other. Every hour I woke up to bottle feed them, he woke up with me as well. He would lick their butts, and watch over them as if he was their mother. It was then that I knew. I knew why I answered my phone, I knew why I decided to take him, and I knew why I didn’t think before bringing home baby kittens.
Lucky was now a part of our family. In a few short weeks, he had opened his heart to us as I had to him. I knew that I would never love an animal like I loved him. Him and I were inseparable. I had created nick names for him and soon his name changed from Lucky to Bubba. I was his Mama. If he could have said “mama” I am sure he would have. I took him with me everywhere I went. He slept in my arms, he sat beside me at the table, and if he couldn’t see me, he would cry for me. My life went on like this, in perfect love with Bubbas perfect heart. It was like we were meant to be together forever. My days revolved around him as his did mine.
Bubba and I cuddling
Then, my phone rings. The call that makes your heart stop. “You need to rush home NOW. Something is wrong with Bubba.” I left everything and raced home as fast as I could. Bubba was covered in blood. All I remember is scooping him up in my arms (wearing a white sweatshirt) and rushing to the vet. All I could think of is losing him. I am a complete mess as the vet is telling me he might have a brain tumor and they don’t think they can operate but they cleared him to come home. Apparently, he had a massive seizure which caused him to split open his chin and rupture his ear drum. Fast forward three days later, another seizure! This really can’t be happening! Back to the vet we go. This time, I was given news. It isn’t good news, but it was better news than a brain tumor. Bubba got diagnosed with epilepsy. The vet started him on medication to try to manage his seizures.
It worked! Life went on like normal beside having to keep Bubba medicated every day. The meds kept his seizures at a minimum. One seizure every few months. Sometimes he went up to 6 months without one at all! So, this was good news to me! It is under control. He can live like this for some time. I can still have him with me forever.
Years go by and my love for Bubba is that of a mother to her child. It was unconditional. He had become my world. I had never felt so loved by an animal as I did with him. We were both happy being Mama and Bubba. I guess in my state of euphoric love, I seemed to miss the years of Bubba aging. To be honest, I was absolutely clueless. When I looked at him, all I saw was the love we shared. Not what was wrong with him, or that he was a bit slower these days, or that he couldn’t go up the stairs any more. I didn’t see that I was becoming the primary caretaker of Bubba. How could I have missed all these signs?
Bubba sending my daughter off to her first day back at school
My husband Sean starts telling me that Bubba was in pain and I needed to start thinking about putting him down. No way! All I could think of was that Sean was jealous of the love Bubba and I shared. So, I resented Sean for saying such things to me. Especially in front of Bubba. For months and months Sean kept on me and I kept ignoring him and grew a bit of hatred toward him because of his mean words.
By this point, we have figured out Bubbas trigger for his seizures. It was extreme changes in temperature. Going from a super cold, air conditioned house, to 100+ degree weather or vice versa. That brings us to Thursday July 24th. A day I will not forget. It was super humid and over ninety degrees but Bubba had to go outside and go pee pee. A friend of mine pulls up on the curb and I walk over to her car and begin talking with her while still having Bubba right by my side. We talk for about a minute and I notice a change in Bubbas face. I know what is coming. With super human mom power, I pick up all 80 plus pounds of him and get him off the concrete side walk and on to the grass where he proceeds to have a massive seizure. As my friend and Sean look on, I lay right there with him. I never stop talking to him. “you are going to be ok Bubs” “Mamas here Bubs” “Mama loves you Bubs.” “Its ok Bubs” By this point, it has been almost 3 minutes. He wasn’t getting up. I start screaming at him and tugging his leash as hard as I can begging him to get up. He has to get up! By some miracle, he finally snaps out of it. He comes out of his seizures blind and scared but I never leave him. Never. I would never leave his side as he would never leave mine. It takes him a few minutes to get his wits about him, but he seems to return back to normal. I get a towel and clean all of the foam off his mouth and clean all the dirt and grass off his body. That night I took extra good care of him. Friday afternoon I went to the vet to pick up a higher dose of his medication since seizures are NOT supposed to last that long.
Saturday July 26th we leave for vacation for the weekend and my ex mother in law comes to stay over the house. We didn’t receive any phone calls that anything was wrong so I came home so excited to kiss my Bubba. She proceeds to tell me how she got no sleep as Bubba had kept her up until 3:30 in the morning crying. She didn’t know what to do for him. She pet him, fed him, took him outside, fluffed his bed and nothing stopped the crying. She then sounded just like Sean did. “Missie, you really need to think about putting this dog down.” That got me seriously thinking and reliving the past 6 months of Bubbas life. Is he really in pain? I am his mom, if he was in pain, I would know! Why do all these people want me to kill my dog? At this point, my mind is going a mile a minute. This isn’t what I expected when I came home from vacation. I called the woman I had volunteered for at the pitbull rescue and she seemed to already know why I was calling. That was a bad sign. She cried with me on the phone for many hours that night and also said the same thing. He was probably suffering and it was best to give the vet a call and see what their opinion was.
Monday morning, July 28th, I gave the vet a call. They sounded optimistic and raised my spirits that there was possibly nothing wrong and to bring him in. This was it. I was going to prove everyone wrong. There was nothing wrong with my Bubba. Nothing at all and the vet was going to let me keep him for many more years. I decided that would shut everyone up. Then they would leave me and my Bubba alone.
At the Vets office moments before I had to make “that decision”
The vet walks in (mind you, they know Bubba very well) and she just looks sad. I immediately break down in tears. I know what she is going to say to me before she even opens her mouth. She still takes the time to look him over and examine him hoping that she can do something. Anything. Then she looks at me and says “There is nothing we can do. You need to make a decision.” I wasn’t prepared for this. I can’t make that decision. How can I do that? I don’t want to lose Bubba. I can’t live without Bubba.
I call my mommy. Someone has to make this better. She too, agreed. I called Sean and he somehow already knew this phone call was coming. He was already on his way to the vets office to be with me because he already knew. The vet gives Bubba bags of treats and lets me spend a few extra minutes with him as they set up a soft blanket on the floor. I lay down on the blanket with my Bubba in my arms cradling his head and kissing his lips. Telling him how much I love him and that I am so sorry that I had to do this to him. It felt like it took forever. I weeped loudly and uncontrollably, making everyone in the room start to cry along with me. They too felt and saw the love that Bubba and I had shared. I don’t know how long I laid there with Bubbas body. I was clueless to my surroundings. It was just Bubba and me. On the floor. Together. It was like he was sleeping. But he wouldn’t wake up. Finally the door opens and they ask if I am ready yet. I snap out of “Mama and Bubba world” and realize this really just happened. I am still laying on the floor of the vets office. There is a waiting room filled with people waiting to have their animals seen. Sean is waiting to go back to work. The world didn’t stop. But, mine did. I don’t know how, but I found the strength to walk away from his body. As I walked out in to the waiting room, I saw other patients with tears in their eyes trying to catch my glance to let me know that they too were sorry for my loss.
The days after seemed to drag. I didn’t know what to do with myself. My days revolved around Bubba. Caring for him, taking him outside every 2 hours, feeding him, getting his medication to him on time. I was lost. I kept hearing him crying and waking up in the middle of the night. My body was still on “Bubba” routine and I just couldn’t shake it. The house wasn’t the same. My other dog was heartbroken. She too, lost her best friend. After a few restless nights, I had the most vivid dream of Bubba. He came to me in my dream. He showed me that he was in pain. He used to roll around on his back and make these silly noises and I used to think it was cute! He showed me that he was actually doing that because he was in pain. Then I felt even worse for not knowing that he hurt! How could I have let him suffer? I was filled with emotions. One minute blaming myself for killing my own dog, to shaming myself for being so blind to his pain. It has been two years now since he has been gone and there is not a day that goes by that I have not cried for him. Or, talked to him. I still include him in my daily routines as if he really is here. His body was cremated and his box sits on my entertainment center overlooking his dog bed and basket of toys with his ragged collar draped over the box. Bubba touched my heart and everyone else that he met. He was truly an amazing soul and I was blessed to have been able to call him mine. When Bubba died, a piece of me died too. He was my heart and soul. I carry Bubba with me on my shoulder forever so I know he will always be with me ♥