Monday, August 13, 2012

Mr. Bigglesworth

Mr. Bigglesworth 1998-2012
 Somewhere around the end of May 1998 my dad came to pick me up from my freshman year of college. As I was locking up the Music Department Property Manager's office for the last time before summer, my dad broke the news that one of my childhood dogs had passed earlier in the week. I instantly started to cry and asked why I hadn't been told, and my dad said that my parents chose to withhold the information until I was done taking my final exams, so as not to upset me too much. Even though I was upset, I understood.

After we had the last of my things packed into the car, my dad and I got on the road. A short while into the trip home my dad told me that they already had a new dog. Again, I was a little upset. Three-and-a-half hours later, we finally arrived home. It was very late, and my family had long gone to bed. My little brother was outside, sleeping in a tent with his new puppy. I took my own sleeping bag and went outside to join him, and to sleep with my dog so that she would know the puppy had no claim on my affection.

Upon entering the tent I was tackled by a fat little puppy who wanted desperately to lick my face clean off. I shoved him over to my brother, climbed into my sleeping bag, and snuggled up to my own dog. Within seconds, the puppy was in my face, ferociously licking my nose. I kept throwing him back over to my little brother, only to have him make his chubby way back to me. "Bird, keep your dog on your own side of the tent!" I yelled, as I tossed the puppy back to him.

That night was the beginning of a 14-year companionship between my little brother, my dad, and their dog.

Over the years Mr. Bigs has watched two of his K-9 companions pass on, one at the age of 14, and one at the age of 3. He has watched two of his feline companions pass on, both at the age of 14. He hiked up the canyons with my own Mags, and attempted to use her as a floatation device when Mags dove into a small pond to fetch a ball (this was when he learned he did not like swimming). My little brother and I have come and gone from his life as we went to college or war. My dad was a constant for the old boy, but he loved everyone.

Bigs and Roo

He was always happy, and we always swore that if his tail hadn't been docked, he would wag it so hard he would take off in flight. The only person he didn't like was my parent's next door neighbor, and I always stood by the fact that Bigs had an excellent sense of character. Often times I would wish that Bigs could clear the fence and clear the neighbor off. They were arch enemies. But Mr Bigs loved kids and cats. He got along with everyone and loads of love to share.

Such a happy boy

He wasn't always the easiest dog, and there were times when we wondered where we had gone wrong in his training (I did most of his early training, and my dad and brother took over while I was away). But one thing we were always sure of is how much we loved him and how much he loved us.

Today was one of those days that I will look back on for years and will still cry about, just as I do when I think about all of the animals we have had to put down before him. To me, a dog isn't just a dog. They aren't people, but there is a reason dogs and people have been companions since nearly the dawn of time. The bonds between us are strong and go just as deep as those with our human family members. Losing a dog or cat is every bit as painful to me as losing a person I love.

Bigs and puppy Roo

When my little brother called me early this morning, I knew something was up. He and my dad were on their way to the vet to put Mr. Bigglesworth down. It took about 10 minutes to really sink in, but when it did, all I could do was sob. I got to be on the phone for his last minutes, and be there for my dad and brother the best I could with 1,300 miles between us. Yet, it hurt even more that I wasn't there.

Butchie, you were a wonderful dog and I loved your big boy head with your floppy puppy ears. I loved rubbing your tummy. I loved throwing the toy for you. I loved hearing your big bark and always feeling safe when you talked or even just walked by my side. I am going to miss you so much. I love you big boy. Take good care of Roo, Bris, Frank, and Bubba.

I love you big boy


Alex said...

Losing a dog is so hard. I'm so sorry about the loss of sweet Mr. Bigglesworth.

Fran said...

I am so so sorry! I completely understand the sadness and the loss. Your post is beautiful and remembering his life was such a tribute!

twondra said...

Oh sweetie, this made me cry. Pets are so much a part of the family. Their loss is just so hard. I'm so sorry. Thinking and praying for you. ((HUGS))

Heather said...

Somehow I missed this blog post and now I feel sad I couldnt offer my condolances earlier. I'm really sorry for your whole family-what a sad, sad loss.

I know your family values your dogs the way I value mine so I can really feel for you all. He was a lucky dog to be part of your family. xx

Journey Girl said...

I really feel for you, Elle, I'm sorry you've lost your Mr Bigs. I've lost some dogs over my life and each of them was super tough. They might not be people but the sure are our friends. I hope you're going okay. Hugs from Downunder.

Suzanne said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Dogs really are a part of our families.