You Were My Dog and I Was Your Little Boy

To my sweet little puppy Celia,

Yesterday, you crossed the Rainbow Bridge and left me here with my memories.  Just before you left me, we had a chance to say goodbye.  I sobbed and told you how sorry I am and how much I will miss you.  You were in such pain and discomfort that you didn’t respond at all.  I knew it was time for you to cross the Rainbow Bridge and I am not sorry that I had to make the decision.  I know you are not in pain anymore and you are free. But I feel so very alone now.  You were my dog and I was your little boy.

Do you remember when we met?  Aline and her roommates adopted you when you were 2 years old.  They were in college and somehow felt they could take care of you.  They were wrong.  You were left by yourself a lot and you got into trouble.  If you were not chewing up their shoes, then you were eating boxes of chocolate (not good for you!). Aline knew that you needed a better home and I volunteered to take you.  Hilary and I drove about 550 miles in the winter to St. Louis to pick you up.  Do you remember how the apartment had no heat and it was so cold?  We got the heat fixed and all was good.

My first impression of you was that you were a funny-looking dog.  A combination of beagle and basset hound with great big paws, short legs, and floppy ears.  I also thought you were a pain in the butt.  Remember how Hilary and I tried to watch Identity and you kept insisting to go outside every 30 minutes?  You would stare at me and pant, while walking backwards and shaking your butt.  I would get my winter coat on and off we would go, walking on the sidewalks or parking lots near Aline’s apartment.  You usually didn’t have to do anything but you loved sniffing around in the snow.

We drove you home to Atlanta and discovered how you loved riding in the car.  Once we got going on the highway, you laid down and slept soundly.  As long as we were moving, you would sleep.  If we slowed down a lot or stopped, you would sit up to see what was going on.  You always did like to ride in the car.  Remember?  I used to say, “Hey Ubbie!” and your ears would perk up and you would look at me with anticipation that I was going to say “Do you wanna go for a ride in the car?”.  Sometimes,  I would just say “car” and you were ready to go.  We used to drive to a park or a school and just go walking around.  Remember how you loved sticking your head out the window to feel the wind on your face?  I would look in my side mirror and see your face with your floppy ears being pinned back by the air.  Ah those ears!  Hilary says you had the softest ears. Remember how Mommy used to rub the inside of your ears?  You would make a sound like you were really enjoying it.

When you moved in with us, I was working from home so you saw me all the time.  You became my dog and I your little boy.  You would lay near my desk and follow me whenever I got up.  We would take walks during the day and sometimes we would go for trail walks.  Remember how you enjoyed walking in the woods?  Remember how stupid I was to let you off the leash?  You would get that little gleam in your eye just before you would run off to investigate something.  Sometimes you would leave the woods and end up on one of the streets.  I used to traipse after you to try to catch you but you just wanted to run and explore.   I think Aline expected to get you back after she finished school but that wasn’t going to happen.  You were my dog and I was your little boy.

Sometimes, at night, when I didn’t feel like taking you out, I would just let you go on your own.  I can’t believe I let you do that.  You could have been hurt or lost and I would have been heartbroken.  I’m sorry I was so lazy and uncaring.  You would go off on your “adventures” but you always came back.  Sometimes I would go out to look for you or call you.  Sometimes, I would even drive around the neighborhood looking for you.  I’m so lucky I never lost you.  You never told me where you went.  When you would come back, sometimes you would be running back to the house so eagerly.  You looked like a low-to-the-ground race horse speeding for the finish line.

Remember all of the names I gave you?  Celia became Celia Puppy, then Puppy became Ubbie, then Ubbalo, and then various forms such as Weebalo, Wubbalo, Buffalo.  And all the silly songs I would sing to you?  Do you remember them?  The Tomahawk Chop became “Who’s an Ubbalo?”  Sleigh Ride became “Who is a silly Ubbalo, silly Wubbalo Dog?” The first three notes of Star Trek became “Ubbalo”.  I always told my co-workers that it wasn’t unusual for a Jew to sing or whistle Christmas songs during the summer.  I was really singing my doggy songs.  No song was safe from becoming an Ubbie song.  I sang them to you when we went on our walks.  I think you enjoyed them.  I hope you did.

You were never trained to do those doggy things like shake or roll over.  You did learn to sit or Mommy wouldn’t feed you table scraps or give you treats.  And you learned to count.  You always knew how many plates were on the table for you to lick.  If there was still a plate on the table, you would be there waiting.

You were my dog and I was your little boy.  And now you’ve crossed over and left me with my memories.  I know that you just left me yesterday and that things will get better. But right now, I feel empty, alone.  I have a big hole in my heart.  When I get home, I look for you and you’re not here.  You don’t greet me at the door anymore.  You can’t lick my face anymore,  You don’t follow me wherever I go.  And you’re not here for me to love you.

I cried over you this morning.  I miss you so much.  Do you remember how I cried just before you had to leave me?  I was so sad but I knew had to let you go.

I will try to remember all of our good times.  I will try to remember your happy face.  I will try to remember our walks together and how silly you could be.  I will try.

And I will never stop singing to you.  Can you hear me singing to you?  Can you still feel how much I love you?

I know you are out of pain and at peace and that you had a great life.  Ubbie, you made my life great too.  I will never forget you.  Remember me.

Dory and Georgia say hello and hope you are well.

You will always be my dog and I will always be your little boy.

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