It seems odd to introduce Wu and Teddy’s daddy after I introduced the boys. But Bubba’s story began when Lana found him wandering around at a busy intersection and without any friends. She took him home, and before long she had a sign on her front door that said, “One spoiled rotten dog lives in this house.” Lana actually had 4 or five dogs at the time.
Bubba was a dear little dog who never walked anywhere – he had a saucy saunter. Unless he was racing across the law in which case his little curly tail bounced up and down like a rabbit’s. He had given his heart wholly to Lana. Wherever she was, Bubba was always nearby. If she got in the car to run errands, Bubba was there with her. He loved him some car rides. If Lana could not take him with her, he put his sad face on. He never ever ate a bite of food until she came home. He was mighty particular about who was allowed to hug Lana.
But, life changed quickly for him. Lana’s husband became sick. He spent weeks in the Veterans Hospital. Naturally, Lana wanted to be with her husband, and the little “Muppets,” as a friend called the dogs, were lonely and neglected. So Lana’s friend rounded up people she knew who had experience with Muppet-like dogs and parceled them out to us. Bubba was our portion. He stayed with us about six weeks or so, a perfect house guest. We welcomed him with some new names; he became Bubba Joe-Bob Pete. Then, Lana’s husband came home to die, and Bubba went home to provide love and comfort.
Not long after, Lana became sick. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It had metastasized. The team working on Lana told her surgery would not cure it, but would buy her time. Who know what might happen in that time? So Bubba became our house guest again for several months. He knew the drill, and he settled down to wait it out. Every time he heard a car door close, he was at the window, looking for Lana.
Lana had about three years before the cancer got aggressive once again. This time, she chose to not have surgery. She stayed home for awhile, then at the end, she went to Hospice. We promised Lana that Bubba would always have a home with us. When that day came, another friend brought Bubba to our house. He knew it was forever.
Bubba grieved for a year for Lana. Then, one day he started following me around. When he saw me get in the car and leave, he sat at the window waiting for me to come home and refused to eat until I returned. Car rides made him smile again.
Bubba got sick in the fall of 2009, and was in pain and misery. He never complained (he was a gentleman to the end) but his eyes told the story. Weeping, we took him on his last car ride. I can easily imagine that Lana was there to meet him when he had crossed the Rainbow Bridge.