This time of year gets a little hard even though Bubba has been gone for ,soon,9 years. There isn't a day that goes by without him crossing my mind. In April of 2002 he was diagnosed with lymphosarcoma and my heart slowly died with him. He survived for 7 months but I knew each day brought me one day closer to the end. It is torture to love a dog so much and lose him so young. He was a show dog. He was such a dog that if you met him once you remembered him always. He had his quirks. Like WOOFing in Grace's ear till she ran from him. He did the same thing to the cat,just sat beside Snitt , got close to his ear, then started to WOOF. Like this,WOOF,WOOF,WOOF,WOOF,for as long as Snitt would sit there. He had a voice that shook your very bones if you were too close. There are many fond quirky memories of him but the one that I treasure the most was the spring of 2002 right before he was diagnosed, I had him to the Harrisburg Dog Show,one of the largest shows on the east coast usually getting more than 2500 entries of dogs. Animal Planet is at the show every year recording things. I was sitting with Bubba in an out of the way place,just chilling,and as I looked at him his tail started to move ever so slowly, actually just the white tip was moving and he was looking off in the distance. I turned to see what he was looking at,there was a man with a walkie talkie several hundred feet away and he was looking at Bubba. He started to walk towards us and Bubba's tail moved faster. As he got closer he said to me,"Can I pet him"? By this time Bubba was on his feet and I said,"If you don't he is going to WOOF at you." Just then, Bubba lets out the loudest WOOF ever. Then he asked if he could use him in a little snippet for the show. Of course I said yes and as it turned out Bubba was the only Basset used in the whole taping of the show itself.It was a cute snippet and I taped the show when it was televised. So I have him with his 10 min. of fame forever. Anyway, here is a poem I wrote. Bubba (April 17,1999 - December 31,2002 ) Bubba Dog ,I miss you. So much sometimes I cry,I wonder why you had to go,I still don't quite know why,You were only three years old, You had more life to live,It isn't fair for you to leave,You had more love to give. There was no making deals with God, To keep you here with me, There was nothing I could say or do to change your destiny. I helped you come into this world so full of constant doubt, Now, I have to face the fact ,that I must help you out. The hardest thing I've ever done is letting go of you, But ,You,with all your dignity, Helped me to get through. And so we took the trip we had to take,The one where you can't come back home and caused my heart to break. I promised you no suffering,when you've had enough ,But when you told me it was time,Things got really rough. My heart is torn to pieces,My life is different now,Everyday I think of you and wonder and wish somehow, you could come back to me, and once again be whole but I know that cannot happen and I feel it to my soul. There is an ending to the story above. For a couple of years I could not bring myself to go to the Harrisburg show. Two years later I am there,not showing,just walking around and I said to my husband,"If I could find that guy who asked to film Bubba and he remembered him that would proove to me that Bubba was truely a special dog,I mean,how many shows is this guy at during a year,how many dogs does he come in contact with,how in the world would he remember one dog out of thousands"? I found the guy and showed him a photo of Bubba and said,"Do you remember this dog"? He looked at it and said,"What, did he win something"? I said "No, he WOOFED at you." He got this look over his face and smiled and said,"I asked if I could pet him and you said if I didn't he would WOOF at me." Up till then I could not have recalled the words we spoke. He remembered.