Bubba G

Bubba G
Bubba G

As many of you already know, Kevin and I have applied and been approved to adopt Bubba G.: a big, blocky-headed, grinning whirlwind of a boy from Colorado.

We are not forgetting Ray.  We are not trying to replace Ray.  That would be impossible.  What we are doing is actually in honor of Ray.  At one time in my life, I looked at my husband and said “no more after these dogs are gone”.  And I meant it at the time.  For although I loved each of the three who lived with us, the relationships were not personally consuming.  That changed the day we brought Ray home.  He became part of who I am.  He, in some strange sense, helped me to become a better me.  And I am mad that I lost that.  All I can do is rescue another boy who needs us, to celebrate the life that Ray gave me.

Looking at Ray, it wasn’t easy to see the physical affects of dog-fighting. He wasn’t as torn and tattered as some of the Vicktory Dogs.  But his emotional scars ran long and deep.  Turtle, on the other hand, seems to have thrown off the emotional abuse of her past, even though her body is strongly scarred.  Bubba has had his own trials in life, and seems, like Turtle, to be more damaged physically than mentally.

One of the greatest unexpected benefits of bringing Ray into our lives was the instant family we gained.  The Vicktory Family is an amazing group of like-minded people.  We celebrate each other’s successes, and we grieve as one when there is a loss.  When McKaela the Turtle was rescued from dog-fighting in Ohio, she immediately became part of the family when Oscar’s mom Rachel took up her cause.  It was a convoluted road she took coming home to us, but there were VDog families involved at every step.

When Ray died, I knew that I would not do well without a dog.  I have a habit of going deep into my own head, and losing track of time.  A dog requires walks, feeding, watering.  A dog keeps me focused and on track.  A dog is willing to listen to my verbal processing.  A dog makes it easier for me to talk and relate to strangers. A dog gives me a feeling of being part of something more.

Shortly after Ray passed away I found myself looking at PetFinder again and again, trying to find a dog who would fit.  But it was a frustrating process.  The bios on PetFinder never address the things that are most important:  does he get along with other dogs?  How about cats, birds?  Is he good with children? Would he be able to accompany me to work?  It was maddening to look at a great picture, and not be able to determine if this was a dog who would work for us or not.

I work for a large animal welfare organization with access to literally hundreds of dogs.  But Kevin and I decided to reach outside of the sanctuary to find our next kid.  The dogs here are safe and cared for. But all over the country small rescues are struggling.  They are working hard to keep their heads above water, and to save as many dogs as possible. Working with a group like that means you are not just saving one dog…you are actually saving two.  The one you take home and the one who takes his place.

VDog Oscar’s mom Rachel has been volunteering for one of these small rescues: ColoRADogs.  Based solely on that, I sent the organization the following email:

Hi…my name is Jacque, and the reason I am contacting you is because my friend Rachel supports you. Until last week I was mom to one of the Vicktory Dogs – Ray.  Unfortunately, he passed away after surgery to remove his spleen.  He was Babesia+, so he had more than his share of health problems. 

My husband and I worked with several of the VDogs, including Rachel’s boy Oscar.  We worked with trainers to help teach them so they could pass their CGCs and be adopted.  We ONLY use positive reinforcement training.  I believe you can teach a dog anything if you make it rewarding enough.
We have a big female rescued fighting dog from Ohio named McCaela the Turtle (she has her own facebook page if you’d like to check her out).  Reportedly, she has good dog skills when she is with dogs her size who also have decent skills.  
I prefer a male dog (no puppies please) who is calm enough to come to work with me  but who would be willing to rough-house and romp with Turtle.  Three to Five years would be perfect, although I am certainly willing to go older, as long as he is healthy. We do have parrots, so a high prey drive could be a problem. (Although Ray DID have a high prey drive, so that is a behavior we are used to managing.) 
I totally understand if you would prefer not to adopt to someone from out-of-state. 

It seemed like no time at all that I got a response from Nancy:

Hi Jacqueline!

We actually have a great boy here named Bubba G we are searching for the perfect home for. He was found in Denver terribly wounded and with his ears completely removed. He spent 2 months at the Denver shelter getting fixed up and we pulled him a week ago. 

He is so so sweet, loves being out around town, has done great with large dogs but can be a bit drivey around small ones. He is most likely a no cat boy but is super soft in temperament and so responds really well to correction. he has shown zero tendency to be destructive at all or to go to the bathroom inside the Rad Pad. Rachel hung out with him yesterday so she can give you a great run down.  I have zero issue adopting to a BF person who Rachel vouches for.

Rachel was amazingly helpful:  taking Bubba on outings and to work at her office.  Trying to gauge how he would fit in our chaotic household.  But even then, it wasn’t a snap decision.  Something like this should never be rushed in to.  I stewed about it.  I read everything I could find about Bubba.  And I talked to Kevin and Rachel.  After an emotional reunion with VDog Layla and her mom Tess this past weekend, I knew it was time.  With Kevin’s blessing I filled out the application and nervously waited to hear if we were approved.

Monday morning I got this message: “You…are…so..approved!“.  I was beside myself…such joy after so much sorrow.

Now, the only things left to figure out are a) how we are going to get him here and b) how best to introduce him to Turtle.  In the meantime, I continue to read every thing I can about this boy. I reached out to Calista’s mom, on how best to deal with a dog who has no ears.  And I watch his video again and again.

I am looking forward to this next chapter in our lives.  To building a working relationship with a goober of a dog who has not let his past abuse color his view of the world.  And that is remarkable……

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20 thoughts on “Bubba G

  1. Your blog has perfectly captured what it’s like losing a dog that is part of you, and how a heart dog helps ground you. I lost mine and I’m completely lost without her-the pain is unbelievable. But your blog has helped. Thank you. -Saira

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  2. Congrats on your new family member! Ray would be so happy! And I don’t believe that you are trying to replace Ray. Ray was certainly one of a kind! But I think saving another dog that went through what Ray did, is exactly what he would want you to do. Your love for Ray will never fade and through that love you will continue to love and help dogs that need it. I look forward to hearing more about Bubba G and Turtle’s antics! ❤

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  3. Bubba G is gorgeous. I hope you have found a great fit. He looks very smart and loving, so should be willing to try very hard to please you. All the best.

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  4. Okay Jacqui you have once again brought me to tears, this time of joy for you and Kevin and Bubba. Ray is smiling down on you and Bubba will be a huge and goofy and wonderful part of your lives for years to come. So happy for you all and most of all for Bubba who had truly found paradise.

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  5. Your heart knows when something is right. He is a cute boy. Like I said before, I didn’t even notice his ears were missing until I read his story. I just saw a sweet face.

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  6. Yahooie for you and Bubba G. Celebrate every minute of life that you can. Blessings to you and the entire family.

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  7. Calista’s mom is the best. You may also want to check out Nana the Earless Pibble. No matter what, you will be just fine ☺

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  8. What a goofy little wiggle butt! I didn’t even notice his ears at first. I’m so glad you have found a new companion, and I am certain Ray Ray led you to each other. I look forward to reading about your new adventures, and reminiscing about that little brown dog that helped change the world ♡♡

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  9. I am so glad you are bringing Bubba into your life. He looks like such a silly guy and I know he will bring you so much joy which will help heal your heart. I believe Ray only left you physically but not spiritually. He is around you guiding you and loving you until you meet again. God bless.

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  10. Congratulations! I know Bubba G is going to love his new home! He will never replace Ray but I think he will help mend the hole in your heart after losing Ray. I just want to thank you for helping a small shelter out and for saving another dog that has been through a lot.

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  11. I am so happy you and Kevin have found another wonderful dog to help and love. I cried everyday for several days about Ray. A lot of tears when I read Heather’s beautiful tribute to Ray. I realize the Vdogs are all getting to be seniors now – even when they are gone they will never be forgotten for they were life changers for the survivors of dog fighting. I applaud your decision to go outside BF and help a smaller rescue. I hope you and Bubba find much love and happiness together. Thank you for all you do for these survivors.

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  12. Although Bubba G may not have ears, Ray did, and he heard your pleas to find another to heal your heart and help save a soul that was in need of a loving home. Ray sent Bubba G to you, I have no doubt. I am happy for all of you! Can’t wait to see pictures of Turtle and your new guy together. Ray, you done good!

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  13. No one who reads your blogs and follows you would question your love for Ray. I feel it in every word you write, you express yourself in ways we all feel about our dogs. You and Kevin were meant to help these lost and damaged souls, it is your calling. Happy to hear that you have found your “match” and wish you nothing but the best with Bubba G. The world needs more people like you and your husband. Thank you for making my day a little brighter with your words.

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  14. I am so happy for you! And for Bubba G. Anyone who has loved a dog and lost a dog understands that it is impossible to replace one dog with another. It also can be very hard to walk around with that dog-shaped hole in your life. Both times after a beloved dog passed away, I almost immediately brought another dog into our family. The idea of not coming home to a house filled with canine heart was too much. It felt like self-punishment. And there were dogs in need of homes who would give me love and help me heal. I hope you find the same comfort from Bubba G. He is absolutely adorable and I’m pretty sure Ray sent him your way. My heart is with your family.

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