So Handsome

I sit in the floor of Four Paws Veterinary Office. Bobby’s chest barely raises. I stroke his side. “You’re so handsome, Bubba…so handsome.” I tell him that like I always do. He’s a handsome fella and I like to remind him of it. He tries to lift his head. You can see confusion in his eyes, weakness in his body, and tears on Daddy’s face…”It’s OK, Bubba…It’s OK.”

I often call him “Bubba”, Bob-O at other times, but Bobby is his name. He owns more of the United Stated than most dogs ever will, marking and remarking scenic America as we gallivant across the country. Alone we covered over 40,000 miles just last year. There’s not much he likes more than a long car ride with yours truly. And now he’s kinda instafamous. Not as much as some dogs but more than most. 7K followers is a lot for a furry four-legged fella. “You’re that guy with the dog!” random strangers would say often. And proudly I would confirm that I am that guy.

At 7:00AM I greeted Bob-O for our developing morning ritual. Rituals are good for me, and part of my technique for making friends. I have this theory that if you do something enough…Let’s say you go to the same coffee shop and order a small mocha. Eventually someone is going to say “Mocha, right?!” and then you will be on your way towards making a friend. Anyways, we just moved to Missoula, Montana mid July for work. After a couple weeks of living in the van, we found a place to live. Bobby immediately claimed it as home.

We’ve been here about 4 days now. Lately we wake up early, go get coffee and work until 9:00Am. At 9:00AM I start my real and new job at Gecko Designs. But this morning he didn’t move. He just laid there. That’s not unusual, he likes his sleep as much as I do. Sometimes you’ve really got to shake him awake. So, I shook him like normal and he didn’t move. Not even a little. He just laid there. Chest rising and falling…that’s all.

I grabbed my useless phone to search for directions. I fell on it last night and broke it. Now I can’t touch the top two rows of applications nor the left column. I get my computer. Only one vet is open. I scoop up Bobby and we jet to Four Paws. They are just opening when I show up distraught with my boy in my arms. “Can you help me?” No questions are asked, as they immediately make a spot for him. They run tests on him to figure out what’s wrong…and are going to monitor him for a bit. He picks his head up, and hope stands on that thread. Waiting…

There is no way you can prepare for these kinds of things.

Bobby and I lay in the floor of my apartment. I picked him up from the vet just a few minutes ago. She told me in short: it doesn’t look good. He’s got internal bleeding, most likely from a tumor or something on one of his organs, probably the spleen, or liver. He was fine yesterday, and she explains that often this is how it happens. I’m working to gather myself, but it’s so hard.

We load Bobby in the van. I want to spend time with him, I want to be with him. I carry him up the stairs to my room. He’s cradled in my arms like a baby. This is all to familiar. I once carried Lucy like this. I once cried with my white Shepard princess laying beside me. Now my handsome boy is in my arms. Bobby cries as I lay him down, and my heart breaks. I cry with him. I lay there talking to him. I reassure him, that “It’s Ok.” That  he is so handsome. I want to keep him here. He starts crying again. He can barely move…I know…this is goodbye.

There are parts of life that aren’t pleasant. I knew the day would come one day, but I wish it wasn’t today. Bobby and I sit in the floor of Four Paws Veterinary Office. His breathing is slowing. I stroke his side. “You are so handsome Bubba, so handsome.” His breathing stops. “So handsome.”

“So handsome.”


  1. Heartbreaking. I’m so sorry for your loss Dwayne. My thoughts and prayers are with you my friend. <3

    1. I am so sad for you. This day will be over soon, but that does not diminish the ache of loss of a loved one.Time will help they say – and it actually does- but right now I hope you can see some light in the fact that you guys loved each other so much.

  2. Sweetheart I am so sorry. Remember that all dogs go to heaven. To be absent from the body is to be in the presence of God. Dogs don’t have the ability to sin so they don’t need salvation. They are here with us and teach us about unconditional love and then they go back to God. My prayers for your broken heart. He would not want you to be alone. Give yourself some time and then rescue another.

  3. So sorry for your loss. I always enjoyed all of your adventures together that u shared with us all. But you sure do have great memories together. Praying for comfort for you.

  4. I’m so sorry Dwayne. It’s so hard to lose them. They are always at our side and then they aren’t and it’s like a huge abyss. He was so lucky to know true love. I think that’s all they ask for. I’m sure you’ll see him again. I’ve seen our Diesel in my dreams…like he’s coming to say he’s okay. Sending love and peace.

  5. So very sorry to hear! We are thinking of you, sending our love across the miles and praying that God will give you comfort. ❤

  6. Oh Dwayne! I am so very sorry for the loss of your precious friend. I am praying for comfort for you and we are sending our love and hopes for peace and strength to you.

  7. This is so heartbreaking! I am actually from your neck of the woods (Asheville) and follow you on Instagram. A mom to a Great Pyr, I can certainly empathize. Wishing you peace. It’s very obvious how much your handsome boy meant to you!

  8. Oh I’m so sorry to read this heartbreaking post. My lovely Bella will meet your Bubba on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge. I lost her in March and it hurts like hell. Be kind to yourself. Sending strength and love.

  9. Dwayne, my heart breaks that your treasured companion has slipped away into the afterlife. You both shared a love for each other that enriched both of your lives. I am so sorry!

  10. It breaks my heart to read this part of your story…Nothing can be said to ease the pain right now, but Bubba didn’t go alone. You were with him and that, to Bubba, was what mattered. Hugs and prayers…

  11. I’m so sorry Dwayne. Bubba was photogenic especially in the awesome places that you took him. I know that you can trust that he had an extremely fulfilled doggy life as your adventure partner. May you Rest In Peace Bubba

  12. Thank you for giving Bobby such an awesome life, one that most fur family only dream of. Bobby will always be with you and will be waiting and playing at the Rainbow bridge for you to join him again..

  13. I am so so sorry for the loss of your amazing boy Bobby. I am crying reading this even though I have never met you or Bobby.
    I lost my German Shepherd, Leon unexpectantely 2.5 years ago and I will never ever forget that day that I said goodbye.
    I have rescued a dog in the Philippines on my travels since and found him a home but still to this day there will never be a dog like my boy.
    I really really enjoy reading you blog and will be looking forward to reading about your next adventure when you are ready.
    Many hugs Kathy

  14. I’m so sorry Dwayne. I know the pain you are going through. It’s funny how despite their short lives we still buy those little fur balls anyway and love them unconditionally knowing one day we will have to say goodbye. Nothing makes it easier but just he crossed rainbow bridge knowing he had the absolute best dogs life imaginable. You’ll see Bobby again.

  15. Dana called to share about Bobby and so sorry. There are just a few special dogs in our lives and we all enjoyed seeing him on your trips. Enjoy your stay in Montana. We will be heading up in Sept. to Garden City, Utah. Be safe in your adventures! Uncle Zane and Rebecca from Florida

  16. I’m still crying for this sad news, just like you and Bobby were my friends. No words, lot of sadness.

  17. I don’t know you Dwayne, but I feel your sadness and pain. Bobby was not just a dog…. he was your brother, your best friend, your forever friend. He will be there looking after you from afar now, but he will forever be in your heart!

  18. Dog’s are so much more than pet’s for many of us. You appear to have had an enduring bond with this friend. The sun will come up tomorrow. Think good thoughts and’ve got the memories….

  19. I am so sorry Dwayne! You and Bobby had some great times together and shared them with the world. I do believe that our pets go to heaven so he will be waiting for you! Love you!
    Aunt Teresa

  20. I am so sorry to hear about bobby. This was hard to read. I lost my little frenchy last summer the exact same way. I never saw it coming until she didn’t want to move one morning. A ruptured mass on her liver or spleen is what they told me. So hard to say goodbye to our fur babies.

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