Sunday, November 24, 2013

It's a Bugg's World: The best of 'our' Dog, Happy Birthday!

Yep, today is the day our wonderful dog, friend, comforter and protector was born and yes, we do celebrate his birthday.  Bugg is three years old and as I think back over these last three years, I must admit, without him in my life, life would not be as sweet. Love ya Bugg!

A 'big' 6 months old
The Star!

This was the first photograph of Bugg I ever used in an article that I had published and at that moment, a star was born.  Bugg is loved all around the world by a good amount of folks.  No, Bugg and I's journey in publishing articles did not start out as, here is an accomplished writer, whom has raised her family and is ready to move on and upward for herself, not to mention her sidekick, the well trained Hollywood dog.

No it was a moderately trained puppy and a woman that told herself, please do something girl, your kids are grown, your mama just passed a year ago, your Boo passed away six days after Mama (May 2009) and your Max passed away a year later, (in May 2010) and you need to stop feeling sorry for yourself.  No, it was a, grab yourself up from the boot straps girl, get it together, dammit, kind of thing.

I was informed by a friend about a serious writing site, as I have always been a writer (of sorts) and an avid reader, why not, give it a try. Oh my gosh I was 'just' awful and yet some very kind accomplished writers on the site would encourage me on, offer me help and oh boy, did I take advantage of all the free education (on how to write) they were willing to bestow on me for over two years.  Do not get me wrong, I still have a ways away from being an half way decent writer, no doubt.

Bugg at 10 months old

Something was missing though and that would be photographs, I had no camera at the time, until my angel and good friend Jake sent me his camera in the mail.  He is now my son-in-law.

That was when I started to photograph the best subject around my home, Bugg.  This only expanded my artistic nature I was blessed to be born with and Bugg brought this out in me more than anyone or anything around could.

As I am now writing on my own blog and not the writing site that have learned to love Bugg over the years, I thought I would share a story of 'my' never ending doggie, so you are able to see, what so many others have had the honor to witness first hand as he grew into the three year old dog he is today.

Photo: He loves to kiss, is it always for the best, well no but, it makes him so happy, happy, happy.  

Cottonton OR Bust! 

I would like to share a story about how we went about being blessed in having Bugg in our lives, that will prove the good character of my Buggah, his willingness to please, to give and in the end, even when things are at its bleakest he does not run for cover, he stands like a good dog/family member should....

 Max had lost his best friend Boo around six months before Dan and I drove to Cottonton Alabama to retrieve one of the puppies we saw listed on craigslist.  I didn't know which puppy I was going to get out of the liter, I just knew in my heart that I was going to find the perfect puppy when we arrived.  As usual, my heart did 'not' prove me wrong because, in the corner of these kind people's living room there sat the most gorgeous puppy I have ever seen, I mean picture perfect.

The soon to be Bugg was quiet, not the least bit aggressive, actually quite timid though, my eye kept going back to him, as the other two puppies tried hard to get my attention.  Of course, the other two puppies were being loved on by me but, as I played with each puppy, I was still more drawn to that corner in their livingroom.  I just had to do it, I got up and went over to him, he flinched but then, he rubbed his head against my arm and even though he was shaking I just knew, this was the one for Max and I.

The biggest bed, at 7 months old
Dan was hesitant, only because he thought the dog might be sick, sinse he was so laid back but as always, he let me have my way.  As we rode back home that night, that little guy had a strangle hold on my neck with his head, shaking like a leaf and I swear that dog grew a inch just on our way home.

Max was not that happy with the new puppy we just brought home but, nor was his daddy when we brought Max home, so I thought he would get over it.

Max had been blind for around a year at this point in time.  Max was a insulin using diabetic for the last five years of his life.  So I also had taken that into consideration, that maybe since he is not able to see the little guy, he might be a bit defensive towards him.

Bugg kept growing, oh I saw it daily, even hourly at times, I have never seen anything like it.  Bugg could take a nap, wake up and be a inch taller or heck, even a inch longer and that was when I started to call him my never ending doggie.  

Three times a day I would take Max and Bugg outside to just roam around, Max was fine he knew the yard pretty well, as his daddy Boo, was his seeing eye dog for the first month after Max went blind.  That was, until Max was comfortable enough (without hurting himself) with his surroundings.  Bugg would run around like any puppy would, getting into everything and just be happy go lucky, as Max (the old man) would lay down on the ground by my chair, after he had roamed around and taken care of his business.

Bugg would do loops around Max, as if to say "Look at me!", not knowing Max could not see him, it would so irritate Max, that at times he would growl at Bugg.  I would reprimand Max, only by saying, be nice old man, he would take it, look at me and turn his head in a huff but, he tolerated that happy go lucky puppy and I. 

The Fall

Max had a fall that left him unable to fend for himself, when we arrived at the veterinarian's office and was seen by the veterinarian, blood test were taken and his sugar was checked, as he was getting a bit aggressive and as those that love Max knows that was just not in his nature, yep, sure enough his sugar was sky high. 

Our veterinarian recommended that we up his insulin and for his injuries he just needed healing time.

We did as our veterinarian recommended and one day when my brother and I were carrying Max outside to use the bathroom.

Max started to go into a diabetic coma, I knew the minute I had looked into his eyes he was going into a diabetic coma. Sadly, I do know what those eyes do look like. 

I know this as I watched my Mama go code blue (in the hospital) while going into a diabetic coma.  The minutes it had taken the staff in the hospital to come to our rescue, as I held my Mama's neck, as her face was inches away from mine, me begging her to stay with me, the machines were going haywire all around us and no one was listening to my cries of help coming out of that hospital room. 

Well that is, until I yelled one word, yes I dropped the f bomb, my Mama was leaving me, no one was listening, what is a girl to do, might I ask.  Also you must know, this was in a Utah hospital.  Nothing like getting a bunch Mormons feet a moving fast, then to scream the f bomb, with a blood curling scream of "Get a f&*^% Doctor, now!", yep that caught their attention.

That look in Mama's eyes will never be erased from my memory, sadly. 

We decided to change (after 17 years) our veterinarian and go to one that was recommended to us by a friend, they tested Max and his sugar was high, even with all the extra diet changes I always did for him when his sugar was spiking.  

We Were Losing Ground...

We all tried to get Max healthier but, it was not to be so, our Max started passing away 12 hours before we decided to eventually take him to the veterinarian and have him put down.  Max was in no pain and he wanted to be right next to Dan and I.  

When a dog is passing, they usually stray from their pack and since Max wanted to stay close to us, we decided if he is in no pain, he is not having to labor when he was breathing, we would love him until his last breath, it seemed that is what he wanted.

Bugg was so worried about his friend, the old man he looked up to, Bugg would go check in on Max every thirty minutes or so, not get in his face, as Max laid on Dan and I's bed.

Bugg would just go to the door, stare at Max just to see if his buddy was okay.  Yes a few snaps (no touching of Bugg though) thrown his way, as he neared Max.  I then started to notice Bugg wanted to come into the room more and more.  It then dawned on me that Bugg might want to say goodbye to Max.

I coaxed Bugg in the room, he was not afraid, Bugg was just respecting Max's space, he just didn't want to hurt the big guy he loved so much  After the first visit in the room, Bugg would come in and out, lay down for awhile but always keeping his distance. 

When Max's breathing started to become a struggle for him, we then called our Veterinarian and informed her that we were bringing Max over to her in around five minutes, she said she would be ready for us, do not even come inside, she will be waiting outside for him.  

I gave my Me Me head all the love I could, I hugged him, yes I even kissed the guys face and said to him (through tears). "You have been a great edition to our family, I am a better person for it and I love you so much, thank you for what you have given us, I love you.".

Nearing the End

Bugg laid that pine cone down just as gently as he did with his favorite rock
I had gotten up so the other family members could take their turn in the room, so as to say their goodbyes.  I looked around to see if Bugg was around and I was not able to spot him, then Dan came to me and said "It's time".  I had to go in and say goodbye one more time, he was my baby.

I once again went in there and thanked Max for all he had given us, when all of a sudden Bugg was standing next to me.  Max's head (almost his whole body) was in my lap, he was so tired and then, all of a sudden out of that gorgeous Bugg mouth came a pine cone, it rolled close to Max's mouth.  

No sir, not your usual pine cone, only Bugg's favorite, he carried that pine cone around for 5 months, never destroying it.  Bugg would hide it because, when ever one of his treasures (pine cones) he had found outside would get close to Max, Max would demolish it, look at Bugg as if to say "Bite me!". 

Max had turned his head in an attempt to reach the pine cone and yet, he was not able to do so, he was too weak.  So much of his body was on me, I was not able to retrieve it for him.  Then as gentle as I have ever seen one dog be to another, my Bugg rolled that pine cone with his nose to 'his Max'.

Max opened up his mouth and even though he was not able to demolish that pine cone, he was able to place his mouth on it.  Bugg looked at me and was about to turn around and leave, when Max with all his might, lifted his head and licked Bugg's face.  In the end, I feel Max finally gave Bugg the acceptance he so desired and Bugg gave his friend Max, respect but also, the love that Max had always gotten from all family members.


Bugg taking care of his baby
Misses his friend but he has another guy named Sweet Tee in his life now and the few things Max was able to teach Bugg, Bugg has used on Sweet Tee with some great results, might I add.

The mere fact a yellow labrador retriever has what the experts call a 'soft mouth' and Sweet Tee being part pitbull, added a huge tool in teaching Sweet Tee 'not' to bite down hard.
Do right 'young man'

Bugg has had to be a bit stern with Sweet Tee, yes he has but, I allow it as I know Bugg is just trying to get the stubborn dog to do right, just as Max did for him.

Without Bugg putting Sweet Tee in his place, I know that this rescue animal that we sought out would not adapt very well to a pack, since Sweet Tee was abandoned by folks that were operating a puppy mill.

They left him, brothers, sisters and mother in cages without food and water, not to even mention...

The mother was in one cage and the puppies were in another.  Sweet Tee had little bite marks (from the other puppies) all over his body, he was timid and very frightened, we picked him up.

Bugg to the Rescue!

There is no doubt in my mind that if not for Bugg, we would not have our very 'Sweet' Tee.  Sweet Tee would second that, I have no doubt.  This is how Bugg is, he is just a big'ol fuzzy well, yellow lab, what can I say, he is just a nice guy, bar none!


Not only is he as sweet as a hot buttered honey cornbread muffin, he is also gorgeous.  If a photograph of Bugg looks bad, then it is my fault.  He can 'not' take a bad photograph, what a photographers dream  he is, just the right shades no matter what light he is in, he would be a supermodel, if he was a human being, just saying.

I have made Bugg dress up in some crazy costumes for our articles and he only complained once and I think that it is all my fault.

One day Dan had taken Bugg and Sweet Tee out back, so as to do their business when all of a sudden, both of them came running up to Dan, with a rabbit in their mouths.  One had one end, the other had the other end.

Dan yelled (Yes he is going to kill me for saying so) at the dogs "Get away!", I heard as I was heading towards the back door and there Bugg was with a red face, it grossed me out so bad that I would not allow him in my bedroom that night.

It hurt his feelings so bad but, in my defense, I was right in the middle of a bout of the flu.

This is the only reason why I think he didn't want anything to do with those bunny ears, there is no other explanation.  I mean he loves to play dress up for the camera.  Well maybe he learned the lesson he was taught by Max, passed down to Sweet Tee, that is, if you do bad, we ignore you.

Though I do have to admit, I was a bit hysterical at the time of the rabbit cease, I had the flu, sorry Bugg.

He looks so unhappy.  Though he has not brought another rabbit to my door since then.

Really 'he' Does... 

Bugg Wayne
Love to wear hats and play dress up, he has done so for a few years and we rarely have an unhappy set, as you are able to see with our Bugg Wayne we have here.  Bugg is a ham when it comes to the camera, he is almost as bad as my grandson is, okay he is even worse than my grandson.

'My' Bugg...

He is all you would want in a dog/friend, he is a wonderful companion, loyal, protective and he is always full of kisses.

Bug loves to be hugged, I mean a wrap both arms around his belly and just give a big squeeze kind of hug.

Now, Bugg will be doing all he can to get his mouth to your face, as to give ya a big fat wet kiss, as you hug him but, it is worth it.

Bugg will not push me when my muscles are in a bad place, he will hunker down for me.  Bugg will lay close to my legs, as to provide heat for my aching muscles.  When I am up and not able to sleep, Bugg is also up.

Bugg carried his yellow snail around in his mouth for a year, until the washing of his toy finally destroyed it.

I Wish... 

That Bugg's wishes come true, well as long as they do not involve a dead rabbit that is.  The joy Bugg has brought to our family will never be able to be measured, he is just that important to us and especially to me.  I will be celebrating this day, as this is the day one of my best friends was born.

When you take a look at your family pet, do Bugg and I a favor, look into yourself and ask yourself, am I being a good friend, I mean, they deserve it for all they give to us, for very little in return.

Well folks, this is Bugg, he is three years old today, if not for him I don't think I would of had the moxie to put pen to paper and start writing articles and oh, how sad my life would be right now.

I am off for now, as I do have to prepare Bugg's and Sweet Tee's dinners and they are having something special tonight so off to work I go.  I must go folks, as we all know...

It 'is' A Buggs World!

In Bugg's World:  There 'will' be Turkey Dog Food

Me Me Heads: Dog Biscuit Recipe

All photographs are the property of Denise O.  Do not use unless you get 'my' written permission. All written material is owned by Denise O, it will not be 'used' (sharing my article is different, it is acceptable and appreciated) without 'my' written permission.  Just keeping it real folks.:)


  1. Hey, can you email me so I can ask you a question about your awesome dog :)

    1. Hi Shaye, Sorry it has taken so long for me to answer your comment. I just sent you a email and I promise you, I have not been on here since my last article to that someone as kind of you was willing to leave me a message. The reason why I have been absent is in your email. Thank you for stopping by. :)