March 17, 2017: Bubba

He was supposed to be a present for my ex’s brother but, after having him for two weeks, I decided to keep him and got  her brother a toaster oven instead. 

March 17, 2017: Bubba

He was unlike my other two pugs at the time.  Whereas Jelly was a bossy bitch and Maximus a laid back lover, Bubba was a furry ball of anxiety, easily spooked by cyclists and skateboards, wary of strangers, parking entrances, and animatronic Christmas decorations.  He was, quite simply, a goof.

March 17, 2017: Bubba

And yet, despite his adorable stiff-legged gait and furrowed brow that seemed to hint at some perpetual deep-seeded worries, he was never the one people were drawn to when they met the pack.  It was either Jelly or Maximus or, later, Lulu who would get all the attention while Bubba would warily hang back, hesitant to commit, his tail doing a slow noncommittal wag as he surveyed the situation.

March 17, 2017: Bubba

It wouldn’t be uncommon for him to seek out the relative remote security of the laundry hamper, his toy box, the tiniest dog bed in the house.

March 17, 2017: Bubba

He was in many ways a wallflower, the highschool equivalent of an outcast nerd – always self-conscious, always awkward.  But always happy.

March 17, 2017: Bubba

And then, Akemi joined the family.  She’d never had much experience with dogs back in Japan but in short time, she and Bubba hit it off.  And over the next seven years, they developed a bond that would rival any relationship, human or otherwise.

March 17, 2017: Bubba

She doted on him and he grew infatuated with her.  In time, they became inseparable.  I’d come home from work to find him sitting on her lap while she surfed the net, or parked comfortably beside her while she watched t.v.  He would sit by her feet whenever she cooked and nothing would make him happier than to join her on their extended walks, just the two of them, strolling for blocks on end.

March 17, 2017: Bubba

When my television series, Dark Matter, was picked up, I granted Bubba a certain immortality by naming THREE’s big-ass gun after him.  Larger than life, unwieldy, sometimes comical – it was the perfect tribute.

March 17, 2017: Bubba

In his later years, he lost his hearing and his ability to hop up to claim his favorite spot perched atop the living room couch, but he never slowed down – unless he sensed a walk was coming to an end in which case he’d draw out that final block for all he was worth.

March 17, 2017: Bubba

Nothing made Akemi prouder than to have passersby mistake him for a puppy.  At the time, it seemed he would live forever.  Or, at least, close to.

March 17, 2017: Bubba

When he developed a growth near his ear, we had it checked out and then, erring on the side of caution, had it surgically removed.  The tumor, it turned out, was cancerous. Months later, when Bubba developed a cough, we had x-rays taken. They came back all clear.  We ran further tests.  He was diagnosed with bronchitis and given antibiotics.

March 17, 2017: Bubba

But even though the cough seemed to get better, it never really left.  And then, suddenly, a couple of months ago, it worsened.  To the point that we brought him in again.  This time, x-rays showed abnormalities in his lungs.  What at first was suspected to be an enlarged heart turned out to be lung cancer.

March 17, 2017: Bubba

In his last months, perhaps sensing his time was limited, Bubba grew even more attached to Akemi, following her around the apartment, crying when he would lose sight of her.  He was at his happiest, as always, seated on her lap or right beside her, the feel of her reassuring hand on him.

March 17, 2017: Bubba

We tried various treatments to save him, from acupuncture and astragalus to Palladia and Prednisone.  None of them had any effect.  X-rays taken two weeks later showed his situation had worsened.  But we never gave up hope.  And, I like to think that neither did Bubba.  Until yesterday.

March 17, 2017: Bubba

His coughing worsened and his breathing grew more labored.  He stopped eating and could barely support himself.  I was at work when I received the text from Akemi.  It was time.

March 17, 2017: Bubba

I drove back home, picked them up, and traveled to the 24 hour emergency clinic (twice actually because I realized I’d forgotten my wallet the first time).  There, late last night, we said goodbye to our goofy, needy, happy, wonderful boy.

March 17, 2017: Bubba

I hope that somehow, somewhere out there, that old pug gang of mine has been reunited

March 17, 2017: Bubba

106 thoughts on “March 17, 2017: Bubba

  1. I did not know Bubba personally, but you managed to make him a part of my life as well. I now also feel a personal lost even though it can not begin to mirror your feelings and lost. Just from your blog and Instagram, I know you are a wonderful person and gave Bubba the best life any dog could every have…RIP Bubba.

  2. Joe, Akemi, I am so sorry and heartbroken as well. Bubba – all of your puppies are my family as well. You know that when Bubba crossed the rainbow bridge, the gang was ready for their reunion.

    Beautiful tribute to your boy….
    I need more tissues…

  3. Joe and Akemi, I’m very sorry to hear this. Very sad, but I don’t think Bubba could have had a happier or more fulfilling life anywhere else other than with you two.

  4. Joe, Akemi, I am heartbroken for your loss. Peace and comfort to you both.

  5. I’m sitting here in my car, crying my eyes out…
    I never met Bubba but feel I’ve lost him

    A lovely tribute Joe. My thoughts are with you, dear Akemi, Lulu and Suji.

  6. A beautiful tribute for a beautiful friend. Anytime I met Bubba, he was always rather the more shy, laid-back one compared to Lulu’s exuberance. That didn’t make him any less adorable, though. My thoughts are with all of you there.

    I just sent a donation to the local animal shelter in Bubba’s memory. A small honour for a great pug.

  7. So sorry to hear this sad news. Think back on the good times because clearly there were many and thank you for sharing your love for this wonderful animal with us.

  8. Very sorry to hear of your loss, His life and yours were so much the better for knowing each other. He was a truly lucky dog to have someone that cared for him so much.

  9. My heart goes out to you and Akemi, and to the rest of your pups. It sounds like it was time for Bubba, though knowing that doesn’t make it any easier.
    I hope you all can find comfort and joy in all the wonderful photos and memories you have of your time with him.

  10. My heart hurts for you and for Akemi, I’m glad you kept Bubba for your very own all those years ago. Please hug Lulu and Suji for me. No one could rock a bow tie like Bubba, esquire, except may John Houseman. Thank you for sharing Bubba’s milestones and fashion forays over the years, it underscores that loving unconditionally is the bravest and most rewarding thing anyone can do.

  11. Today is a sad day for all of your followers. Somehow, you make your family part of our family through your daily updates. So sorry for your loss…..

  12. So sorry to hear this. I thoroughly enjoyed Bubba’s presence on here. Each goofy costume made me laugh. But a part of me is happy that he can live on through Three’s gun 🙂 Enjoy heaven, Bubba!!!

  13. Oh Joe I am so sorry to hear of Bubba’s passing. You and Akemi gave him a wonderful home. Huggs for you both.

  14. RIP Bubba. 🙁

    I’ve had many dogs in my lifetime. They’re all special and they all love you more than you can understand.

  15. My sincerest condolences. They make a huge impact on our lives and the hole they leave in our hearts is too big for words to adequately describe. All my best

  16. {{{Hugs}}} There are no words to make it better. I’ll just say I’m so sorry for your loss. 😢💔

  17. Joe & Akemi, I am so sorry for the loss of such a huge part of your life. It’s always difficult to say good bye and especially when it is such a close member of your family. Hugs to all of you.

  18. So sorry Joe… I hope you are able to take time off and be together as a family to properly grieve and heal.

  19. No words could possibly suffice
    to comfort the devastating heart break today.

    It all seemed to happen so fast.

    Such a beautiful, loving, smart Boy
    And am so glad sweet Suji sensed what was up
    and stayed by his side a home yesterday.

    Bubba had the best life,
    The best parents
    And more love
    than anyone could possibly hope for.

    He will live in all our hearts forever.

  20. So sorry for your loss. Over the time I’ve been reading your blog I feel as though I got to know Bubba, and I know he will be missed. Hugs to you and Akemi!!

  21. Oh Joe, I’m so very sorry. I was hoping some of the treatments would at least buy you more time together. Bubba sounds like a wonderful guy. I know you and Akemi did everything you could to make his life a happy one. Warm hugs to you all.

  22. Joe and Akemi, I’m so sorry you had to say good-bye to your beloved Bubba. Hopefully, in time, the pain will lessen and the memories will be wonderful. You were all so lucky to have each other. I’m sure there’s a trio watching you and probably egging on their friends that are with you to keep you entertained 😉

  23. Aww, Bubba. I’m so sorry for your loss, Joe and Akemi. You are wonderful pet parents and your furkids must appreciate that. I’m sure Bubba is romping around like a young pup with Jelly and Maximus again.

    RIP Bubba. 🙁

  24. Joe and Akemi,

    You invite us into your lives to share the good times and the sad. All of us have been enriched by your stories about Bubba and next time Three brings out the big guns it will not be without a little poignancy.

    Our thoughts are with you, Akemi, Lulu And Suji.

  25. UGH! I’m behind on the blog (spring break, caring for Patrick & working and sick (both of us) but I saw Drea posted a tweet about this which I just happened to see.

    My mascara is now running down my face. I’m so sorry he went downhill so fast. I was hoping you would have more time. You were all blessed to have found each other. I have no doubt in my mind he has been reunited and they are having a romp among the stars. They are the angels in our world who remind us of unconditional love. They mark the milestones in our lives.

    Thank you sharing him with all of us. Most of us had never had the pleasure of meeting him, but you make us feel like we have.

    Sending comforting hugs and love to all of you.

  26. Such sadness Joe and Akemi, bless you for loving Bubba so fiercely. He’s at rest.
    I have never met any of you, but through this blog, I feel I know all of you. My heart breaks with yours.

    Sincere condolences and love from Carol, Basil and Stash.

  27. I am so sorry for your loss, Bubba was one of a kind baby, hugs to you Joe and Akemi, Lulu and Suji.

  28. I’m so sorry for the loss of your boy, Joe. You have always been a wonderful dog parent. If I were a dog, I’d want to belong to you. I’d have the best life a dog could ever have. Your dogs are waiting for you on the other side. (hugs)

  29. I am so sorry for your loss. I’m sorry he got so sick so quickly, but I am glad you got to be with him and that he isn’t suffering anymore. Lots of love to you and Akemi – and Suji and Lulu.

  30. What a wonderful tribute to Bubba. I’m so sorry guys. I know how difficult this is. Please give Akemi a hug. If there’s a Rainbow Bridge, Bubba is hanging out with Jelly and Max and catching up like old friends.

    I laughed when I read that Bubba was a failed gift for Fondy’s brother. I’d forgotten that.

  31. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I know you are feeling sad and grieving. My prayers are with you and Akemi.

  32. I loved your photos of Bubba’s life.
    My sympathies to you, Akemi, Lulu and Suji.

  33. Awww I’m going to miss that little guy. I know he’s enjoying being back with his buddies at that doggie park in the sky. Hugs to you all.

  34. Dear Joe, Akemi, Lulu & Suji – So sorry to hear of Bubba’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Safe journey Bubba. Max and Jelly have been waiting for you. xoxoxoxox


    PS Joe, that was a beautiful tribute as always.

  35. I mourn your loss. I envy the longevity of your pet at the same time. All my dogs met highway or coyote fates, eventually. The longest living pet was offish and never would be petted and the road got him too. I miss him every day. Bandit.

  36. Words really are in adequate but Joe and Akemi, I am so sorry. He was lucky to have you both and you to have him in your lives.

  37. I am crying with you. Such a handsome sweet boy. I can’t believe some of us have been with you through the loss of 3 dogs. It just rips your heart out. Why do we keep doing it? But thank God we do. Hugs to you Joe and especially Bubba’s mom Akemi. I hope a few more fur babies steal her heart again.

    Beautiful blog entry tonight.

  38. Oh my Joe, I’m so sorry. Your post made me cry. Not just because it is so sad, but our beautiful tribute it was. I said this to my brother recently when he lost one of his beloved cats, I don’t think many animals out there could ask for the love you guys bestow on your little familys. I guess just know you and Akemi gave him such a wonderful life.

  39. Very sorry to hear about Bubba. It’s always hard to say goodbye to a family member.

  40. G’day

    So very sorry for the loss of Bubba.
    I can bearly type through the tears.
    All my love and hugs to you and Akemi.
    Lovely tribute to Bubba. The pug gang are frolicking together again ❤


  41. A flood of tears are falling as I extend my deepest sympathies to you & Akemi. Though in blog years I am a new member to this family, I feel as if I have known you, Akemi & the pups for years. The trip down memory lane was especially touching, making me laugh and cry at the same time. Bubba was so photogenic! He will be missed.

  42. I am so sorry Joe and Akemi. It is so heartbreaking when your furry friends pass on to that big dog park in the sky.

  43. Condolences on your loss. I remember reading about your dogs on this blog way back during the Stargate Atlantis days, It was and is obvious how much you love those dogs and what lengths you go for them. My twitter account still follows @JellMaxBubLu . One of the earliest accounts I followed back when i joined it. All the best to you and Akemi.

  44. Awwww…Joe, I am so, so sorry. 😥 Bubba was part of our family, too. I’m gonna miss that fella. 🙁 Give Akemi a big hug for me, I know this must be very hard for her.


  45. I can’t imagine how hard this is for you and especially for Akemi. He was a special and sweet boy. My heart goes out to you both, and to Lulu and Suji. Your tribute was wonderful, and thank you for sharing his life with us over these past many years. I’ve been shedding a lot of tears for the little guy.

  46. So very sorry, and sad, Joe and Akemi. I knew Max, Jelly and Bubba a little over the years, and it’s hard to think that all 3 are gone now. I’m thinking of you at this heart-wrenching time. Wonderful tribute.

  47. Sitting here crying my eyes out. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    “My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend stopped running today.”
    – Richard Adams, Watership Down

  48. So sorry to hear the news about Bubba. Just because he lived a good life and was an older pug doesn’t really make it any easier to know he’s gone. Hugs for you and Akemi.

  49. Was on the road yesterday but I wanted to add that I loved your tribute to Bubba. It was so moving. Both of you loved him for who he was. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  50. Condolences and hugs to all. I imagine the rest of your bunch waiting by the gates when he arrived, so that they could show him the best places to run and play and sleep. Then they curled up together in your (future) heavenly home, shedding fur on the furniture so that it will look and feel like home.

  51. For almost as long as I have known you, Bubba was a part of my “picture” of you and the family. I cried reading this fantastic storyline of Bubba’s life with you, and then Akemi. Love, peace to you & Akemi. And Bubba is living his happy nerd-afterlife right now, we know. xo

  52. Joe and Akemi, I’m so sorry for your loss. May his memory be a blessing.

  53. Bubba!………..

    *face in palms*

    Why is love immortal, and our earthly bodies not? Unfair, wretched loss! 😫

    But then… we witness the price to be paid for living on earth. Age or accident lead to pain and suffering. Even if we could, we would not be willing to pay it forever. Or expect the ones we love to pay it as well. Enough! we cry. The hurting must be over, but the love, never.

    And in spite of the heart’s pain, we go on Ioving. For there will never be “Enough” Love. We honor our loved ones, two-legged or four, by leaving no love left ungiven.

    One day mortality will find all of us, but Love is immortal.

    Love, and Bubba’s love, remain.

    * * * * * * *

    Hugs and prayers for you Joe, for Akemi – Bubba’s mom, and for Lulu, Suji, and all his human friends.


  54. Joe & Akemi, so sorry to hear of your loss. He gave you so much love and received as much, if not more in return. He is happy and without pain now.

  55. I am so sorry to hear about this, Joe. I was hoping that he’d get by long enough to make it back home to Van to be a little more at peace with more familiar surroundings. I can’t imagine how Akemi must be feeling right now, too. Lots of hugs for Akemi.

    You know, I’ve been following your blog for so long…I’ve read too many of these kinds of posts from you. You are an amazing dog dad and do more for your dogs than most of us could ever dream of. Your pugs were lucky to have you and Akemi for the time they had and I’m sure that wherever they are now, they’re probably all curled up together, thinking of you two.

    Condolences to you and Akemi.

    -Mike A.

  56. So sorry for your and Akemi’s loss, my thoughts are with you both. As many others have said, your puppy family has the best, loving home and they have wonderful lives. That’s all we can do for them while they are with us and this tribute shows how much love Bubba shared over the years.

  57. Joe & Akemi, so sorry for your loss.

    I come from time to time onto your blog, being a (French) Stargate fan.
    I had a crush on Bubba since day one, and this little adorable pal was, is and will always be one of the most loveable pug I’ve met; even if it was through an ocean.

    I’ll keep fond memories of him, and I just do hope that, in a way or another, you will be reunited one day.

    Condolences and hugs to the whole family.


    sorry for my bad English skills.

  58. I’m only just reading your blog post. So very sorry for the loss of your sweet FurBaby Bubba ♡. Love all your photos of him.

  59. Oh, Joe. I know I’m really late as I’m just getting caught up on your blog. I’m so sorry for your loss. Condolences to you and Akemi. <3

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