A tribute to my dog Bubba

I had a dog named Bubba..

Yesterday morning at 11:50 my beloved dog Bubba passed away in my arms. Bubba was battling bone cancer and yesterday we both gave up the fight. I want to think Bubba is pain free now and off running somewhere chasing cats (his favorite past time, though what he would have done with one had he caught it remains a mystery). I was very attached to Bubba more so than any other pet I have had. I want to cry and cry because of my attachment but am holding back.

See, I want to think these things, and work through the pain but I have a problem. I am Buddhist and as a Buddhist I don’t believe in heaven nor should I be so attached to my pain that it overwhelms me. Some Buddhist I have turned out to be!

I never meant to become attached to my dog. He started out as a playmate/protector for my then 8 year old son. We found Bubba (already named) in a local pound. He was a Rottweiler mix, and it was love at first site for all of us. We took him home and soon he and my son were inseparable.

Bubba crossed that invisible line with me; the line that said he is an animal not my other kid, don’t become attached. At the time of my divorce it was clear I was becoming a single mother of two. Bubba and my son Alex were constantly on my mind. Where is a good place for them to live? Will they adjust to their new surroundings? Will they be happy? All my major decisions revolved around my two kids.

Bubba was always happy and adjusted well. In fact Bubba survived two long distance moves, one short disastrous relationship (for me not him) and finally he survived my son growing up. It never occurred to me that Bubba would have to face a life threatening illness. I assumed one day, after many, many years he would pass on like my grandfather, peacefully and with a smile.

Now I am facing the loss of a beloved companion and protector. I could be a good Buddhist and work on letting my feelings and thoughts go, but I won’t. I am going to honor my friend by embracing my feelings for him. I am going to cry for my loss and at the same time I am going to picture him chasing cats and being petted and loved by many souls.

This is why I am writing tonight. I want everyone to know I had a dog named Bubba who was the best friend anyone could ask for.

2009 Themed Reading Challenge

I am participating in two group reading challenges this year.
My yahoo reading group Mostlygroups always has a monthly challenge. This Jan. I read Dubliners’ by Joyce for our classic month. Next up I need to pick a “chunkster” for the month of Feb. Something over 600 pages.

The other group challenge I am participating in is a themed challege hosted by www.caribousmom.com.

The Rules:

1. Books should be chosen from the reader’s TBR pile (this may be an actual physical pile or a virtual pile). The challenge will from February 1, 2009 – July 31, 2009.
2. The goal is to read 4 to 6 books linked by theme.
3. Overlaps with other challenges are allowed.
4. Readers may change their list of books at any time.
5. Readers may choose three different levels of participation:

– Read at least 4 books with the same theme.
– Read at least 5 books that share at least TWO themes.
– Read at least 6 books that share MORE than two themes.

I picked option one but I may try for option 2, read 5 books with two themes since I have three shared themes already.

I am reading 4 Buddhist books in a few short months. All books are from my TBR pile and are written by Tibetan monks who have in one way or another affected me in a very personal way.

My list includes:
A Flash of Lightning in the Dark of Night by The Dalai Lama
The Art of Happiness at work by The Dalai Lama
Destructive Emotions by The Dalai Lama (this could be my Feb chunkster!)
Ego, Attachment and Liberation by Lama Yeshe

Between these two challenges, my TBR challenge and school starting up again, I may be reading 24/7.