Bon Voyage Bun Bun – A Love Letter
(August 6th, 2012 – May 21st, 2013)
Dear Mr. Sunny Sunny Bun Bun,
The only way I can say “goodbye for now,” is in a letter – a love letter. You really are the love of my life.
Last August, I asked the Adopt Me Society, “Who needs me the most?” Dixie drove you up to Park City. When we set you on the front passenger seat to ride shotgun, you looked at me, nodded, and woofed out with your eyes, “All-righty, then. Let’s go. I’m with you now.”
And, we did. We drove home to start your new life.
The thing is, Bun, it wasn’t about you needing me. It was about me needing you to teach me some hard lessons that, as a 42-year-old, I hadn’t learned.
On August 6th, you were so big that you high-centered on the step into the house.
But, even at 22-1/2 pounds, you never gave up. Every day, you got up and moved. With diet and exercise, it didn’t take you long to navigate all fifteen steps in the house. You bounded up and down to find me.
At first, in the heat of August, walking around the block was a challenge. Each day, you went a little bit farther before taking a rest and asking me to carry you. By the time the snow fell, you were like an Iditarod dog mixed with the Energizer Bunny.
You were an inspiration. Our neighbors came out to cheer you on. But, it was more than that. It was as if, by cheering the Bun, they cheered for themselves. If a morbidly obese toy poodle with Cushing’s Syndrome could lose weight and smile, why couldn’t we all meet our goals? While you lived here, the neighbor across the street quit smoking and lost 60 pounds.
While I continued to bring your stylin’ stroller on our walks, you didn’t need it very much. Obviously, you enjoyed having a throne and encouraging Aunt Carly to pay homage to you. There was no sweeter sound than your high-pitched bark encouraging people to first smile, then come to you and scratch your ears.
At first, I wondered about your name. Who would name a black dog, “Sunny?”
Sunny. It describes your disposition. You are perpetually sunny, confident, and happy. That’s another lesson for me.
Within a few months, you became a mascot for the Companion Animal magazine, wrote your own advice column telling people how to lose weight and be happy, had a photo shoot with a professional photographer (thank you Tawnya Fox and Fox Spirit Photography), created a blog, made your own Facebook page, and spear-headed the Anti-Bully campaign in Park City.
All of that was very public.
Privately, you showed your fur-bro, Gus, how to really be a dog. In you, his fur-bro, Gus saw a dog that moved past his history and into the present.
You taught me to live in the moment and not concern myself with the past. Mr. Bun, because of you, I stopped hovering over Gus and he grew into a “real dog.”
You taught me that:
- Everything IS gonna’ be all right
- Being pudgy doesn’t define you
- When you’re tired, stop
Bun, you are the love of my life.
I miss everything about you.