Saturday, December 31, 2011

Farewell to Bubba and 2011

We who choose to surround ourselves with lives
more temporary than our own 
live within a fragile circle,
easily and often breached.
Unable to accept its awful gaps, 
we still would live no other way.
We cherish memory as the only certain immortality,
never fully understanding the necessary plan."
~Irving Townsend~

This quote tumbled around in my mind several times yesterday as Bubba quietly left this life for the next.  We are thankful for the 18 months that he spent with us.  They were not always easy ones because of his health and limitations.  But knowing that Bubba is free from all those things brings peace.  His kind, quiet, gentle nature, licks on the hand, and high pitched 'woo-woo-wooo's' when he was happy will be missed.  His lifetime companion, Toby, like us, is missing him already. I wish I could explain it all to him, but as I mentioned yesterday, I think he already knows.  

The day was a very difficult one.  Those of you who are 'Facebook friends' may have seen my update saying that it 'was the worst day I'd ever had as a dog owner.'  It truly was. With those events and the loss of Bubba and the six others this year, my spirit and the 'fragile circle' that I live in truly feels breached and broken.  I cannot remember ever being at a lower point.  This circle that Carl and I have chosen to live in, and my broken heart will hopefully be made whole by your friendship, family, and the good memories and times of the past year.  At least as the last day of 2011 dawns, and a new year is on the horizon, that's my hope.  


  1. Kim, I am really struggling to find words to comfort you right now. You have experienced so much loss this year, I can only remind you of all the joy, peace and love you have brought to so many. Not just animals either. The way you share your journey with others, does bring joy, and love and I have to say it, INSPIRATION to others.

    You have touched my life with your unselfish sharing of love and inspired me to do more.

    With all love comes loss, that is what really sucks about love, but you are right Bubba is free now, he is free to run again as he once did and even though your heart is broken, take comfort in that.

    Sending hugs across the miles.

  2. Kim, my thoughts and prayers are with you - you have more strength than you even know. I could never do what you do. When I saw Sue's memorial post for this year, I could not believe how many of the dogs were your dogs - and now Bubba. Please know I surround you with loving thoughts and prayers. I pray that Todd can give you some puppy comic relief today to take your mind to another place.


  3. So sorry for your loss ! Bubba and the others are now all angels watching over you . Gone but never forgotten !

  4. Kim, I'm so sorry for another loss... I almost don't know what to say. You and Carl are in my prayers.

  5. I would like to be able to comfort you but it just takes time for your heart to heal. I am so sorry for your losses and deep sadness. Sometimes it is just too much to bear, but we do, and the light shines through again. Hug little Todd and laugh at his daily joy. You will find yours again.

  6. So sorry to hear about Bubba.

    Hugs to you.

  7. I weep with you and for you, Dear Kim. You are an angel on earth for these beautiful creatures of God. He has entrusted them the your care. I just wish it didn't all hurt so much. Remember how much love and dignity you give all of your dogs. They love you for who you are and what you do and so do I.

  8. I sorry to hear about bubba. What you do with these sweet dogs is nothing less then wonderful.
    Have a happy 2012.

  9. So much loss this year - sending you healing hugs and blessings xxx

  10. I'm sorry, Kim. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to have lost so many dogs in the space of a year. My heart goes out to you, and I pray that 2012 will be a much easier year for you.

  11. My heart is singing for Bubba ~ rejoicing that he is now free and unencumbered by pain. But it is heavy for you ~ knowing how much you are now suffering. You suffer because you love. That is a good thing! No matter how much it hurts you will move on to help another needy soul.

    We're all here for you Kim. We share your pain. Not only for the loss of Bubba, but for the sorrow and uncertainty that you are now dealing with. I wish there was something that I could do or say to make you feel better but I know that only time for your soul to heal and the continuing love and support of your wonderful husband, your clan of Goldens (who I'm sure sense your pain) and your many friends and admirers. Be kind to yourself. Take your time. Light a candle for Bubba and the others who passed this year and treasure the memory of each one. Be proud of the joy and peace that you brought into their world.

    I LOVE the verse at the top of your post! I may add it to my canine rescue page.

    Sending you gentle hugs and wiping away your tears, even as I shed my own. That's what friends do.

  12. So sorry to hear this must have a strength that most of us just don't have or can't muster...So tomorrow is a new day and a new year...2012 will be so much better!

  13. I don't know how to respond to such sadness, other than to say I am thinking of you, and all of the good that you do for these precious animals. You and your loved ones are in my prayers.

  14. It's been our pleasure knowing and meeting you, Bubba! See you.

  15. So very sorry sweet Bubba is gone and you've had to go through this again so soon Kim. May the New Year bring you peace and comfort. You're definately in our hearts today.

  16. Kim,
    I'm truly sorry for your loss of another great lab. Bubba may have only been in your home for a short time but you loved and cared for him better than anyone else would have. He made new friends and had new adventures for him to remember on his journey now to be with his past friends. I know how heavy your heart must feel and I wish so much I could reach out and help you. I'm sending hugs to you and Carl in hopes that it will ease your pain some today.
    God bless you Kim for being such a guardian angel to our doggie friends and us.
    Take care and I wish you both a Happy New Year to come.

  17. So sorry to hear from Bubba !!

    Een heel goed en vooral gezond 2012 !!!.......

    Bedankt voor je liefde en steun van het afgelopen jaar......

    Het voelde als een warme deken......

    Liefs van

    ★ ┊    ★ ┊┊   ★ ┊  ★ ┊    
    ┊   ┊ ☆   ☆┊ ┊     ★┊  
      ★ ┊    ★ ┊ ★ ┊ ★ ┊
    ┊   ┊ ☆   ☆┊    ★┊ ☆ ☆ 
    ☆┊   ☆   ★ ┊    ★ ┊┊ ☆   
    ┊   ┊ ☆   ☆┊    ★┊★┊ ★
    ☆┊ ☆   ★ ┊    ★ ┊ ☆

    A very good and healthy 2012 !!!......

    Thank you for love and support of the past year........

    It felt like a warm blanket..........

    Love from

  18. So sorry to hear about Bubba.

    Our prayers are with you.

  19. Oh Kim...I'm crying huge crocodile tears as I read your last 2 and Carl are the biggest heros I have ever met for opening your lives and your hearts to our Golden senior love bugs! I know that is small comfort but you are in my heart today and am thinking of you and Bubba and Toby and all our golden friends in heaven! :)
    Robin and Midey and Athena too

  20. Oh dear Kim,I am so sorry. You are such an inspiration and blessing to so many. May you find peace and get some much needed rest.
    Run free Bubba, run are an angel now.


  21. Kim, I am crying as much reading these beautiful comments as reading your post. I am truly feeling your pain. I love you so much! If a diversion would do you good, call me, any time day or night, and I will be there! Much love, from Eileen <3

  22. my heart is there with you and Carl. my tears are my own. :)

  23. ...we still would live no other way... it's not easy but it is worth it.


  24. Sorry to hear about Bubba.. wish there were words that could be used to soften the hurt you must feel

  25. We are leaning on you and putting our paws on your foot in comfort. We are so sorry for this loss.

    -Bart and Ruby

  26. Oh dear sweet Bubba, that's so sad.

    I guess you knew it was coming but that makes it no easier. I am so glad he had you for the last 18 months of his life, so understanding for him and his needs.

    I really don't know how you do it, no wonder you feel like it is taking its toll on you and your spirit.

    Wishing you health, strength and happiness in 2012.


  27. so very sorry
    but so happy he had you beside him
    to hold his paw...hugs

  28. Big,BIG hugs to you Kim. Bubba was so special. X

  29. Sweet Kim, Carl and all @ the Golden Pines.
    My heart is crying for all of you.
    I am so sorry about Bubba.
    You gave Bubba so much love, and have done everything for him that you could, to give him quality of life and for him to feel safe and secure.
    You had no way of knowing his life would be so short with you. You had no way of knowing he would leave so soon.
    With all the loss and sadness that you have had this year, I do think you would have made the same decisions to open your hearts to all these lovely goldens even if you had known.
    Angels are holding Bubba now, yes, he is being loved and is thankful for the gifts that you gave to him, and the kindest one of all- to allow him to be free and go to the Bridge, in peace.
    Sending love

  30. When I lost two within months of each other, I was devastated, I can't imagine what you must feel. You're probably feeling a bit numb. I appreciate your posts because with seven dogs all the same age, I know I may be facing this is the future and you give me strength to face it.

  31. I am very sorry for your loss of Bubba. You gave him comfort and joy in the 18 months that he was with you. Hugs to you and Toby.

  32. I am so sorry, Kim, for you, for Toby, and even me. So many followed Bubba and his challenges, I know they feel the same. Bless your heart, Kim, for caring for these beautiful dogs during their last golden years.

    Here's hoping for a better New Year with less sadness.

  33. Wishing you and all at Golden Pines a happy and healthy 2012!
    - Anne & Charlie

  34. Kim...of course I am very saddened by the news, yet could feel it yesterday.
    You and Carl give 1000% to every dog you take in...offering them the best quality of life they could ever get. Such examples of love and compassion.
    The way I look at it, you two are willing to go through the pain to give these dog the best chance they could possibly have at a new matter what the circumstances have been, you deal with it and put your energies into giving them happiness...for however long it lasts. You are very special people. Once again I thank you for all that you do.

  35. Kim, My heart aches for you and Carl, and Toby! Thank you for sharing your heart and home with so many...and thank you for sharing them all with us!
    RIP Sweet Bubba

  36. I've said it before and I'll say it again . Thank God for people with hearts as big and as open as those at Golden Pines . Bubba and all the others would understand.

  37. Dearest Kim
    I am so very sorry that you've had yet another loss. You have indeed chosen to live inside a 'fragile circle'. You suffer the heartaches that comes with your choices by my... what you have added to your "spiritual credit card." I like to think that we as humans can either selfishly use up what is in our "spiritual credit card" or we can add to it by what we choose to do with our lives. You are RICH my lovely friend.
    Big hug
    - thinking of you this evening and what a great friend I have in you.

  38. ((hugS))) They give you soo much joy and it is very sad when they go.

    Love Leanne

  39. Our hearts are aching for you and your family. You are all in our thoughts during this difficult time. You have the grandest heart a golden could ever ask for!

  40. kim
    shit shit shit
    as always there is only one colsolation....
    you did him proud

  41. Your ministry to these animals is so beautiful, Kim. I can't imagine giving the way that you give knowing that your heart will ultimately be broken each time you do. It is precious and is a sacrifice and is what Christmas is all about - giving of yourself to offer others something better. I'm reminded of the scripture that says "do not grow weary in well doing". Praying for comfort for your weary heart, dear friend. Love you lots!


  42. Kim, I am so sad to hear about've had quite a year...... rescuing golden oldies comes with heartbreak....thank you for your kindness to all the animals....they are better off because of you!
    Godspeed Bubba.....and hugs to you dear...

  43. Dear Kim,

    I'm so sorry to read about Bubba. Loosing one dog is hard, but so many in such a short time is unimaginable. Thank you for sharing each of those dogs with us, and for loving them so much. We miss them too.

    Your last photo and the dawn of the new year reminded me of Maori saying "Turn your face to the sun and let the shadow fall behind you"

    Not easy to do when everything seems so dark and sad, but I hope as the days progress 2012 is filled with far more joy than sadness.

    Riley's mum

  44. Kim and Carl, I'm so sorry for this loss; for all the losses you've had this year. Words escape me, just wish I could wrap you in a hug.
    Sending lots of love and prayers.
    Noreen & Reggie

  45. Rest in peace sweet pup! Enjoy your renewed health playing and running on the other side of that bridge!
    Sending you big hugs and warm thoughts Kim!
    xo Catherine

  46. What a wonderful life you gave to Bubba.

    Godspeed, dear Golden Bubba. Now go romp with Hamlet and the others at the Bridge.

  47. I am praying that some angels in disguise will hold you now.

  48. Another piece of shrapnal in the heart; that's the way I always feel when I lose a loved one. I lost three dogs in one year and it nearly killed me; I can barely imagine losing seven. But there is a candle in the darkness: all seven of your golden babies ended their lives being loved and well cared for and safe, no matter how rough their earlier years may have been. And that is a comfort and a blessing. Big hugs to you all, and slurpy kisses from

    Jed & Abby and mama ML

  49. I pray for your strength each day as you are one of the most unselfish people i know who opens her heart and home to love and care for these beautiful and humble dogs. I just don't know what to say, Kim. My heart just goes out to you. Bless Bubba this day. He was so loved. I do send you a hug and strength to welcome in a New Year ~ a new beginning.

  50. Thanking God that the suffering for this sweet angel is over.. Asking Jesus to fill your brokeness...

    So happy for me to meet you.. will be learning more about you soon.. Can I just say that I want to photograph you and your husband and all your furbabies on that porch (((sigh))) a photographer's dream!!!

  51. Run free my Bubba Chub Brother. The poetic piece about our abbreviated time is the perfect human salve for your loss and Toby's. Through my tears I will create the appropriate post in his honor.

  52. You have a big, golden heart for taking care of senior dogs.
    Wishing you comfort during this difficult time.

  53. writing this with a bone crushing sadness. i am so tired of loss. of human (my sister-in-law to cancer this year and my zeke, a pon like wilf, also to cancer)and all of your beautiful people with fur that left us...
    surely next year will be better. if i lived closer i would simply give you a silent bear hug.
    i didn't have the heart to read all the comments, as i usually do.
    i know they said what i am about to say... i know you must get your strength to endure this constant loss from a higher power. i think it is beyond human strength.
    you are a mother teresa to me, no less valuable because your ministering is to helpless, innocent animals. in my book, maybe even more so. i love you. you are like a better, stronger self that we all wish we were.
    god speed kim,
    tammy j

  54. Kim,

    It has been a heck of a year for you.

    Sending you virtual {{{HUGS}} your way and hoping that 2012 is a better year for you, your dh and your doggie family,

    Gill in Canada

  55. Just read your post and I cannot even think of words to comfort myself much less you. You definitely have a heart of gold. I know that Bubba is now resting and in a good place. I still don't know how you do it. I am a wreck by just reading your post.
    I pray that you and Carl have a better 2012 with the animals. Hopefully it will ring in with good health, lots of love and lots of peace.

    Happy New Year.

  56. Thinking of you, Kim, and sending love your way.

  57. Oh Kim, you have the biggest heart in the world, and I am not surprised it is feeling broken. It's okay to step back, to take some time for yourself, for your heart to heal. Please know you are surrounded by love and gratitude for all that you do - be well, and safe, and take good care. Big hugs from all of us at Mucky Boots.

  58. Kim, You do have one of the most generous and loving hearts that I've ever encountered. I am so so sorry about losing Bubba. I can imagine that it feels like a stake to the heart. I am sad along with you, Carl, Toby, and the rest of your pack. I wish you peace and rest. Please realize that you make an absolutely huge difference in the lives of so many dogs... You gave Bubba an amazing 18 months, filled with love and a big happy pack. I am with you in spirit.

  59. Oh Kim, such a hard time for you guys! My heart goes out to you and wish you many many happy days in 2012.

  60. Bless Bubba and bless you for your caring heart.

    For what it's worth, I get these flashes. I read your entry and had a sudden flash. A star lit golden, young again, running free. Wait at the bridge Bubba.

  61. I am so very sorry! Those seem like small words after such an enormous loss. Bubba was SO lucky that you were there for him these past eighteen months, and I'm sure he had some special gifts for you that he shared in that time, too. I've learned something special and profound from each of the dogs I've loved in my life. You may not have had the quantity of time that you wanted with Bubba, but I have no doubt that the quality of the time was the very best!

  62. I'm right there with you sweet lady. We said goodbye to our 13-year old Hans on Christmas Eve. We have 17 dogs over the age of 8, and 5 over the age of 12... The writing is on the wall. You just take each loss the best you can, and know you made a difference in their life. Even knowing that, doesn't take the sting out of losing a precious pet. Blessings from northern lower Michigan.

  63. I am so sorry for your loss.

  64. Crossed paws and warm hugs for you.

  65. So sorry to hear of Bubba passing. You have had one heck of a year......may 2012 be kinder.

  66. Oh Kim
    If I could take some pain away from you, I would. You know that Bubba is free from pain and suffering, and he left you with so many memories. Run free sweet doggie.

    Extra hugs to you and Toby,
    Nadine & golden Neeli

  67. Dear Kim,
    To say I'm Sorry for your loss sounds so not enough.It was difficult reading about Bubba's going away..I can only imagine how you must be feeling at the end of the year when you think of all your dear kids who have gone away. It must be difficult still to look at Toby who knows but who you can't really explain things to.
    But Kim, You are one of the bravest, kindest people I know. Each day I see a street pup or a hurt doggie I think of you and feel so thankful that somewhere in one corner of this world, a few lucky dogs have you to take care of them. It is bad to live alone, on the street but it is worse still for a dog to have known a home and then be abandoned. I feel so thankful that a lucky few find a home and love with you when they need it most.
    Surely they go away from this world knowing they were special...

    You will survive, Kim. And you will also have a VERY Happy New year. May all things good, nice, beautiful happen to you.
    Hugs to all your babies...

  68. Dear Kim, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Bubba. You certainly have had a great deal of loss this year and I hope that 2012 will be easier for you in all aspects and filled with love, peace, health and tranquility for you and all those who surround you, human and canine alike!

  69. We came by to catch up on your posts and are sorry to read the last 2 posts about Bubba. It doesn't matter how long or short a time they are with us, they take a piece of our heart with them. But in the midst of our grief, there are memories of love and laughter shared.

    2011 seems to have been a year of loss for you. Hope 2012 will be a year of hope and happiness.

  70. Dear Kim, I've been having difficulty leaving comments on your last few posts, probably my computer, not your blog, but I just wanted to tell you how very, very sorry I am for the passing of Bubba. He was indeed such a sweet and gentle boy, Todd's bestest friend, and he will be sorely missed.
    I know the feeling of a broken heart, it's not easy to keep putting yourself in those situations, but because YOUR heart is as big as Texas, you will continue to be there for these aged and oh, so grateful creatures.
    My wishes for you are a year filled with peace, contentment, and the strength to continue with your devotion and compassion.
    Hugs, my firend,

  71. Kim,
    I am truly void of any words to glue your broken heart or to soften the blow of your have certainly had your share of good-byes and none harder than the conglomeration of them all.
    Perhaps the only consulation is what you've already mentioned; Bubba is out of pain and able to manuever the hills of the heavens with much strength and energy...and that is a good thing.
    May your circle be melded by the healing provided with time.
    Thinking of you this day and everyday Kim...

  72. So sorry to hear the news... I'm sending you lotsa hugs and prayers your way. Sweet Bubba was so lucky to have you in his life.

    Woofs, <3

    ~Bailey (Yep, I'm a girl!)

  73. So sad, I'm sorry for you. I've a Cairn terrier now and before her an English setter and a Flatcoated retriever, so I can surely relate to both loving dogs and feeling sorrow when they leave. Hope you'll feel better eventually.

  74. I hope 2012 is better for you. Bubba had a good life, and you made that possible for him.


  75. Beautiful pictures! *Right click save image set as wallpaper*

  76. Aw. I'm so sorry. Taking in the elderly ones, and giving them a happy comfortable place to live out their days is such a courageous thing to do.

    I thank you for your shining example of the goodness people can do in the world, even though it breaks their hearts.

    Sending much sympathy your way.

    I hope Todd's antics will give you a smile today.

  77. We are very sorry to hear about Bubba. Tell Toby to stay strong, you need him to help you through.

    Dogs live in the moment, the last moments Bubba knew were good moments, warm moments, loving moments. Thanks for helping him on his journey.

    Mogley G. Retriever

  78. Dear Kim, Carl, Toby and the rest of your crew --- once again my heart is breaking for you. Poor Toby, my heart goes out to him. I know your love with help him.

  79. Kim,

    I am so sorry for the loss of Bubba. There are no words. I have yet to loose a dog in my adult life. I thought I was going to loose Fred once and that small glimpse was horribly sad.

    What you and your husband have chose to do is just simply amazing. You two have the largest hearts of anyone I know.
    I hope that when the time comes for one of my dogs I can be as strong as you. My prayers are with you. Im sending many hugs. RIP sweet Buddy.

  80. Kim,
    When I say that I know what your going through it is true. This year has been hard on us as well. I lost my mother who live with us for the last 7 years, we were very close. My husband also lost his mother this year and we have lost two beloved cats. Just last month we lost our close cousin as well and I was diagnoised with cancer.
    But it is now a new year and a time for renewal. We are strong women and will carry on. We have young pups and old loves that need and love us.
    I will be thinking of you often and wishing you well.

  81. Dear Kim;
    I know what you mean by the "circle". I too have had a rough year with the losses I have had to live with and over the holidays it became overwhelming and so I was not online very often and had missed your post about Bubba. I am so sorry to hear of his passing Kim, I know how much each of your companions means to you and how open and caring your heart is which makes it all the harder to accept when one of them has to leave for the next part of their journey.
    I am thinking of you this morning and sending a heartfelt prayer that you will be comforted and your heart healed by He who knows how kind and loving you are.
    Tina xo


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