We Lost a Friend Today

She was just a puppy. The only survivor of her Chow mama. We got the idea the mother was killing her puppies and we saved this little fuzzball. That’s what she was — our little fuzzball. If memory serves, CJ named her Fuzzy. She was, in fact, fuzzy after all. CJ couldn’t have been even 2 years old yet. This year, she’ll be 20 — and Fuzzy’s been a part of our lives for all that time. Sam — our second born — can’t remember a time without Fuzzy in her life — and Gabby, who’s not even 11 — well, looked at fuzzy as a sibling practically. Jenny and I moved around a lot — even before the children came — because of this crazy career I chose. It’s been hard — and trying — and exhilarating — and worth it. By our side, the entire time, was Fuzzy. We all talk about unconditional love — and you know what, it’s BS! There are always conditions. If you didn’t call — or write — or smile at the right time — or like the dinner I made — or take the garbage — or watch my favorite program and enjoy it with me — you might get the silent treatment or land in the proverbial “doghouse.” Not with our beloved pets — not with Fuzzy. She didn’t care. She loved us all — so much. She protected my family and me. If you came anywhere near our house — she’d set off a barrage of barks to warn anyone to back off. If she didn’t like our daughters’ dates — she’d let them know immediately. When we had a new baby in the house — she’d lay next to her and protect her as if she was her own. One of Fuzzy’s great joys in life — other than running around the house like a maniac on top of the couch back to the floor on to the chair back to the floor — tearing around from room to room tail-wagging, tongue flopping around — she loved jumping in the car and going for a ride. We’d just crack the window a little — just enough for that big nose of hers to stick out if she wanted.. she just loved it.. and we loved her. Back in the day when I played my saxophone more often.. she’d run to the room when I was practicing — and when I’d hit certain notes — she’d howl along with me. It was pure joy for both of us — and honestly, some days, her notes sounded better than mine. I was on the air this morning on KPRC in Houston when my wife gave me word that Fuzzy died. A shot in the heart for sure. When I could — I went to Fuzzy and thanked her for being such a great friend.. and rubbed her head one last time. She was 18 — a good long life for a dog — but, for my family and me, it went by far too quickly. We’ve shed a lot of tears today — because she gave us so much joy. We’ll miss her terribly. Thank God for the time we got to spend with our little Fuzzball. Pags