For Buju | Chandra

This is not the story of a shelter dog who needs a home. Instead, this is a very small tribute to a very big dog.

Buju is a beautiful black Great Dane in our neighborhood. We've watched him grow up from puppyhood and he's always been a sweet, gentle soul.

The most amazing thing about Buju is that he stands calmly outside his house, right on the sidewalk, and watches the world go by. All the time. He never goes further than the lot line of the house, and he greets everyone serenely, dog and human alike. He's up for a brief hello and pet on the head, but he's really just there to take it all in. He's our neighborhood mascot and everyone knows and loves him.

Years ago, when we still had our dog Gracie, he had a big crush on her. Every time we'd walk by with her, his eyes would follow longingly. When we'd bring her over to say hello he'd get really, really happy. It was our little inside game and it was wonderful to see him light up.

Tonight on my walk I noticed that Buju was resting on the lawn. Not standing like normal. The last few times I've petted him he's looked very thin and we've suspected that he's nearing the end of his life.

Tonight I made a point to walk over to him to say hello, thinking it might just be the last time. My eyes immediately filled with tears. His once beautiful body is just fur over a skeleton at this point, his eyes are rheumy, he smells of the end. He let me pet him, but there wasn't any joy anymore.

It's time for Buju to leave this place. It's time for him to vacate his post on the sidewalk, to go somewhere else entirely.

I sobbed for the rest of the walk home.

Buju, so many of us in the neighborhood love you. I wish you Godspeed big boy. You deserve it.

You are the example of what a good dog can be. May all the dogs one day have homes. May they all be loved like you are.

Buju in his prime, at his Post.

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