[attribution]In honor of Jim Rozier and in memory of BJ[/attribution]
BJ came into our lives in 1999, not long after losing our dog, Butch. Thus, the name BJ – Butch, Jr. He quickly lived up to the name and brought us so much of the joy Butch had brought us many years prior. The runt of the litter, BJ was a little palm-sized ball of snow-white fluff. He was so tiny, it looked like you had been picking cotton and were carrying a small bundle of it when you held him. His little curls hung around his eyes like a shaggy surfer haircut – something that would define him throughout his life and drive my mother to keep him groomed with decorative bows for every season, as if he were just another one of us girls.
Speaking of seasons, at Christmas, I would often sit at the piano and play carols, BJ howling along. We could never tell if he was trying to sing with us or if the cacophony hurt his tiny ears. Probably the latter, as none of us are extremely talented in this department. He would often retreat to his special spot under the Christmas tree to get some peace away from all the hustle and bustle of the holidays. If we couldn’t find him for a while, all we had to do was look there and there he’d be, looking up at us with eyes sparkling like the lights of the tree.
From the very day we got him, BJ immediately took a liking to my dad. In a house full of girls, he and my dad were the only boys. As they say, a dog is a “MAN’s best friend” so I guess the rest of us couldn’t fault him for that. He would follow my dad everywhere. Down to the mailbox to get the paper, outside sunning himself in the driveway as my dad mowed the lawn, for a quick ride in the car to the store to pick up something we forgot for dinner, and sleeping on my dad’s pillow on his side of the bed, where he simply blended in with the white, downy sheets. BJ loved to sit on the back of the couch as my dad watched TV and would use my dad as a stepping stool to get up there. My dad wouldn’t even flinch as he stepped all over his clothes. One of his favorite things to do was clean my dad’s ears by licking them to death. He never did that to the rest of us, just dad. I guess you could say my dad didn’t necessarily need to use q-tips anymore thanks to BJ. Ha. In the summertime, BJ would come right along with us to the lake as my dad drove the boat, BJ sitting with him at the helm because he loved the wind in his face. This was where he seemed truly happy. I will always remember him this way.
We recently lost BJ to a brain tumor. It affected my dad the most, so I write this in honor of him for Father’s Day and, of course, in memory of my precious little B, as I like to call him. We love you, we will never forget you, and I know you are coasting in your own little doggie boat up in heaven, with your face in the wind…