Dim Sum Diaries
Bradley as a puppy

Today my mom took our beloved dog Bradley to the vet to get him checked out. Bradley is ten years old and has increasingly had health problems. According to the vet, he was going deaf and the bump on his shoulder was cancerous. The vet gave him another year to live, but it would have been painful for him, so mom opted to have him humanely put to sleep.

I remember when we first got Bradley. I was a sophomore in college. My sister and mom went to the local Humane Society, and my sister spotted him first. He was a puppy in a litter of many and lounging in the corner. Unlike the other puppies, he didn't bark and jump up.

"Pick that one, Mom!" my sister said, gesturing to Bradley. "He reminds me of you," she said to Mom.

"What???" Mom was incredulous.

"Well, he's hiding in a corner. He's kind of anti-social, just like you Mom." my sister said, backpedalling.

"Oh well, that's all right then," Mom replied.

So they brought him home and he was all gangly puppy. He initially hid behind the bench in the backyard, probably because he was unsure of his new surroundings. Building a doghouse for him became a family bonding event, a rarity for that period in my life.

"So what are we going to name him?" my sister asked.

I was desperately missing the guy I was dating at the time. "How about Bradley?" I suggested casually. "Bradley" was this guy's middle name.

My sister and mom considered it for a moment.

"Bradley is kind of a dorky name though," my sister protested. "But okay."

"Bradley it is, then," Mom decided.

Being a mix of Chow Chow and German Shepard, he looked like a big teddy bear. I'll always remember snoozing on the front porch during the summers in a lounge chair. Bradley would lay next to the chair and snooze with me. Then there was the time my sister and I drove to her dorm and we took Bradley along. When we got to the parking structure, he threw up all over my sister's lap. I thought it was funny, my sister didn't. Brad-burt (as I nicknamed him) merely shook it off.

I called Mom awhile ago and she was pretending not to cry. It will take awhile for my family to get over Bradley. He was always well-behaved and friendly.

Bradley, we'll miss you.