Tag Archives: Caleb

One Year Gone

Song Lyric of the Day:

Oh the tree of life is growing / Where the spirit never dies / And the bright light of salvation / Shines in dark and empty skies

Bob Dylan / “Death Is Not the End

Today is the day after my birthday. Which means that today is the anniversary of the day my Abuela Tulita passed away, what seems like a lifetime ago. Today also marks the first anniversary of the day our dog Caleb died.

I like to think my abuela was the reason Caleb died the same day she did. Because, to be honest, the woman was a klepto when she was alive. So why should the afterlife keep her from snatching something else — say, a beloved family dog. When Caleb died it felt like we wouldn’t get past the shock and grief. We were completely blindsided by his passing. The worst thing for me personally was seeing the horrible depression his brother, Troubadour, was plunged into. It took weeks for him to come out of it.

Caleb and puppy Troubadour

Caleb getting to know his new little brother, Troubadour (May 2008)

Six months after Caleb’s passing we happened to see an adorable little Chihuahua listed on Facebook. His family was looking to rehome him because they felt like he needed more attention than they could give him. When we showed Coraline his photo, she held up a hand, looked away, and said, “He’s so cute I can’t even handle it.” We contacted the little dog’s mom and arranged a meeting so we could see if and how Capone would fit into our family. He and Troubadour hit it off immediately, to the point that Capone barked his head off once he was put back in his carrier to go home and Troubadour got mopey when he left. That was a Sunday. That Wednesday Capone came to live with us for good.

We’ve never owned such a small dog before, so that was an adjustment. I have to laugh thinking how this little guy, who is literally one-seventh the size Caleb was, would have terrified Caleb. I also have to say how grateful I am that Original Mom chose us to be his new forever family, because we all love him so much. Especially his new big brother, Troubadour.

Troubadour snuggling with his new little brother, Capone

Troubadour snuggling with his new little brother, Capone

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Our beloved brindle pit, Caleb, died suddenly and unexpectedly Friday night. I was already in bed asleep when Rich burst into our bedroom and said, “I think Caleb may have just died.” By the time we both ran downstairs to the den it was clear Caleb was already gone.

I don’t know where to start. Like I said, it was sudden. And unexpected. He behaved normally all Friday, eating, drinking, playing, napping as usual. Rich said that after I went to bed that night Caleb came to get petted and kissed, then went back to playing with Troubadour. They laid down to sleep and just like that Caleb slipped away. It’s some comfort that he went so quickly and without suffering. But what I find more comforting is knowing that he died after doing his favorite thing in the whole world: playing with Troubadour. While Caleb loved his big sister Snoops with all his heart, his relationship with Troubadour was on a whole other level. They literally became inseparable, with Caleb starving himself then quitting drinking water when they were apart for a few days a few years back. We took them for vet checkups on the same day because they couldn’t stand being home alone without each other. When Troubadour got a time-out in his crate, Caleb would kiss you and give you the eyes to get him released. They slept on the same bed together. They drank in tandem. They often peed in tandem. They didn’t even like going out in the backyard without each other. Which is why it’s now so hard to watch Troubadour processing what happened. He spent all Saturday obsessively checking the backyard to see if he’d somehow missed Caleb, even though he’d seen Rich carry Caleb’s body out the door that morning for that final visit to the vet. It was the only time in his life that he’s ever remained completely silent when his brother went out the front door without him.

I can’t express how much we are all going to miss Caleb. How much we already do. How hard it was telling Coraline and hearing her little heart break when she started crying and saying his name over and over. He was loved by everyone in our family and so many of our friends. Throughout his life he changed a lot of people’s minds about pit bulls, showing them what good dogs they inherently are. He loved peanut butter-filled Kongs. He loved chewing/eating/destroying tree branches. He loved kissing our hands and faces. He loved playing with Frisbees, ropes, and Boobah dolls. He loved wrestling with Troubadour, preferably in front of an audience. He loved everyone in our family. He loved our friends. He loved his little brother and his cat, Buster. He loved me. He loved Coraline. But most of all he loved Rich, his favorite person, the one who picked him out of all those puppies all those years ago.

Caleb smiled, but he’d only do it on command for Coraline. I already miss that goofy smile so much. I could write so much more about what I’ll miss about him, but it could easily turn into an endless post. I’ve cried so much since his passing it’s hard to believe I haven’t dehydrated by now.

We are now a family with one dog and one cat. And it’s for Caleb that we’ll take extra-special care of that one dog, the one who was crying tonight as if in physical pain because he can’t find his big brother.

Caleb would have turned 13 years old tomorrow. We are so honored and proud to have been his family since bringing him home as that tiny 13-pound 13-week-old rescue. You were a good boy, Caleb. Such a good boy.

Baby Caleb

I always thought of this as Caleb’s official baby portrait.

New Puppy

Getting comfy in his new daddy’s lap.


Caleb was one hell of a patient big brother.


Sleeping brothers

Caleb frisbee

This is maybe my favorite photo of Caleb. His personality really shines through here.






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