Brightstar Sweet Darby Scot (November 21, 2001 - February 3, 2013)

This is not a “Super Sunday” on our end.  Today, we lost Darby, our dog who was a big part of our lives for the past twelve years.  Writing this might help cope with the feelings of loss that are washing over us.

Brightstar Sweet Darby Scot was the American Kennel Club registered name for Darby.  His father, Buster, won the Bichon Frise breed and non-sporting class at the Westminster show in New York.  Of course, we never met his father; show dogs just sire litters.

Darby was one handsome dude, but, despite his lineage, he was our pet.  We wanted a companion, who was free from the stress, politics, and constant breeding rat race of the pure breed dog world.

We got what we wanted -- a good-natured, fluffy Bichon to be our pet and companion.  Darby kept us company through Becky’s bout with cancer, the deaths of our fathers, and other of life’s changes.  I am pretty sure that he principally nursed Becky back to health.  He came to the office three or four days a week and was featured in a photo on our firm’s website.  The first words out of many visitors’ mouths often were, “Where’s Darby?”

Darby was the original “Lava Pup.”  He possessed an independent coolness.  He had a Hawaiian shirt long before a guitar was a glimmer in my eye.  Smart as whip, he learned to leave the room or hide under a pillow when an electric guitar first came into our household.  He emerged from hiding as I improved and eventually grew to enjoy our music.  He would wait at the door for Paul the Pyronaut to show up for lessons and sprawl out on the floor nearby to listen.

Darby inspired much of what I did musically and artistically.  At some point, I looked at him and thought “Lava Pup.”  I drew a caricature of him.  Added sun glasses for fun and to create an air of mystery.  Our band “logo” would not be snarling or ferocious “Lava Dogs.”  Just a smiling, friendly dog.  I put a little spike in his hair to arouse suspicions in a viewer’s mind:  Just how good-natured is he?

We used his caricature on posters, fliers, our CD, multi-purpose disposable bag (AKA "poop bag") dispensers, and elsewhere.  Eventually, the Darby-inspired “Lava Pup” spoke in some animations.  Most of those ended with him exclaiming, “Cowabunga!”

Darby knew his importance to the band and the social fun of the Doghouse.  He was a consummate host.  He greeted friends and band mates.  He added an element of cool to the Doghouse.  He even contributed a bark for the ending of “The Cruncher” on our CD.  Actually, his contribution to “The Cruncher” was much more.  “The Cruncher” was not some actual or mythical massive wave or break; it was about the sound that Darby made as he crunched down his food.

Even though he helped nurse Becky through her cancer, cancer got Darby.  A bleeding tumor constricted his heart and lungs.  Our house already feels empty and very quiet.  We will miss the click on his toe nails on the wooden floors but will feel his spirit throughout the house.

We were truly lucky to have had such a wonderful dog.  Unfortunately, we outlive our dogs.  Darby will live on in our memories, hearts, and maybe some of our "art."  Somewhere he is sitting in a Hawaiian shirt, watching over us with a smile on his face, ready to nurse us through our illnesses, and preparing to guide us on to our next adventure.


4 comments

  • Lisa

    Lisa

    Lovely tribute . Thanks for sharing

    Lovely tribute . Thanks for sharing

  • Cathy

    Cathy

    Sorry for your loss. It is heartbreaking. Yes, Darby will always be a part of your lives.

    Sorry for your loss. It is heartbreaking. Yes, Darby will always be a part of your lives.

  • tonya

    tonya

    wonderful tribute Bill....crying now.. so sorry, i unfortunately know too well that empty house feeling when you lose a special furry family memeber

    wonderful tribute Bill....crying now..
    so sorry, i unfortunately know too well that empty house feeling when you lose a special furry family memeber

  • Eileen Sweeney

    Eileen Sweeney England

    So so sorry for your loss I know what its like as I have just lost my gold and white little dog called Tia, she would have been 14 yrs old this june I dont think we will ever get over losing our pets but they will live in our hearts for ever God bless :(

    So so sorry for your loss I know what its like as I have just lost my gold and white little dog called Tia, she would have been 14 yrs old this june I dont think we will ever get over losing our pets but they will live in our hearts for ever God bless frown

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