Tennis Anyone?

Babalu is already weighing almost 12 pounds and absolutely loves being outside. Believe it or not, at 11 weeks, he’s already fetching and yet still has puppy breath.


Now, let me tell you a little story….

Some of you may remember that I lost my dog Othello back in July. He was a very unique dog. The prototypical Alpha male. Well, the wife and I decided to get a new dog quickly as Katy, Othello’s mom and companion, at 16 years old, was depressed at his loss. Along comes Babalu.

Now, everyone remembers the term “Babalu” from Desi Arnaz and the I love Lucy show. What not everyone knows is that “Babalu Aye” is the name of an Afro-Cuban god. To the Orishas, Babalu Aye is St. Lazaro, the cripple on crutches with two dogs at his side. It is said that Babalu Aye died as punishment for his sins, but was later brought back to life by the supreme Orisha being, Olodumare.

Othello had his own character. He would not eat if you were watching him, nor would he do his business afterword if you were watching him. He loved hugs, digging his head into my chest and just hanging out there. He loved my dad. You could never get him away from my father. He also would not let the dog groomer that comes to our house get anywhere near him. He would show his teeth and growl.

Well, Babalu is the exact same way. We took him to dad’s house the other day and he was glued to my father. Would not leave his side. He is also the same way about his food and his business. Babalu loves to get hugged just like Othello. To top it off, the groomer came by yesterday and Babalu, for the first time, growled at him.

I think, maybe, theres a little Othello in Babalu. Even though they are completely different breeds, the similarities in characters is eerie. Maybe Othello’s not done guarding me yet and he’s making sure I am still ok.

10 thoughts on “Tennis Anyone?”

  1. I wonder if Othello is hanging out in spirit form and coaching little Babalu along.

    “See, Babalito, that’s the groomer. We HATE the groomer. That is Papa’s Papa, and we love him.”


  2. Man, you made me cry again…(smiling thru the tears). I first blogrolled you when you and the people at mt.politics lost your dogs. I didn’t want to say anything then because I didn’t want to make you feel worse about Othello, but I was there. I cried my eyes out between you and mt.pol. I know how much it hurts to lose your animal kids. Then my cat Dale died in my arms not long ago. It still kills me. I’ve been popping in ever since and knew you got a new puppy-the best and only thing you can do to feel even the slightest bit better. He’s gorgeous.
    Now, today, I sit reading thru tears again about Othello and Babalu. You write so touchingly…you make me feel it.
    I am so sorry about what happened to Othello. Even though I didn’t know him personally, I know what losing him put you through. For that, having to feel the pain in your heart, I am so sorry. I wish there was some way to keep people who really love their animal kids from ever feeling that pain. (By the same token, people who do horrendous things to animls should have to live with that feeling 24/7 forever…)
    Anyway….somehow I just wanted to say I’m sorry, congratulations on the new, beautiful puppy and I love puppy breath, too…without sounding like a nut. I don’t know if I’ve succeeded on the ‘not sounding nuts’ part, but I am glad I finally got it all out.
    Can ya do me one favor? Give Babalu a big ole hug for me and take a big, deep sniff of that wonderful puppy breath for me? (I know I probably just crossed the line into Nutsville, but I don’t care…)
    Actually, I owe YOU a huge hug, too. After Othello, I re-fell-in-love with all my kids and had the chance to spend more time than had been usual with Dale (and everybody else) before he left me. So, thank you. For sharing, for reminding me of what I’ve got in my animal kids and for all the ‘extra’ time I had with Dale.
    You are a good man. Thank you, Val.

  3. Dave,

    Katy is responding ok, although, puppies have a lot of energy and she really cant be bothered with his playing all too much. It’s weird, she usually never lets any dogs get anywhere near her, but with Babalu she doesnt have a problem.

    Dude, you brought tears to my eyes man.

    Thank you very much for your kind words and sympathy. There are moments, even with Babalu around, that I miss Othello so much it hurts. He was a magnificent dog.
    I am glad you were able to spend more time with Dale before he was called upon for higher duties. I can relate to having a pet die in your arms as when I was young, I had a cocker spaniel die in my arms after having had an encounter with a poisonous toad. It is a terrible experience.
    It is so important to spend time with those we love while we can. One never knows when we might not have them near us anymore.
    You, too, sir, are a good man. Thank you.

  4. Val, I’m curious. What’s a “Cuban” golden retriever. He’s cute, that’s for sure. Made me go back and look at all the pics I took of our “American?” Golden. She’s 9 months now, and almost out of puppiness (I miss the puppy breath and the teeth!), but there are other qualities that make up for it – she spends about 3 hours a day in our pool. Definitely a water dog. That and she snuggles.


  5. Stevie,

    Oops! It’s not often I make that mistake. Glad it made you laugh!


    Hehe. A “Cuban” golden retriever is an American Golden retriever with a name like Babalu. It was a humbling attempt at humor on my part by calling him Cuban. Babalu, at 12 weeks has already taken his first and second swimming lessons in our pool. I jumped in the other day for a respite from the heat and he started wailing endlessly up until I let him out and brought him in with me.

  6. Val,

    I thought that was the case, but wanted to be sure. He is cute! Take lots of pictures (and post them for us), you’ll be glad you did, because they grow fast! Laurel was the runt of the litter (we always get the female runt, they seem to have the personality best suited to us), and even so, has reached what the vet feels will be her full weight after 9 months. Amazing!


  7. I just placed the word Babalu on the web and your site came up. Babalu is the name of a nine piece latin band that a friend of mine has. Funny enough, the keyboard player and pianist joined some of my friends to form a smaller latin jazz funk unit…the name? Babalito!!!!
    regards Dave

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