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Goodbye, Dumpling

UPDATE (6/11/11): I just want to thank everyone for the tremendous amount of support and condolences that are pouring out from everywhere. It only confirms to us what a wonderful, special, and well-loved little guy Dumpling was. Losing a pet so suddenly is something I wish nobody would ever have to go through, but reading through these comments is helping me and my wife enormously. Thank you everyone, we couldn't ask for a more thoughtful, supportive community. This is exactly the kind of love that Dumpling exemplified, and what makes Serious Eats such a truly wonderful place to be. Thank you.

Dear Serious Eaters,

This posting is not related to food, but is on a matter that is very near and dear to many of our hearts, so please excuse me for going off topic this once.

On Wednesday morning, my French bulldog Dumpling was struck by a bus outside of my apartment building. He died in my arms on the way to the emergency room.

Many of you knew him as the Serious Eats Chief Financial Officer and/or mascot where he brought smiley, drool-y, lazy-eyed joy to our weekly office slideshow. Others knew him as Dumpster, the Dump Truck, Dumples, El Dumperino, Mr. Pling, Dumpledore, Dumpleford McPling, or just plain Dumpy. I knew him as my constant companion, at my side 24 hours a day, always ready with a lick, a smile, or a cuddle.

Dumpling, you were the best little buddy anybody could ever wish for, and I'm overwhelmed with both joy and grief at having had the chance to have you in my life, if only for such a short and sweet period of time. This past year has been the best of my life, and you were no small part in making it so.

I'm gonna miss everything about you from the way you lick my hand in the morning when you want to play, to the way you snorgle and drool whenever I'm cooking, to the way your back legs look like little hams when you sleep, to the way your dog tags jingle like bells when you go into your daily turbo-mode and sprint like a madman up and down the hallway for ten minutes. I miss the way you always thought you were the biggest dog in the playground, even though you never were.

I miss the way you follow me around to each room in the house even when you appear to be fast asleep (and promptly fall right back asleep again), the way you purposely push your toys under the couch so I'd have to pay attention to you, the way you lick my chin when you're lying on my belly, and the way you simultaneously try to sit down, shake my hand, and lie down when you really really want that beef jerky. I really miss the way you wait until the elevator is full of people before dropping a bomb (and what bombs they were!) and then look up at me as if to say, "he did it."

You're the only dog who could accurately be described as a baby bat-pig, with your gigantic ears, rolls of neck skin, your little pork belly, and your goofy haunches. I miss your lazy eye and massive jowls, silly tongue and crooked teeth, and the way all of those features combine into the cutest face in the world when I come home and you leap up to try and lick me.

You were the embodiment of joy, happiness, and love for life, and you brought smiles with you wherever you went. In your short time you managed to make more friends than many do in a lifetime, and you touched my life more deeply than I'd ever dreamed possible. I can only console myself with the knowledge that you were one of the most loved, spoiled, pampered, and well-fed dogs ever to have lived, and that you died in the arms of your best friend. You will be deeply missed but fondly remembered by all.

—in loving memory of Dumpling Altez, 3/17/2010—6/8/2011

P.S. I apologize for the length of the slideshow above, but when going through all of the awesome memories I've had with Dumpling for the past year, I couldn't decide what to cut, and I figured, the little guy and his fans and friends deserve all the space they need.

For all of you other dog owners and lovers out there, my only advice is to spend as much time as you can with them, spoil them rotten, and never take them for granted for one second. I'm writing up a recipe for Dumpling's favorite meal here. Feed it to your own dog, and he/she'll shun canned food forever.

I also wanted to let all of you other dog owners know that Bocce's Bakery has launched a program selling their awesome homemade dog treats from bikes throughout the New York City parks. Check out the link for schedules and locations. They were Dumpling's favorite snacks, and Andrea, the owner, like my wife, is a very nice Colombian lady and dog lover as well (two bonus points in my book).

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