Hi, Kristen...I am so sorry to hear about your loss. It sounds like you and Bubba had an amazing connection which reminded me of how I was with my dog, Cooper. People would call him my shadow because he would follow me EVERYWHERE and if he lost sight of me even for 30 seconds, he would start to cry.
I had to let Cooper go a couple of weeks ago and I still feel guilty. I'm starting to understand that there will always be a part of us that wonders, "What if I had done this" or "What if I had tried that". To me, I don't think those types of questions will ever go away. Cooper was only 7 when he was put to sleep and one of the main things I said and still say is "How could this have happened...he was only 7" and "How come I didn't see this sooner." Like Bubba, Cooper had a degenerative spinal issue, his was Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD). In the course of one week, he went from being normal and happy to completely gone, couldn't walk and had a severe neurological disease.
In another post, a forum member wrote, "His life was not his illness, or the final moments - it was all those years of the happiest he could be." Those words have really helped me tonight. Also, coming here and reading people's stories and writing things down have helped as well. When I actually sat down and wrote Cooper's story, even thought it made me sad, it also empowered me (which might sound weird) to let people know about what happened to him because maybe someone has another pet going through this same issue and doesn't know what to do. I was telling the story to a good friend of mine at her work and she pulled one of her co-workers into the conversation and it turns out that her Yorkies are going through what Cooper went through so I gave her all the information and references that I had.
I know its hard and there will be times where it doesn't seem like there is hope or good times ahead, but just think about those little quirks that Bubba had or those special moments you shared together. I can only write what has helped me and thinking about when he was happy and at his best is what gets me through each day.
Sending you a big hug and please know you can write to me if you need someone to talk you.