R.I.P. Bianca Stern

Howard mourns the loss of his beloved bulldog, Bianca

At the start of the show, Howard mourned the loss of their beloved bulldog, Bianca, wondering if the loss was karmic retribution: "I guess this is my payback. Because you know, the longer you live, the more you learn. When I was a young man, I said a lot of things on the radio I didn't know what the hell I was talking about. I hadn't lived long enough to really comment on anything." Still, Bianca outlived many of her kind: "For a bulldog to be 10 and a half, it's a miracle you're alive. Most of them don't live that long." Howard's voice started to crack: "If I tell you this, I'm going to cry. So I don't know if I want to tell you this, but it really touches you. So here I go. I'll do it quick. I can be a hardass. So one of the things Beth always did--when you have a bulldog, you have to clean her folds--and Beth sat there with her for a long time, and Bianca was dead. Yeah. She cleaned her. [moans] Ok, I'm going to take a break. Yeah, I'm bummed. It's so silly."

Pushed on by Robin, Howard kept having to stop himself: "I really am going to cry. I spent the whole day crying." Howard wished he could be with Beth (Beth was out on Long Island with Bianca: "She's had a tough night."), looking for Robin to help: "This is where you say something. I don't care what you say." Howard eventually regained composure, sniffing audibly: "That dog brought us more joy. … She was the best dog. And I'm going to miss her terribly."