Saturday, August 9, 2008

Another Loss

Buddy was JB and CB’s first “child”. I really knew that JB loved CB when they bought Buddy at a pet store before they were married. JB kept him at the house where he lived with too many roommates. CB smuggled him into her rent house on occasions when JB was working long hours, holding down three jobs as a student. Buddy was half Aussie and half chow, with a perpetual growl that expressed all his feelings of love and anger and everything inbetween. He looked much like crumbled Oreos in a glass of milk that had sprouted lots of thick fur and had two shiny button eyes. His cute furry head was often tilted to one side, with a puzzled look on his face, as if he was saying “What’s it all about, Alfie?”

Buddy and his litter mates all had parvo virus, or distemper, or some dreadful and potentially fatal disease. At least the pet store paid for the veterinarian bills for Buddy, for as college students JB and CB would not have been able to afford the expense of the treatment. We prayed lots and CB cried lots and in the end, he had some seizures, along with plenty of I.V.’s and survived with some serious blood sugar problems and brain damage. Not too long after that, he randomly jumped out of a car window and broke his leg. More prayer, and a great recovery. Then he was the victim of a roommate who stepped on his head. He almost did not survive that. Lots of tears and lots of prayer and many more treatments at enormous expense later, he became the Buddy we knew and loved. Although he wasn’t the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, he was the family dog that all kids gravitated toward—just plain cute and irresistible. He would growl his pleasure or displeasure, finally learned to use the pet doors at his home and at ours, and never, never, got past his extreme terror of veterinary offices.

Buddy was famous for the “lean”. He didn’t exactly have the coordination and stamina to run, but he would trot toward us in greeting and “lean” into my leg and growl his hellos. If I scratched his behind, he would “lean” into me and turn around a few times. He claimed our Mama Sheltie’s old bed in the sewing room downstairs after her death a year and a half ago, and would curl up and sleep there at night, leaving the stairway to the younger dogs. Scooter would always be a great host canine and give up his evening in our bedroom to spend the night with Buddy in the sewing room. I always wondered if they talked about us after the lights went out at night.

Scooter and his family miss you, Buddy. I’m so thankful that you didn’t have to make that last trip to the vet’s office, but that you died quietly with your family at home. I’m glad I was there and saw that you didn’t suffer, but chose to just quit eating and leave silently. You were a great little Buddy. See you at the Rainbow Bridge.

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

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