A Tribute

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Our gorgeous boy.

A little over a year ago-- or maybe it's closer to two years, I don't know, the days seem to be slipping by so fast-- I made a decision. It turned out to be an unpopular decision, but it was an important one.

We discovered that the house we were living in had a major gas leak, one that had started small over a year, possibly two years, before and was now to blame for my family's ill health. We had to move-- and fast. We found a house we all loved. We loved the ares-- closer to work, good schools, etc. It was a good future for our family. Only it meant we couldn’t take our dog with us.

I was devastated. You see, I am a bit fanatical about animals. I have always believed they are family, not pets. The though of losing my best friend made me sick to my stomach. It didn't help that at least two of my co-workers slammed me for the decision and I was constantly seeing 'A dog is for life...' all over Facebook. Still do.

Yes, there were other houses which accepted pets, but there was more to it than that. I knew I was in for a struggle with my son. He has a number of health issues which make daily life difficult for us. The time I could give to Buddy was going to suffer.

Mostly, I worried that we weren't really giving Buddy the kind of life that he deserved. When we adopted him-- over four years earlier-- I was working part time, he went everywhere else with me, things were easier. Then I had to go back to full time and I wasn't around much. I missed him, probably not as much as he missed me, though. He used to watch me drive away from the living room window and to this day the look on his face haunts me.

One of my best friends, she's family really, told me her aunt was looking to adopt. This woman had lost her husband and was very devoted to her elderly dog. She wanted another dog, to see her though when she was inevitably alone, but she didn't want to wait until then.  She didn't want it to seem as if she was trying to replace her dog. Instead she wanted to bring a new dog into their home before it happened, but not a puppy who would likely drive her old dog crazy.

He had so much love to give.

Buddy was the perfect fit. Within days the two dogs were like an old married couple. She sent us texts and pictures letting us know how he was doing and she promised to give him extra love from us. He settled in fine. My family never really got over it. My son still asks at least a few times a month if we can call her and ask for Buddy back. My husband often tells me that he misses that old dog. I miss him every day.

Not long after Buddy moved in with his new mommy, the older dog passed away. I was so grateful that he was there to comfort his new mom during that time. She really needed him and no one could have asked for a better companion to see her through. It was then that I came to terms with my decision. She needed him. No matter what anyone says, I still think I did the right thing.Especially now as my son's health gets increasingly more difficult to manage.

She took Buddy everywhere with her. I'm telling you, that dog went on more vacations in the last year than I went have been on in my whole adult life! Sadly, last weekend he went on his last.

On Saturday, Buddy's new mom contacted me to let me know that he was gone. He had collapsed on one of their trips and was diagnosed with advanced liver cancer which had spread to his lungs. At that point, he wasn't suffering, but it was likely he would soon. The only loving thing she could do was let him go. And she did. And throughout the procedure she held him, stroked him, and told him how much he was loved. He was lucky to have her, too.

I cried all morning. I am crying now, writing this. Even though he hadn't lived with us for so long, it was like he never left. He certainly never left my heart. It is amazing what a profound effect Buddy had on all of our lives. 

He will be forever missed.

RIP Buddy Bear

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