After what seemed like the cold, wet spring that would never end I'm finding it tough to wrap my mind around the fact that the 4th of July has already come and gone.
This year was also a time of sadness as it was the
one-year anniversary of the passing of our sweet dog Buddy.
Last 4th of July weekend our sweet Buddy (Boo Boo Dog) fell ill just before the holiday weekend, we spent that time caring for him until our veterinarian informed us that because of his advanced age (15 years) he had developed an untreatable respiratory illness and his body was slowly shutting down, there wasn't much more we could do except keep him as comfortable as possible. Shortly afterward we had to make the agonizing decision to have him put to sleep...One day before my husband's birthday.
A little history about Buddy
One day in 1996, I came home from work and my husband met me at the door. He wouldn't let me in the house until I closed my eyes, held out my hands and promised to not get mad. Well of course I was instantly suspicious, it was obvious he was up to something.
I reluctantly agreed and threatened him with his life, because I really hate surprises. This one, however melted my heart. Months earlier we had lost our dog J.R., who was just shy of 20 years old (very old for a cow dog), and with the two dogs we already had I was not ready to add to the family just yet.
However, my dear sister-in-law knew how much her brother missed J.R. and surprised him with a six-week old Australian Cattle Dog puppy. Knowing I was adamant that I wasn't ready for another dog in the household, he knew the best plan of attack was to meet me at the door. After I reluctantly closed my eyes and held out my hands...he shoved the most adorable little puppy into my arms, knowing after the first snuggle and wet sloppy kiss, I would fall totally and helplessly in love!
Buddy at 8 weeks old
The sweet little puppy that was suppose to grow up to be my husband's sidekick, decided he was more interested in being my sidekick. Although he loved my husband dearly, he was definitely my dog, and true to the nature of a blue heeler he was very protective of me. He rarely left my side and was always aware of where I was and what I was doing.
Buddy loved digging in this flower box.
We had our challenges as he grew from a mischievous puppy to a very active, stubborn, loving and loyal companion. I forgave him for the times he dug the plants out of the flower pots on the deck. I got used to him laying in front of the bath tub every time I took a shower, and I was never surprised when he would stand with his front feet on the edge of the tub to peak around the shower curtain trying to see what I was doing. I think he would have jumped in with me if I had let him.
That would be silly Buddy on the roof of the pickup, while we are out camping. I think he thought we were going
to go somewhere without him.
He was obsessed with his ball and would offer it to anyone that came around, and if the person invited to play with him threw that ball his opinion of them went up a notch. He would run and chase that ball until I was sure he was going to pass out. The only thing that could divert his attention from that ball was a sprinkler. He would chase it instead, often throwing his ball into the water himself to chase both until he grew weary enough, and then he would just lay on top of it holding his ball in his mouth. I am amazed that the grass ever got watered or I ever managed to get any yard work done when he was around.
Buddy In The Sprinkler With His Ball
Years later our biggest challenge was after the birth of our daughter. Our daughter's birth and adoption literally happened overnight (that's a whole miracle story in itself that I will share later). So needless to say we didn't have time to prepare our household or pets for the arrival of our new little bundle of joy.
Buddy was less than impressed with the tiny, noisy little baby that was taking too much of my attention away from him. Knowing that heeler's, because of their loyal nature had a tendency to be overprotective, I did my best to lavish him with the attention he was used to, while caring for my new baby. To this day, 12 years later, my daughter still swears that he didn't like her, but as she got older and was able to play with him, he was more accepting of her, allowing her to play with his treasured ball.
I have had numerous pets in my lifetime, and they have all been special in their own way, some come to mind more than others, but Buddy was truly a one of a kind companion, and I never dreamed the day that I held that tiny puppy in my hands, I would miss his presence as much as I do. I still have moments when I expect him to be under my feet or at my heels. I still find an occasional ball out in the pasture or in the yard tucked away where I know he put it, and it never fails to bring tears to my eyes when I do. Those balls were never lost for long, because he knew where they were, and always had one in his mouth or laying beside him.
Our vet and his staff were incredibly compassionate the day we lost Buddy. They made an unbearably sad day a little more bearable. They wrapped him in his favorite blanket, and placed him in a special pet burial box with one of his precious balls, and then loaded him in the back of our pick up for what was a very long ride home.
When we returned home we buried him in a special place in a flower garden in the front yard. He rests next to a faux creek bed, near some shady trees and lots of flowers. I swear those flowers are brighter and more cheerful than the ones near by. A special statue wearing his name tag was placed in his honor next to a small tree that will grow up and keep him shady on a hot day.
Angel Dog Statue placed in honor of Buddy
That dear sweet dog's memory will forever rest in my heart, and I miss him each day, taking comfort in tending his little flower garden. I'm sure he is watching over us from above and if God has a place in heaven for angel dogs, Buddy is hanging out there offering his ball to anyone who is willing to give it a toss.
Thank you friends for taking the time to read Buddy's story. I hope it brings back a fond memory of a special animal friend that has touched your life. If you have a moment or two...please share.