07/17/2000 – 01/15/2015

It was a reality we could no longer deny. Buddy’s legs were becoming increasingly atrophied. He needed help getting up and help laying down. Over the last couple of weeks, he also needed help going to the bathroom. His legs weren’t strong enough to hold him up during a bowel movement. Sometimes he would soil himself, and we wiped him like we did the boys when they were infants. Earlier in the week, when the Mister was out of town, he woke me at 1:30am to use the restroom. I went out with him and held his hind legs for him. He wagged his tail.

Buddy was never in pain. The Mister would sometimes claim that he was, but he wasn’t. It was the Mister who was in pain watching a pet so beloved become increasingly dependent on us to help with tasks as basic as going to the bathroom. The vet said Buddy had a quality of life issue. I hate that phrase. I know what it means, but it makes it sound like he was miserable, ignored, unloved. He was so, so loved.

Honestly, if I wasn’t working, getting up early and staying after school late…I would gladly get up in the middle of the night to carry him to the bathroom. I would hold his legs for him. I would wipe his bottom for a happy wag of his tail.

This was different than the time we lost Buster because we had the chance to prepare ourselves. And, thanks to Buttercup, Buddy held out longer than we hoped. But more than anything, this was different because I know he is with Buster, the friend he missed so much. The idea of them together again makes me happy, even when I’m crushed.

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  1. Oh Jules, sweet Buddy. To be so loved, it is really what a dog's life (and ours) is all about, it is what makes us richer and makes it all so much more beautiful.

  2. I'm very sorry for your loss.

    I'd tried writing a couple of paragraphs here about putting down our own 6.5-year-old dog Poe 19 months ago due to a probable brain tumor, and the way we and our other pets have handled it… but now's not the time. I'm crying for you and your family. It's hard.

  3. I am so so sorry. I do believe all dogs go to heaven but don't think that will be a big change for Buddy because he had such a heavenly life on earth with your wonderful family. Hugs to all of you.

  4. I'm so sorry. I'll be thinking of all of you as you as you grieve your sweet dog, and remember his wonderful long life.
    This is a beautiful essay.

  5. Oh Jules! I am soo sorry about your loss — it is the worst – losing such a sweet friend. I love the thought that Buster and Buddy are together again — Have you heard of the Rainbow Bridge? I love that – that our sweet pets are having a wonderful time, together, and waiting for us.

  6. My condolences. Your post is a wonderful tribute to a good friend. Not that it makes bearing the pain any easier, but I believe there is a comfort in words well said.

  7. Oh Jules, I'm so sorry. Your words really hit me today as I came home to find our 14 year old in a puddle on the floor, unable to get up. We have been struggling with her "quality of life" for a few months, but it seems to have taken a turn lately. You comforted me even though I should be comforting you. Take care and smile knowing they're together again.

  8. As with your news about Buster, I cried. I'm so sorry to hear about Buddy. I can tell that he was so well loved by you and your family. I was rooting for him here in Phoenix! Thinking of you all.

  9. Jules, I am so sorry for you and your family, of course including Buttercup. I recall the "quality of life" discussions about our own elderly and physically declining dogs. It was true that from our observations, their incontinence issues seemed to cause them psychological distress. Like Buster, they were such good, good dogs and they don't want to soil themselves or their living spaces. Like you, we would gladly have cared for them like infants if it would have really helped.

    We watched the World Dog Awards show last night, and the most famous and fussed over dogs in the world couldn't have asked for more love and friendship than your family shared with Buster and Buddy. May your path through grief be short and your loving memories of sweet Buster be long.

  10. I am so sad to read about the loss of Buddy, and the pain you are all feeling. He is absolutely playing with Buster right now – in their puppy bodies but with their grown-up hearts.

  11. I am so sorry for your loss. I loved your Buster and Buddy posts and Buttercup too. Aren't you glad you got Buttercup to keep Buddy company in an "animal" way, since he always had your family as well. Maybe that made the last few months special for him. Thinking of you all and saying some prayers.

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