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.