Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Time Has Come

I'm sad to report that tomorrow we will be taking Buddy to the Vet to be euthanized. He is 19 years old now and has been diagnosed with degenerative spinal cord for that past two years. He has done really well up until recently. He did not get out of his be outside once yesterday so this morning I went outside to get him up. I carried him down the stairs to the yard and he was so wobbly and confused looking. I think he may have had a stroke because he seems to be very affected on one side, he head tilts at an unnatural angle and he cannot lift his head laterally above mid leg. He also turns in a circle to move, but usually he just falls over. This is quite sudden as just a few days ago he was running about, albeit not very gracefully, chasing Zeke and play bowing. Buddy did not eat his food last night even though I had placed it in his bed instead of in his bowl as usual. I know the time has come and I am so sad.

I've had Buddy since I was 9 years old. He's been my constant companion for every major milestone in my life, except my birth. He is also the only living legacy that my family still has of my Grandmother's life long career as a dog breeder, she bred Buddy's father and mother, both of which I knew well. Buddy's dad, Tex, was the only tri-color Basenji Grandma every had and I was the first one to set eyes on him the day he was born.

Buddy was also the first dog I ever trained. Poor Buddy, my training techniques at 9 were rudimentary at best, I sometimes wonder how he ever learned anything from me looking back. LOL. Buddy has a huge spirit, one that got him into so much trouble at times. He never backed down from a fight and he used to be an escape artist. A combination that landed him in the sick bed more that once. I can still look at him and remember every incident that each of his many scars belong to. Sometimes he looked like the patchwork dog. But he always bounced back and never seemed to remember why challenging the doberman next door was not a good idea. I was glad when he started slowing down a bit when he hit 13, by that time I had neutered him and he was mellowing out. Buddy challenged me as well and that landed him crated and in some very hot water with my Mom, who threatened to get rid of him more that once...that's what prompted me to train him better and get a better handle on his behavior. To be honest the dog was a big jerk for the first three or four years of his life. But through it all we've stuck together and he and I grew up and learned together. I cannot believe he lived this long. I love you my Buddy-Boy, my Buddah-pup, my Budlocks Boondog. Rest in Peace tomorrow.

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