In 2001 my family was falling apart. My husband and I were seperated and living in different states. Our girls were heartbroken over the unspoken knowledge that mommy and daddy were not happy. Our youngest was six years old and everytime daddy came to visit and leave she would be devastated. She would cry for days, sleep with me and cling to me as if for dear life. During one of my husband’s visits he said that a coworker of his was selling some black lab puppies to raise money for 9/11 victims. At any other time I would have said, "No way! I will be the one stuck with cleaning up and everything else, while your off enjoying life! No!"
Then I just realized that maybe a puppy would be able to help our girls. He could keep them busy, distracted, laughing, and most of all filled with love. So we went to go get a puppy. We drove almost an hour to purchase this puppy. We arrived to the home of dog lovers; the dogs had their own living room and couches. Needless to say I thought that this was crazy!
I can not recall the name of the woman that we purchased Buddie from but I remember her stating that ther three pups leftto chose from; two were cuddled up on the couch and one was balled up in the courner of a dog bed. I immediatley gravitated towards the one in the dog bed. I did not want a dog that needed to be on the couch. So we took the puppy home and waited for the girls to come home from home school.
Of course they were beyond excited to see our new addition. Later on in the evening a couple of hteir friends came over to meet Buddie and we could not find him. We all searched all over the house; behind furniture, underneath it, everywhere! Once panic began to set in we all stopped and decided to focus on specific areas. Suddenly I notice a black blob in the corner of our couch. Buddie had some how climbed up onto the sofa, cuddled up on the armrest, pressed to the wall. When I approached Buddie he did not move, he only raised his eyes and looked up at me with this look that said, "What? I’m not doing anything."
At that moment I knew that he was the perfect fit for our family and that I was in for some work with him. Buddie did everything that I expected of him and more. He also got into many things and some days I had more patience than others. On one particular way I was at a crossroads. I was working and going to school full-time, in addition to taking care of everything else at home. During this time I would leave Buddie in the bathroom while we were out. It always broke my heart to leave in the crate and I felt that he had a bit more room in the bathroom to run around.
To get to the point I opened the bathroom door and was faced with a spraying water hose, flooded bathroom, and soaked dog. I was so angry! I told the girls to take him outside and set about cleaning everything, all the while feeling sorry for myself. I then called my sister and said that I was done that I could not do all of this anymore. I needed to get rid of him and she said she would help me. The next second I was telling her that I could not get rid of him because I knew that he would make a wonderful pet after he had gotten out of all this crazy puppy behavior.
Needless to say Buddie stayed. Buddie had many adventures but his greatest began three years ago. We moved out of the city to a home that was situated with three others on over 40 acres. On our first day I had to take Buddie our and he would not leave my side. Every sound terrified him! WIthin days he became the master of "his" land! Buddie ran around with the freedom that most dogs must dream about. We could not imagine moving from our new home because it would break his heart to not have this freedom.
On Saturday, July 26th we spent the day cleaning out the garage and Buddie ran in and out of the house. We wrapped things up around seven thirty eight o’clock at night. We all came in and Buddie took he usual spot in the loving room. Our oldest gave him a treat but he would not eat it. I then went and got him a different one and he ate it. He was breathing a bit heavy but he would do that at when he had a busy day. The next morning Buddie was lethargic. I could not figure out what he had got himself into on Saturday. My husband and I spoke and I knew that I would take him to the vet on Monday. I spent almost every moment with him on Sunday. Around six in the evening he took a sudden turn for the worst, we took him to the emergency room.
After some x-rays the vet stated the he believed Buddie had a tumor. He wanted to keep him over night and run some more tests. Of course we left him and on Monday morning I called the hospital and was told that he had a good night but had a turn for the worse in the morning. He received a blood transfusion and more medication. Then I received the phone call that turned our world upside down. Buddie had several tumors which was indicative of cancer. The vet said that we needed to make descisions for him and that he was not doing well.
My husband could not deal with going back to the vet and I went with the girls, my mother and my sister. They brought Buddie to us because he was too weak to walk. He was overjoyed to see us, we spent over an hour with him. As the hour progressed we notced his breathing becoming much more labored. I finally told the girls that they needed to say goodbye and leave. Once they were done the vet came in and we spoke for a little while. I then lay down looking right into Buddie’s eyes. I told him that I loved him and thanked him for everything that he gave us. ANd that beautiful black lab looked at me with so much love and what I believe was gratitude. He then licked me and took a couple of more breathes and was gone.
My heart shattered at that moment. My brain knows that we will eventually be able to speak about Buddie without feeling such sorrow. The girls and my husband are devestated and I am the most difficult time keeping it together for them.
There are five things that Buddie taught us; to stop and look at everything around us, to laugh (to the point of tears), unconditional love, just being there is sometimes better than anything you might have to say, and lastly that an animal knows how to live life much more better than any human ever will.