Monday, October 1, 2012

He Will Be Missed


The moment I’ve been dreading for 4 months, if not 14 years, happened today. We had to put down our beloved Buddy.

Buddy's favorite spot--the doorway of our bedroom.

We’d discovered a tumor in his mouth this past May and it was confirmed as cancer, so we knew his days were numbered. But like people always say, you’re just never prepared.
You know I have issues with feeling a lot of guilt and regret in life. I’m not sure what that’s all about, but it definitely came to the surface with Buddy. Before the boys came along our dogs lived like kings. But like I’ve said a million times before, things just change with babies around and the kings turned into dogs. Of course we still treated them great, but they certainly did not get the royal treatment anymore.

Everett sweetly offering Bud some water this July

I had secretly planned on spending the whole summer engaging in Bud-centered activities that would miraculously relieve me of this horrible guilt. And I did spend more time with him, but life took over and things really didn’t change. The reality is that an old dog isn’t interested in hanging out with crazy kids; he wants to lounge on a soft blanket, all alone in the bedroom. Can you blame him?
His condition was really stable all summer, except for a few days here and there. We’d been praying since May that we’d know when the time was right to have him put down, but it just never seemed clear. He’d have a bad day and then be fine for weeks. I was getting frustrated with God, feeling like He was ignoring our prayer for clarity and mercy. My biggest fear was having to make that choice, not knowing if he would have had some good days ahead of him.

By this weekend we knew that Monday was going to be the day and of course the pit was heavy in my stomach. I've been having horrible dreams about this and as you know, basically not sleeping as a result.

But on Sunday morning we knew we couldn’t wait any longer; he was nearing the end. Even though Levi was already at church, his parents happened to be here, so my father-in-law and I took him to the emergency vet and my mother-in-law stayed with the kids. Even though Buddy was not in good shape just minutes prior to our leaving the house, he acted fine on our 20-minute drive and I was able to pet him and snuggle with him the whole way. It really was the perfect ending.
Everett, Levi and Bud in November 2011

And, of course, now I can say that our prayers were answered. It was very clear that this was the day, and yet I was able to still have some good moments with him. We never really had to make a choice; it was going to happen now one way or the other.
We have 14 years of great memories with Buddy and I am so thankful for him sharing his life with us!

When I got your text message that this was the day I, too, felt relieved. I had been praying along with you that you wouldn't have to make this decision. There were moments when I didn't believe He'd answer our prayer but when I received your text my spirit felt so happy that this was taken off of you--that you wouldn't have to choose.  
I'm sad Buddy is gone. If I ever was to get a dog I'd want him to be just like Buddy. He was so sweet and so great with children. I'll be praying for his son, Augie, and your family, that everyone will be able to grieve and adjust to his absence.


  1. Jen,

    Saw your post on FB, and came to read the details. I'm smiling thinking of Royal, Buddy, and Augie -- we'll just say "romping", lol -- around your yard in Ravenna. I am so sorry for your loss (and now it's getting a little harder to see while I type).

    At PAWS, when a client loses a dog, we send them this:

    The Rainbow Bridge

    There's a bridge, called the Rainbow Bridge because of its many colors, connecting Heaven and Earth.

    Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge is a land of meadows, hills and valleys, with lush green grass.

    When a beloved pet dies, he goes to this place. There's always food and water and warm spring weather. The old and frail are young again. The maimed are whole again. They play all day with each other.

    There is only one thing missing. They're not with the special person who loved them on Earth.

    So, each day they run and play in this place until the day comes when one suddenly stops playing and looks up! The nose twitches. The ears perk. The eyes stare. And this one suddenly runs from the group!

    You've been seen, and when you and your special friend meet, you take him in your arms and embrace. Your face is kissed again and again and again, and you look once more into the eyes of your trusting pet.

    Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together, never again to be separated.

    We are truly sorry to hear about Buddy. He will be waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge.

    Now, I can't claim that's all theologically orthodox, but to me it's comforting nonetheless.

    With much love,
    Lisa Annette

  2. Ugh, now I can't read! :) I know, those dogs were frisky to say the least. So many good memories. Thanks for the love.