It has been over one month since we put my buddy, Buddy to sleep. As I noted in that earlier post, it was time for him to go. As early as last summer he would go a couple of days without even getting up off of his bed. I began noticing about six months ago that his vision was pretty well shot and he could only chase thrown toys by following the sound of them hitting the ground. The last few times I took him for a walk he kept walking into things on the street. His last walk around the block was clearly distressful for him. He could physically handle the walk, but was clearly disoriented and unable to really see or sense where he was. His last few days he got up only a couple of times. I had waited for my wife to get back home to Memphis so that we could both take him on his last car ride, this time to the vet.
The vet was his least favorite place in the world. He was scared to death in there. The first thing he would always do when the vet walked into the examination room was relieve himself out of fear. He had to be muzzled because he did not want those strange hands poking and prodding. However, this time, there was no argument from him. There was no nervous shaking from him, nor did he lose control of his bodily functions.
It was time.
But I am finding that I am missing him even more now than when we left the vets office with only his collar and leash, or when I spread his ashes in our back yard a few days later. Or when I threw his squeaky toys over the fence for our neighbors dogs, and they promptly took them up. Our remaining two rescue dogs never got the hang of fetch like Buddy did.
Buddy could be a real pain in the ass. He was big, too big. He could not be left around folks that he did not know because he might snap at them. We could not take him to the dog park because he just did not want to be messed with when other dogs came up to him. He would go on these incessant barking kicks at 3:00 in the morning for no clear reason.
As we are getting ready to move to New Orleans, it is better in some ways that Buddy is gone. I knew full well that the unadaptable creature of habit that he was would not have allowed him at his advanced age to adjust to the real deep south. His last month could not have been much fun for him in any way. Instead of chasing the little yippie dogs along the fence, when he heard them, the best he could do those last couple of weeks was call it in by barking from his bed in the sun/dog room.
So as I write this, our two remaining rescue dogs – Abbie the aging Irish Setter, and Grace our completely insane three-year old alleged Golden Retriever are lying on the floor by our bed. They have had a few rough days being locked up in bedrooms and bathrooms while folks painted the inside of our house and worked outside. They distressed by the fact that most of the stuff in the house is packed up as we get ready for the move. And today, if Buddy were not just guarding the perimeter with his ashes, he would be completely and totally freaking out. But I really miss not being able to comfort him today as when he would put his big slobbery head in my lap where he just absolutely never ever got tired of having his ears and head massaged. I miss that the most.
What does this have to do with recovery? Living life on life’s terms without drinking or eating over it. But I sure do still miss my buddy, Buddy.