To no fault of the family he was born to, Buster was an extremeley under socialized dog, he didn’t meet other dogs and people as much he should have during the formative puppyhood stage, so when I met Buster he was 2 years old and he was very shy and timid. We started with regular neighborhood walks, after several months I brought my senior cattle dog, who didn’t give Buster any attention, but it was perfect for Buster, he needed her stable, neutral energy with lots of positive experiences, nothing intimidating.
It wasn’t long before we were walking with several dogs and then he graduated to attending our small dog play dates. He thrived! For years and years we had so much fun together and then it was his turn to carry the torch of welcoming other shy dogs to the pack. Once one dog is healed they get to help me heal the next, Buster was exactly that. He helped me welcome so many dogs to our play group and showed them the best of times.
Buster and his mom waited outside their condo complex for me each week, waiting for the white car to arrive and whisk him away! His mama said that they couldn’t walk by a white car without having to get pulled to over to it for inspection, making sure it wasn’t mine. Even in his final weeks, when his health was failing, I would take him for walks and we always had to stop by my car for a once over. Of course, I’d load him in it for a sniff-fest and let his senses be livened; I even took him for rides, knowing it could be his last.
I was sad but not surprised when I received the call that his health had been failing to the point his mom wanted him evaluated. I knew this was going to be devastatingly difficult on her, she loved him with her whole heart and she asked if I could go with her to help her make the decision. So I picked them up and for the first time in all of our years, Buster rode in the passenger seat of my car, cradled by his mom, being caressed by both of us. Her wonderful veterinarian guided her to the realization that it was time to let him go. It was. He fell asleep peacefully with a strong sedative and the last words he heard were his mom telling him much she loved him and showering him with kisses, as tears dampened his cheeks.
As I leaned over to give him a final kiss goodbye, I also kissed the tears of sadness that his mom left on his face. We have cried together many times since, the loss of Buster left an enormous void in our lives, he is so dearly missed.
As hard as it is to lose this beloved boy, I am honored to be with Buster in his final moments, supporting him, his mom, my beloved client and friend and sharing tears of sadness for this darling boy who I loved as my own.
Darling Buster, he lived the life that I wish every animal should have, as a loved and cherished companion.