It's been nearly three weeks since I had to send my dearest pal Home. I miss him terribly. We spent nearly a third of my life together. He was 14½. I wanted to add his name here to the other Labs who were, and still are, well-loved. I want to thank everyone here who made me feel welcome when I joined, shared in my happiness when I had good news, helped me with information, advice and links and those of you who offered me your prayers and condolences when his time came.
Special thanks to kpowell and talleyJudy who gave me such great information regarding his renal disease and shared in both my joy and sadness. Jeep274 who was such a great inspiration for me and whose messages often kept me hopeful and going. My dear friend Hark67, your emails and heartfelt words and care were always there for me and more so when the last few months rolled around. I treasure your friendship. People who have a great relationship with a dog are blessed with a wonderful kind of love that everyone in this world should know.
It's easy to dwell on the negative things until time passes. As the years go by, you see the progression of age...eyes get a little cloudy, the toys don't get played with, the running stops, the tail wasn't wagging anymore...things like that. I had to make the worst decision of my life and am still dealing with guilt. I knew I did all I could for sweet Buford but it didn't feel right. I kept telling him I was sorry and hope that he knew I wanted to help him, even though I would miss him. He was too sweet of a dog and had given me so much joy in my life to keep him here for myself, which would have been selfish. I hated to be there but I felt I owed it to him. I hope you are renewed, healthy and happy. Maybe, when I think of you, you are perking your ears up and tilting your head when I speak your name and swatting your paw at me to say hello. A big part of me went with you when you left us but I think of you everyday. The only tiny bit of the smallest amount of consolation I have is that, even though I don't doubt your renal disease played a part as well, the vet said it was just your body getting old. You were the first Lab I had from puppy and was able to keep until old age without some other circumstance taking you. I wondered how long would you have stayed with us had you not gotten sick.
I remember bringing you home, all curled up on the front seat of my truck and sleeping. I couldn't even get a hold of you to pick you up, you kept running by me at lightning speed. You were well-behaved and sweet since you were born. It was my intention to find a yellow Lab but when I saw your picture from a coworker, I couldn't resist. There wasn't a person who didn't love you, you were cute, always gentle and obedient. That black spot on the back of your tongue was so cute, I always liked to watch you drink or lick your snout so I could see the spot.
Everyday whenever we were on vacation, I would call to see how you were--where did you sleep last night, what did you eat, what did you do, are you doing okay? Greetings from you when we came home were wonderful! I made sure you were never alone for long even if it meant going out of my way to check on you, which is what a dog "parent" should do. By the way, you were never a dog but always family. A friend of mine said, the heart doesn't know the difference between the loss of a pet and the loss of a human, it still feels the pain. I am missing you in all of your spots in the house.....when the weather is nice, I feel you should be here to enjoy it. The clickity clack of your paws on the hardwoods. There is so much missing and so much to remember. Even that little kid that you never quite bonded with, she is missing you. When she sees clouds floating by, she points and says, "Brooferd on a cloud" (she is 3). She loved you, too.
I want to remember the good times and funny things, like when you would let me sleep and always wake up my husband instead by sticking your cold, wet nose into his face or arm at 3 a.m. Racing around the living room so fast that you looked like a jackrabbit and had my stomach in stitches from laughing. I still have the broken cow doorstop with the ear missing to prove your speed. When you had an off night of G.I. issues and would leave the room yourself because it was so bad and wake us up in the middle of the night, gasping. I loved the fuzzy little hairs on your snout and when your ears were cold, that was the best feeling, a cold ear on my face. The way your snout would wrinkle up when we were roughhousing or you were chewing on a toy. Your cuddling on the bottom of the bed, always on my side even if my husband wasn't there and always on my feet so I had to sleep semi-contorted.
I hope you know I did all I could for you and loved you so very much. I hope you will now understand the words I said to you in those last few days. I know you are in a better place, whole and healthy, happy and free but you are sorely missed. I thank you for being the dog you were, you had a wonderful and gentle personality. I thank you for being strong and proving us all wrong by sticking it out as long as you could; because of that, I was able to keep you for another 14 months. I thank God for you still and that He blessed us with one another and that when I asked for more time, it was granted.
Also I want to let you know I am still chasing crows off the lawn because I know you hated them and also that neighboorhood cat that you used always wanted to run after. I hope you feel the love I send you everyday when you are in my thoughts. I miss you so but you deserve all the good things you are now experiencing. Run free Buford and know I will see you again someday ~
<br />Always in my heart sweet bubby bear ~
We Have A Secret
We have a secret, you and I
that no one else shall know,
for who but I can see you lie
each night in fire glow?
And who but I can reach my hand
before we go to bed
and feel the living warmth of you
and touch your silken head?
And only I walk woodland paths
and see ahead of me,
your small form racing with the wind
so young again and free.
And only I can see you swim
in every brook I pass
and when I call, no one but I
can see the bending grass.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." author Will Rogers
Auggie 12/29/95 ~ 01/15/09
I can feel the ache in your heart through these words. My heart goes out to you in missing your sweet special boy.
I can feel you love for Buford in every word as did he. Memories like you have keep Buford alive in the hearts of those who loved him forever.
Rest well Buford
<br /><br />"in moments of joy, all of us wish we possessed a tail we could wag."<br />w.h. auden<br /><br />"This is worse than a divorce... I've lost half of my net worth and I still have my wife"
A beautiful tribute to a wonderful boy.
What a beautiful tribute to your boy, i am sitting here with tears running down my face as i can picture almost everything you have described.
I too had to make that awful decision last month for my boy, he wasn't as old as Bruford, but like Bruford he had a condition that had aged him and made his quality of life pretty poor.
I am thinking of you and know exactly what you are going through, i too have the guilty feelings and the emptiness, even though i have 2 others there are certain traits that only Jonah had that i miss terribly too.
Love and good thoughts to you and i hope that in time our hearts will begin to heal and we can enjoy the happy memories that our boys brought us.
Love Kate xXx
"some days you are the dog, some days you are the tree!"
Kate mom to Jed Jasmine and Joelly