This is my best friend on the day he lost his life to cancer. July 27, 2013. I have wanted to write about him for a long time. He didn’t always have the gray around his muzzle. When he was a puppy, I walked into the local PetSmart on pet adoption day. There were all of these adorable little furry bundles, you know, like the one’s you see in commercials. I knew what I was looking for, though I had no idea what he/she would look like. I wanted the “biggest, dumbest” looking puppy they had. And so, I spotted Buster. He was all out of proportion, with this extremely large head and big paws and the rest of him was much smaller. But those eyes (look at the picture again), those eyes could see straight through to my soul. I knew immediately he had to be mine…that we absolutely belonged together. I told my now ex-husband that we needed to get him so our dog at home, Cassie, would have a mate. Within minutes, he was mine.
Buster was everything I wanted in a puppy. I loved him instantly and deeply. He quickly became “my” dog. He followed me everywhere, in fact, on more occasions than I could count, I would say, “Buster, would you kindly get your head out of my ass”. I couldn’t even go to the bathroom alone!
He was beyond adorable. And the more you got to know him, the more you loved him. I spent the next year training my new puppy while watching my marriage fall completely apart. My now ex-husband was an alcohol and drug addict. Buster witnessed arguments, my ex being abusive and chaos in general. During my darkest times, Buster was right there for me. I cried with him, talked to him about my problems and he always listened. On some level, he understood. He was a great listener and an even better cuddler. Things got so crazy that my ex actually tried to blame Buster for the demise of our marriage. Cray Cray right?
So we separated. Buster jumped into my car and neither one of us ever looked back. The years passed, with many ups and downs. And through it all, Buster learned “me”. He sensed my moods. He knew when to comfort me and when I needed to be alone. He loved me unconditionally. I was his world.He was my best friend. He was my silent counselor. Sometimes it felt like he was all I had.
I finally started making the right decisions for my life. And Buster and I enjoyed our lives very much. I met and married a good man. A man who instantly loved Buster just as much as I did. The years following were filled with happiness and love, for both Buster and me.
Eight years after I met my “soul mate dog”, he suddenly got very sick. He had been so tough throughout his life, I believed he would get over it just like other times when we’d been briefly sick. Except he didn’t get better this time, he got worse. We went to the emergency vet where he was tested, given some meds and sent home. The meds did nothing. I sat up with him night after night, sang to him his favorite songs, trying to make him comfortable. He lovingly responded to me but he was hurting so very bad,
Seven thousand dollars, three days, no sleep for 72 hours later we got the call. He had cancer. They did all they could but his prognosis was grave. I had a choice. I could continue to allow the vet to attempt to make him comfortable or have him put down. I tried the first option, but quickly realized I was not doing this for Buster, I was doing it for myself. Those eyes, the eyes that could see through to my soul, were begging me to help him in a way I don’t think I can put into words. I called the emergency vet and let them know we were on our way…
We waited in “the room” for what seemed like forever. I was a disaster but tried so hard to be strong for Buster. Those last few minutes I made sure Buster knew just how much I loved him and how thankful for him for all of these years.
The vet came in and they started the procedure. I laid on the floor with him, nose to nose and repeated to him over and over again, “I love you so much, thank you so much for loving me”, until he took his last breath.
I left alone. I felt like I’d lost the best part of me. My best friend, who had been with me through all of my life’s struggles, my shadow, my soul mate dog was gone. I was utterly and completely lost and devastated beyond words.
It’s been 6 months since Buster left this world. Life goes on. But it goes on differently. I still miss him. I will always miss him. I thought enough time had passed that I could write about him without falling apart. Wrong again.
I have other dogs, who I love very deeply and they love me too. But Buster and I had history, We survived some really ugly times in life together. He was, and always will be, my soul mate dog.
I pray dog’s go to heaven…because if they do, Buster will be standing there, wagging his tail, waiting for me.