Buddy–A Series Of Adventures–Prognosis April 22, 2014

There could be no stronger bond than ours.  From the first time our eyes met, I knew my life would be changed forever by your true heart.  Your pure acceptance, your love of life, your willingness to please me, your absolute loyalty to me, and our shared passion for the outdoors, have all raised my world up to a level of satisfaction that I never dreamed I could achieve.  You have been there for me for a decade, when there was absolutely no one else.  In good times and bad times, you’ve stuck by my side unconditionally.  You have been my true companion and hunting partner when no one else would.  You have brought me more joy than I can describe.  You have taught me more about life than I can recite.  You are without a doubt, the best friend I could ever hope for.

 You really scared the crap out of me when you had those prostrate issues.  I thought I would lose my mind if anything happened to you.  Who would I hunt with?  Who would I walk through the woods with?  Who would I curl up with on the futon at the end of a great day of chasing pheasants in the fields?

“The prognosis is not good, they usually only make it about a year.”

Those dark days were the wake-up call I needed to re-examine my priorities in life.  But you showed those doctors.  You bounced back like a champion with minimal treatment.  You were better than ever, or so it has seemed the last few years.

At first I was very angry with you when I realized you were “hiding” your problem.  Do you think I didn’t notice that occasional limp?  And how many times you came running back to me, out of breath?  You are never out of breath.  Yet, there you are, out of breath.  Well, what can we expect?  We are getting older, after all.  It comes with that distinguished grey you are sporting these days.  Still, I knew, deep down, that you were trying to hide something from me, not display any hint of discomfort or pain.   I love you so for trying to protect me.

Even when I cooed to you “baby, what’s wrong?  Does your leg hurt?”  You would respond by trying to distract me with something fun to do, or bound away, showing me how it’s all in my head.  Every tumble you took left me wondering why do you seem to take more falls than normal?  But you would always spring up, strong and ready to run out and play hard some more. And when I did finally make you go in to be examined, there was nothing broken, sprained or fractured.  “It’s likely a bruise from that last tumble.  A couple days of anti-inflammatories ought to take care of it…” said the Doc.

You sure know how to feed a girls’ denial.  You had me completely snowed.  You’re going to live forever!  .

But today, there is no more pretending all is well.  Today, we know the truth. At 10:30 this morning we were delivered the truth. The words fell to my ears like sharp cuts into my heart.  My vision blurred.  You leaned into me.  My heart pounded up into my neck and face and the room began to spin.

“The prognosis is not good.”

There is no upside this time. There is no fixing this one.  And that truth leaves me feeling ripped inside out, numb, shaking, and so selfishly mourning the prospect of losing you.  So dreading what’s ahead that I can barely see straight.  

NO!  Please, not my good boy!  I cannot be without you.  You are my everything. My pride and joy, my handsome boy, my oh so perfect hunting partner.  As I try to make sense of the terrible fate sealing words coming from the Doctor, you look up at me expectantly.  I know you just want to get outside and fetch the bumper for me.  Try as I may, I cannot stop this gut wrenching sobbing from exploding out of me for the next minute, hour, day….days……. 

I understand now, why you have tried to keep me from knowing.  What good purpose would it serve?  Turn me into a helpless, blubbering basket case?  Yup.  Honey, you know me all too well.  You knew I wasn’t ready.  You knew I’d cave.  You remain calm, and focused on trying to make me happy, and now I am focused on the dread and fear of what life will be like without you.  Life without you?  Oh God no!

BudLuvphotoI cannot fathom the idea of putting you through grueling treatments that “may” give you a few more months…but I cannot fathom life without you in a few more months.  Your steady gaze into my eyes is one of adoration and trust.  I look into your innocent face, and see you are no longer trying to hide your pain.  Your furrowed brow says the discomfort is bad enough that it concerns you too. If I could take it all away from you and carry it myself I would.  You crawl up into my lap.  I rock you like a baby.  I softly stroke your tender face.  You know nothing of self-pity. You know nothing of regret, or jealousy, or fear, or defeat.  You only know love, commitment, and celebrating life.  Why does this awful pain have to get in the way? There, there, baby, we’re going to try giving you these pills for a while to see if it helps relieve the pain any.  My brave boy. 

I want to be as strong as you are.

I am going to try to be as strong as you are.  

This cancer will not have you without a fight.

I know how much you want to run free like the wind, working through the tall grasses hoping to catch a whiff of bird for me.  I know how much you want to go exploring the woods and fields, investigating under every fallen tree, peering down every hole, reveling in the smells of the wild.  One way or another, we will walk the woods and fields again and you will point out those sly pheasants for me.  Baby if I have to carry you back to the truck at the end of the day, I will.   

I am going to wipe these tears away, and focus on the good stuff while we still have time.  We don’t know how much time we have.  From this day forward, I intend to honor you to the ends of the earth.  I intend to celebrate life with you.  Everything else can wait.  My best friend, I intend to be there for you, as you always have been for me, right up to your last breath.  We will take things one day at a time, and live every day to its fullest potential together. 081

Okay, now I am going to stop crying. 

Okay……now…

 

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Comments

  1. So so sad. I am sorry, Patty! There are just no words…

  2. Oh Patty, I am so sorry about Buddy. Sounds like he is such a good friend to you. They are so much more than animals, they are family. What a blessing that he has been with you all these years. Unconditional love is what they give us. You are in my thoughts. Be gentle with yourself.

  3. It is so hard to let them go….so hard. My heart and prayers go out to you both.

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