Sunday, October 20, 2013

Buster Brown

This is our dog Buster. We have had him for about 10 years or so. He came to us from Firefighter's parents. Apparently Buster nipped the neighbor's daughter and the father of the little girl said get rid of the dog or put him down. Well, the later seemed a bit extreme since this was a one time occurrence so Firefighter and I decided to take the dog and have him live with us. 

Buster is a chow-shepherd mix and a fairly large sized dog. He is not necessarily the dog that I would have chosen on my own. In his younger days he was far more aggressive and scarier then he is now. He has mellowed a lot in the last 5 or so years. That doesn't mean there haven't been moments when he hasn't scared me. He has! 

Six or seven years ago he had a stroke that affected his hind legs. He wasn't able to get up on his own and we had to assist him with a towel in order to get him up and outside. This was quite challenging since he was still very aggressive at that point. My poor, sweet, caring brother-in-law felt the full effects of that one night when he came over to help me move him. We tried to get him moving and you could tell Buster wanted no part of it and my BIL got in the way and well he ended up in the hospital with three pretty deep puncture wounds on him arm. His heart was in the right place but it just wasn't a good idea. Firefighter and I have both been bitten by him, neither one of them intentional and in my instance it was somewhat provoked. Nothing serious, but I did have to get a tetanus shot.  

Lately his age is really starting to show. His arthritis is setting in and has a very strong presence. His joints crack and he is moving slower and he has to have a pill to move around with more ease but he still functions... just slower. His bladder seems to have gotten weaker as well. This morning, after Firefighter and I returned from breakfast we were sitting on the couch watching TV and all of a sudden Buster started drooling and he had his mean face on. Since Firefighter has medical training he was able to recognize that Buster was having a seizure.

It was the scariest thing I have ever seen. He was looking at me but almost like he was looking through me. He got up and was going in circles like something was chasing him and then he was on the floor and his teeth were chattering. I felt helpless. I couldn't help him, because frankly I was scared to death he would hurt me and there isn't much of anything that I could have done for him. We had to let it pass. 

I wasn't sure if he was going to make it or not. I thought I was watching him die right in front of me. And even though a few hours have passed I still get a knot in my stomach and a sense of discomfort when I think about the fact that I could have been watching my dog die, and that I was totally helpless. I had to get outside and I couldn't move fast enough. I know that it is approaching Buster's time to go to the Rainbow Bridge, but I am not comfortable with the idea of making that decision. If he is ready to go, I would prefer for him to go on his own. 

But today was not that day. 

We have been talking a lot recently about putting him down. He is suffering and after today, I think we are making the right decision. I would hate for him to suffer another grand seizure like he did today.  But the idea of him not being here in the house makes me sad. I know that is selfish, but it's what I am feeling. Even though he has been annoying the crap out of me lately, I still love him. 

When his time does come, there is a part of me that doesn't want to replace him. But deep down I know that I will have another pet. But there will never be another dog like Buster Brown. 

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