Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sometimes I have Horrible, Terrible Ideas

We got our dog Buddy in the summer of 2001. Our family had moved to Chula Vista a year prior, and we really needed a dog to bring us together after that move. Officially, we got him for baby brother's birthday, but he touched all of us in remarkable and distinctly individual ways.

Yesterday, my dad had him put down, because his body was broken and he was hurting too bad to keep going. My dad sent this email to me today:
So after work I went home to pick Buddy up. I was nervous about it all morning long  I fed him a feast of American cheese, ham, grapes and banana.  He got so full he didn't want any more ham. He hurt so bad that when I asked him if he "wanted to go for a ride" he was only mildly interested. 
I took him to the vet and told him the time had come.  He said he thought I would be back since it was the right time for Buddy to go.  I held Buddy on the table while he gave him the anesthetic shot and then another overdose of the same.  Buddy immediately closed his eyes and relaxed.  The vet checked his heart and he was gone.  He looked so completely peaceful, it was good to see him at ease and not trembling. 
I managed to make it out of the office and into the truck before I started crying like a little girl.  I drove him out to the rancho and found a big rock to bury him by.  After I dug a deep hole I placed him in it in a blanket. I made a grave marker for him out of concrete.  I wasn't really sure of his birthday, so I gave it my best shot.  I put on the marker "Best Dog Ever".  I really think he was for us.  For sure he was the smartest dog we ever had. And pretty loyal with the exception of his miscellaneous wanderings in the neighborhood that got him sent to jail or when he returned to 808 after we moved to Dennis.  Remember his growling and barking at airplanes so high you couldn't even hear them?  How he killed several birds, a bunch of mice and a long list of flys?  How he was forever in pursuit of a stinky old, spitty tennis ball?  How he gave himself seizures after running head long into the wall? Rolling over, shaking, playing dead, sitting, sitting pretty, hopping and dancing?  Tearing through screens on windows and jumping out just so he could sit on the porch waiting for someone to come home? 
He had a good run of it, all in all a great little dog that will be missed and remembered.
Somehow it seems almost unfair to endeavor to love a thing so much that you know will die. It hurts to enter into new relationships and friendships and meaningful interactions because they are laced with the sublime poison of death and defeat. It is so hard and sad. 

Stupidly,  I thought is would be a good idea to watch this documentary today instead of editing things for work or cleaning my room (to be fair, i was GOING to clean my room while I watched it, but, needless to say, that didn't happen). It was a major mistake, but it felt so good to cry. I ended up in a miserable heap on my bed in the middle of the day just remembering Buddy and all the fun we had together. He was my adventure companion and he always was willing to brave the wilderness of San Diego with me, even when it was rainy and nobody else would, or when possums jumped out and hissed at us. Stupid possums...

I haven't cried at all since I have been here. You might accuse me of not dealing with my emotions, hiding them under a rock, or carrying them in my jaw (face yoga...). Well now we can all relax just a little bit, and rest assured that I am dealing again. I am working on "being in touch" etc. Proof of that is in the fact that later, I cried watching an episode of The Wonder Years. 
Fear not. I will soon be well adjusted and mature.

And I thank Buddy for that.


Marge Bjork said...

I watch sad movies on purpose because I rarely can get a good cry out on my own no matter how much I need it.

Squirrels are the new possum.

*ehu. said...

Aww how sad. It made me think of that time that you, me, Rudy and someone else were at your house.. Oh Cathy. and Buddy was being extremely playful with Rudy. Oh that was too funny!!