Goodbye Sweet Buddy

As I mentioned yesterday, Buddy had a seizure last night which surprised both Joe and I and got all three of us upset.  Well, Buddy didn’t improve a whole lot overnight.  He did regain the ability to walk but he was very upset, and confused and panicky most of the night.  Joe and I got very, very little sleep because Buddy wanted to go upstairs and then downstairs and he wouldn’t lay down and calm down.  Finally we brought him downstairs, put a baby gate up so he couldn’t get upstairs and we brought all of our bedding down and we dozed on the kitchen floor while he paced and finally around 5 in the morning he settled down to sleep for a couple of hours and so did we.  I woke up at 7 and shortly thereafter, the vet opened at 8 and we had decided it was his time to go before he got worse. Buddy and I had a nice morning walk although he was slow and not feeling too well.  He had some breakfast here and Joe and I sat with him for a long time just petting him. Before we went to the vet we picked up McDonalds for his second breakfast (we didn’t want to eat) and then when we got there we opened up the back of the car for him to look out, took off his collar, and then he sat next to me and ate (and got tons of pets and rubs and talking to) while we waited.  They gave him a relaxer first so he was almost asleep when it happened and he passed away in my lap with Joe right near us too.  The vet agreed it was time and said that if he got worse he could have gone into an unstoppable seizure which would have been absolutely horrifying.  It was much more dignified and kind to just let him go and stop his suffering even though it was the hardest thing we have ever done. We brought him home and buried him behind the pole barn.  When we had him arranged on his blanket we brought Cora out so she could see him and say goodbye but I don’t know that she totally understood. We wrapped him in a blanket and gave him some of his things to keep him company, his collar and a tennis ball, a stick, a bone and a couple of toys donated by the other animals for him to remember them by because it made me feel better.  We covered the top of his grave with lava rocks so nothing bothers him and we will get him a little stone with his name on it too.  After all of this Joe and I both had to go to work and it was a long, crappy day for us.  I don’t know about Joe but I managed to only cry twice in public but we both cried for most of the morning and I fell asleep in tears too.  We know it’s for the better but how sad, we miss him terribly!

In honour of him I thought I would share his story and my favourite pictures of him today.  We got Buddy over 6 years ago now I think. Maybe 7 years. Joe was living in an apartment building and we had only been dating for a few months. One of his neighbors was a family with a single mom and a couple of kids… Buddy traveled back and forth between the mom and the dad, sharing custody like with kids. They went out of town at one point and asked Joe to take care of him.  We had been petting Buddy and visiting with him for awhile because the family always left him tied up outside with out any food or water etc. Joe agreed to watch him and we spoiled him and spoiled him.  When they came home Joe took him back and they jokingly said ‘Oh you can keep him’ and Joe asked if he really could… and they said Yes! So Buddy was ours!

I was so jealous of Buddy for a few days once he was officially Joe’s dog, I thought since Joe had his dog he wouldn’t need his girlfriend but obviously that was ridiculous and worked itself out! These photos are of Buddy in my apartment, he was over visiting.  I was so excited to take him for walks and a number of times he and I would walk to campus to say Hello to Joe after his classes. Buddy was under 70lb when we got him and very skinny but we took care of that pretty quick!

Buddy quickly became our best pal.  We took him all over the place to explore and visit ruins and for walks and to go swimming.  He was our Buddy! Oh.. I forgot to mention, when we first started watching him we did not know his name (he wore no collar) and somehow the word ‘elbows’ was written on his food bin so for the whole week we were convinced his name was elbows and were happy to find out it was Buddy!

No matter the weather, hot or cold, sunny or cloudy Buddy was always game to go with us wherever we went. He has explored more of the Keweenaw than most people! I can remember one night Joe and I took Buddy to the ruins of the Cliff Mine and we walked and walked thinking we would find one way up the hill and another way back down but we didn’t and it started to get dark and I couldn’t remember how to get back to the car so I was convinced we would get stuck on the hill (where people could have died and wild animals might be roaming!) but Joe found the way back down the hill and the three of us made it to the car just as it was getting too dark to see!

Buddy came to us with a lot of quirks.  The family who had him told us that to give him a bath they would toss a ball or stick into the water so that he would go in to get it and then they would dunk him and shampoo him. So he hated water and toys for the longest time. How awful right? And he would never come up on the bed or couch even though we would offer and tell him it was alright so they must have yelled at him for that too.  After awhile we convinced him that swimming, tennis balls and furniture were fun things. I can remember when we discovered Buddy liked to fetch! Or at least chase because he never did bring it back. Joe and I were visiting his family at their cottage and somehow there was a ball and all of a sudden Buddy chased it. After that we played fetch over and over with him and then somehow we got him to chase balls into the water too and trust us a bit more.

We shaved him that summer because it was so hot so he looked like a red Labrador! He was a lot cooler and more comfy though!

Buddy never learned to jump off a dock into the water, but if he could wade into the water he would paddle around.  We never, ever dunked him again so he learned to trust us and know that swimming was playtime and fun. After that he climbed into any stream he could find!

Younger Buddy when he still had good footing.

Buddy just a month or two ago. He was shaky on his legs but we got him a few good last walks in and he braced himself with the rock and still climbed in!

Sometimes we put his life jacket on so he was more buoyant!

About two years or so after we got Buddy we decided to get Ocean. At first we didn’t know how Buddy would like a cat but we didn’t have to worry he did great! Ocean helped too because she just took over and showed him who was boss. They became best friends pretty quickly and were often together.  Each successive animal we have gotten has immediately taken to Buddy.  Ever body loves Buddy. If you need a friend you have Buddy.  Need a companion…it was Buddy. Need a walk, or a snuggle or a movie watching partner it was Buddy.  I can remember many, many nights when Joe would go out and I didn’t want to so Buddy and I stayed in and watched movies.  He was my pal!

See, everybody loves Buddy! I have dozens of pictures and everyone flocks to him.  Especially Ocean, those two have been together the longest and she just loves him. Cora may not realize, but Ocean knows he is gone and she has been looking for him. I almost wish we would have let her say goodbye too but I never thought of it. Poor cat.

Buddy loved all of us back just as much.  He was such a sweet, loyal dog. He always did what we asked and he always loved to be around us… especially Joe.  That dog loved Joe so much!

The year I made Buddy a cow costume for Halloween he went right to Joe as soon as I put it on and sulked as if he might get it off of him faster 🙂

Buddy loved car rides…

…naps and sleeping in…

snow and going crazy dog…




more sticks! …

And picking his own thimbleberries!

Buddy was so patient when I turned him into Little Red Riding Buddy

And so kind and sweet to Joe’s little brother Sam

He let me put a birthday hat on him every year to celebrate 🙂

And he even tolerated it when my parents cats were kittens and his swishing tail was just too tempting!

We love and loved our Buddy so very much!

Our Buddy.

December 15, 1999 – June 18, 2012


4 thoughts on “Goodbye Sweet Buddy

  1. What a nice story about your dog. May he rest in peace, and leave behind happiness to all who knew him. Our sympathies!

  2. What a wonderful dog! He had such a full life, and what a smile he had. Dog heaven will have to be pretty good to improve on his time with the two of you.

  3. Goodbye to a great dog- aptly named. We will miss him too, especially Sam, he understands now how things happened and was pretty sad. From our perspective Buddy truly had “A Dog’s Life” thanks to the both of you. Thanks for all the pictures and memories

  4. So very, very sorry for your loss. We enjoyed reading your posts about Buddy & the other animals. Thanks for sharing him with all of us! 🙂

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