On Tuesday morning, Buddy, one of our “portable” wiener-dogs passed away, at the age of 13. On Christmas day, he became ill, but seemed to recover nicely. A phone consult with a vet didn’t raise any red flags. A scrounging-related illness or some back trouble seemed most likely, neither of which are unusual for dachshunds. The next day, at the vet’s he seemed himself and quite energetic. However, by the next morning he was having trouble with his back legs. When I called the vet to describe the symptoms, she became concerned that perhaps he’d had a stroke, and wanted to do some blood work. I went home, but he had passed away. This has been rough for me and my son, Justin. During the divorce, the dogs were often a source of serenity and unconditional love. Dogs seem to be one of the few species capable of that grand gift. Buddy’s “brother,” Buster seems to be having a truly rough time with it. In the past, when we left the house, Buddy and Buster would curl up together. Now Buster just cries pathetically….
Buddy and Buster came to us in the summer of 2006. At the time, the family was still, by appearances, intact (but unraveling). Justin had just finished first grade, and we decided to get him a dog, since he was really wanting one. One the way to the pound, Justin said, “I hope they have a dachshund.”
I have never seen a dachshund at the pound, so we cautioned him not get his hopes up. When we got there, they had not one, but two, doxies. They had been given up together, and it was requested that we adopt them together, which we did. We quickly realized that Buster was completely neurotic, but Buddy seemed to go with the flow with most things. His only complaint was that he was promptly put on a weight-loss regimen.
Within a year, my marriage truly came apart at the seams. In spite of my efforts, it could not be salvaged. Since I initially had full custody of Justin, I also kept the dogs. Justin is an unabashed animal-lover, and the dogs (as well as our cats and geckos) provided the stability he needed. Buddy and Buster have been our beach and camping companions for numerous trips, providing for additional joy on the outings. In their minds, they, no doubt, also kept us safe from squirrels.
It comes as a great loss to have our pack reduced by one, but I do not want to dwell on the sadness, but celebrate the life of Buddy. In that spirit, I have put together a collage of pictures in which he appears:
Other/full-sized pictures can be seen at:
This reminds me not only of the good times he gave to us, but that we also provided him with extra years of love and comfort.
I am sure that I will meet Buddy again, but I wonder when and in what form. I can only hope that I will recognize him.
Fare thee well, little dog.