7.22.2005

one day we'll look back on this and it will all seem funny

I'm late this morning, because we spent a good portion of last night at the emergency vet with Buster.

He's OK. (And thank you for your concern.) It wasn't exactly an emergency, but he needed to see a doctor, and our vet is on vacation. Apparently so is everyone else's vet, because the place was packed. This brings us further complications, because Buster can't be around other dogs (except his Cody). So we waited outside: I stay on dog-alert, while Allan runs Buster back and forth across the street as all the dogs in the neighborhood go out for their walks. Eventually an exam room opened up, so we could wait in there. This too brings complications: Buster spends the whole time shrieking and crying. Ah yes, a very pleasant four-hour wait.

As for Buster, he's having the same intestinal trouble we've been battling off and on for two months. Through it all, he seems perfectly happy, not distressed in any way or in pain. But he's losing weight, and his coat, normally shiny and lustrous, is dry and brittle. I am worried about my B.

When our regular vet comes back from vacation, we're going to step this up a notch: sonogram, radiograph, possibly an endoscopy. I was hoping to avoid another labor-intensive veterinary process. I kind of don't need one more thing to do, y'know? But the easy stuff clearly isn't working.

More than any of our dogs, I worry about Buster. He's been high-maintenance since the day we found him. He almost didn't make it then, and something inside me still half-expects to lose him.

I can't explain the love I have for this animal. His love for me is so intense. Of course, that's how dogs love, it's what they do. But a dog who was alone, frightened, on the edge of death, whose life begins again - their love is beyond human comprehension. Buster's devotion to us, and his neediness, makes me love him even more.

11 comments:

G said...

I was moved to tears reading this, and the linked piece, about Buster. Reminds me so much of the dogs I used to have - in one sense they were family dogs, but in another, more profound sense (and the family agrees) they were my dogs.

It is amazing how much they can love, and how they can be so much a part of our lives to the point where we can't imagine our lives without them in it. They become family. Their capacity to love wholly, and unquestionable, and remain loyal is beyond any animal; indeed, in many cases, it is beyond many humans.

There is a lesson in that. Dogs offer so much, and ask only for a nice tummyrub on occasion in return (because who doesn't love a good tummyrub?). And they bring such joy because of their unconditional love.

The part of the story that got me was your telling your friend that you would take in the next stray dog, and then poof, there he was not long after. If there is any such thing as 'meant to be' ... [smile]

The story of Buster would actually make a pretty good story, you know. Perhaps something for the Youth crowd? A lesson on caring, taking an animal in, and saving a life. Think about it ... preserve Buster's life forever in a story ... though in a sense you've already done so here on WMTC.

:-) Thank you for writing his touching story and reminding us all of a fundamental life lesson. :-)

L-girl said...

Thank you, G. I get teary-eyed myself over this story, no matter how times I tell it. I'm glad it made you think of your old dogs, and of the love of dogs in general.

Further back story is here, if you really feel like reading. This is the pre-Buster story.

G said...

That is a wonderful tale - brings back so much ...

Thank you.

L-girl said...

Oh! I almost forgot. Photos of our first family here. Photos of Cody and Buster are linked above.

I hope you get another dog one day, when your life permits.

David Cho said...

Brought tears to my eyes. The purity and simplicity of their love and devotion are just amazing.

Well, although Noah likes to hang out with my roommate more than me, and that is probably because while he takes him to parks, I take him to all these mean places like the vet and groomer.

L-girl said...

The purity and simplicity of their love and devotion are just amazing.

Yes, that's exactly what it is. Our love for other people is complicated. We don't like everything about them, we have issues of our own, it's not straightforward, no matter how much we love them. But with animals, it's a completely pure and simple bond.

I think that's why it hurts us so much when they die. Pure love, then pure grief.

Well, although Noah likes to hang out with my roommate more than me, and that is probably because while he takes him to parks, I take him to all these mean places like the vet and groomer.

I call that the Bad Mommy syndrome. Cody likes Allan better than me, because I give her pills and try to cut her nails. He takes her to the park. Bad Mommy!

Crabbi said...

I hope Buster is feeling better soon, L.

What a wonderful story. Buster and Cody are lucky to have such devoted parents. I guess you guys are lucky, too :)

David Cho said...

I call that the Bad Mommy syndrome. Cody likes Allan better than me, because I give her pills and try to cut her nails. He takes her to the park. Bad Mommy!

LOL. Humans (most of them anyway) eventually grow up to appreciate their parents for those "bad" things in retrospect. Dogs don't. I guess it again says about the purity and simplicity of their love.

What you said about grief being pure is so right on. When we lose loved ones, we feel sad for the most part, but still have some mixed feelings about the dead. No mixed feelings about dogs. Just pure grief.

L-girl said...

Buster and Cody are lucky to have such devoted parents. I guess you guys are lucky, too :)

Thank you, Ms Crabbi. I do feel lucky, very much so.

No mixed feelings about dogs. Just pure grief.

Oh yeah, and pure pain. It's the only really bad thing about sharing your life with animals, knowing you will lose them too soon.

David Cho said...

You know, I've been thinking about this. Owners can too before their animals do, and I need to write something into my will.

So I guess I need to find a "godowner," and leave some money. How do others do it?

Anonymous said...

You're smart to think of this.

I can tell you what I did. Since we don't have wills (we don't own a house or anything of real material value), I wrote a statement with my plans for our dogs, had someone witness my signature, sealed it and gave it to my sister.

I thought this was especially important because Buster is not adoptable. I wouldn't want him to suffer.

Aw geez, I'm sniffling again...

L-girl on iPAQ