June 7, 2017: A Final Goodbye to Bud

~by Susi Pittman


Buddy Boy, my beloved Dalmatian passed away last December 1st. It was all I could do to let him go home, but Jesus needed him back again. Bud had lived a full life after 14 years and he was ready to leave.

And today, I can finally write about it.

Buddy Boy had been my most loving and joyful companion since the death of my husband nine years ago. In most cases, dogs will mourn and then show a desire to continue living in the “now.” That’s what is so endearing about dogs, they live in the moment.

Bud came out of his grief for my husband and he showed me that life continues on and we are called to “live in it” and not recoil into unnecessary extended grief. As our loved ones have moved into their new existence, so must we. Dogs know this in a different language given them by the Creator. Bud’s behavior was an example to me in realizing that moving on was spiritually healthy.

It had been Bud’s unspoken choice to attend to me and accompany me everywhere. This was evident to me in a huge way back in the summer of 2010.

Let me preface this story with the fact that I have been deaf in my left ear for years and have minor hearing loss in my right ear. I was sitting on my porch, drinking coffee one morning, listening to the Cardinals in the trees when quite suddenly I noticed that the sounds were becoming more distant and then gone. I stood up and called Bud. I could not hear myself speak. Bud came. I was frightened as I wrestled with the obvious fact, I was absolutely deaf. How was that possible? Why did it happen? I could not even call anyone on the phone, because I would not be able to hear them. So, I raced to the computer and emailed my daughter to Skype me immediately. There I was able to speak to her and she could text me back on screen. I was able to get to an Otolaryngologist and start treatments for nerve induced hearing loss. It took two weeks for me to regain my hearing and Bud was my guardian every step of the way.

Bud sensed that something was wrong with me. He would lie at my feet whenever I was inactive, it was his way of expressing concern. He would alert me to sounds outside the house and even if the phone rang. He wasn’t trained to do this, he did this on his own, like he knew he needed to. He was more watchful and aggressive during this time, warier of people and not his usual “at ease” self. Bud had always been a dog ambassador of affection and love to everyone. His actions told me that he was now in protection mode because of my disability.

Towards the end of his life, Bud had lost all of his hearing and most of his eyesight. It was my privilege to work with him on our new “speech” of hand signals and body language to communicate with him. I knew what it was like to be deaf, not even able to hear my own breathing and how frightening and disorienting that can be. I knew that Bud was going through much the same thing. He was able to adapt in ways far beyond what I thought capable.

There was a time in 2008 when I was alone in a cabin in the Smokey Mountains with Bud. It was a beautiful day and I had all the doors open to the back deck as I worked on writing my book. Bud was lying next to me. Out of my peripheral vision I noticed Bud rising up very slowly, unusually so, that I turned to look at him. Every hair on the ridge of his back was standing straight up and his head was lowered with ears raised and his eyes set straight ahead. I then turned to see what he was looking at, and there standing on the edge of the deck was a large black bear. He was noticeably thin and I am sure he was smelling the lunch I had placed beside me. Bud lunged out the door without hesitation and the bear scrambled up the railing and proceeded to jump off into the woods. I screamed for Bud to stop, and thank God he did.

My hero dog! He would have fought with a bear for me! Fearless loyalty cannot be bought.

As Bud’s days were coming to a close, his eyesight had grown darker. There were times I saw him anxious and nervous while walking in the back yard because he had lost sight of me… I would run to him to assure him that I was there. He always showed gratitude…big doggy smile and a “lick.” Sometimes I would just kneel down and hug him tight. I never wanted forget how he felt in my arms.

Bud has shown me that to have a friend, you must be a friend; that patience is its own reward; love does not judge, nor does it seek its own justice; forgiveness is paramount to joy; pleasure should be found in the smallest of things; a good nap IS a good thing; disability allows others to grow with you; seize the day; share “joy” often; live in the moment, it may be all you have; always love.

Bud and I were two different creatures who shared our lives in a special bond blessed by the Creator. Two different creatures which God had given to each, extraordinary insights into the other, so that their lives together, while they had each other were blessed in a reciprocal love that will know it’s true potential in the perfection of the life to come.

Thank you Bud for your example, and thank you for your love. I will never be able to thank Jesus enough for sending you to me because you have made me a better person in so many ways.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Susi Pittman is founder of CatholicStewardsofCreation.com and Owner-President of Twin Oaks Publishing; she is author of Animals in Heaven? Catholics Want to Know!; a member of the St. John’ s Catholic Writers Guild;
a member of the Florida Publishers Association, Independent Book Publishers Association, the National Association of Professional Women, the ASPCA, the National Wildlife Federation, the Humane Society of the United States and the National Audubon society.

*** Visit SUSI WEEKLY ARCHIVE ***

.

Have a commentary you would like to share? Please visit our CONTACT US page and share your ideas with us.

.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • email
  • Digg
  • Google Bookmarks
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Twitthis
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • MySpace
  • Sphinn
  • Mixx