It’s been a while…

Buster here.  Mom hasn’t posted in a while.  It was hard on her to lose Finchy after losing the Chili Dawg.  She had hoped that Finchy would have been with us for a while longer, but stupid cancer doesn’t play fair.  I miss him too, and have been trying to fill his shoes, I have even learned how to be scared of thunderstorms and fireworks like he used to be (although I don’t think that’s what Mom and Dad had in mind).  I did give Mom and Dad a little scare at the end of May when they found a large lump just below my knee.  Fortunately, the biopsy showed it to be a lipoma and then Mom was able to breathe again.  I don’t think she could handle having a third dog with cancer at the moment.

What I really came on here to do was to show you what my grandma made for my mom for her birthday.  It made Mom cry, because she misses her two boys, but I think grandma did a really beautiful thing.  Mom didn’t want to hang it up at first, because she said, “it made it too real for her”, but my dad hung it up a couple days ago & Mom said she is glad that he did.

Chili Dawg & Finchy
Chili Dawg & Finchy

Finchy Has Crossed The Bridge…

Hi everypawdy.  It’s Buster.  I bring sad news tonight.  Finchy has joined Chili Dawg at the Rainbow Bridge.  Friday night he had a really rough night and Mom took him to the v-e-t Saturday morning.  The initial diagnosis was that his pancreatitis was back, along with arthritis in his back, so they admitted him to the hospital for treatment.  Sunday, the v-e-t called and he was doing worse.  He had swelling in his back legs along with bruising and he couldn’t stand.  When Dad visited him, he could see he was very uncomfortable and hurting.  The dogtor was running one last blood test to check for a tick bourne disease, although the liklihood of him picking up that in February in IL was extremely low.  Today, the swelling has moved into his front legs and abdomen, he is panting a lot and is still not comfortable.  It appears the intestinal cancer has also done a number on his body as well.  Mom and Dad went to visit him tonight, and while the dogtor said there were still specialists they could take him to, looking into Finchy’s eyes, Mom and Dad didn’t want to subject him to anymore tests or pain.  He has been such a faithful and loving companion, especially to 5 year old Noah- who sobbed uncontrollably last night when he figured out that Finchy was probably never coming home again.

Run free and out of pain, Finchy.  You were always the fastest dog in the neighborhood down here, I bet you are one of the fastest up at the bridge.  I will miss my snuggle buddy, and so will Mom.  Tell Chili Dawg we all said hi.  We love you so much!

Faithful companion
Faithful companion

It’s Been A While…

Howdy everypawdy!  It’s Buster again.  It’s been a while since I wrote.  Momma says the “plague” has been in our house.  I don’t know what that means, but I heard the words: “flu”, “cough”, “fever”, “runny nose”, and then later on I heard the words: “stomach flu” and “vomit”.  All I know is the 4 human people haven’t been feeling so great for a lot of days.

Did everypawdy have a good Christmas?  I did.  I got to be indoors for Christmas and I never got that with the people I used to live with.  My Mastiff cousin Burley and I learned that you don’t pee on the tree inside, though, or the humans get a little upset.  I didn’t know.  Why else would you have a tree inside, unless you didn’t want us to pee on it?  Momma couldn’t believe I peed on it, because it had been up for 3 weeks before I peed on it, but Burley did it too- he used to be an outside dog too until Grandma and Grandpa rescued him.  Next Christmas we won’t pee on it.

Momma and Daddy were worried about Finchy over Christmas break.  He was vomiting blood a lot and not eating, but then he stopped and started eating again.  We have been wrestling a lot, and before it got really cold this weekend, we were running around the backyard a lot, and Momma was taking us on walks.  She said she’s not taking me on a walk today because something about a “-5 wind chill”.  I don’t know what that means, but I know she keeps making me come inside today.  It snowed last night, and I like rolling in it, but Momma won’t let me be outside for very long today.  She keeps telling me it’s too cold.  I wish she would just let me finish rolling in the snow.  Finchy won’t stay outside with me today.  Momma said he’s the smart one today.  I say, he has less fur than I do, but I don’t mind coming in, because Momma put our dog beds by the fireplace and that is nice to lay down on.  It is so nice to be an inside dog now 🙂

Buster Here…

Buster here, I’m writing my first post- kind of exciting!  Lots of news to report on.  My gastroenteritis came back, so I had to go back to the V-E-T and get a shot to stop my diarrhea before it got to the bad part where it got at the end of the summer when Finchy and I both wound up at the animal hospital. 

Finchy turned 10 on Howl-ween.  We got to help hand out candy on his birthday- and bark at the costumes that were scary.  Finchy had to go to the hospital for an overnight stay a couple weeks ago.  He was throwing up blood again.  He tested positive for Pan-kre-titis.  The vet told Mom and Dad that he also thinks Finchy has intestinal cancer (the C word- yuck), and they could check by doing an ultrasound.  He thinks that because even though Finchy tested positive for Pan-kre-titis, he didn’t fit the profile, but he fits the profile for cancer.  Mom and Dad didn’t want to do one at that time, because Finchy was doing better (and they kind of don’t want to know).  So, Finchy has been kind of grumpy for a few weeks, but yesterday he wrestled with me again for the first time in a long time.  And last night he ate his dinner for the first time- which bummed me out because I always eat his dinner. 

Mom took me rollerblading to run off some of my energy.  It had been a while, and I got a little spooked, so Mom got a bit of road rash at the beginning.  I told her I was sorry and she got back up and we kept going.  She was pretty slow at first (I think she didn’t want to eat the road again) but then we found our rhythym again and had a pretty good time.

I think that’s pretty much all the updates now.  My family keeps talking about Thanksgiving.  My other family kept me outside, so I don’t know what this means, but I think it will be fun.  Oh, I know, sometimes I sleep on the bed with Finchy and they don’t kick me off.  That’s nice too- I used to have to sleep outside before they adopted me.

Now I’m done.

One Year Ago…

One year ago, today, I cradled your head in my lap.

Tears rolled down my face.

I let my nose breathe in your scent one final time.

I looked at Ryan.

Tears rolled down his face too.

I looked at the vet.

“I can give you some more time,” she said.

“We just want his pain to be over,” I cried.

She pushed the plunger.

His breathing slowed.

“I’m so sorry,” I whispered over and over into his ear, as I buried my face into his fur.

His breathing stopped.

He was gone.

I laid next to his body until it grew cold.

Then I slipped off his collar, and held it so tightly.

Ryan helped me off the floor, and together we exited the office, without my special friend.

God, I thank you for giving me Chili Dawg.

The video my husband made me for Christmas.

Nights Like This…

It was a night like this, 11 months ago, that I took this video.  You were 2 months post-amputation, thoughts of cancer were no longer in the front of our mind.  I sat on the patio and watched you run.  Watched you wrestle with Finchy.  Watched you roll on your back.

Things are different now, 11 months later.  I’m sitting on the patio.  The grass is not green this year, we are in a drought.  Finchy is wrestling with Buster- you sent him to us, I know you did (could you teach him to bark when he’s going to have diarrhea in the middle of the night, please?).  I still have a paw shaped hole in my heart.  I didn’t think it would still hurt this much to miss you, but it does.  I can’t believe that next month will mark 1 year since you crossed the bridge.  It seems like yesterday to me.  Finchy is doing better since Buster came.  He is eating again and playing, but he is still scared of thunder and fireworks (and I think he has taught that to Buster as well).  I miss you, Chili Dawg.

Tripawd Get Together…

Yesterday, Buster & I got to meet some new friends!  We met at the dog park in Plainfield.  We got to meet: Spirit Tripawd Tate’s little sister Sam and her baby brother Zeke, Tripawd Holly and Zuzu, and Tripawd Queen Ginger.  We got to meet their pawrents too, and they are all soooooo very nice!  Noah and Juli came along too and they had a lot of fun running with the dogs and giving treats out.

Sam and Zuzu are very fast, but I was able to keep up with them for the most part.  It was nice to run with dogs that are as fast as me.  Buster can’t keep up with me at home so he just stops in the yard and waits to cut me off.  Towards the end of our visit, I got hot, so I laid down near Ginger.  She reminded me of Chili Dawg, which was very nice.

Noah’s favorite parts of the day included: 1) meeting Ginger- because she looked like Chili Dawg (his exact words), 2) seeing the 2 very fast dogs run (Sam and Zuzu), & 3) collecting pine cones (he turns them into bird feeders- thanks Special Agent Oso & the Disney Channel).  Juli’s favorite part of the day: “lots of puppies!”  Juli often found herself in the “sea of dogs” and would get knocked down.  Where some kids might have cried, Juli was always laughing and yelling, “more again!” wanting them to knock her over and give kisses again.

At the end of our visit, I did get cranky when a bunch of new dogs showed up and started sniffing at me.  Then Mom had to drag me to the van, while Aunt Jan stayed with Juli who was crying because Mom left the dog park.  I didn’t mean to get cranky, I was just hot and I didn’t want to be sniffed anymore especially by a bunch of new dogs that just showed up to our pawty.  Buster and I were pretty tired for the rest of the day, and Juli took a really long nap.  It was such a fun time!

Here are a few pictures from our day :

Sweet Ginger


Zuzu getting some water
Chilling in the shade

Buster’s First Road Trip…

Back when Chili Dawg was still with us, Mom and Dad used to say I was “simple”.  Not anymore.  Now, I’m the genius of dog family.  Poor Buster.  He still runs into the screen door every single day.  In fact, this morning, he was so excited to go outside that he took the screen door completely off the sliding part (he can’t go through it, because Mom and Dad put pet screen on it from back in the day when I went through the patio screen door).

Last weekend, we took a trip up to Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  I don’t think Buster had been on many road trips with his first family before.  Dad had to practically lift him into the van because he didn’t know how to get in.  Then, he didn’t know where to sit (we get the whole back seat of the van to ourselves!) and tried to sit in the driver’s seat.  Mom had to pull and Dad had to push to get him out of that seat and into the back by me.  When we got to Grandma and Grandpa’s, he couldn’t figure out how to get out of the van either.  I had already greeted Grandma and was in the backyard with Sarge and Burley before they got Buster out of the van.

From then on, we were a “Sea of Dogs”.  I am the oldest at 9.5.  Then there’s Sarge.  He’s 6.  In January, Grandma and Grandpa rescued Burley, who is a mastiff mix.  He lived down the street from them, and his owners wouldn’t let him come inside the house ever!  It gets COLD in January in Illinois, especially if you don’t have a thick coat, so my Grandpa knocked on their door and asked if they could bring Burley home with them- he didn’t even have an outside dog house!  His owners said yes, and Burley came home with them.  Grandma and Grandpa took him to the vet and got him healthy and he started gaining weight (he was skin and bone).  Now he weighs around 92 pounds and he’s a gentle giant.  And then, there’s Buster.  We all got along pretty well.  Buster and I did get Mom up at 6 AM the next morning, but she enjoyed the silence and sitting on Grandma and Grandpa’s deck.

Later that day, our human cousins arrived and everyone went strawberry picking.  It was hot out, so we got to stay inside in the air conditioning.  We were tired out anyway, from playing and wrestling with each other the day before.  Then, we had to leave to go home.  Dad had to again show Buster how to get into the van.  This time, he did go to the back seat.  Since he’s younger than me, I let him have a little bit of the seat, but I took up most of it.  Hey, that’s what Chili Dawg used to do to me, so now it’s my turn!  Then, we got home.  Oy!  Mom and Dad got the kids up to bed first.  Then, they came back and I got out the usual way.  Buster just sat there and looked at Mom and Dad.  Then, he decided to try to climb OVER the back seat and go out through the back hatch!  It was good that Dad was standing there to catch him!  I don’t know what that boy is thinking, but if he had just followed me it would have been so much easier!

I do have to say that it is nice to be the smart dog for a change.  This must be what Chili Dawg felt like all the time.

Buster: So happy!
Sarge: The next smartest dog after me
Sea of Dogs


Buster Update…

Mom said it was time for me to post an update on Buster.  We adopted him in March and he has settled into our family pretty well.  Of course, there was some initial carnage.  He seemed to take a liking to Juliana’s Little People, and learned how to open her Noah’s Ark in order to get to the Little People and Animals stored inside of it.  We learned to keep the Little People up high when Juli isn’t playing with them, and poor Buster has to be crated when there aren’t any humans home, because he really really likes Juli’s things no matter how well she puts them away!

His diet is going well.  Dad takes him on part of his runs on the weekend.  He does 2 miles with Dad and then gets dropped off at the house.  He has gone from 95 pounds down to 80 pounds!  Yay Buster!  He doesn’t look like he’s going to pop anymore, which is good.  He is slowly becoming comfortable with Dad brushing his teeth and cleaning his ears out.  That has been a slow process, especially the brushing the teeth.  I don’t think his old owners did any of that for him.

He did have an incident with a bunny though.  Mom says Buster is innocent, but the jury is still out.  All I know is that I heard Noah say, “Mom, what is Buster carrying in his mouth?” and then I heard Mom yell, “Ew!  Oh no.  Buster drop it, drop it, drop it, and get in the house now!”  Then she grabbed a couple bags and ran outside.  I overheard her tell Dad that the bunny was dead.  She doesn’t know if Buster killed it or not, but he definitely was carrying it in her mouth.  She also told Dad that he owed her big time for having to bag a dead bunny.

Then there was the day of the “terrible smell”.  Mom and the kids came home and Noah said, “Mom, why does the house smell like poop?”  Poor Buster.  He had an upset stomach and had diarrhea in his crate about 5 minutes before Mom and the kids got home.  He was good and tried to not sit in it.  After Mom got the crate cleaned out and Buster bathed multiple times, and the house aired out (thank God for the whole house fan and a nice day out), she again told Dad that he owed her big time.

Which brings me to this weekend.  Yesterday, Dad went out for his run.  Mom was the only one up besides me and Buster.  She let us outside.  Well, Buster saw something.  I’m not sure what, and he busted through a rotted part of the fence.  Mom didn’t know because she was inside.  So, I did the only thing I could think of, and started barking and barking.  Mom came out to call us in and that’s when she saw that Buster was gone and the hole in the fence.  She immediately got me in the house and ran out the front door calling for Buster and saying some other words that I’m not allowed to type.  I also heard her mumble something about Chili Dawg never doing anything like this.  I watched from the front door as she took off down the middle of the street, barefoot and in her pajamas yelling for Buster.  When she got to the end of the street, I saw Buster come running from a different direction.  He ran right to Mom.  Mom grabbed his collar and then Buster practically dragged her home.  As soon as Dad came home from his run, Mom sent him out to the “Man Store” to get supplies to fix the fence, and the 2 of them spent the rest of the morning finding and repairing ALL of the rotted areas along the fence line.

Geesh, that Buster.  He sure keeps us on our toes!

One Year Ampuversary…

I haven’t been on tripawds in a while.  As Chili Dawg’s one year ampuversary approached, it became more difficult to visit this site.  When we first lost Chili Dawg, logging on was one of the first things I would do every day.  It was comforting to me, but as time passed, it became more difficult and I needed to spend some time away.

Today is Chili Dawg’s 1 year ampuversary.  Even though we only got him for 3 extra months, amputating his leg and removing his pain was still the best choice we made.  I would make it again in a heart beat.  This website became such a blessing to our family as we journeyed down the cancer pathway, and I don’t know what we would have done without it.

I know that Chili Dawg wouldn’t want us to be sad on his one year, and our family has healed since we lost him in August.  It may take a little bit more time before I can comeback regularly, but I hope to one day be able to encourage people going through the same journey, just like we were encouraged during our journey.

Chili Dawg taught us that there is more to life than life on 4 legs.  He taught us to live in the moment.  So today, give your dogs some extra love and treats in memory of my special boy.