Buster. Buster Brown. Sweet Brown. Brownie. Brown dog. B. Toots McGee. Mr.Tooterson. These are all the nicknames for our sweet, sweet boy who went to doggie heaven today. It breaks my heart knowing that Buster will no longer greet us at the door with a wagging butt (his tail was so short that he wagged his butt :-) or let out a silent but deadly fart while were relaxing in front of the tv, or trying to burst into my room each morning much earlier than I'd like because he just wants to be the first to wish me a good morning.
Buster was the best dog. Just the best. I can't say a bad thing about him. (Well, the farts were sometimes unbearable, but...) He was almost 8 years old. I'll never forget the day he joined our little family. Jason and I were dating, living in Colorado Springs with Harley- our beagle. Harley was about a year or so old and one weekend afternoon, Jason and I decided to go to the mall. We walked into the pet store and we both saw this ADORABLE little boxer puppy in one of the little kennels. I was able to talk Jason into bringing him out of the kennel and into the little room where people meet the dogs and eventually decide if they’re going to buy them. Jason told me there was NO WAY we were buying this dog. First off, he cost an arm and a leg. Secondly, we already had a young dog, why did we need another? But this dog was just so darn cute and sweet! I remember, Jason held his ground and we didn't end up getting the dog (yet). I was incredibly disappointed when we walked out of the pet store and I'm not proud of this, but I pouted for hours because of it. We went to Costco and walked around, and I just remember being mad and sad and giving Jason the silent treatment. (Let's all remember this was 8 years ago and I like to think I've grown up a little since then). Finally, after a few hours, Jason asked me if I'd stop acting like this if he gave in and let me get the dog. Of course I quickly changed my attitude and we headed back to the pet store. I realize what a spoiled brat I was- but I REALLY wanted this dog!
So, we got him and headed back to our house and invited Joel and Holly and their 1 year old twins over to meet our new guy- Buster Brown. I remember us all romping around the backyard playing with the dogs, just having a good time.
Fast forward a few years and we added a new baby to the mix. AJ and Buster have always had a very special bond. Buster never- not ONCE- growled at AJ or showed any aggression. Not when he pulled his ears, poked his eyes, laid on him, hugged him tightly around the neck, hit him (he was young and didn't know better), or did anything that would have probably warranted a warning growl or nip. One time, when AJ was just a baby, my Dad and Cory came out to visit and while AJ was napping, we all were out front working in the yard. AJ started to cry upstairs and Buster ran to the front door to let us know that AJ needed us. That's the kind of dog Buster was. So caring.
Buster never asked for much at all. All he wanted was food, water and some love. He was never aggressive with other dogs. In fact, he loved to box with them- that wasn’t always good with little dogs because he could throw them across the room with one swing! The only problem with Buster is that he was a boxer. And boxers are known for health problems. I knew this when we got him, but again, he was too cute to pass up. Boxers are known for having a short life span because they are prone to cancer and as I recently learned- ulcers in their eyes. Thankfully, he never had cancer (that we know of) but over the past few years, he had pretty bad thyroid problems causing weight gain and loss of hair, he had 2 torn ACL’s which made it difficult and painful for him to walk much. He wanted to play and run, but he paid dearly for it minutes later. He also had some problems with his teeth. Over the past few years, his gums grew over his bottom teeth, which made it tough to eat. We could have gotten that fixed by going to an oral surgeon, but honestly, I couldn’t do that. We just put water in his food so he could eat easier and all dealt with his horrible breath that was caused by this.
Most recently, Buster developed an ulcer in his eye. It started out kind of goopy and just not looking right and eventually turned into a cloudy eye that turned painful. I took him to the vet and they did all kinds of test and gave us medication to try, but warned me that it may not fix the problem and if not, surgery would be necessary. Not to mention, there was a good chance he would eventually develop an ulcer in his other eye.
The medication didn’t work. I was left with a terrible decision. Spend $800 for surgery (knowing he’d be in pain and that this wouldn’t fix any of the other many problems he had) or put him out of his misery. It was an agonizing decision. It would be an easier decision if he wasn’t such a wonderful, loving, sweet, gentle dog.
Finally, I made the decision that we would have to put him down. I haven't ever had to make this decision before. We have had wonderful family dogs that have been put down and that was painful enough. But this was my dog. And AJ's dog. I am so sad knowing he wont be with us anymore, but it makes me smile to think of him playing with all the other dogs in doggie heaven, pain free and loving it. I tried to prepare AJ for this, knowing he wouldn't quite get it. I told him a few days ago that Buster was really sick- he had a bad owie in his eye and his legs hurt him a lot. I explained that he wouldn't be with us much longer; that we wouldn't see him. I told him that Buster would be in doggie heaven. He asked where that was, and I told him "waaaay up in the sky". He looked up in the sky and said to me, "I don't see it Mom!" :)
I am thankful that we got to spend some quality time with Buster over the past week or so. AJ and I took him for many short walks and I took him for a few longer ones alone. He got extra treats and shared a lot of my food with me too.
AJ made this drawing for Buster...
We love you Buster. You will be missed greatly.