After almost 16yrs finally we had to say goodbye to our most wonderful boy Buzz, I knew, but kept putting out of my mind that this event was closing fast, but in all truth Buzz was very active up until the very end, it was only when he started to have difficulty getting up and down stairs that I arrange for a visit to our local vets to see if there was any medicine that would ease his discomfort. I have witnessed occasions where the owners have put their own feelings foremost to the comfort of their own pets, all in innocence I hastened to add, they see a glimmer of life, a wag of a tail, or an appealing look from their brown eyes and they misguidedly ignore the lack of quality of life that the poor animal is enduring.
This journey to the vets was just before last summer Buzz was showing signs of discomfort in his rear quarters, wincing when trying to get up, I took him along to the vets to see what, if anything they could do to relieve his symptoms. The weather was warm and I totally mistook the heavy breathing as being due to the recent warm spell. Our vet was not of the same opinion, she put her stethoscope on Buzz’s chest and expressed concern over the rate of his heart beat and said that she would like to keep him in overnight to perform a scan. The following day I received a phone call, one which I really did not want to hear. The scan had revealed that his lungs were full of water caused by a tumour; my immediate question was to ask what can be done? The vet said that they could drain the fluid but it was likely to fill up again within a week, that was the point when reason took over and I asked her if she thought it was time to say goodbye, she replied that this would be the kindest thing to do, I made that call and asked if she could look after everything for me because it was impossible for me to get there, that was my one big regret which will stay with me for ever that I was not there to hold his paw when he move on. I made a phone call later in the day to enquire if he had gone and they confirmed that after they had got him out to have a little play with him, they gave him a nice meal, and then after a little sleep he slipped away peacefully.
Buzz was one of the success stories of the Welfare that lasted some 15 years, he had a wonderful life and left a massive gap in our lives, one that I thought would never be filled. It was only when we read the story about a 4½ year old boy whose owner was too ill to look after him and had put out a plea to the Welfare to find a good home for him. At this time my 5 year old girl Purdita was showing signs of loneliness without her partner, all owners of dallies are well versed to the fact that where ever you go you can be sure that if you were to turn suddenly there would be a dally right behind you, on many occasions I have almost ended up in a heap on the floor, but now nothing! She would go off into a room on her own to sleep, it was almost like not having a dog in the family. We also have a Jack Russell called Bingo who had been brought up by Buzz, he used to sit with him in his basket where he would cleaned him from head to toe, I am sure that he somehow thought that he was his long lost son, he was also very quiet and somewhat off colour.
On reading about Zander I immediately felt that this poor boy might fit the bill. We took the plunge and expressed an interest in taking a chance with Zander who was living the other side of Britain from us. The weeks went by and eventually the day came when we would meet Zander, I was very nervous about this because Purdy could be very abrupt with strange male dogs and make it quite clear that she does not want anything to do with them, this would not be good because once the ball is rolling with an adoption process there is no going back. I was scared stiff that if all did not go well we would have to move him on to another holding point until a suitable home could be found for him. All of my worries were totally unfounded, on the day what I was not expecting was the welcome that he would receive from Bingo, I know that canines are supposed to have good intelligence but Bingo I’m sure was convinced that it was Buzz returning to him. On seeing Zander approaching he started to jump up and down in extreme excitement, and as soon as they met he stated cleaning his face eyes and mouth with great vigour.
After only three weeks Zander had settled down to his new surroundings and is loved by all, occasionally I detect this mournful look from him into the distance hoping that his previous family would be coming to take him home after this unexpected holiday, but then he runs off after Purdy to try and steal that special stick that she has just found. Life returns to normal. No one will ever replace Buzz, both he and Zander have their own individual characteristics and mannerisms which makes them so different from each other.
I feel privileged to sharing my life with them; it’s a shame that their lifespan is so short. I hope that his previous owner reads this and has some happiness in knowing that her boy is destined to have a good future.