Puppies: Buster, Chuckie



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In Loving MemoryIn Loving Memory

Our family adopted Buster from our local Humane Society in June of 1997. He was three then, having been relinquished to the shelter when his former family split apart and moved from the farm he had grown up on. He was a German Shepherd/Basset mix, with the common coloring, belly and elbows of a German Shepherd but the floppy ears, self-importance and bark of a Basset. Buster enjoyed his time outside, laying on his back sun-bathing, or, on the warmest days, burrowing under a bush in the cool dirt where he had made a buster-sized hollow. During those summers he befriended the mailman and liked to sound his disapproval of anyone filling in for him on days he might not be working. Buster also loved car rides and walks. We quickly learned to spell out those key words, or suffer the consequences of an unrelenting Basset Hounding bent on having his W-A-L-K or R-I-D-E in the C-A-R. With my habit of spreading my homework materials on the floor in front of me to work, so did Buster develop his own habit of sitting directly in front of me and often on top of my work. Years later he would continue this ritual with me and my laptop. It took me a while, but I eventually learned not to sit on the floor, lest my laptop be stepped on by a hefty paw or two. Nine years after that summer we first brought him home, I moved out of the house. A few months later what was an unfortunate event eventually proved to be a huge blessing. Under new circumstances in the home he'd grown up where he was now living with only my mom, we discovered it was in Buster's best interest to find a new home. After much consternation, we were relieved to find it was an easy fix and Buster came home with ME! :) My now-fiance and I lived in an upstairs apartment. Buster was about 12 1/2 years old then. It was doable for a while, but by 2008 we knew we had to find a new place for our Buster where outdoor stairs weren't a concern (especially in the winter). So, at 14 1/2, Buster packed up with us and we moved into a house with only a step up to the door in June 2008. After settling in, Buster enjoyed our frequent walks around the "circle" where we live and making visits to mom's with the family on many weekends. In late November of the same year, Buster was diagnosed with Lymphoma. He was a trooper during the next several months of weekly veterinary appointments for chemotherapy. After a month or so he was in full clinical remission and remained so throughout the rest of his life. Unfortunately, by late winter he had developed a rapidly worsening condition Degenerative Myelopathy. This caused him a lot of pain on top of his arthritis. He charged on, but the pain medication didn't always work as well as it needed to. In his last weeks, it became very difficult for him to stay standing due to the partial paralysis in his hind legs. In mid June of 2009 we said our goodbyes. His last few days are a bit of mystery - we're not sure what happened, but he was very clearly ready to go, unable to hold himself up and in severe pain by the end. Buster lit up our lives like nothing else. He is so greatly missed. I have felt no love for anything or anyone as I have for this guy.

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