Last year was a roller coaster ride for my family. December took the cake as having been one of the toughest months that we've experienced in quite some time. New Years Eve, the last day of the month, showed no signs of letting up on the hardships.
We found out that Buddha, our beloved mix-breed dog, had cancer.
It is with a heavy heart that I inform everyone of Buddha's passing. He was laid to rest on Monday morning. After having experienced breathing issues since Friday, we knew it was time. He went peacefully, next to my husband, with no pain.
It is so hard to say goodbye to a pet.
My Buddha Bad.
My Hair Bear.
Explaining his passing to our children was especially hard. They knew that he had been sick for a few days and we did our best to prepare them for the inevitable. Carter took it hard and we spent a good amount of time crying and discussing how Buddha will live on through our words and our memories.
This quote from the post 9 Things Your Deceased Pet Wants You To Know, has brought me much comfort.
Today, I want to leave you with a piece of Buddha's life.
In November 2008, we brought home our furry little beast when Carter was only one. On that day, I was certain that he didn't like car rides. He pooped in my back seat which is something that still makes me laugh today.
His first car ride had no bearing on his feelings thereafter. He grew to love car rides. I would take him with me every day to take Justice to work. There he'd sit, next to Carter in the backseat, nose out the window and not a care in the world.
We had no idea what breeds Buddha was mixed with, but it didn't matter. We loved him like family because, well, he was family.
As a puppy, he was rambunctious and stubborn. He loved to chew on my shoes. It led to much frustration, but raising a puppy is like raising a child. You have to teach them right from wrong.
Buddha learned quickly—much more quickly than I had anticipated. After a week, he was house broken. Within a couple of months, he was completely out of the chewing habit; at least his shoe-chewing habit. He still loved his chew toys and treats.
Buddha came to us during a very hard time in my life. He was there to keep me company. His presence always soothed me. He and Carter grew up together.
The first years of his life were spent with his good friend, Yoda, who was my sister-in-law's dog. After an ice storm had ravaged the back patio, he and Yoda ran around, licking and rolling on the ice.
In 2011, we purchased our first home and Buddha was there with us for the experience.
Being in this house without him is so different, so hard. In some ways, I feel like my security has been shattered. I mean, after all, Buddha warned us about countless UPS drivers, mail carriers, and plastic bags floating down the street. I always knew if someone was outside.
Brushing him was a pain, which is why we preferred the groomer. Once, I brushed him for over two hours and he still wasn't finished. It looked like I ended up with a huge pile of hair that looked like a brand new dog—or two brand new dogs.
Buddha spent cold nights with me. I would read and drink hot chocolate as he sat beside me. He even tried to steal some for himself! Luckily, he only got the whipped cream!
Buddha loved freeze-dried raw treats.
He loved long naps.
And he was able to make a new friend in the eight years that he was on this plane.
I'm so happy that Buddha was able to experience the love of another dog before he passed.
And he and Shade became good friends, even if she did drive him crazy sometimes...
Buddha spent eight years with Carter. He spent nearly four with Ireland. He would snuggle with me and put his head on my stomach when I was pregnant with her.
Buddha had a lot of love to give.
He loved the cold weather and the snow.
Anyone who had the pleasure of spending time with Buddha fell in love with his spirit.
I'll miss rolling in the floor with him, ending up covered in hair.
I'll miss the way he looked at me when he did something I didn't approve.
I'll miss his beautiful eyes.
I'll miss his big, wet nose.
I'll miss his hairy paws.
Most of all, I'll miss that happy, upbeat, soldier spirit—the proud, strong Buddha who was strong until the end.
I love you, Buddha.
He will live on forever in my heart and in the hearts of Justice, Carter, and Ireland and all of those who knew him.
Buddha has left a legacy that will never be forgotten.
I know you're still standing strong and proud while you wait for us on the other side.
I can't wait to see him again.
It's going to be hard moving forward without him, but we're going to carry his memory with us for the rest of our lives.
Rest in Peace, My Bad.
Buddha was, and will always be, more than "just a dog." Buddha was family. Anyone that has come to know Buddha has fallen in love with his hairy self, his fun-loving nature, and his gentleness. Rest in peace, my Bear.