Monday, July 28, 2008

Buddy Wade

Today is Monday, July 28th. We are in Penetanguishene at the wonderful Bay Moorings Marina, having arrived here Saturday mid-day. Since this is the latest posting (having not had Internet service for a week), you may not have read the one I posted last night. Please stop now and read that one--it will catch up with this one.

My last words on that posting were that all was not well. We have been very worried for over a week now, but have been totally inaccessible to veterinary care. I have never written an obituary before now, and I will try to do justice here to our faithful friend, Buddy Wade. Yesterday, Sunday, I couldn't have done this--but I've had time to think this through.

About a week ago, Buddy became very lethargic--he seemed to have no energy at all. He was still eating, still drinking, and still had his regular "routine" on the grass and bushes. But he would tire so quickly and just drop to the ground on some walkings off boat. We'd had so much rain for the last several weeks, I thought that maybe his arthritis might be acting up. I gave him 2 pills a day instead of one. Then I thought that maybe he had an infection somewhere, so I gave him some amoxicillian of mine. Nothing seemed to help, yet he never complained, never seemed to be in any pain. Just lethargic. We were so far removed from any kind of medical care.

I knew that once we got here we could seek a good vet. So at the last lock I got the most wonderful "lock mistress", Jenny Leduc, to call and find us a place to take Buddy. It being Saturday, I knew most places would be closed, but figured there would be a 24 hour care place. After 5 calls, Jenny found us one--45 minutes away by car. It also was 45 minutes away from the marina we were going to--so we decided to push on. After all, Buddy was woofing at dogs in the last lock, and seemed to be OK then--riding in his spot across the bow--enjoying the cool, sunny day.

We called ahead to this special marina and told them we had a sick dog and needed to get him to a vet ASAP. As we pulled into here, Amanda Reynolds, Harbour Master, and her staff had a golf cart waiting at the dock for us to take him to a waiting car--which would take us to a vet here locally. Sheila Driver, DVM, had waited to see us, hoping to make an initial diagnosis, and not have us drive another 45 minutes to the 24 hour hospital. Our fellow Loopers here got our boat situated, and off the three of us went to see what was wrong with our faithful friend. Mike McKeown, an employee of this marina, drove us and was with us all day.

The initial diagnosis was correct. Buddy had a tumor, probably on his spleen, and his belly was full of blood. We were sent on to the hospital 45 minutes away, and by this time Buddy was in really bad shape. Two x-rays were done, which showed a huge mass, and he was "white as a ghost"--funny isn't it, he being so black. He was immediately put on oxygen, and surgery was not possible at this time--he had lost just too much blood. Evidently, he had been ill a long time--we just didn't know it. He had only a 5% chance of surviving surgery at a later date, with only a tops of 4 months further life expectancy. Our decision, although tremendously difficult to say, was nonetheless very easy. Louis and I both were all to pieces. Our new friend, Mike and the most compassionate female doctor, Louis, and I all four agreed. He needed to be put down. So, with his head in my lap, I talked him into the Big Chute in the sky. I think he was grateful--his tail was wagging. It was very peaceful, and we said our good-byes with lots of hugs and kisses. He is now with his first-ever best friend, Chaney.

Buddy met so many wonderful people and animals in his 10 year life. Through him, I have done also. He afforded me the chance to get off boat at every occasion, enjoy the beautiful parks and greenways, locks and cities. I saw things Louis never got to see--thank you, dear friend, for that chance. Plus, all the boats we have been traveling with adopted him--he truly was a Super Dooper Looper Dog! There's no telling how many photos he's in all over Canada--at every lock, children especially would want to pet him--and adults were amazed we were traveling with a dog, "That Big!"

He was a lucky dog too--he traveled so much, would jump in the car and boat so quickly, and never wanted to be left behind. He never complained and would do anything we said. He loved especially the lake, the beach, Hyde County, duck hunting, crab pots, swimming, his blanket, and our grandchildren. But I really think he loved me the most--I was the one who fussed over him for 10 sweet years. He was my very special friend. Of the four dogs we've had in our married life, Luke, Ritz, French Fry, and Buddy, he was definitely the best, most loving, and obedient dog. When I would talk to him, he would turn his head and knew exactly what I was saying--all the time.

Buddy will be cremated with his bed and blanket, and left in Canada--he had told us over and over how much he enjoyed being here--it was his coolest summer ever! Although there is this huge void in our lives right now and will be for a long time, we think it's perfect that he remain here too. Goodbye sweet precious friend, we will miss you so. You were the best!

Buddy Wade is survived by his loving family and a huge family of friends--old and new. He is also survived by his own very special friends: Abby, Chester, and Annie. And we need to add to his special friends list: Lexi, Gracie, and Rocky Alford, who will miss him too.


Jay Stockard said...

I AM SO SORRY! Buddy was such an integral part of your "loop" experience, and I know he will be truly missed. He was one of the greatest dogs I have ever had the pleasure to be around, and I too mourn his passing! May he rest in peace, happier for the loving home he had, and the experiences you afforded him. God bless him and y'all.
I'm off to Mexico on Saturday, but I will follow the blog at a new feature in Comitan, an internet cafe! Love to you both!


Anonymous said...

Phil and I are so sorry to hear about Buddy. We know all to well how it feels to lose such an important member of the family. We have enjoyed the accounts of your trip. Keep up the good work.

Earl Lee said...

Diane and Louis, I am so sorry to hear about Buddy, he was such a special person! and I know he will be missed greatly by you and us as well.We have been following your trip sense I taik to you in Va. and you told me about your site.I know the two of you are having the time of our life and yall deserve it!!! Have fun for us too!! Louis, please let me know if there is anything I can do or help take care of on this end of the world.Love you both, Earl and Pam

Anonymous said...

sorry to hear the sad news about buddy. i know what a great four legged friend means to a family. be at peace knowing you did the very best for buddy. i mlove reading your blog and i rush to the librwry everyday to read more of your adventure. stay safe. sam

Megan said...

Diane & Louis~
Mom just sent me the link to your blog so I could read about sweet Buddy. I have tears in my eyes right now. Your trip sounds absolutely amazing and Buddy is a lucky dog that he was able to spend his last days with you seeing such amazing things! I look forward to reading more about your trip and hope that happy days are around the corner.

Paige said...

Diane and Louis, I have enjoyed reading your blog so much - what an adventure!! My heart aches for your loss of Buddy. I know that feeling well. Please try to read a poem called "Rainbow Bridge" - it really put things into perspective for me when we lost our beloved Lucy. Just know that Buddy is now sleeping with the angels. Paige Fitzgerald

Nancy & Jimmy said...

Diane and Louis, I have just read the blog having been out of town for a few days and trying to catch up...I have tears in my eyes as I write and I am soooo sad.....I know what an integral part of your family Buddy was and we, too, know what it is like to lose a pet that has been with you for a long time....To this day, I still talk about Buffy and think of her..Buddy is definitely in heaven and will follow you and watch over you on the remainder of your journey....Know we are thinking of you....Diane, the blogs are wonderful and I look forward to them...My computer is going to the shop, but I will check in when I get it back.......Be SAFE! In our thoughts, Nancy & Jimmy

Anonymous said...

We only met Buddy for a few minutes in Bobcaygeon but are deeply saddened to hear of his passing. Our best friend Forrest Gump (yellow Lab) past away this past January so we know of your loss. Forrest was dear to us as Buddy was to you. I miss Forrest everyday. God speed on the rest of your trip, it will be lonely.

Bev & David
Caygeon Queen