Archive for August, 2010

Good-bye to His Dogness Part I


To those of you who are dropping by for the first time, welcome.

I have been posting things that I write for fun here for about four years now. The illustrations on the site are by Garnet, Sparkle Girl and Doobins.

From time to time, I post something by others. After my column about Buster ran in the paper, lots of people sent e-mails, called and sent cards. I am taking the liberty of posting some of the e-mails in Good-bye to His Dogness Part I, Part II and Part III.

From TAMMY M.:

Please accept my deepest sympathy for your loss. Your Buster sounds like a wonderful, loving soul and you are very lucky that he found you. I know EXACTLY what you are going through. 13 months ago, I lost by best friend, Buster the Wonder Dog. He was a stray found by my brother & brought to me 18 years before, at a time in my life when I was just getting over the loss of my previous dog. If he had arrived a month earlier, I would not have been ready to get another dog. He came at just the right time & never had any animal loved me like Buster.

He was as intelligent, playful & loving as any dog could be, but also protective of my family. He once stopped my father from leaving the house through a particular door by physically blocking his way & barking like mad. My father thought that was odd & went out another door, only to find a copperhead curled up against the outside of the front door. Had he opened that door, something bad would have happened for sure. We called him Marshall Buster because he would not tolerate any disturbance between our cats. If two of the cats had a “verbal disagreement,” Buster would go find them, separate them & escort whichever one he perceived to be the trouble maker out of the room.

I could go on about Buster all day, as I am sure you could about your beloved Buster. But you are so fortunate in a way I am not. You get to share the story of your loving friend with some many readers, which will undoubtedly generate hundreds of emails just like this one, from others who know just what it feels like to lose such a special soul. That will help you smile about the years of good times & stop focusing on the difficult end. All I could do at the time was to write a small “eulogy” for my guy & share it with family & friends. (See below) Their condolences helped a lot, as I am sure the many emails you will receive will help you.

And it will get better….Last Thanksgiving, we adopted a wonderful, 50-pound bundle of love named Bailey, whose antics have again filled our house with fun & laughter.

My Buster’s Eulogy:

After 18 loving years, our dog Buster went to heaven yesterday.

My heart is broken.

The world seems so much smaller today. Our home is empty and silent, filled with grief and sadness. So many times yesterday I thought I saw him, out of the corner of my eye, coming out of the bedroom or down the stairs to check on us & his beloved cats. I thought I could actually hear him, drinking from his water bowl, or going downstairs to see if the cats left any food on their dinner plates for him. My heart is broken.

But I also know that heaven is a little better today. Brighter and happier because of this wondrous soul’s arrival. I know my parents are happy to see him and that right now he is getting his tummy rubbed, as he lies beside my mother on a big, blue La-Z-Boy sofa. And I know that he isn’t hurting anymore. I know his big old heart, that no longer worked so well here on earth, is restored to its former glory. That heart never stopped loving Steve & me unconditionally and without boundaries, it just couldn’t keep beating any longer.

I know I am the luckiest person imaginable, to have had the honor of being loved by Buster for all these years. (And it was love at first sight. The moment I saw him, I knew I loved him.) I’m so lucky he made his way to me and stayed with me through thick & thin. I’m so lucky to have had the joy of knowing & loving him. I know there are a thousand ways that I am lucky and sometime soon, I am sure I’ll be able to think more about these than the emptiness of losing him. But today my heart is broken.


For years now, my husband and I have read your wonderful stories about Buster. We kept saying we should write to you about our dog, “Mocha” (a chocolate poodle) that we called “The Queen Pup”. She did a lot of funny things just like Buster. We also had to put her down because of cancer, blindness, deafness and she could hardly get around. At almost 17 years, we had loved her all we could and knew it was time to let her go. I am so so very sorry to hear of your dog’s passing. It’s a hard thing to deal with. I had gotten so used to her being beside me, in my lap, in the car. She went with me everywhere. I hope your heart will heal and you will be able to smile everytime you think of Buster. How lucky you were to have him for so long. I’m sure he loved every minute of his life with you.

Please know that your readers mourn the loss of your “best friend”. I feel so deeply your loss, because in reading your story, I felt mine all over again.

I hope you will in time get another dog. We did. Another poodle, this time a boy “Rudy”. He does a lot of “strange” and wonderful things to. My husband kids me that “poodles aren’t dogs, there just a strange religious cult”! Anyway, I just wanted to let you know we are thinking of you and are very sorry for your loss.

From ANNE N.:

Just wanted to let you know that your story in today’s paper was awesome and hit home with me. I had to put down my dog Max a little over a week ago and he was my dad’s dog. My dad passed away two years ago from Cancer so when I put Max down, it also made me miss my dad even more. But, as people kept saying, they like to think that my dad is walking Max up in heaven too. Thank you for sharing your story.

From DAWN C.:

It is through teary eyes that I am sending you this e-mail. I just finished reading your article about Buster in this morning’s WS Journal. My heart goes out to you. My husband and I lost our 16-year-old Basset hound Sassy 2 years ago. It was like losing a part of our family. We had got Sassy for our twins when they were 5 years old. She loved those boys and those ears perked up each time they were outside playing. After the boys grew up and went off to college, Sassy got more attention from me and my husband.

Each day when he got through working at the shop behind the house, he would stop and roll around on the ground playing with Sassy. In September of 2007, I was at work when my husband called and said he thought Sassy was dying. She had laid down in her doghouse and wouldn’t come out.

Thankfully the boys were home from college and was with their dad when she passed. I told the boys that we couldn’t go through this again so I wasn’t going to get another dog. Well, they told me they thought their dad would love another Basset. In November of 2007 Priss came into our lives. She is now the new ruler of our household.

She stays inside, has more toys than the twins had growing up and has her own pillow on our bed. We still miss Sassy but Priss has filled our hearts with a lot of joy. I just wanted to let you know that as a pet lover I know how you feel. Thanks for sharing your story with your many readers.

From E. S.:

Sorry to hear about your dog passing, I know it was a hard decision to make. I often wondered why would people cry after their pet died, it’s because you get so attached to them and they become part of your family.

We had three Yorkies, and each one of them had their own personality. And I loved them all, as if they were my kids. All of them are gone now, but I still have a piece of them in my heart. I hope you can find some comfort during your loss.


Even knowing it was coming, Buster’s passing is really sad, but your story was perfect. We have such great memories of our Sunday dog walks (and in some cases, shoulder rides) with you in Old Salem. We’ve missed them, even though Buster and Dixie were both quite independent, parallel played rather than much relating. Those were very special times.

So thanks for sharing Buster with us and so many others, both in person and through His Dogness’s legacy.

From SUSAN F.:

So I began my morning with a little cry as I read your sweet tribute to Buster. What I appreciated most about your story was your use of two words — joy and gift — because that is truly what our companion animals bring to our lives. And I’m sure your Buster was equally blessed to have been rescued by a person who would realize what a treasure he was.

Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your friend, and thank you for sharing his life with your readers over the years.

From HETTI M.:

I have followed Buster and your friendship for years and share in your loss of a dear friend. I’m so glad Garnet and the kids have come into your life. Oftentimes this happens; our dearly departed souls have a way of looking after us.