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Old 07-21-2010, 09:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Buddy the Pit Bull Part 5

Monday, July 12, 2010
Buddy the Pit Bull Part V


Monday, June 7
Our conversations and much of our life have become filled with Buddy. Carrying him in and out. Feeding him and giving him four medications in eleven pills a day. Sitting outside with him. Neighbors stopping by and visiting Buddy. Watching him for any, any small improvement in his coordination and walking. When he tries to walk, he is like a newborn calf, unsteady and unbalanced. Sometimes he tries to balance himself with his nose. A lot of times he falls. Occasionally, he could balance himself enough to lie down. We brought his food and water to him and held if for him to eat or drink as he lay on the floor. He never sat like a dog sits. He was much stronger and healthier, likely due to good food, fresh water, antibiotics and being parasite free. He could not walk. He crawls. Everywhere. As he has gotten stronger and healthier he is able to crawl farther without resting.

He was much more alert and aware of cats. At first I thought he was just curious, but the more alert he became, the more I realized cats were more of an obsession for him. One day, he quickly crawled over the concrete edging of our flower beds and stuck his big head and half his body completely through the hedge bushes. Another day, I believe, he saw a cat and forgot he couldn't walk. He bunny-hopped himself across the yard. Luckily, I saw the cat about the same time he did and was able to stop him at the sidewalk. We hated for him to get on concrete or pavement. Besides scraping his chest and legs, he would sometimes try to stand on concrete. If he fell on hard surfaces, he would cause abrasions to his legs. Two of his "knees" had cuts which he kept re-opening when he would fall or stumble. It was really hard to get these cuts to heal.

As the weather grew hotter, we would move around our front yard to find shady places in the grass. As we moved around the house toward our front porch one day, I realized our cat, Lucky Charm, was on the front porch. Before I realized what was going on, Buddy had quickly crawled himself up two steps and cornered our cat on the front porch. I never heard Buddy growl, but I surely heard the hissing and growling the cat was making. I put myself between Buddy and Lucky Charm and scooped the cat up in my arms. I jumped off the front porch with the cat and ran around the house to our back gate leading to our back-yard patio. To get to this gate, you have to cross over the concrete edging, which is more of a concrete curb. On this particular day, this concrete edging held a huge mud puddle from watering the flower beds. Carrying the cat, I crossed the edging, jumped the puddle, opened the gate and put Lucky Charm on the patio. Cats really motivated Buddy. I had no idea just how fast he could crawl when appropriately motivated. I closed the gate only to turn around and find Buddy lying in the middle of the mud puddle with this big goofy smile as if to say, "Oh yea, Mom, I took care of that cat didn't I?" I couldn't help but laugh at him laying there in the water, covered with mud! That day, for the first time since we had him, Buddy got hosed down in the yard. I believe he enjoyed it all from chasing the cat to lying in the puddle to being hosed down and towel dried in our front yard.

Every morning before we went out to the front yard, we put Mollie the Mini-Schnauzer on her leash. Buddy would get really excited when we would put a leash on Mollie. We started taking the old leash that Buddy played with in the yard and putting it around Buddy's neck before we went outside. Sometimes one of us would hold his leash, like we were walking him as he crawled. He seemed to like the whole "walking" thing. The Colonel said a red collar would look really good with Buddy's black and white markings, so, we got Buddy a red collar! He looked like a tuxedo with a big red bow tie! Quite handsome he was in his new red bow tie.

Buddy not only got a new collar, he also got a last name. First thing in the morning, you open the bathroom door and out crawls this beautiful black and white dog wagging his tail at you.

"Hey, hey! Good Morning BudRose."

Haven't you always wanted to walk into your living room and look at your happy dog and say, "Hey Budrows!" Maybe you already do. Maybe you don't.

I grew up in the South. Buddy, Bubba, Budrow and Budrows were names for every guy. Didn't really matter what their real name was, any of these names would work. When we first got Buddy, he smelled terrible. I will never forget sitting in the small, apparently poorly ventilated, vet exam room that first day. Buddy really did stink up that room. So, take the opposite of how he smelled when we got him and combine it with the common every man Southern names and you get Rose. Buddy's name became Buddy Rose.

Our three week "neurological recovery period" was running out. Buddy was not walking, nor did he show any signs that he was going to walk. Some days, we thought he was improving, maybe even trying to teach himself to walk again. Some days he would do something new, nothing remarkable, something like licking his paws. Looking for any sign of hope or improvement , we would think many of these small things were monumental. Other days, absolutely nothing changed. He was not getting any worse, but when we really faced what was going on, he really wasn't improving much, he was just healthier and stronger. Buddy was a beautiful Pit Bull, inside and out, who could not walk.

One afternoon as Buddy and I sat alone in the grass in our front yard, he crawled over to me and placed his head on my leg and looked up at me. I don't know. The look in his eyes was so incredibly sad. I felt as if he were saying I'm really tired and it's just too hard to crawl anymore. I cried and cried as I patted him on the head and rubbed his neck. His big, gold, sad eyes just stared up at me. My tears fell on his nose, his face and his head. I think I knew then just from his look that it was over. He wasn't going to get any better and he was tired. I was defeated. Maybe Buddy and I were both defeated.
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