Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Dear Buddy

WITH THE POSSIBLE EXCEPTION OF SQUIRRELS, Buddy never met a human or animal he didn’t like. When I brought him home as a puppy, I promised to love and protect him until the end of his days. As he matured, and I use the term loosely, the Budster developed quirks that were exasperating and endearing in equal measure. He snored like a rusty chainsaw; I kept balled-up socks to bop him when it went sonic. Separation anxiety was a challenge; he literally lived in my shadow. If left alone, he’d wiggle into the couch cushions like the filling in a taco, or shred paper in paroxysms of grief. He wouldn’t walk on wet grass, or drink water from anything but a glass bowl. He loved to perform tricks, especially feigning death by gunshot if you pointed a finger, betrayed only by a twitching tail. All guests were treated like new toys; he’d jump on their legs, and lick any exposed skin. As my friend put it, “The first lick is a kiss, but after that, they’re just flavour licks.”

At eleven years old, Buddy was...

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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas 2015

Just to bring everyone up to speed.

Doug was diagnosed with thyroid cancer late May of this year. He had no symptoms, and they actually found the cancer while having a look at his heart (which is fine, more than fine, it's SUPER fine, because as Doug keeps reminding me, his doctor said "wow, you have the heart of an Olympic athlete.")
He had his thyroid surgery on August 24th (yup, our 30th wedding anniversary, proving God has a warped sense of humour) and while it slowed him down (first time anything has) he recovered really well. 

The next step was the restricted diet - no iodine, i.e., no iodized salt or sea salt, no dairy, no egg yolks, no fish, seafood etc. He lost ten pounds in 2 weeks which he claims has improved his hockey game, so SILVER LINING. Next, the radioactive iodine treatment in hospital, which he got last Tuesday. Following this, he has to be in total isolation because he's radioactive, so he drove up to our lakeside cabin with books, art supplies, cards, laptop, his keyboard and lots of food.

I'm on standby in case he runs out of anything or if he forgot anything (but I'll have to knock, lob it at him and run away into the woods.) He'll be back home on Sunday, so we will have our Christmas dinner when he returns.

He doesn't have Internet access in the cabin, so let me thank you all on his behalf for the many kindnesses and shown to us and all your good wishes. We really are very lucky. That being said, I will be really happy to kick 2015 to the curb.

Here's to a happy, healthy new year in 2016!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Buddy is Home

I collected Buddy's ashes today. Such a small box to contain a dog with such an oversized personality. I'll be honest, it was difficult being there. A family was leaving as I arrived, grief etched on their faces, so my composure dissolved before I'd even walked through the door. But the women who worked there were lovely, hugs and Kleenex were passed around, and I got through it. They really are angels, doing the work they do. It's so appreciated by those of us who are grieving and not quite in our right minds.

As I drove away, I looked down at the clock and it read 11:11. (My sisters and I joke that when we see 11:11 on the clock, it's our Nana saying hello from the other side.)

Hi to you too, Budster. You're home now, little guy.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Montreal Walkabout

Missing Buddy something fierce today, so I decided to walk to Atwater Market.

Met a pleasant looking older woman who was walking her two little dogs, so I stopped to pat them.

Our conversation moved from dogs (nod nod) to Barbados (nod nod) to children starving in Haiti because 3/4 of the population believes in voodoo so they take babies into the woods and leave them to die because they're NOT CHRISTIANS (wait, wha-at?!)

After several minutes of this nonsense, I finally said, "Surely you don't believe that God punishes children because their parents are not Christians?" And she said, "No, no. It's not God. It's the devil."

The dogs were cute at least.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

R.I.P. Buddy

Buddy died in my arms last night, at home, peacefully and quietly. He had been diagnosed with cancer last May, and it slowly invaded his body, ultimately affecting his heart and lungs. The vet said Buddy would not make it to see the summer, let alone live through it. But live he did, tail wagging and eyes sparkling, and I made sure he had the best summer ever. He ate steak and fresh strawberries, swam and retrieved endless sticks, chased chipmunks off the deck and napped on the couch. And then I had to let him go. I woke to my new reality of life without my beloved Budster. No gentle snoring in the corner of our bedroom woke me this morning, no nails clicked behind me on the hardwood floor as I made my way to the kitchen for coffee. My home feels so empty, and my heart is broken, the price one pays for loving so fiercely. We sign up for this reality when we bring that puppy home to share our lives, but damn it's hard to say goodbye.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Summer flowers

Playing around with the Canon.

Love the sharper images this lens provides.

All under the watchful gaze of The Budster.