26 October 2007

Happy Birthday, Buko

Seven years ago today, brother Tsamba welcomed brother Buko into the fold, and our family grew from there. Buko had come some time earlier as a foster dog, but Tsamba and the human soon realized he was meant to stay. Since Buko came from the SPCA, no one knew his birthday, so we celebrate it today, the day Buko's life with us began--and the day our family started. When we celebrate Buko and his life, we celebrate all of us and all we share. And especially today, we try to be happy for all we have, even though we miss Buko so much. Happy Birthday, brother Buko!

Tsamba and Buko: the early days"The boys": Jacks, Buko, Tsamba, and Buddy

21 October 2007

Dr. Feelgood

Our house has been a sad place lately--and we just haven't known how to help our human feel better. We've been sad, too. Big brother Buko was always our guide and our heart, and, without him, we've all felt a bit lost. The human has tried to keep busy doing different things, but he frequently has those moments when, as our friend Pippa puts it, it's difficult to see.

One of the activities the human sort of resumed was his involvement with rescue. He actually went back to the shelter where Buko came from to help two GSDs looking for homes. While at the shelter, he happened to notice a dirty, urine-stained puppy who, for whatever reason, interested him. He returned the next day, with Wally's apes' help, to meet the little guy, and the rest is, as they say, well, you know. The decision-making process was drawn out for a couple days because the human couldn't make up his mind about adopting. And rightfully so! He needed us to give the final word--and the word was a hesitant "okay."

So, here we are... with a new a little brother named Tuchuck. He's a 6-month old border collie, but we don't hold that against him (at least, not the breed part--we would be okay with his growing up fast, though)! He's named after a mountain in northwest Montana that overlooks Glacier National Park (Tuchuck's name at the shelter was Glacier). Tuchuck Mtn was a place we all enjoyed on our recent roadtrip, and the name reminds us of a happy time we all shared together.

Anyway, happy is what we needed, and happy is what Tuchuck is! Our original hesitation has proven ill-founded as Tuchuck learns quickly and now fits in really well. He's a fun kid, and we welcome that back in our life. (And he doesn't take bad pictures either...)

14 October 2007

Goodbye, Buko, my special boy

Hello. Human, here--aka "Boy"--hijacking the dogs' blog for a bit. I haven't been able to write about it until now, but one week ago tonight, almost to the very hour, I had to let Buko go. As you might've read on the dogs' blog, he suffered a number of health issues since Labor Day, although, clearly, they must have begun long before then. The final diagnosis was numbing: cancer. What had presented at various times as orthopedic and neurological problems had ultimately proven to be a type of soft tissue sarcoma, well beyond any treatable stage. In his final hours, Buko experienced GI distress that caused obvious, acute pain and sent us to the ER. As much as I had hoped for him to drift peacefully off in sleep, at home in bed, we had to say goodbye on a surgical gurney in the hospital. How anyone manages the pain of such a loss is completely beyond me. At times, going on seems impossible. I keep waiting for the happy moments--and they were more than I deserve--to push the pain aside.

My Buko... He was my first "failure" at fostering, the first dog I ever entered a competitive ring with--a first ribbon, a first title. He never rolled his eyes at me when I was spaz, he held his breath when I held mine, and was always up for anything I wanted to do--he always tried, just because I wanted him to. And even though he didn't like it when I used bad words, he always knew when I felt bad and wanted to make it better. He was the purest, most sincere form of unconditional love I've ever known. And maybe one day I will be the kind of man he thought I was and actually be worthy of him. What I ever did to deserve him, I'll never know.

I miss you, Buko. I hope you know I will always love you as much as you loved me.