Buffy looking spiffy after a morning at the spa
On Wednesday, December 14, I took my beloved dog, Buffy, to the veterinarian for the last time. I knew the day was coming, and in theory I was prepared, but still, my heart was broken, and I could barely see, as I drove home alone. Buff was 19, and had been a member of our family since we adopted her from the Humane Society when she was three.
The Humane Society was on my daily route, and I stopped there once or twice a week to see the dogs. I was looking for a second dog to add to our family, and be a companion to our dog, Starr, so he wouldn't have to spend his days alone. I saw Buffy shortly after she was brought in, and it was love at first sight. She was small, cute and friendly, and I put my name on her card and started making arrangements for the rest of the family to come meet her, as per the HS rules for adoption. Of course everyone, including Starr, agreed she was adorable, and we set about becoming her third home in three years — her forever home. (Her first family gave her away when they moved. Her second family decided they had too many pets and dropped her off at the HS.)
Buffy preferred not to have her photo taken.
She walked into our home like she'd lived there all her life — no fear, no confusion, no hesitation. She was sweet, loving, confident and well-trained, and she gave our feisty Starr something to think about. Although her papers said she was a miniature poodle, she was so overgrown and matted I believed she was a mixed-breed of some sort. Also, because I'd never had a dog that needed more than baths and brushing, I didn't quite understand the concept of hair verses fur, and the need for haircuts every eight weeks. I learned fast. The first groomer I took her to told me she was so matted she might need to be stripped, or closely cropped. I vaguely agreed, but when I went to collect her, my adorable little dog had been turned into a giant hairless rat, and I was horrified. She was so hideous no one in the family wanted to walk her, but her daddy came through for her, and walked her until she looked normal again, and the rest of us could take over.
When we moved to Seattle, of course the now 17-year-old Buffy made the cross-country trip with us. She loved to ride in the car, though the length of the trip may have exceeded her expectations. She seemed to enjoy it, though, since every two hours or so we'd all get out, go for a walk and have a few snacks. She made the trip five times, and was a real travel-pro.
She wasn't fazed in the least by the move, settling in to her new home just as she had the last time, so many years ago. She made herself right at home, finding a comfy spot to nap. She took down the comforter, snuggled between the pillow and covers, and settled in. She wasn't too pleased when I ran for the camera after discovering her in the guest bed, but she didn't move from her spot — just opened her eyes slightly to give me a "look" before shutting them and continuing with her snooze.
Lest you think she was a passive dog, she was not. It's true she was loving and gentle, but she also was smart and a little sneaky, making it impossible for me to ever place hors d'oeuvres artfully on the coffee table. She was also an escape artist who could find her way out of any fenced space, and the lower 12 inches of the fence around our large yard was covered with chicken wire.
|Sept. 2011, 19 years old.|
What? Are you taking my picture AGAIN???
Up until the end, Buffy always wanted to be in the room where the action was. If we had company, she was there. Although she, herself, wasn't so active anymore, she liked to watch. One person she was particularly interested in was Miss E, and she was always right by her side as Miss E played. I'll leave you with a video taken one year ago of Miss E taking Buffy for a walk — a favorite pastime for both of them.