Sunday, July 4, 2010

Bye Boo

Posted by Mom:

well, i have put this off as long as i could. every week i kept thinking i'd get up the courage to post something and each time i sat down to type, i'd back out. well, if i wait until i can type without crying then nothing will ever get done, and not posting it doesn't bring him back, so here goes.

when i last posted, we were taking Butterz home to say goodbye. on May 24th we did just that. but what happened in between? the short of it, we found out he had a brain tumor and it was cancer - glioblastoma to be precise. given the option to put him through radiation and send him home with "meds for comfort", we chose to let him go with dignity. i cannot possibly express how hard that decision was to make or how hard it has been ever since. barely a day has gone by that nacho and i have have not mourned in some form or fashion. i've cried more in the past 2 months than i thought possible. it's been a long time since i had to put a dog to sleep but that feeling of slipping away never ceases to amaze me. i know we made the right decision but it has not made the last several weeks any easier.

a little history about Butterz. of course his given name was Matrix. our dear friend Korby hooked us up with him. we'd heard about him since we'd gotten Cookie. Matrix was her brother. a kid in town had gotten a boxer from the same litter and it turned out to be Butterz. we'd heard all the stories about how big he was. anyone who'd seen both he and Cookie said "you gotta see this dog!" as misfortune or luck would have it, his owner was not able to keep him. so at just under 4 we (ME) offered to foster him to help the owner out. nacho was against this at first. when i went for my first meet and greet, i was taken back by his size and demeanor. this dog clearly had a lot to say! that never changed! but within a couple of weeks we both knew (1) we'd made the right decision and (2) he'd be with us permanently. it was quite the complement 6 months later when his owner said "you guys keep him. i could never give him what you give him." do not get me wrong, this guy was not a bad person, just bad timing.

we never looked back. Butterz challenged everything i knew about patience. but the last 2 years, he taught us more about working with what you've got! if he were a person, you'd say "he had such a zest for life!". on a scale of 1-10, Butterz was a 17. and it was with that perspective that we knew the right thing to do was to let him go when he still seemed like himself. i'd rather say he was a 13 when he left than a 2.

since we've said goodbye, i realized he taught me one HUGE thing: how much of my life he took up. his was the BIG head you saw in the window coming down the drive. he was the one sitting at the top of the steps staring at the driveway. he was the one that cleaned out the shower when you were done. he was the one that cuddled with me every night. he was the one that snored. he was the one that would jump head-even with you when he got excited about going somehwere. he was the one that made the most noise when you came home. he was the one that slobbered on everything. i know these things now because over the last few weeks i've missed all of them and more. Butterz was my stuffed animal come to life.

so it's been a terribly difficult 2 months. we all three have felt the loss. even more surprising though are the friends who've felt it with us. i cannot begin to describe the outpouring of support we got through all of this.
  • our vet and their staff were amazing! they supported us by continuing to test everything they possibly could and reminding us we were not crazy for insisting they do so.
  • the staff at U of I Veterinary Hospital. i cannot say enough about Dr Kubier. she called me a couple days after we had to let him go just to say she was thinking about me. in the midst of our ordeal she said "i believe there are pet soul mates and i believe Matrix is yours." yes he was. and she has no idea how much those words meant to me!
  • the staff at Purdue University Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Dr's Moore and the student vet that helped him (whose name i cannot recall) were awesome. they understood what a tough decision it was for us to make and completely supported us! as Dr Moore said "that's the most selfless decision you can make." thanks Dr Moore!
  • our good friends Sarvers. as Donna said later, they just kept bothering us so we'd get ourselves and Cookie out of the house. when we didn't or wouldn't talk to anyone, they'd come down and make us talk to them. Barry, your offer about Butterz ashes is one of the most moving things anyone has ever said to me. thank you!
  • and countless friends and family that really seemed to feel this with us. people contacted us and said things that i never would have imagined. i mean to some people, "it's just a dog" but it was clear to those around us, he was not! he was a lot of things, but he was never just a dog! thank you all!
i consider my time with Butterz a true gift. i know this is a hard road to travel. and i know it is not supposed to be easy. i have a hard time looking forward because i know he's not in front of me. but every time i look back, there he is, in the middle of the road, encouraging me to keep walking, knowing with every step i take, his image gets more and more fuzzy, smaller and smaller. he should be here. and if he could, he'd come running up that road to me, ears and slobber flailing.

love you, miss you Boo!