Buca was a larger than life puppy, full of energy and big wet kisses. Albeit regular weight and size for the type of puppy she was, a Labrador Retriever. She took long walks every day in the woods with dad. Ran circles around my three boys. Up and down the picnic table she would jump. Splash in the wash barrel outside to cool off. She filled up our lives with love in a house full of homework, chores, and life of a busy family.
One day when Buca was 7 months old, she had been accidentally hit by a large stick. We were throwing it for her but she got ahead of it and wham, it hit her above her eye. She had a cut so me being the worrisome mom, brought her to the vets just in case. The vet said that the cut was fine and that any blood in her eye would eventually go away. But, he said, there is something more. Me thinking oh, what could it possibly be, look at her she’s so healthy, so happy, so full of life and only 7 months old why should I be worried!
Dr. “H” of Red Bank Veterinary Hospital at the time, said that he didn’t like the appearance of her gait. That her back feet were dragging a bit. He wanted to know if he could test her hips for dysplasia. Of course I agreed.
They took her in the back to test her, x-ray etc. She was gone it seemed like forever. Dr. “H” finally appeared and broke the news to me that she had OCD of the rear knees and possibly hip dysplasia in the one hip, they couldn’t confirm the other one. It was the OCD that was bad. He said she would not be able to use them, or bend them. But what he did say was that “she will compensate for them”, “she will use her chest and front legs to help”. He also said that we may get 10 years out of her if we’re lucky. Because a dog that has OCD that bad usually does not live long.
I really don’t remember what I said to Dr. “H”. I do remember walking out to pay my bill and just crying, right in front of billing. I felt like Buca’s puppyhood had just died. I was crushed. It took a while for me to get a grip and head home to tell my husband and the boys.
Well, Buca never slowed down and I think she did it for us. We would massage her knees and legs hoping that we were helping her. My husband dug out a swimming hole just for her. She was on medication of course her whole life and towards the end new food was available that I believe helped her the most.
But in the end it wasn’t her knees that got her it was her heart. Maybe cancer, maybe heart disease. She spiraled downhill quickly. We literally had less than a two weeks when she first showed signs something was wrong. So I took her in and you know the rest if you read the first blog post.
When I look back which is often, I now see that Dr. “H” gave us a gift. He told us she may be with us for ten years. He wasn’t giving her a death sentence; he was telling us to let her live just as she would have had she been healthy. So we took tons of pictures. Made great memories at the beach, our cabin and the holidays with her. She was the queen bee. Some of her nick names were Buccie, Little Bear, Mooch, to name a few. She was mentor and buddies with Max, Toby, Tiny, Sadie & Reagan (the canines) and boss of Frank the duck, Sid the black cat and Maple the tabby. The chickens she bossed around too.
They all missed her, it was evident in how they behaved when she left.
She rests peacefully now on our farm in Tinton Falls, NJ. She will always be my confident, my protector, my Buccie and oh how we still miss her. So I tell you now to start your memories when they are pups or when you first rescue them! You can start by getting one of froodle’s Memory Buckets or Cans. For a little can it can hold a lot!