I wanted to let you know that Buddy, the 9 year old magnificent German Shepherd, passed away this week. Many of you knew and loved him. Even if you never met him, you should know that he raised your puppy or rehabilitated your dog if you adopted from Misha May between 2005 and 2011. There is a huge empty space where he used to be - for the humans and the dogs who knew and loved him.
His passing was sudden and unexpected. Because of Misha May's Canine CPR class taught by Eric Roth, I knew immediately that Buddy had the beginning symptoms of bloat. I rushed him to the emergency vet where his prognosis was positive. Unfortunately when they opened him up they saw numerous cancerous tumors (hemangiosarcoma and others) which had spread and begun to bleed. There was only one merciful but heart wrenching decision. The vet recommended euthanasia and we agreed.
Fortunately he was distressed for only a short time as I got him there quickly and they immediately put him on strong pain medication. I waited with him as they prepared him for surgery and further knocked him out. He was never alone.
Buddy was adopted 2 years ago by someone who wanted him all along but did not have a spot in her home for another dog. She took him to training classes and bonded deeply with him. Sadly, she returned him to us last week along with his 2 Misha May brothers when she was hospitalized. She is very very ill and may not be able to take the dogs back. For this reason, Misha May paid Buddy's hospital bill of $1500. If you can help us with any amount in Buddy's honor we would be very grateful as this is a difficult amount for us to absorb. You can use paypal below in any amount times $10 or mail a check to Misha May, PO Box 151166, Lakewood, CO 80215-1166.
Friends helped me transport Buddy's body to my home and place him on the floor in the middle of the living room. Each canine friend was allowed as much time as he or she needed to be with Buddy. Most smelled him, seeming to absorb the new information, and feeling satisfied, walked away. The process felt necessary, respectful and reverent.
Buddy first came to Misha May Foundation in 2005 as a 1 ½ year old who had been returned to the shelter 3 times. He had separation anxiety, jumped 6 foot fences, chased livestock and had a high prey drive - no cats please! He was my foster dog and helped me with everything, along with Brinx, the yellow Lab who arrived around the same time, and Zeb, my rescued Golden Retriever. Zeb passed away in 2010 and is certainly welcoming Buddy in doggie paradise. Brinx is grieving with sorrowful eyes and a need to be near me following from room to room.
Buddy touched the lives of innumerable people and dogs. He was a perfect friendly representative on behalf of huge intimidating-looking dogs. Putting everyone at ease with his relaxed smile and gentle gaze, he won the hearts of all. People embraced him fully and dogs sought him out.
Buddy tenderly raised every Misha May rescue litter though he resembled an elephant dancing away from mice during his first encounter. When the puppies needed a potty break during the night, Buddy placed himself between them and the outer fence, instinctively choosing his place as protector. He was our go to guy in desensitization training exercises with dogs afraid of other dogs. When Kabul arrived with separation anxiety and P.T.S.D. from Afghanistan, they became fast friends. Buddy was able to assure Kabul that he, too, could recover and savor his U.S. life.
Buddy was a master at adjusting his play to accommodate smaller, more fragile, more timid or older dogs. Sometimes, as in the case of Heidi, a nervous little shepherd, he was the only dog she tolerated in close proximity. But he was also a loving but firm uncle teaching boundaries and polite behavior. When Duke arrived as a self-important four month old pup who tried to mount and hump Buddy, Buddy gave him his look and a low growl. I will always remember how Duke awoke the next morning as an appeasing sweet appropriate puppy. Buddy was a teacher and a friend.
I am honored and grateful that he spent this last week with me and we had a chance to say good-by. His owner is so very sad that she was unable to be present, but they had quality time before she entered the hospital and she is certain that he knew how much she loved him.
R.I.P. Buddy - friend, protector, teacher, healer and family.
With great sadness,