|Buddy and me, before bedtime last night|
I've really needed to get a post in here about Buddy, before too long.
Buddy is our 18-year-old beagle. We've had him since he was 4-months old. He came before the kids did, so he has been a part of our lives and family for a very long time. His health has been declining these past few months though, and we might not have him with us for much longer.
Buddy has been good for our family in many great ways. As a high-need puppy, he was great at getting us to accept interrupted sleep at night, and endless, endless messes, and the ongoing care and joy and frustration having a pet brings. Since he was my first dog, I had not experienced the care that is required in taking care of an animal.
Buddy's breaking us in to care for him was a great primer for parenting. I do believe I had better perspective and endurance for the 24/7 care that a newborn requires, partly because of him.
Buddy took the addition of people to our family quite well. He sulked for a few days when Baby #1 came along, as he was no longer the center of attention. However, he took the arrival of Baby #2 in stride, nearly 5 years later.
He was a very good companion to the kids. He treated them gently, and played with them gently too, when they played tug-of-war with him, or picked up his balls and threw them for him, with two-year-old accuracy. He hardly ever chewed on their toys; he seemed to know the difference between his own chew toys, and the kids' toys pretty well. There were two exceptions: wood and wax. Buddy couldn't resist these materials, so Thomas the Tank Engine acquired a few tooth marks, and crayons left on the floor got chewed up, and brought as secret treasures to his kennel.
Buddy had his special tricks at different times of his life. He used to bounce balloons off his nose into the air, and repeat this over and over. That is, until a balloon popped one day. He wouldn't do it again after that.
He invented a hide-and-seek game that he would play with me. He would dart around furniture, or around the kitchen cabinets, and slowly peak his head around the corner, and see if I was still there. Sometimes, I would peak around the corner, to see if he was still there. Then the game would repeat over and over.
While young, he would chase birds, (never catching them), lizards, (he didn't have a chance with them, either) and bugs. (these he was good at catching, and rolling on) He loved it when we rolled a grape or two towards, him, as he played with them like bugs, first tossing them in the air, then rolling on them.
|Buddy, resting his spinning head on Son's knee last night|
Over the most recent years, his eyesight has gone, and his bones have begun to creak. In the past two months, he has developed a seizure condition. He began a treatment regimen of phenobarbital this past week, in hopes to control the seizures. It has made him extremely wobbly, and we know he is unhappy. He is trying to adapt- he sticks his head into any corner he can find, and will just stand there for a few minutes, while the world spins around him, before moving on. The dizziness is supposed to subside within a few weeks. We hope so.