This one’s for Buddha

I saw his pic on a Wednesday night, maybe one of fifty or more animals posted in distress all across the nation.  And in every section of every state there resides a network, tight and supportive, of people who save animals.  They can do anything, and they will do anything when it comes to the rescue of an animal.  

I saw the expression in the eyes of this dog with his head tilted slightly, chin out in question, then I saw that this was his last night and tomorrow he would be killed.  There’s no nicer way to say it.  It is what it is.  

Jumping through hoops, but at the end finding reward, the ultimate goal was to free this dog they called “Court” from his jail.  

The next day, my friends, about 5:30 pm, gate was open, a big King cab long-bed truck with very big tires comes dieseling into my driveway, they look like they’re in a little spaceship…  So I run out the front door out across to the driveway trying to signal the driver to pull on down, get off the circle driveway and park here in the gravel edge of the drive, hidden from the back yard and the other dogs.

The over 6 foot easy cowboy that finally slid out of the truck and went straight way to unload my dog, went right to work while this young woman came at me with a quick “how-do-you-do” and put a tiny folded up piece of paper in my hand.  I’m asking questions, and this big cowboy can’t get the dog to budge out of his kennel.  He does not want to come down out of that truck, mostly likely into another bad situation.  

So I told the cowboy to keep him in the kennel about the same time I first saw his big red head.  The guy looked me right in my eyes this time, and said “Ma’am, I can’t lift this dog!”  Then I saw the enormity of his statement.  With all the grace of an overweight teenager doing a cannonball, Big Guy took one flying leap out of his kennel and into the grassy ground below.  I reached over quickly to grab what he had on his neck, and this cowboy hands me this teeny poodle leash, on this monster…

He goes “Yeah, you better get ahold of him!”  The girl is now also shouting over the diesel engine, “He has heartworms!”  I said “What? How bad?”  She shakes her head and looks sideways, and said bad but not really bad.  “Huh?”  She points at the paper in my palm while I’m holding onto the dog’s collar.  And he’s straining against me hard.  

Lady jumps back in, and they start backing out the drive.  Now “Court” really gives me a little fresh run.  He has power, tremendous power, and I’m like maybe one-third his strength?  He just wants to stretch his legs and use the bathroom.  

His head is huge, and if this is the same dog, there is a huge gap in the reality of his present age.  That little brown dog, the angle in which the picture was taken, all of it was extremely misleading.  And the weight I was given was 55 pounds and when I told the cowboy that, he shook his head no, and said “He’s a lot more than that.”  

I just don’t have the heart to tell his whole story, the tiny bit I had with him.  I’m gonna keep all the sweet moments and funny times, and just seeing him be happy again, or at least more secure in a better place.  

I had made arrangements with a person interested in organic gardening and we had done all the proper introductions.  Long story short, he got a good job in Austin and quickly needed to move closer as the farm is out south of another small town many miles east of the big city.  Gas.  

He took Court, the big American Staffordshire Terrier.  The first one I’ve ever loved, for sure.  I know we were just signed up to be a foster, and both the new guy and the new dog seemed very happy together, it was impossible not to fall in love with this puppy-faced big old Camel Head dog with the almond shaped eyes as big as my own!  His name was even changed to Buddha, which I thought suited him perfectly.  

I don’t have a pic of Buddha.  But if I hurry really fast, maybe I can draw him, sketch him, paint him, but I will always keep him in my mind, because my heart is over-flowing.  I seriously cannot process the loss that I feel.  If you ever think that rescue people are nuts or bothersome or anything like that, you should just try it for 24 hours.  You constantly have chores that must be done when you house multiple dogs.  There are always appointments with fosters that must be met.  You sign documents accepting liability for the animal, on their terms completely, or the dog will not be released.

I just wish I knew if he made it to the doctor appointment he had yesterday for his neuter operation.  At five years old it was time.  No telling how many baby puppies this big guy fathered.  The puppies are where the money is.  More puppies, more money.  Now that Buddha was clearly coughing and suffering from the parasites in his blood system and heart, I figure the owner just didn’t want to deal with it, besides the fact that the cost is huge for treatment the conventional way through most veterinarians.  

I just wish I knew if he was okay.  He so deserved a good life.  I just have to have faith in the young man that took him.  I did, I felt something good in him, so we feel in our own heart that everything is okay.  It’s all we can do.  

But this one’s for you Buddha, Buddha Boy, Buddha Boy, come here boy, come here.  He would wag his big tail and smile, his huge mouth hanging open, his tongue hanging out to the side, as big as my foot.  

When I think of Buddha and I miss him so badly, I think of his eyes.  They were so cute, just like a puppy.  I could see right down inside of him and see his sweet nature and his cute mischief-making gears turning in that huge head…  what is not to love????

Bye boy.  I got you out.  You go now.  You go.  Go.  

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