Saturday, January 30, 2016

I've been meaning to blog about the Big "C" and the Big "D" (I doubt it is what you are thinking...), but that will wait for another moment.

We are now pet-less.

It makes me sad.

When I lost my beloved Liberty about 1 1/2 years ago, I said that as our pets die, I didn't want anymore. The emotions are just too much for me. Not so much when they die of natural causes (or the situation I am about to go into), but when we have to make the decision to euthanize them. It is very difficult for me to take that kind of responsibility for that kind of action. I will do it because I recognize the responsibility, but I truly do not like to do it. And, with all that life throws at us these days, it's not something I want to have to spend much emotional energy on in the coming years.

So, we had to make that decision for Liberty and then the following December we had to make it for my 15-year-old kitty, Lydia. Shortly after that, though, our son and daughter-in-law moved in in preparation for his leaving for basic training. They brought with them our beautiful granddaughter and their happy-go-lucky cat, Charlie. Outside, we still had their dog, Buddy, who was a big puppy and had lived with us since J had moved to town.

Charlie adapted very nicely to being a farm cat and by springtime, he was an indoor-outdoor kitty. He and I got along really well and he became my pal.

When the time came for moving preparations to be made, Charlie had to chipped and checked out before moving to the base. They got this done in early December.

A week later, following a very emotional family event, we noticed something was wrong with him. As a young cat he had had a urinary blockage that had cost them quite a bit of money to correct. It seemed that his symptoms were similar. Because of the family event that had taken place, my thoughts were not focused on much of anything but my daughter so I didn't notice anything strange going on with the cat. However, looking back, I now realize that he was trying to tell me that something was wrong. If Charlie had an empty food bowl, he would literally lead me to it. It was in the basement, not too far from his kitty box, so every time he led me down there that weekend, I didn't realize it was about his kitty box and not his food bowl...

By the time we figured out what was going on a decision had to be made. The cost was extremely high for a young couple about to move halfway around the country. He was miserable. Sadly, he needed to be euthanized. He is now buried out by one of my lilac bushes.

So, we got the kids moved and we came home to just our big ol' puppy, Buddy. In reality, Buddy turned six last fall, but he never lost his puppy face. He had beautiful brown eyes and the most adorable puppy ears. J & M had rescued he and his sister as tiny pups. They found them along the road on the reservation not far from M's family's home. When they took them to the vet, the vet guessed their age at about 6 weeks and couldn't believe their condition. They were afraid of the tiniest of movements, Buddy's fur was literally falling out. The vet believed that they had been abused from the tiniest of ages. How awful!!

We brought them home and started working with them. It took almost a year to get them to not be so frightened. We had Liberty, as well, and she was kind of like a mom to them. Sadly, we lost the sister in very unusual circumstances (she was black and our other dogs were blond....).

Buddy grew into a gentle giant. He probably weighed 60 pounds or so (which is good sized for us) and he was so sweet and allowed the girls to love on him. He was a good hunter and would get rabbits and squirrels and bury them. In the summer he loved to be outside all the time, but in the winter he became a house dog and enjoyed his evenings and overnights on the rug in front of the door.

This past Wednesday, the inevitable happened.

I am not against hunting. I prefer it to be done for the meat, but I generally don't mind if it is done for sport, especially if the animal they are hunting is a nuisance and/or dangerous. However, I have never been fond of the way that coyote hunters hunt in Iowa.

For every other type of hunting in the state of Iowa, permission is needed from the landowners. Many coyote hunters in Iowa use dogs. They fly all over the countryside chasing after the dogs chasing after the coyotes. Pickups racing up and down the gravel roads and highways. Others parked at intersections. No one ever stops to tell the landowners what they are up to and that they are even out that day. In the back of my mind I've always figured that they would get one of our dogs. I was right.

I've always tried to pay attention this time of year and if I noticed hunting activity, get my dogs inside. However, I saw nothing out of the ordinary the other day until about 4:00. Hubby and I were sitting in the living room before he went out to do chores and we thought we heard shots. I just assumed it was a late deer season so we didn't think much of it. Hubby and Buddy went out shortly after that.

Around 5:15 a vehicle pulled in our south driveway. I thought it was odd but since J was out there, I didn't worry too much about it. Then the pickup left, the back door opened, and J stomped across the kitchen into the living room.

I knew from the look on his face that something was wrong. Then he said it. "Buddy is dead." Coyote hunters. They weren't using dogs this time, they used a distressed rabbit call. Buddy heard it, so did J. Buddy took off after it. He came out behind a coyote. The hunters took aim and shot both of them.

To make a somewhat long story of what happened after that a bit shorter, hubby made them go back and get him out of the field they left him laying in. He also warned them about me...not to come around again because I will deal with them and their irresponsibility. And, I will. If I ever see them again, they will hear from me.

So now we are pet-less. I have never been without a pet. We have either had a cat or a dog or both. It is quiet around here. I am okay with being pet-less for the time being though...emotions and all of that, but I am not happy with how we lost Buddy and I won't be silent about it.

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