They say you can not chose your family but you can chose your friends. When we chose Buster our dog we not only chose a new family member we chose a best friend!
We went to the farm and selected Buster from the litter, he was the biggest and hence lived up to the name we chose for him, a gorgeous dark grey and white short haired Border collie with big blue eyes. We were in love! We had to wait a few weeks before he could come home with us so at every opportunity we went to the farm to see him.
|Baby Buster with daddy Si and his brothers and sisters.|
It was 1997 when Buster joined myself and Simon, he was our first big commitment and our first furry baby together. We were so excited and thought we were pretty prepared for his arrival. Buster arrived home to the big bed with beanie cushion in, a collar, food and water bowls, food, bones, treats and all kinds of toys we had got for him. We sat for hours fussing over our new family member. Of course no one tells you that for the first few nights a puppy suffers seperation anxiety and will howl and whimper all night. We ended up filling a hot water bottle and putting it under him to sooth him, this did not work and we made our first mistake~we took Buster to sleep on the bed with us. Which he then took upon himself to keep as his bed, he was a great foot warmer until he got bigger. Buster would sleep on his back with all four paws in the air and snore, it was time to put him back in his own bed.
|Buster's big comfy bed.|
|Buster with his chew and big blues.|
The garden was an endless source of fun and trees were not meant to be planted in the ground they were meant to be removed and the hole used to bury a bone. Oh and what fun the branches were to rip off and run around with! We realised then that Buster was a head strong little man and no matter how many hours we tried, he was still going to do his own thing. Still until the day he left us he never handed the stick, ball or chew toy over, you had to throw it and then he would not give it back, it made for fun wrestling matches and of course a battle of manliness with my two fave boys (Buster & Simon)!
|Buster and Douglas playing football.|
At times we wondered what the heck we had let ourselves in for, but no matter how bad a day at work and how bad a mess we would get home from work to find, Buster still had the ability to melt our hearts. He was a very kind, friendly dog, full of love and energy and we later saw his nurturing side.
|Buster at the window asking to come in.|
|Buster and puppy Douglas biting his side.|
|Buster's smile after he and Douglas made a big mess in the garden|
In 2000 Simon was given the opportunity to be a part of a major plant build and start up either in Canada or the US. Canada was looking more favourable and with that we were sent away for a week to see what we thought. It was December, knee high in snow and we landed in a little airport (London) thinking we were in the middle of nowhere. As our week progressed it was apparent that they really wanted us to relocate. Whilst here we started looking at properties, however Simon had told them that part of the deal would be our family (Buster & Douglas) coming with us. We decided that we would need a decent size garden for the dogs, never in our wildest dreams did we think we could afford a 50 acre hobby farm. We could and we did and within three days of our week we had started the purchase process.
We moved in 2001, Buster and Douglas were given their travelling papers and had to go and spend a few days in a kennel prior to flying. They arrived a week after we did and Buster was in awe, lots of trees, grass and trails to run. It did not take long to teach him to stay on the property and tractor tires driving down the road were not to be used for chew toy! He was four then and every day he loved our daily hikes, he loved chasing after us whilst we zoomed ahead on the ATV trails. He was a happy dog and this is how he spent the next ten years. He never lost his sense of adventure, he would often go off in the woods and see what wildlife he could find, he never did understand the possum playing dead or why the hens we had would come out of the coop as soon as he had rounded them in. He was a gentle soul he never nipped, he nudged. He was always top dog and in later years Douglas tried to take that from him by provoking a fight, Buster would walk away unless it was completely necessary to put Douglas in his place. They would fight, we would split them up and then they would be cuddling up to each other, it was a typical sibling bond.
|Buster and his "manners" along with Douglas and Saphire on our snowy road.|
You can imagine my surprise when the following Wednesday I on the off chance walked in to the local Foodland and came face to face with an A4 picture of Buster, please call if this is your dog! I screamed stopping the store in their tracks as they probably thought I was going in to labour as I am heavily pregnant. That's my dog I exclaimed and began telling the story which kept everyone engrossed and a few looking upset as they were waiting for their change and leaving the store. With that I took down the poster and rang the number leaving a message, I was so happy I totally forgot what I went in the store for.
That Wednesday evening the lovely gentleman who had looked after Buster for the last week and a bit drove in to our driveway with him and brought him home. Him and his wife had refused to give up on Buster and knew somewhere he was loved, they thought he was the most wonderful loving dog but the long journey had taken it's toll. He had turned up in their backyard two days after leaving here, they live on the next road over which is 13mins by car so we believe Buster had walked at least 12k if not more. One last adventure and he turns up at an animal loving home who happen to have English heritage.
We spent all Wednesday night cuddled to Buster, he slept on the rug by our little girls bed, they cried when they had to go to school and daycare as they didn't want to leave him. I spent the Thursday brushing and trimming him but saw him deteriorating before my eyes, I had to carry him outside as he was weak and disoriented. Simon arrived home on Thursday after two nights away and ran excitedly in to see his old pal, but was saddened to see him in this state. I booked him in to our vets on the Friday and told them to treat him but I was bringing him home we had been apart for too long. The call came and the news was not unexpected but sad, Buster had kidney failure and anemia and they did not think he would last the night. We could of tried a kidney flush treatment that would of seen him in the vets for five days hooked on to a machine with only 50% chance. Heartbroken we made the decision to have Buster put out of pain and put to sleep.
The whole time Buster was missing we wanted to find him, bring him home and say goodbye. We got to do that thanks to some really kind people which we will always be grateful to. We are also thankful to our vets who always take the best care of our pets and us.
Buster will live on in our hearts and through stories in our family and those whose hearts he touched!
August 1997-October 2012.
|Buster after a quick swim in the lake, one of his many favourite things to do.|