Welcome to our Memorials pages, where all our beloved furbabies can be remembered with love.
These beautiful souls are all dogs which have lived as Sanctuary Dogs with K9 Crusaders. Many have been neglected, abused or mismanaged to an extent where they needed the security and stability that the kennels provide. They are all our K9 Family and have a very special place in our hearts.
Date: August 31, 2023
SOME NEVER MAKE IT HOME
…. and dear Buddy Pudding was just such a dog.
When Buddy’s owner passed away, he came to us. He was morbidly obese, so fat that he could barely stand, let alone walk (hence the addition of ‘Pudding’ to his name). His claws hadn’t been clipped, they were long and curved round and under, and the blood supply had grown down making any kind of nail trimming impossible.
Any movement was uncomfortable for Buddy, as was standing still. He clearly had some physical issues.
He was so fat that the vets couldn’t x ray or scan him to ascertain the state of his skeleton or internal organs, so a program of weight loss and gentle exercise began, to see if we could rehabilitate Buddy.
Gradually the weight came off. His claws had gone beyond being able to be trimmed safely, so I filed his claws down a tiny bit at a time, so as not to make them bleed. Buddy loved the attention, and lay quite happily being attended to.
As the weight came off, his exercise gently increased.
Xrays and scans revealed considerable spondylosis of the spine, arthritis and thickened tendons from his shoulders, causing some nerve damage. He responded well to medication for these conditions, and started to enjoy life.
He needed careful management, and each meal was hand fed to him as he simply couldn’t sustain standing still even for a minute. Thus we developed a system of me holding his dish, him having a few mouthfuls, going walkabout, then coming back for more mouthfuls and so on…. until he had finished his bowl. Buddy loved eating. His obvious pleasure showed in his face, as he noisily chomped and smacked his lips, savouring each mouthful. It was so hard to keep a straight face. Later, as the arthritis progressed, he became adept at eating from a fork so he didn’t have to bend his neck. His enjoyment of grub never wavered, nor did the noisy savouring of every mouthful.
Buddy was a big, long legged English Bull terrier, a real ‘unit’, with a huge character to match, and an even bigger ego. In Buddy’s mind he was ‘the man’, and he really was. He was supremely confident in his own skin, and it showed in every aspect of him.
He loved people, attention, sunbathing, car rides, and toys. He met other dogs politely, but took no nonsense. Other dogs here at the kennels treated Buddy with great deference and respect, and he would go along his kennel run greeting each dog, inspecting them like a general inspects his troops.
Unfortunately Buddy wasn’t able to live in a home with other dogs. Despite being neutered he relentlessly pestered females, and tried to dominate other males. He was also something of a wrecking ball on legs with teeth. Everything went into his huge mouth, snapping shut like a crocodile when he had grabbed his prize.
At Christmas we visited another potential foster home, beautifully and extravagantly decorated for the season. Buddy set about the floor standing decorations, Christmas trees and soft furnishings with glee. We left half an hour later, leaving behind a trail of dented, partly chewed and wrecked once beautiful items….
Here at the kennels we all learned to keep soft toys and any type of ball out of Buddy’s reach. He was obsessed with balls, and would go into a chewing trance with them, and when they were softened to a mush beyond recognition, he tried to swallow them. We learned our lesson very early on, and Buddy thankfully never got another opportunity after that first time.
Latterly Buddy was diagnosed with a heart condition, a baggy left ventricle, so his heart wasn’t beating and pumping as it should. He went onto yet more medication. Despite each meal being a pretty equal mix of food and medication, Buddy noisily scoffed and chomped his way through the lot. Pills, capsules, powders and potions, he wasn’t bothered. He ate the lot with gusto.
With Buddy’s mechanical disabilities, and now his heart condition, his management became even more intense. It was evident he now needed a carer rather than an ‘owner’, but still we hoped that there would be someone out there for him.
We knew he was an old boy. We knew he had a dicky ticker. But it was still a shock when he wasn’t waiting for his breakfast on Tuesday morning. As I walked into his kennel to investigate, I knew. Buddy was never, ever late for food. I found him lying peacefully on his sea of soft comfy bedding, having slipped away in his sleep. He no longer had need of food or meds. He was gone.
The vet pointed out it was a ‘good way to go’, and he wouldn’t have known anything. I know he didn’t suffer. But I never got to say goodbye. He was fine the night before, ate and enjoyed his tea, had all his meds, we went round the field together for last wees before bed, him searching the area hopefully for an overlooked tennis ball, like he always did. Nothing untoward.
Mister Buddy Pudding, you have taken a very large chunk of my heart with you, you old monkey. And he really was a monkey. Couldn’t turn your back for a minute. He’s going to keep the angels on their toes.
Tomorrow is never promised, but oh, it’s so, so hard.
Goodnight, precious boy. You were loved and adored. It’s so empty without you.