Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Loss of a Good Friend

This is going to be a hard post to write.

Yesterday, I lost a beloved pet -- not just a pet, but a friend who has been with me literally half my life. My sweet Himalayan, Buddy.

Buddy has been with me through thick and thin, and was a constant companion in my life. He's traveled between colleges, homes, and cities with no complaints. He loved to have his head and ears scrubbed hard with my knuckles, and if I let up, he'd head-butt my chin, as if to say, "Hey, you, *I* rule the roost here!"


Buddy's death wasn't unexpected. He's nearly 20 years old, and has been diabetic and half blind for a long time. But the final straw was the vet telling us that Buddy was in renal failure, and that he could last days, weeks, or a few months, and that we should be prepared to have to make a hard decision down the road.

I was devastated. This cat, who had always been so robust, was going to slow down. "Impossible!" I thought. But it was true. We watched him go from 13 pounds to 7. We went to the vet every week. Each time we felt it was time to make that horrible decision, Buddy would rally, perking up, begging for special treats, and becoming more social. And another week would pass.


This past weekend, we had to take care of some family business out of town and boarded the cats at the vet. They have a "kitty condo", so both cats could be together, which was great, as our other cat, Max, has a nervous temperament. We called every day to see how they were, and Buddy was doing just fine, until the day we were coming home. We called, and were given the news -- Buddy was gone.


Apparently when they came in that morning, he wasn't acting himself, and they put him on oxygen, but it went rapidly downhill after that and his heart just gave out. I think he'd given out all the love he had and knew it was finally OK to go.


Although I've cried my eyes out and feel completely lost without him -- still looking around the house expecting to see him -- I know it all happened in the best way. He was in good hands, and I know he was well loved by us and he gave that love back ten-fold. He had a very long, good life, and I have a ton of memories of him. One memory is his little paw print -- the vet printed it for us.

I wrote this as a way to free my heart a little -- to help it let Buddy go. I'm sorry if I upset anyone or brought back bad memories for anyone. I just needed to say goodbye.

And with that, the tears start again, so I'll sign off.

Love, Lori

77 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry, Lori. He was a beautiful kitty. *hugs*

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  2. I feel like I know Buddy...I'm so sorry, Lori. It's hard to lose these four-legged friends. I teared up reading that the vet got a paw print for you. cyber hugs...

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  3. Lori, What a great post. It reminds us all of how precious our furry kids are. 20 years is an amazing amount of time you were blessed. I'm typing, all teary eyed myself as I feel your pain. Take some time for you, cry when you need to, reminisce and cherish the memories you have.

    {Hugs to you my dear!}
    Dawn

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  4. I'm so sorry to hear this. Tears are in my eyes as I write. Losing a member of the family is so hard. Sending you and your family lots of hugs.

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  5. Lori I am so sorry. I am tearing up now! I know how it is to lose your furry friends and how much they mean to you. It is a great thing that you have the paw print to remember him by.
    Hugs!
    Beth

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  6. Dear Lori...what a crushing blow to find that out... I am so glad that Buddy found you. You were a most excellent family for him and I can tell that he was well-loved. There is a special place in heaven for your furry friends. I believe that I can see Buddy snuggling into the fluffy cloud rolling past my window at work.
    Peace to you.
    Enjoy the day.
    Erin

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  7. Im so sorry Lori to hear of your beloved Cats passing. Our lives so intertwined with them and when the doors close its so hard.. It is my belief that one fine day we will be reunited with all of the animals that we always loved! And Buddy will be at those grand gates bc he only went on ahead and is waiting..
    My heart feels for you Lori! Many huggs
    Janet
    OX

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  8. Lori,

    My heart goes out to you as I've experienced the sadness and loss of having to put down two of my best kitty friends throughout the years. Tiger was 18+ years and also had renal failure. Precious (as you knew her) was only 14. Time heals but you never forget all the endearing antics and memories they leave behind. Just remember that she was a "gift" and a cherished one!

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  9. I am so, so sorry for your loss.

    I am happy to have heard about Buddy, though and I hope you feel better after sharing.

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  10. Oh Lori, I'm so sorry about Buddy...thank you for your post and sharing a sweet bit of him with us. My heart goes out to you. xo

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  11. I'm sorry you lost your lovely kitty :(

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  12. Oh, sweetie, I am so sorry! Hugs to you...we just went through the same thing at our house :(

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  13. Oh Lori, hugs to you. I have tears streaming down my face now. I know how hard it is to lose such a long time friend and companion. They're not just pets, are they? They're so much more.

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  14. This is heart breaking. So sad to loose him after all these years. What a lovely and tender blog post. You´re in my prayers!!!

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  15. So sorry for you. I believe the pets that have left us are still around, and we just can't see them. It helps me a bit. Wish I could help you. I am thinking of you.

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  16. So teary eyed as I respond to your beautifully spoken heartbreaking post. I'm sending lots of healing energy to you, and many many cyber (HUGS). It may be a long while if ever before you stop seeing her. But day by day the pain will lesson, and eventually when you see her or think of her you will be full of very happy memories with soft sadness. They are our little babies with fur, and they each are as individual in personality as we are. And unlike humans, they love us with complete and total unconditional love. To be void of that unconditional love is an enormous loss for anyone, and something our non pet people will never have the gift of knowing or the pain of losing. My heart aches and goes out to you in this terrible time of loss.

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  17. Thank you, everyone. It's feel like the rug's been pulled out from under me.

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  18. So sorry to hear this Lori. I lost my dog, Frisky like this in 1993- when I had to leave him with some one else's care for my visit to India. He was getting old, I knew it was coming , yet it's so hard.

    It reminded his eyes, the way he used to talk with his doggy ways.

    Take care Lori, your post struck an important chord in us who had gone through it. And I also want to give you my heart felt best wishes to cope with it. 20 years is a long time, my friend.- Dita

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  19. I'm so sorry. The loss of a pet is always tough. As you said they are our companions and they are always there for us.

    Your post made me tear up. Take care and know your in my thoughts. Hugs to you.

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  20. I am taring up for you as I read this, but I am so glad that you had all that wonderful time with him.
    Sending prayers and good thoughts.

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  21. "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened. (Anatole France)"

    {{{{{{{{{{Lori}}}}}}}}}}
    Our furbabies are so precious. They see us through thick and thin and love us without question. Buddy will always be with you. Loving you.

    Take care and wishing you well.

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  22. Lori, I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. Buddy was a beautiful cat and I know you'll miss him. Your lovely tribute to Buddy was very touching.

    This week the vet gave me bad news about Deja, my companion of 15 years, and I'm afraid I will loose my friend very soon.

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  23. Oh Lori I know this is one of the hardest things to go through and there really are no words...Big cyber hug and I'm crying with you.

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  24. Sorry Lori, I am sending hugs...

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  25. My heart goes out to you, Lori, having just gone through this myself last month. It is so hard! Buddy truly was there with you for half of your life - what a long history you two had together! I am so sorry you lost Buddy yesterday and wish I could give you a hug! I'm here for you when you want to talk, or share Buddy stories...

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  26. Oh Lori. I'm so sorry. I understand the pain you're going through, it's not easy. Twenty years is a long time and you're so blessed to have had all those years with your Buddy right by your side...and he was even more blessed to have had you.

    xo
    laurie

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  27. How devastating...So sorry to hear about your loss. Losing a pet is really like losing a family member. Hugs...

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  28. I am so sorry for your loss..This is always so very hard. Give Max a hug and I am glad he is around to comfort you.

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  29. Oh Lori~
    Buddy waits with my Poof at the 'Rainbow Bridge' for us! I know what this is like. My pretty Poof was 17 when she passed and I still miss her. It has been almost 6 years. She was my best furry friend and you are right they are there through thick and thin with a push of a nose or sweet purr.

    Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
    There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
    There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
    The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

    Author Unknown

    Even though I may have made you cry (and I am sorry if I did) this poem made me feel better and I could actually picture the scene!

    Send with hugs!

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  30. I grieve with you for I have a wonderful dog who is getting up in years. Buddy had a great life and made your life great. What better legacy? And he will live on in your heart. Blessings.

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  31. Lori, so sorry to hear about Buddy. I hope that both writing about it and knowing you've touched so many of us helps a little.

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  32. I'm so sorry to hear that. Losing a furry friend is the one of the hardest things. I lost a cat several years ago and I'm still not over the loss. I cried like a baby when I read your post!

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  33. Oh, poor sweet Buddy. I know it doesn't matter one bit if he was elderly and ill - it hurts just as much. I also know that you're probably grieving that you weren't present at the end. I've been there myself and it hurts in a completely different way.

    They're not just 'pets' are they? They are family. They are truly our close friends, our most trusted and beloved companions who ask nothing and give everything. I'm so,so sorry for your loss.

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  34. Oh I am just so sorry, Lori. What a difficult thing to have to go through. I'm sending positive thoughts and prayers your way.

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  35. Hi Lori,
    So sorry to hear of the loss of your beautiful cat. many hugs and special thoughts come your way (((hugs)))

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  36. my sincerest condolences.....

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  37. Lori I am so sorry for your loss. We have been there to, and until you go through it, you don't understand. Even when you understand, the loss is devastating. What a wonderful thing to have Buddy's paw print. I hope you pain and sorrow ease, and are able to open your heart to another friend.

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  38. I'm so sorry for the loss of your beloved Buddy. He will live on in your heart and memories until you meet again.

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  39. Oh Lori - I'm crying with you. I know exactly what you are going through and my heart goes out to you. It is sooo hard to let them go - they love so unconditionally. Just remember that now he is out of any pain and still watching over you. Sending big hugs.

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  40. Tears here as well ... I can see that I'm one in a long line of people who understand how special pets are and how unspeakably awful it is when we lose one of them. I have lost more animal friends than I care to think about, and every time it hurts just as badly, if not worse. Saying goodbye is horrible; but it doesn't diminish the beauty and joy that our furry friends brought us when they were alive.

    Peace to you, Lori. May you have the joy and honour of knowing many wonderful animal friends.

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  41. Buddy was a handsome cat!

    He was with you for *20* years! That is amazing to me. What a good pal he must have been.

    I am sad too Lori.
    My heart aches just to hear how sad you are right now.

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  42. I'm so sorry about your loss. Your sweet kitty will be greatly missed, no doubt. I'm sure it felt good to write about him at least...

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  43. I'm so sorry, what a beautiful kitty and I can see his charming personality in his eyes. It is so hard to lose a friend who has been in your life for so long.

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  44. This is the exact same thing that happened to my Pinky at the exact same age. I am so sorry that you lost your Buddy. He had a happy life and did not know any unkindness be it thoughts or actions tho and one day maybe this will give you comfort. I am so sorry to hear it.

    PussDaddy

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  45. Oh believe me you are NOT alone, it's a year two days ago we lost our beloved Sooty - she came half way around the world with us and, like you, we grieve for the loss of a true friend.

    Hang in there, the pain will ease, you will look back with love for now, do as I did and just cry, it helps, it lifts the weight of grief.

    We all grieve with you.

    Marjorie, Peanut, Little 'Un, Dot, Dash, Sienna and Jack the ginger boy.

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  46. So sorry. He was so beautiful. I lost my beautiful Siamese "Miss Gracie" nearly 10 years ago. I still miss her. The price we pay for loving them so much.

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  47. So sorry to hear about Buddy, Lori.

    I know how heartbreaking it is to lose a cat. They are proper friends and the house feels so empty without them.

    Big hug to you.

    Laura x

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  48. That's so sad but how wonderful that you had so many years with Buddy. He was a gorgeous cat, thanks for the lovely photographs.

    I know exactly how you feel, it will be a long time before you can say his name without filling up. You both enriched each others' lives and what a worthwhile thing that is.

    Stay busy.

    Love from
    Sue

    xx

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  49. Lori,

    {{{{{HUGS}}}}}

    Nancy

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  50. Lori,
    I'm so sorry to hear about Buddy. I know how tough this can be. The four-legged kids just nestle right into our hearts. Sending you out a big <>.
    Michelle

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  51. *sigh......* so sorry Lori
    My dog Coco is only 2 years old but I hope I'll have the same kind of relationship with her that you had with buddy...

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  52. I am so sorry. I gave my furbabies an extra squeeze this morning. Hugs and my thoughts to you also.

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  53. you have me crying , it reminds us all when our animals pass and how close we are to them and what they mean to us

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  54. I am so very sorry. I went through this with Bam Bam in the spring. I still cry when I think about it.
    Buddy was a gorgeous cat and you were both so lucky to have each other. You gave him a wonderful life, something all cats deserve but are not all so fortunate to have.

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  55. oo lori, i'm so sorry...

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  56. Big fuzzy hugs from me& my dogs.

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  57. Jeannie1:33 PM

    I'm so sorry. He was beautiful.
    I have four cats, I'll share one.
    God Bless Buddy.

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  58. Love you to you and your family. :(

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  59. Dear Lori,
    I am so sorry to hear about Buddy's passing. Our pets become a part of our family and they fill our lives with so much joy. Sounds like Buddy has been with you through the thick and thin, a constant companion..I know how much you will miss him..

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  60. Anonymous6:50 PM

    so sorry lori. july 10th was 1 year for the catman. he is still missed everyday. i know that you have great memories. they definitely help.

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  61. Lori - my heart aches over the lost of your fur-baby. I'm glad you were able to enjoy him for 20 years...but it still is a sucker-punch when he's gone. My first baby left me in January 2009 and it was a tough pill to swallow. Take your time to grieve and keep remembering all the good things about him and the stuff that made you laugh... my thoughts are with you.

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  62. I'm so sorry, Lori! He was absolutely beautiful. **hugs**

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  63. I am so sorry to hear of your loss, 20 years , wow he did do well but how much harder his departure is to bear now is palatable I'm sure.

    I want to send blessings to you and your family at this time. Don't be in a rush to feel normal, just let time take its course and know we are thinking of you at this time.

    R.I.P Buddy.

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  64. Oh Lori, I am so sorry for your loss. My Abercrombie is 16 1/2 and I have had him since he was a kitten. He has been my constant companion through every joy and heartache over the years. I know the time will come when I have to write a similar post and I truly dread that day. Thank you so much for sharing Buddy's story. It has truly touched my heart.
    Whitney

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  65. I'm teary eyed from reading your post- I'm sorry for your loss :(

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  66. I to am teary eyed reading about Buddy.
    My heart goes out to you and your family.
    He was a beautiful baby boy.

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  67. Oh Lori, I've been there and I know how much it hurts. Just keep thinking of the 20 wonderful years of memories he gave you.

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  68. Ohhh, Lori, I'm so sorry. That's such a hard thing to deal with. I was a veterinary technician for 10 years before I got totally burned out watching this kind of thing happen again and again. I'm so glad that you gave him a wonderful life, lots of love, and lots of kitty goodness. I hope your memories of him and the knowledge that you gave him a fantastic life comfort you.

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  69. Oh, your post made me so sad. I am so very sorry. My heart goes out to you.

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  70. IM so sorry I have lost two of my beloved pets they are such a huge part of our lives always there for us day or night.Remember all the chreished moments you had together

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  71. Oh Lori, I'm so sorry to hear the sad news about Buddy. I know from experience that losing a beloved best friend tears your heart up & leaves you feeling shattered & empty.

    You gave Buddy the best gift of all - a magnificent life full of love. Bless you :-)

    I send love & hugs from here in England.

    Jennifer xox

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  72. It did bring tears, I remember walking around the house bawling for a week nonstop after losing a beloved kitty, (((hugs)))
    Lynn

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  73. Great big hug to you dear lady on the loss of your loving friend.

    There are no words that seem to be adequate now. You are not alone. To lose one of our animal family can be very heart wrenching. I cry now at the memory of my pets, especially my first one. Your memories will comfort you and over time these memories will make you smile again.

    I know that you are joyful to have had the opportunity to have such a wonderful friend and Buddy was blessed to have you.

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  74. Oh my goodness Lori I'm so sorry for your loss, it's always so difficult to loose a pet that's been in your life for so long. Take care!

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  75. Oh Lori I am so sorry. I am sitting here typing through tears wishing that I was an author who could express my sympathy properly in words. Buddy must have thought that you were in a place in your life where it was safe for him to let go and you would be surrounded safe and surrounded by love while you mourned him.

    ::hugs::

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