Things were rough this last week. For one, I got sick. When I’m sick I get cranky and have a harder time seeing clearly. I also dealt with some trauma. Okay, some BIG trauma… So the last couple weeks have been a positive and negative roller coaster. The worst part was that we also lost the best dog we’ve ever had.
The loss of our dear Buster is still tugging at my heart. That is the hardest part of this bit of time. I still think he’s going to jump onto the bed and squeeze between the hubby and I. Or that he’s going to start barking at the door because I took 20 seconds longer than I should have to let him inside.
Buster taught me so much. He taught my family so much. So many people feared him because he was a pit bull. And while his last hours were certainly questionable as to what actually killed him, I’d like to focus more on his amazing time with us.
I couldn’t write this when it happened. I didn’t want the comparisons of, “well when I lost my dog…” or something similar, so I kept quiet. But I’m ready to share now. Because Buster wasn’t just a dog to me. He was a dear friend. Family.
Buster was abandoned by his previous owner. So he literally found us. We’d called the humane society, we checked him for a chip, we put ads on Craig’s list and other online sources, but no one came for him. The humane society would have put him down after three days of not being claimed, so we made an agreement to foster him until he was free for adoption. By the end of the 30 days, we knew he was staying right here with us.
From the beginning, he was the sweetest, most well-behaved dog we’d ever had. And he was gentle. Despite being huge and strong, he was so gentle…
I used to play with all our dogs with my hand and Buster wouldn’t do it. He refused to put his mouth—teeth—on me. He also wouldn’t play rough with me. He would with the hubby and my oldest son, but not me or our youngest. He knew instinctively that we would get hurt and so he didn’t do it.
Every day, Buster went to get the kids with me. He sat in the front seat and watched until the kids were safely in the car or safely in school during drop-off. And if I was running late, he always knew! He’d put his head under my hand and flip my hand into the air to get my attention. Sometimes he’d whine at me. Grumble almost.
He also tucked the kids in every night. And woke them in the morning. He waited at the window for my oldest to get off the bus.
He never snapped at the kids. Any of them. No matter how loud visiting children were. Or how hard they pulled his tail.
Buster was the gentle giant. No doubt.
Which is why it’s so hard to think about those people that refused to give him the time of day because of his breed. I even had a family member scream at me that my dog was going to eat my kids. And he said this in front of the kids!
When we’d take him to the park, people with dogs would walk far out of the way to avoid us. Even though it was our yappy little dogs that would have been the only issue.
People feared him because of his breed and he didn’t deserve that.
Sometimes he’d give me the saddest look. It was like he got it. When we first began fostering pits, we were told they feed off of people’s emotions. So it makes sense that he would pick up on people’s fear.
I can’t even blame people really. Pits have a bad reputation and for no reason. They are not anywhere near the breed with the highest amount of dog bites. The issues come in when people don’t treat them well and train them to attack. Because they’re strong, they can do more damage. But I know far more kids that have lost eyesight due to a bite from a lab—the most popular family dog…
Buster taught me so much. He taught me never to judge based on appearance. To always look at behavior. Which seems like something I should have learned from people, but humans are so deceptive. They’re so passive aggressive. So judgmental…
Most importantly, so many humans lack the ability to be present.
Dogs are always present. They don’t care what happened yesterday. They only know the moment and whether you’re loving them or paying too much attention to the television.
Buster taught me to pay attention to actions and behavior. He taught me to be open.
He taught me not to be afraid, no matter what propaganda I’ve been bombarded with.
These lessons are irreplaceable.
His love is irreplaceable.
It’s been hard to say goodbye to Buster. Especially because it happened so fast. The only plus was that both the hubby and I got to be present and love him as he passed.
I feel for people that are too afraid to know the love of a pit bull. When I look at it, it’s indicative of people that are afraid to live. Some that have been bitten by a dog or a pit are different, as they have trauma. But for people that just react out of fear based on propaganda, it’s no different than all the other stuff we buy into that’s complete and utter shit. We fear those different from us. We fear that which we don’t know or understand. We are a nation built on fear and fed fear constantly.
It’s sad that so many people will never wake from that nightmare.
Buster taught me to see what’s there and not place judgment without observing for myself. He taught me compassion through his gentleness. He taught me patience through his big eyes and giant pitty hugs. He taught me that friends aren’t just those that walk on two legs. I’d trade a great deal to have our friend back. I’ll never forget him.
~ You forever remain in my heart, Buster. I will love you always. ~
I’m so thankful that Patrick Stewart is being so public about his fostering of a pit. Not only is he public, but he’s fostering a pit that was used for dog fighting. She too is a gentle giant. His love for her already shows. I hope his public sharing will help bring awareness and shift people’s views on this amazing breed.
Please see Patrick and his amazing foster pit here: https://www.buzzfeed.com/hilarywardle/look-at-her-little-face?utm_term=.jkRr0MK6M#.dx7DVjq4j