Tuesday, 18 October 2016

R.I.P. Buster

R. I. P. Buster. The best dog I ever knew.

April 10th, 2006 – October 18th, 2016

Addendum on Wednesday, 19th October, 2016

When I made this post yesterday I didn't intend to say more. I didn't think any eulogy would do my beloved dog justice. However, I've had a number of people asking me how he died, so I'll write a few extra words.

Buster was born on April 10th, 2006, the sixth in a litter of seven puppies. His father was a Red Staffordshire Bull Terrier, his mother was a Brindle Staffordshire Bull Terrier. I had already ordered a puppy from the breeder, so I went to visit her a few days later to select the dog I wanted. Buster came to live with me on June 20th, 2006. He was healthy for the next ten years. After his vaccinations and micro-chipping he never needed to go to the vet. He was still healthy on his 10th birthday, but shortly afterwards I noticed he was limping and took him to the vet. He had arthritis in his front legs, especially the right leg. It progressed rapidly, and within two weeks it was no longer possible to take him for walks.

On July 12th I was due to move to Germany. My daughter Fiona was unable to take Buster because she lived as a lodger in the house of someone who didn't like dogs. Fortunately my wonderful friend Rose Wright offered to take him until the end of August when Fiona's lease ran out. Buster was happy at Rose's house because she had various tenants, and everybody loved Buster. Who wouldn't love him?

In September Fiona found a new room and was able to look after Buster, but Rose still had him some days. Buster now had two homes. Despite the arthritis Buster was lively and happy. He was prescribed painkillers which he took daily.

On the evening of October 17th Buster seemed to be his normal happy self. The next morning at 7:15 Fiona found Buster on the sofa, and he was somehow different. He didn't appear to be in any pain, but he was lethargic. He didn't stand up to greet Fiona, which was highly unusual. She arranged to drive to the vet with Martin, Rose's boyfriend, but an hour later Buster died. He peed on the sofa, then he stopped breathing. Even though his body was stiff she hoped he was still alive, but the vet confirmed he was dead. The cause of death was impossible to ascertain without an expensive autopsy, and the vet didn't even venture a guess.

As everyone acquainted with Staffordshire Bull Terriers (Staffies) knows, they are the perfect family dog, but Buster was exceptional in that regard. He felt nothing but love and tenderness for everyone he met. He loved everyone, and everyone loved him. He loved all three cats in my house, even though the cats didn't get on with one another. He was one of a kind, and he will be severely missed.


  1. Sweet words Mike. I don't usually post here but for Buster I couldn't not. Lovely for, and I'm sure a great companion.

    1. Thanks, Mike. I appreciate it. I've been in a daze since yesterday. Sleeping and crying, crying and sleeping. I haven't even been able to watch any films. In situations like this I can't turn the grief off, the best I can do is distract myself for an hour or two. Maybe a good slasher movie before bed would help.

  2. It's so sad to hear of Buster's passing.
    He must have known he was loved and wanted for every day that he was with you. A sad footnote that he wasn't with you in the days leading to his passing.
    I hope you are coping as best as you can.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Chris. You too are a dog owner, so you understand how close the bond can be. I've also owned cats, but no animal can be as close as a dog.

      I'm sad that I had to leave Buster behind when I went to Germany. I would have taken him with me, but Germany has breed specific dog import restrictions. Fortunately he could stay with my daughter, the number two person in his life. She takes some comfort in the fact that although he was already ill when she woke up she was able to spend the last hour of his life with him. She thinks he was happy that she was with him. He was looking at her when he died.


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