Meet Buster, a Disabled Veteran's Service Dog.|
Buster is a neutered male, Standard Dachshund, black & tan. His current weight is approx 24 lbs, down from a high of 28.3 lbs. He's approximately 11 1/2 years of age. In 2013, Buster was diagnosed with Cushings Disease, and more recently, October 2014, with Diabetes.
Buster has traveled by car, boat, bus, train, trolley, mobility scooter, & ambulance or other medical transportation. Due to travel sickness, we always hesitated on taking him flying, & when he developed some breathing problems following a medical treatment requiring steroids, that possibility was forever off the table.
Born Memorial Day weekend 2003, Buster has only known our family as 'his' humans since he was 10 weeks old.
Buster began his time as an owner trained service dog while still a pup, and matured into his duties over time, at which point he became registered & microchipped.
Buster has resided in Missouri, Florida, Illinois, & Arkansas, but over the years, has traveled through several states leaving his 'peemail' for other canine travelers, during relocation or destination vacations, including Kansas, Oklahoma, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, & Texas.
In his travels, he's been to the Alamo, Disney Orlando, Universal Studios Orlando, toured Eureka Springs AR, and walked on the beaches of Tampa Bay & the Gulf Coast of Florida, as well as several family visits & camping trips in the mid-west at several state parks.
During Buster's duties as a service dog accompanying his Veteran, he's guested the floors of several restaurants, malls, all sorts of stores, churches, tourist attractions, & VA hospitals. At the hospital, he's often been a favorite with patients & staff, and despite the normal 'no touching while working' rule, has always enjoyed being social when permitted.
His last week as his health declined, the rain kept falling as if crying with sadness. but for his last full day with us, the sun was shining, so we went on an outing riding my mobility scooter. He was wrapped in a small blanket & seemed to enjoy the feel of the air on his fur as we rode down the road. We stopped for vanilla ice cream, & he licked a little off a spoon ... in the past, he'd have tried to eat the entire bowl. We stopped a few times to give him a chance to check 'peemail', and he declined, preferring to stay on the scooter for more riding.
Then the rain moved back in & the sky would be crying for his final hours with us ... rather fitting given the circumstances.
The morning he walked his final walk across the Rainbow Bridge, his last breaths were filled with my love as I cupped my hand gently across his nose, his ears with the sound of my voice as I praised him & told him how much he was loved. He was not alone & it was a peaceful transition.
RIP my loving friend & companion, you were always loved, & will never be forgotten.
Thank you all for your kindness & support. Buster's mom