worst easter EVER (rip budnik)

i now have the displeasure of doing a bit i always knew i’d do, but wasn’t looking forward to…

…i’ll just let my post from yesterday do the talking:

It was the worst case scenario under the best of circumstances. Budnik took his final breaths the way he took so many happy ones before it – in my arms, on the couch. He was less than four months shy of his fourteenth birthday. We’re not sure which of the many ailments he’s battled the last couple months did it, but he went peacefully and naturally, and after we’d spent all day with him not knowing this was how it would end. My soul will never be the same. To say he’ll be missed is an understatement. I’ll have another pup one day, but I’ll never have another Budnik.

of course, he’ll get a more formal send off here because this is where we debated even getting him, and then it was where he made his first public appearance (the pics weren’t in the bit when i originally linked due to a server swap, but i found em and replaced them). for now here’s another good one of him…

he was the bestest boy, my most loyal companion, and i loved him whole bunches (a term i always used with him). he’d been suffering from pretty severe osteoarthritis in both front legs and one of his back knees. in addition to that, one eye had suddenly gone milky and, of course, there was “the spot”. i never took pics of that, but it started off looking like not a big deal, but then became a big deal rather quickly. the vet now says, in hindsight, that it was probably cancer and that explains the rapid decline. by the time he would have seen it we’d been battling it with various topical home remedies (we thought it was just an aggravated hot spot he’d made much worse by licking at it) for the better part of a year, so any cancerous diagnosis would have been informative, but eleventh hour late and ineffective at that stage. that was the one i’ve written about several times with him eating the gauze pads and such and, more than likely, was what finally took him down from the inside as their were undeniable signs of internal bleeding after he had passed.

it onset quickly.

saturday he barely ate, but he’s always been fussy about food until lately (the meds that were crippling him, ironically, also increased his appetite), and he’d gotten up on his own several times friday, saturday, and early sunday. but then later in the afternoon i went to take him out back and his back legs had basically gone dead inexplicably. i had to help hold him up to poop, and the poop was BLACK. as the evening drew on we saw the color leave his tongue and gums and he started whimpering a lot more. i tried to give him some cbd (at this point we’d decided to suspend all meds as a lot of what we were seeing showed as side effects of them online) and he bit off the tip of the glass dropper, causing a panicky couple moments of getting glass out of his mouth. i got it down him with a plastic syringe after that, but i think it just helped him mellow out to the end. he has a “blink and you’d miss it” seizure or two, at which case we decided an after hours vet should happen, but before we could call i saw how labored and spaced out his breathing was. i tried to blow into him, but he was still barely there. i pulled him away from the back of the couch, lay down between him and the couch so he was curled up in my arms, whispered that i loved him whole bunches, he’d fought all he could, and it was okay to let go…and he did.

then i ugly shook and sobbed for about half an hour straight.

i’ll spare you the details of the moments after, but suffice to say my plan of laying him down in the bed next to mine for “one last night with his dad” required large plastic bagging because of posthumous fluid release (you’re thinking of the wrong end, trust me) so i had to sing him his “night night song” one last time through a trash bag, which sucked, but it sucked i was singing it for the last time anyway (that’s private between me, him, and nik, so i’m not sharing the lyrics here) but i sobbed all the way through it, and i’ve had some hard moments since, but i realized as i got up this morning that this was all barely thirty-six hours ago so the wounds are still stingingly fresh. like i said in my social media post, i will eventually have another pup, but i’ll never have another budnik.

Budnik McCauley: 7/19/2010 – 3/31/2024

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