Bud’s passing

On December 3rd My bloodhound Bud passed on, leaving a void in our lives as big as his 120 pound stature. He would have only been 3 in May and was just maturing enough for us to see the old hound dog on the porch coming out in him.

The cold of winter had just begun setting in in Conrad. Saturday afternoon I bathed him and clipped his nails so he could become an indoor dog for the winter. A 120 pound bloodhound is not my idea of a perfect indoor dog, but I did enjoy him inside. The cats are used to him, but the kittens we had at the time were still freaking out when he came by. I can’t say I blame them. He could take them in his mouth in one chomp if he had wanted to. However their mom loved him and snuggled to him all of the time so they were quickly accepting him.

We put him outside so we could grind Conner’s first deer without being pestered, I don’t know if all people have smelled the malicious odor that venison produces in a dog, but it is not to be soon forgotten. About an hour after he was outside he began to whine. This was very out of character for Bud. He was a quiet hound, unless he was protecting the house. He tracked silently and did not run after a scent like some hounds do. He never barked unnecessarily and really howled only a couple of times in the almost 2 years I had him. We figured he was cold and just wanted in so he went into his kennel, which was almost too small for him so he was seldom left in there unless we were gone. The whining continued. I thought it must be because of the smell of meat, so out he went again. This time I figured it was feeding time so fresh water and a scoop of food went out with him. He looked at the food and laid down under the solar panel.

Not good.

I had been told many times to watch for a twisted stomach and followed all of the recommendations I had been given as to when to run before and after a meal and such, but I suspected this may have been it evan if he had not been run this day because of the cold. When I patted his stomach it sounded hollow, but was not sensitive so I let him back in the house. He walked in slowly, and immediately went downstairs. When he got to the bottom he slipped in the step and stumbled. He had done this before. He was kinda gangly and the stairs are linoleum so snow on his feet made it slick. I tried calling James, who I had gotten Bud from, and he said call the vet right away. I already had the phone book open to call Dick at home as it was Sunday night at about 6:00. After a few questions we agreed to meet at the clinic in a half hour.

I spent sometime with Bud to make sure he was comfortable, left him with Conner an left to get some stuff around the house done. He was lethargic but still responsive. In about 10 minutes I went out to bring the car around back and came in the back door. Conner had moved to the couch so Bud was not in his line of sight. I saw one of Bud’s hind legs jerk so I went down stairs to find him convulsing. I checked his breathing and heard nothing, but thought I could hear a faint heartbeat. I called Dick and told him what was happening. I still owed the clinic some money for some shots for the horses, Dick asked me how I was going to pay for this emergency visit. I said “I don’t know, I will find the money somewhere, but I can’t let Bud go like this.” He said “That is all I need to hear, I will meet you at the clinic right away.

Conner took a blanket out to the car and spread it on the back seat as I carried Bud out. We live about a mile from the clinic and Dick lives about 4 miles out of town. As soon as we pulled up I got out to check on him and Dick came around the corner. He had wasted no time. I told him I though Bud was gone. He looked in the car and got no response either. The convulsions had ended and he was getting cold. “This dog should not be dead” Dick said. “His skin is not even tight. I have had dogs walk in that can hardly fit through the door and two days later they walk out.” After making sure he was in fact gone we chatted for a while. I asked for a post-mortem exam. Both Conner and I needed to know what had happened.

Dick explained that sometimes when the stomach twists it constricts the main vein that returns blood to the heart. Bud’s gums and tung were almost white so this may have been what happened. The next day at 8:30 I got a call at the newspaper. His stomach had indeed constricted the vein, however that was not the direct cause of death. The backed up blood had caused the spleen to enlarge to the size of the liver. What we think happened was the slip on the stairs burst the spleen. I was told “Wade, even if I was in the house with you with my med kit when this happened I don’t think I could have saved him, it just exploded.”

I think it will be a while before another dog comes into my life, and when it does happen I doubt it will be a hound. He killed my south lawn by peeing roundup, chewed up the apple tree, the remote to my DVD player, and many other things that all puppies do, however, I would not have traded his time with me for time with any other dog. He was loyal, protective of me and mine, smart in a bloodhound way, and yet gentle with children and small animals. Well as gentle as a 120 pound puppy can be. He was even protective of the children the neighbor baby-sat. He would lay in the yard and watch them play. When an adult come around the corner he would growl and let his presence be known until a known adult showed up, then he would lay back down and go back to sleep. Out on the farm he would stick close by me unless I got on the tractor, then he was off and running. Even with his nose to the ground he was aware of me and what I was doing. He returned to check up on me about every 15 minutes regardless of what I was doing, and when the tractor went back in the shed he came running up and was ready to start running down the road to get home.

For about 2 weeks every time I pulled up to the house I fully expected him to be stretching his chain to the limits to peek around the corner to see me, his tail wagging wildly. Every time he was not there my heart broke a little bit more. The expectation of seeing him there is gone, but the desire to see him faithful waiting for my return still had not completely gone away.

All of us who lived with, knew, and dealt with Bud will miss him.






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