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TideWriters Tales
Tribute to Buffrey, German Wirehaired Pointer, 1988-2002
By Janet Abbott Fast

    I am sad and sorry to tell you that Buffrey has crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. For 14 1/2 years he gave me love, affection, unwavering loyalty, and to the end, he was my protector.

    He held no field titles, he was not a champion, according to AKC standards. But he was my champion. Bringing Sarah (Ch Navajo Unexpected) into my life was his contribution to the betterment of the breed. He was our office mascot when an insurance agent came in, recognized the breed and that encounter led me to rescue Sarah, at 14 months, and offer her home number six. It was later that I discovered she was Buffrey’s half-sister, both dogs sired by Ch Arkayem’s Thornbyrd CD JH

    Buffrey was a wonderful and tolerant uncle to Sarah’s pups. He never realized that he was neutered, and enjoyed himself whenever any of the “girls” came in season. Last spring Buffrey and his great niece BB (Brassy N Brazen) traveled with me to Florida and Michigan. I always felt safe whenever he was with me on the road, and he enjoyed the rides secure in his crate. He let the pups clean his beard and muzzle and while he might grumble about it he never was rough with any of them, even when he didn’t feel well.

    Two plus years ago he was diagnosed with cancer and following a 12-week chemo protocol the cancer went into remission. During one of those bouts when his appetite didn’t exist I gave him some McDonald’s French fries...and he recovered his appetite. 

    Buffrey loved to run in the field and hunt. He would’ve been a great field trial dog, had I known about such things...or had he gone to another home. When we were in the field he always knew where I was, even if I didn’t know where he was. Once, when he was younger, a wood duck led him on a merry chase in the water taking him further and further away from her young.

    He loved to swim and his favorite trick was to retrieve the dummy, take off with it and roll on it in the dirt, before bringing it to me. About two weeks ago he enjoyed his last swimming and field outing when I took him and Sarah, now 13, and several nieces to Westmoreland Berry Farm. He swam in the Rappahannock River and checked out the soybean fields for critters. He was a happy boy.

    In recent months his rear end became wobbly due to arthritis or perhaps the lymphoma was returning, but he never let it slow him down. Then he had leg spasms and one day he was unable to use one of his rear legs. In a short time the combination of the wobbly rear legs and the useless one rendered him unable to navigate around the yard. By the weekend we had to place a towel under his belly to hold up his rear legs so he could go outside.

    He was such a gentleman and did not mess in his crate when I was unable to get him outside often enough. I did not want him to suffer that additional indignity. The last two days he didn’t eat much, but he would chomp on ice, and last night I bought him some McDonald’s French fries which he ate. But I knew recovery would not happen this time.

    I am very lucky as I have a kind, kind veterinarian. When it was time, he came out to my car where Buffrey was in his crate. Buffrey had been barking at the other dogs going into and out of the vet’s office. When I commented about this to the vet he said, “Buffrey’s brain isn’t dead. His body has just given up.” 

    I held Buffrey’s head and talked to him while he went to sleep. After we were certain he had crossed over on the Rainbow Bridge I took him to be cremated. Once again, there were kind and loving hands lifting him out of his crate and onto a soft, white afghan blanket. I said my final goodbyes, but Buffrey will always be alive in my heart and the hearts of those who knew and loved him.

Janet Abbott Fast

9/23/02 © 2002 Janet Abbott Fast All Rights Reserved

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