As I sit here with all these thoughts flying around in my head I wonder if it is appropriate to share this with the world. I am confident that some people will feel certain things are not suitable for specific forums, and I respect that opinion. I have concluded, though, that there are too many valuable lessons that somebody could garner not to share.
I have been through a lot in the 54 years of my life. I have endured challenges that most people could never fathom. I have overcome obstacles that manifested out of events beyond my control, and some I take full responsibility for because I created them through poor choices. There were incidents over the years that had me contemplating ending my life on more than one occasion. I do not say that lightly. I know it is a heavy thing to share. I have been through some scary, deeply troubling, desperate, and emotionally draining times that took me into the deepest levels of depression. No matter how hard I tried, I could not shake that empty feeling in the pit of my stomach. Nothing anyone could say or do would help lift the weight of pain that had me thinking so irrationally. Before I go further, you must understand that I am a very different person today than the person I was when I considered that act of desperation. I am substantially wiser, mentally strengthened, and better equipped to deal with these types of things than I was in my younger days. There is truth to the saying, "What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger."
I am dealing with something now that is so heart-wrenching, causing me an acute sense of pain so powerful that it is reverberating throughout every inch of my mind, body, and soul. My best hope is that as you see how I am handling this horrifying situation, it gives you a glimpse of how I managed to pull myself out of the depths of despair and kept moving forward during those dark times in my life. As I reflect on those times, as painful as they were, they pale compared to the magnitude of anguish and heartache I am feeling now & have felt over the last several weeks.
My best friend Buddy that I have spent the last nine years, seven months with, side by side, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365, has reached the end of his journey with me, and I am the one that is making that call. Buddy had a tumor removed in July of last year that came back as cancerous. When that occurred, I honestly did not think Buddy would make it through the end of the year and I am very grateful that he surpassed my dire expectation.
My precious Buddy has lumps all over his beautiful body. Those lumps are not uncommon for a dog his age, and quite often, they are harmless fatty deposits. However, I noticed that his hind leg was getting bigger, and it felt hard like a flexed muscle, unlike the other bumps on his body. My mother researched it, and while it is not very common, it is a condition that Doberman's can experience. I would be remiss If I did not acknowledge that my mom and my stepfather were one of the key elements that helped me pull through the hopelessness of my past with their love and support. Once again they are here for me and hurting just as much as I am because Buddy is a big part of our family.
My vet had never seen anything like what was occurring with Buddy's leg. Unfortunately, the only potential solution was amputation because the growth is so intertwined and embedded with his muscle. At his age, this was not even a consideration for me. As you can see from the picture, his leg has swollen up to the size of a football. We have been monitoring that leg closely, squeezing it to make sure Buddy wasn't in any pain. It has been a slow progression, and it is clear that Buddy is a fighter just like his Dad. It has not stopped him from wanting to take his morning walks or jump up on the bed when we turn in for the night. I had a friend say to me recently that Buddy was holding on to life for me. That statement had a tremendous impact on me because as I thought about it, I determined that there was probably a lot of truth to what he said.
The experts suggest watching for three behavioral changes in your pet, and that is when you will know it is time to consider making an unimaginable and mentally traumatic decision to put your pet to rest. Buddy has not gotten to a level where it would be obvious to someone that doesn't know him that something is wrong. I love him so much that I don't want him to get to that level. Buddy still has light in his eyes and love in his heart. Even though his leg has recently started to impact his mobility, he stays attached to my hip as he has for the nine years seven months we have been together. Buddy was his name when I got him from the Doberman rescue. When I think about the relationship he and I have shared from day one, his name could not have been more perfect. You might say it was love at first sight. I saw this picture of him (the one right below this paragraph) and knew right then that he was going to be my dog. I made a call, and a week later, he was by my side. The only other name that may have been appropriate could have been Shadow; I can't go anywhere without him being by my side.
Buddy and I share a special bond, and the fact that his condition is not so severe that the choice to end his suffering is crystal clear makes an already crushing option more complex and excruciating. It is out of pure love that I have decided to let go of the best thing that I have ever experienced in my 54 years on this planet. I can't convey with words how much of an impact he has had on my life. Buddy helped me get through some intensely rough times. He came into my life when I was starting a new chapter with lots of uncertainty. I exited the corporate world and began trading full time, which eventually led to establishing Alpha Wolf Capital he even assisted with some stock pick suggestions of his own. I went through the end of a long-term relationship, the loss of my biological father to Alzheimer's, and most recently, the passing of a close friend and member of the Alpha Wolf family. Buddy has been there for me through it all. He has been my rock, my one constant that never waivered—always providing an unconditional love that can not be understated.
Buddy makes me smile every single day! He has done that for three thousand four hundred and ninety-five days straight. I have seen bumper stickers that say, "My rescue dog rescued me." That is an absolute fact in my case. I am not sure I would be where I am today if I did not have this fantastic companion in my life. That may sound odd to some, I do not have children, and it has quoted that parents should never have to go through the experience of burying their child. At 2 AM Thursday, I lay next to Buddy, listening to his breathing gently rubbing his lumpy body as tears streamed down my cheeks, and I decided that I owed it to Buddy to ensure he does not spend his last days in agony. The harsh reality is Buddy will not get better. What is happening inside his body is beyond my control, and I do not want to watch him deteriorate. What I can control is the quality of life he has in his final moments.
I cried the entire day as I made the arrangements. My heart hurts, and my stomach has an indescribable emptiness. I was balling thinking about how much I am going to miss him. Then it struck me that Buddy does not know that his time with me is coming to an end. I know it, and yes it is extremely painful to think about but that is not the most important thing happening here. I realized that I can't allow myself to break down in front of Buddy because he feels my pain. He knows when something is wrong. For his sake I need to suck it up and be strong. It is imperative to make his remaining time on this planet peaceful and pleasant!
I need him to know how much he is loved and spoil him so that when he goes to sleep, the last thing he experiences is the same selfless, unconditional love that he has given me for so many years. I have not shed a tear since I started thinking about Buddy and not myself. He will be in the comfort of his own home, lying next to me on the couch just like every other day. I will not let myself grieve until Buddy has moved on. I spent today treating him like a king, all his favorite treats, roasted chicken and watermelon, which he loves. I have told him repeatedly how much I love him, smothered him with kisses, hugs & massages. He probably feels like he is in heaven.
Buddy will always be a part of me; I will never forget him or be able to fill the void that by this time tomorrow will be weighing upon me with its full force. I was blessed to be loved by such an extraordinary companion. I will likely get another dog at some point, and I still have CocoBella. I love Coco, and I will love the next dog that joins our family, but I will likely never find another Buddy.
I take comfort knowing that, if there is a heaven, Buddy is going there without any doubt in my mind. I know this because Buddy has been my angel here on earth. It isn't a lock that I will be joining him up there when my time comes, but if I do wind up being that fortunate, just reuniting with him would be all the heaven I need. I pray that when I pass, Buddy will be there waiting to greet me so that we can spend all of eternity together.
I wish that no one would ever have to go through something like this. However, if you or someone you care about is facing a similar situation. My best hope is that something I have written here helps you, no matter how minor that help is, and If you need someone to talk to, someone that has been there and understands what you are going through, please do not hesitate to reach out and email me at Tim@Alphawolftrading.com
Thank you to everyone that has reached out and expressed their heartfelt compassion. It is genuinely appreciated.