So this is a much different blog post than most, but this week has been a hard one with Bucky. I wanted to write a blog post to share his current status from beginning to current so that way I can have some more prayer warriors on his side.
First off, Bucky is 12.5 years old. He is a miniature English Bulldog and he belonged to my husband before me. When Grant and I got married, my official wedding gift was him announcing I was now 50% owner of Bucky the Bulldog. That might seem so silly, but I didn’t come into Bucky’s life until he was almost 8 years old. When we got married he was 10 and Grant would always tell me I only got 20% of him because that’s how much of his life I had known him. Anytime I would scold or discipline Bucky, Grant would joke that I would lose a percent LOL. I think I usually was at 16-18% according to Grant, but at our rehearsal dinner he got on the microphone and said he was glad to gift me 50% of Bucky. It was the sweetest most sentimental thing to me that I will never forget. (Side note, I told him I didn’t want any type of a “wedding gift” from him because I felt I already received more than I had deserved with my ring, dress, and everything that our wedding entailed! So this was a really sweet way of not spending any money, but making a sweet memory of a “wedding gift”.)
Anyways, Bucky is already passed his life expectancy. Regular size English Bulldogs life expectancies are 8-10 years and minis are 10-12. Just a few months ago, Bucky has his yearly checkup with his vet and he got a clean bill of health. He said he could see Bucky possibly making it to 15. I guess in my mind I just kept thinking we had until he was 15 to have him.
We got Barbie last Fall in hopes to help extend Bucky’s life. He did not like her for a solid 3 months, but he did gain 5 pound of healthy weight (more competition for food), he would play with her during the day, and he was just moving around a lot more and kind of had his own little pet in a way. Life was going good and we were 100% happy with the decision we made to add Barbie Love to our family!
2 weeks ago Bucky had to have a tooth extracted, so he went under for a surgery. While he was under we also had his teeth cleaned. He had to stay 2 nights at the vets, and we missed him so much. We went altogether as a family to pick him up promptly at the earliest time we were allowed.
This past weekend was a big weekend for Bucky. We hosted my family, he got to play with my brother Jacob’s lab Chief (and they play HARD!), and we had family pictures for Mother’s Day with Our Little Ranch Photography – they are the sister company to Luke and Cat (our wedding photographers and dear friends).
On Saturday I came home after going to workout with one of my giveaway winners and while everyone was in the living room at 10:15am, I didn’t see Bucky. Mom told me he was still in bed sleeping. Bucky barely has any hearing left, so when I walked in to see him passed out on the bed and not listening when I called his name, it was the first time I ever wondered if he had left us. I will say over the past week I have just noticed a steady decline from Bucky.
On Sunday night he had a pretty bad seizure and he had thrown up quite a bit. Bucky has had seizures every couple of months for years, so we are used to the more intense ones taking a full day to recover. We took him into the vet on Monday for a follow up with his teeth and to show just how tired he was. We agreed that between the busy weekend, playing aggressively with Chief and Barbie and the intense seizure coupled with his old age, maybe he would just need a little more recovery time than before. However his appetite started to decline, I noticed he wasn’t drinking water like he should, and he was just lethargic.
We got him back to the vets on Thursday and they decided to do blood work. So last night was a hard night without Bucky and not knowing if he would be ok.
This morning the blood work came back and everything looked great! Even our vet (Dr. Lackey at Hwy 30 Vet Clinic) was ecstatic about the results! However there was an unknown “mass” that seemed to be in his stomach. The vet said it was unlikely to be cancer because his blood levels read so well and didn’t show any sign of him having cancer. We hoped it was something he ate or something that was in his intestines, but they gave him Barium which passed through and showed nothing. So then he had to have an ultrasound after lunch (another couple hours of not knowing what this “mass” could be). I had a meeting from 1-2 so I knew Grant would get the news before I did. I had a text to “please call him about Bucky” and I knew something was wrong because he would have texted good news to me.
So Bucky’s “mass” (which could be a cyst or a beginning stage of cancer – we don’t quite know) is growing on top of his spleen. He has internal bleeding happening as well and there’s also a blood clot right by the “mass”. Our options were 1) to leave it be and understand that Bucky would pass anytime from now up until a couple of months from internal bleeding or 2) rush him into emergency surgery to have it removed and know that he would never be as active or move the way he used to. We obviously chose to do the surgery, and he will be going under for surgery around 4:30 today (Friday afternoon) and should be out around 6pm. The vet told us this option would allow us to have another 6 months to a year with him if all goes well. Now I’m just asking for prayers and cuddling up with my Barbie Love until Bucky is out of surgery.
Thank you all so much for your thoughts, prayers and sweet messages about Bucky. I will apologize in advance for not being very responsive, but I just wanted to write one blog post for everyone to read. All I’m craving right now is an unplugged weekend full of R&R with my little family as well as for Bucky to be ok!!! I am tired and exhausted and have a big work trip next week to get rested for.
We will obviously never be ready to let Bucky go, but I guess I just had it in my head that he would really make it to the age of 15! I’m not ready to process what’s going on yet. I have never had a pet that I loved like I do Bucky. Even more so, I know Grant’s love for him is probably even deeper than that. Bucky is a part of our beginning, our love story, and most importantly our family. We have enjoyed every single moment with him and hope for many more in the future.
I’m even more grateful that we took the dogs for our Mother’s Day pics this last weekend. I know Bucky looks so old and tired, but we will forever cherish these precious images from Our Little Ranch Photography.
Dogs teach us to love unconditionally. They don’t expect anything in return for the affection they give us. They forgive any mistakes at once and continue to show love. They are loyal, never hold a grudge and material things are not of importance to them. As humans, we have so much to learn from dogs. I’m just thankful to get to know Bucky, to love him and to become his Mom! We will love him FOREVER no matter how long we get to be together here on Earth!!!
If you’re feeling kind, I would love to ask that you life up a prayer for our sweet old man Bucky.