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All Dogs Go to Heaven

Buddy, the American Pit Bull Terrier

Photography by @sicc_s2

Hi, I'm Violet. I'm 18-years-old. It's been three years since my American Pit Bull Terrier, Buddy passed away. I was only three-years-old when we got him.  He was brought to us by my cousin. She used to live in an apartment and Buddy was owned by a family who abused him. My cousin was going to move out when she decided to take him away. Unfortunately, she wasn't allowed to have pets at her new home so she immediately looked for someone to keep him. Nobody wanted him. Maybe it was because he was a big dog or maybe a reason as dumb as because of the breed he was. Whatever the reason, I'm honestly unaware. My cousin then asked my mom if we could keep him but we lived in an apartment that also accepted no pets so my mom said no. My mom then realized it was getting harder for my cousin to find him a home and we have always been a family that hates seeing animals at shelters. My mom decided to take him in. She says it was really hard having to hide him from the landlord but we were committed to giving him the loving home he deserved. I'm always told stories about how I used to mess with his floppy ears and lie on him, and all he'd do is simply lay there dealing with it. There's not much more I can say since I was basically a baby at the time but what I can say is, I absolutely loved him from the start. A lot of people were afraid of him just because he was a pit bull. 

When I turned 11, we moved into a house an hour away. I remember Buddy was having a panic attack the entire drive to our new home. He hated car rides. Every holiday that involved fireworks, he'd also get panic attacks. He hated them with a passion. He'd hide and throw up from all his anxiety. We believe this had to do with the abuse he went through as a puppy. I was told stories of his past owner lighting firecrackers on his skin. I remember every time he wanted attention, he'd push his snout against the sliding door so we'd see his teeth. He was so random. He was also very protective. If we were in trouble he'd immediately become aggressive. If he saw us with somebody he didn't get a good vibe from, he'd push them until they moved away. I guess you could say he sensed something wrong. Some quick advice, always trust your dog's instinct on people. There's a 50 percent chance they are correct. At the age of 14, I had severe depression. I would go outside and he'd try his hardest to please me. He'd run in circles, push me, and push his head right below my hand so I'd pet him. He defended the other animals we had. We used to have a rabbit, his name was Carrot. He was never in a cage. He ran freely in our backyard with Buddy. I see so many people judging dogs just because of their breed, but I'll tell you this, the behavior of the dog depends on the owner. 

When I was about to be 16, Buddy got extremely sick. His stomach got extremely round and hard. He gave up on his playful character. We noticed all he was doing was sleeping and he'd cry all the time. We took him to the vet and the news we were told broke our hearts.  He had tumors in his chest and liquid in his liver. They told us he was too old for surgery. He wouldn't survive to get all those tumors removed. The vet suggested removing the liquid by draining him and he should be better. We agreed. After the process, we brought him home. The difference is, we didn't allow him to sleep outside anymore. He was mad at us for a while because he was always an outdoor dog, but he got used to it. We fed him chicken soup so he wouldn't have to chew on solid food. He loved chicken soup. He knew his exact hours of eating. As soon as it was breakfast or dinner time, he'd get up and stare at us until we fed him. We drained him three times. 

The final time we drained him, we noticed he was in much more pain than the first time. He barked and cried the entire draining process. I couldn't stand seeing him in all that pain. We brought him home, but he didn't walk anymore. We had to hold him up so he could do his business then take him back to bed. He became upset. You could see it in his eyes. He was no longer that happy, motivated dog he was his entire life. He eventually refused to eat. We were all so upset. We saw online that someone was trying to get rid of puppies. They stated if they didn't find them a home, they'd leave them on the streets. We decided to bring them home. They were three dogs, so both my brothers got one and I got one. When arriving home, my new puppy Andy, ran to Buddy. They created a strong connection in such a short time. We had to drain him again but we hated seeing him suffer... We decided it was time to say goodbye. We took him to a different vet to euthanize him. The drive there was the first time we had ever seen him happy again. He knew he'd be at peace... 

My mom was eating an apple. He loved apples but when he got sick he refused to eat them. When he smelled the apple he started wagging his tail so we gave it to him. He actually started eating it. We could tell it was painful for him though. He didn't finish it, but he had a taste of his favorite fruit before saying goodbye. When we finally arrived at the vet, the veterinarian decided to recheck him to see his problems. We discovered he not only had tumors and liquid in his liver, but he had cancer. We had Andy there and when it was time to put him down, he wanted to be where Buddy was. We put him on the table and they just stared at each other as if they were having a conversation. He eventually fell into an eternal deep sleep. I cried as I had never cried before. Andy just lie down next to him and licked him. It was the saddest moment of my life, but at least he was no longer in pain. Buddy was a happy, energetic, loving dog. He was not only a pet to us, but he was family. He was our protector and the one who taught me to appreciate every moment in life. He may have started with a bad life, but he ended it with a good one. He died happy, peaceful, and loved. It's been 3 years since he passed away. As the years go by, he will remain in our hearts and he will remain on a special side of our memories.

We love you Buddy. We always will.
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