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All Busted Up

A couple months after my faithful companion of 15 years passed away, a very broken and busted stray showed up at a friend's salvage yard on the outskirts of town. He was hiding under a junk car, injured and unapproachable. I brought food and water daily and it would be gone the next morning. But he would only growl and try to back away if I got close. I could see that he had bees all over his face and cuts and scratches across his chest and front legs. After about 10 days, we had a severe storm with massive thunder and lightning all night. When I returned the next day, he was gone from his shelter spot. After a while, I spotted him. He was making his way slowly alongside an old building, badly hobbled. Every time I would look toward him, he would turn away and move in the opposite direction. When I looked away, he would start to get closer. This went on for a couple hours. I kept finding things to do while keeping a stealth eye on him. Eventually, I sat down on a bench and did not look in his direction, although I could see him slowly approaching out of the corner of my eye. I continued looking away, turning my head completely away from him. Then I felt something heavy on my knee. I looked down and he was resting his head on my knee, looking up at me. He was ready to come along. The plan was to find him help. I had just lost my dog of 15 years and was not ready for another. But I was met with dead ends. He was just too damaged. Too broken. Too difficult to find someone to take him. He would have to be put down, is what I was told. That is when I decided to adopt him myself and took him to our vet. After major surgery and lots of physical therapy, he was running faster than any other dog at the park and jumping and playing Frisbee with amazing accuracy. He had to have his hip joint removed, but that never slowed him down. That was nine years ago. Two years ago, he developed cancer and a malignant lump that grew quickly. It looked like a rough road ahead. Thanks to his vet, Dr. Maryann Johansen, and her dedicated staff, he beat cancer and has been cancer-free since! Back when I first dropped him off to undergo his initial surgeries, I got home and turned on the television. Buster Posey was being interviewed about his recent injury on ESPN. "Buster", I thought. Very appropriate. After all, he was all busted up. I named him Buster. He has spent every day of the last nine years proving to be the best, smartest, most athletic and most well-behaved K9 companion I could ever ask for.

Tory Christopher
UNIVERSAL CITY, TX