Rhonda cuddling Buri while he noms her ear.
This 4th of July was a very sad day for Rhonda and me, and for anyone who knew Buri, Rhonda's irresistibly lovable English Bulldog. If you don't want to get sentimental, don't read the rest of this post.
Buri started out the morning at my apartment on Nahant, enjoying lots of petting and attention from his mumma and me, per his customary routine. Then I took him down to Nahant's "dog beach" where we waded and played fetch in the water to stay cool.
Buri didn't want to leave, but I was getting sunburned, so I took him back to the house for a fresh water bath and shampoo. After that he was content to lounge around the house and charm guests arriving for our beach day and BBQ. We kept him inside in the afternoon, but let him out on the porch again in the evening while we were grilling. He seemed to be fine temperature-wise, but when fireworks started going off in the neighborhood he got riled up with barking, panting and pulling on the leash.
Tragically, we were slow to realize that Buri's agitation could bring on heatstroke- even in the temperatures he had been OK in before the fireworks. If we had realized the imminent danger we would have cooled him down in a drastic way, like dunking him in the ocean or a cold shower, but instead we figured he would chill out sufficiently in the air conditioning of Rhonda's car when she drove him home. The little trooper hopped right up in the backseat like usual, but when he fell asleep on the drive he wasn't able to wake up. Rhonda rushed her baby to the closest emergency veterinarian but, heartbreakingly, it was too late. He had died of heatstroke. I met Rhonda and her mother at the vet in the middle of the night and joined them in bawling my eyes out while petting and hugging poor peaceful Buri one last time.
I'm not real religious or anything, but I have to believe that Buri's loving spirit endures, perhaps waiting and watching with other loved ones from a place of timeless transcendence.
Rhonda and I are still having a tough time getting through feelings of heartache, regret, and plain old missin' the Buri, but we take comfort in each other, and we have been moved by some nice things that friends and family have said or shared with us since Buri's passing. I'll end this post with two of those.