Ryan and I decided very early into parenthood that Santa didn’t bring firearms or live animals.
(Firearms were added to the list when we moved to Alabama…Dixie Santa gifted weaponry in our neighborhood. Let that marinate for a minute).
But when my children were hurting. Really hurting. The kind of hurt I couldn’t take away, I gifted live animals. Rules be damned.
Aubbi, our fat, beer and wine loving, hide and seek playing, Alpha arrived for Cooper just days after we broke his heart for the first time. For a kid that hated and feared change, the move from Alabama was devastating. But. Alabama wasn’t the place for us as a family, and Ryan’s career was moving on, and I knew we had to leave. I just could not make his pain leave. So we acquired Aubbi – our domineering Calico.
And so began my collection of souls.
A few months into a new life, in a new state, Woody came to help me heal after my first love, Petey, died. My loneliness at that point was terrifying, and I could not have lived that chapter without Woody.
13 year old Cooper split his elbow in two. It was a beautiful throw from center field home. Ironically, he was in center field to heal his arm from too many innings behind home plate…his heart broke with his elbow.
72 hours later, Buster Posey Brenning joined the team.
At 15, I knew something was terribly wrong with Mackenzi. It took 4 years, 4 million tears, 4 million dollars (almost) to figure it out…
In enters Scarlet, stage left. Still the most difficult period of my life…those years are hard for me to write about, talk about or think about…but Scarlet buoyed us and kept us afloat with her unique brand of “Scarletness”.
I will never forget the day I signed for Griffin. Cooper was a sophomore in college, playing division 1 baseball, dating a beautiful girl, living with his teammates in Nashville. He should have been ok. He wasn’t.
So I did the only thing I knew to do, I rescued a dog who rescued my child.
Last night, at 2:00 in the morning, on the floor of the Ohio State Veterinary ER, we said goodbye to Buster. The third to leave. Woody, then Aubbi, then Buster…their jobs complete. Not to be outdone by his predecessors, who both died in their own spectacular fashion, Buster died brilliantly and with his own flair.
My gratitude is immense. My pain is palpable. And I am the first to admit that I simply could not have parented without my team.
Thank you, Buster. For everything. Give my love to Woody and Aub.
May you rest in peace and spread your world famous farts to all of pet heaven.