In Memory of Buddy Arnold
It's hard to write about the love we have for our dogs. That love is felt so personally, so individually, that you know, no matter how hard you try and how you struggle to find the right words, folks just aren't going to understand completely.
Now try to write a tribute about the love someone else has for his own dog. Can it be done? How can we possibly write a tribute to a dog that wasn't ours - a dog we never even met? But we must try... because the dog we are talking about is a very special dog who lives on in the heart and soul of a very special friend of LABMED.
Buddy Arnold, a beautiful chocolate Lab, was 11 years old when he died of complications from malignant fibrosarcoma. This new cancer followed malignant oral melanoma which was treated successfully by 4 surgeries in March 2001.
LABMED and the Labrador-L e-mail list first heard of Buddy in April of 1998, when he was 7 years old. He had had cruciate ligament surgery, which went well, but he developed aspiration pneumonia and was fighting for his life. He did recover, after 7 intense days. It was less than three years later when we heard about the oral cancer, and just a few short months after that diagnosis that we got the news he was gone.
His family, Jack and Anne Arnold, showed their love and devotion to their Buddy in numerous ways. We don't have to spell them out - some of us would also sleep on the floor if our dog couldn't climb the stairs to the bedroom. We would take our recuperating dog to work with us so he wouldn't have to be home all day by himself. We would spend any amount we could if it would just help our dog to get well or if we could relieve some of his suffering. But the time comes when no matter what we've done, and how hard we've tried, we have to say goodbye. Jack and Anne said goodbye to their best friend Buddy on November 23, 2001, nine days after his 11th birthday.
Just as different folks feel love differently, so do different folks deal with grief in different ways. We said Jack Arnold was a very special friend of LABMED - that he is, and has been since August 15, 1996, when the Labrador-L e-mail list first heard about the Sad Little Man who was to become Buddy Whaley, LABMED's ambassador. Jack Arnold was the first person to e-mail Buddy's rescuers with a very significant message: "Don't let them put this dog down due to lack of funds. Here is my donation." More money from other kind-hearted people poured in, of course, and LABMED was born. But Jack was the first.
So it isn't too hard to understand why, in his grief, Jack has made a commitment to LABMED in memory of his Buddy: a quarterly donation to LABMED, to be spent on giving rescued Labs a second chance at a happy, healthy life.
LABMED is grateful for this most generous donation, and has voted to fund the very first dog each month with money from the Buddy Arnold Memorial Fund. This "first dog" will come to symbolize the fact that Jack was the "first donor" to the fund for the Sad Little Man. Very fitting, we think you will agree.
Thank you, Jack, for your generous spirit and your devotion to our cause. And for your love for your Buddy. We know it was repaid, time and time again. We hope that time eases your hurt - and never erases your good memories.
Fitch's Buddy of Cottontown
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Last Updated: Fall 2015