College of Veterinary Medicine
Pet Memorial Program

Buster

A donation was made in memory of Buster by Pritamo Kentala on Jun 12, 2017.

My sweet, naughty, energetic, annoying, joyful, persistent, affectionate, much loved, Yorkie Buster has been silenced by cancer at only eight years old. This memorial story about my life with Buster is dedicated to raising funds for WSU College of Veterinary Medicine for the purchase of a new (advanced, high-field), MRI so that future patients can continue to receive exceptional, life-saving care at their facility. In a five year span, thousands of animals from western Canada, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, and several other states have received MRI scans … including my dogs Buster and Shimmy (also a radiation cancer patient at WSU in 2008). The current machine is close to twenty years old and the fund raising drive is only just at the half way point. Every little donation will help to reach the goal and make a difference for the many horses, dogs, cats, cows, birds, etc., who receive treatment at WSU. Buster came to me when he was 11 months old from a family who couldn’t handle him anymore. About two hours after I brought this incredibly cute, demanding, uncooperative little beast home, I thought to myself, “What have I done???” Oh my, I could not have guessed just how much he would teach me about dog training, patience and the art of getting him to embrace my ideas about house rules as if they were his own. He challenged me every step of the way, but after so many years, he actually had the best recall of any of my dogs and blossomed into an excellent demo dog for my agility foundation training classes. Because Buster was so challenging and stubborn, I decided to sign up for the first K9 Nose Work® presentation offered in the Pacific Northwest. The flier mentioned “builds teamwork and focus…..” and I wasn’t going to miss out on that opportunity so I signed up right away! I was so impressed by his reaction and interest in searching that I asked during the lunch break about how I could learn to teach this to others… and a new career was born. I had been totally immersed in the agility world for close to twenty years and now my interests started to shift to this new activity that was transforming my dog into one who could focus himself and work even when the neighbor dog was barking incessantly behind the nearby fence. Buster is the reason I became a Certified K9 Nose Work Instructor and his inspiration has made it possible for me to help many other dogs to achieve the ability to settle and focus on a task even when out and about in the big wide world. In February, 2016 Buster suddenly became seriously ill and was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. I took him to Washington State University Vet Hospital in Pullman where he stayed for four weeks of radiation treatments. I will always be grateful to the staff that cared for him and managed his treatment plan. Buster came home and lived happily and symptom free for a little over a year. About a month or so before he died, he became unable to search and detect target odors and I knew something was up. Although he showed no “neurological signs,” it was clear he has lost some spark when he stopped rough-housing with his pal Crush or bugging me to do his bidding right now - ! On May 28th, 2017 he was showing some discomfort and as I was preparing to take him to the emergency vet, he had a very bad seizure. I got him to the hospital as soon as possible and almost immediately after we arrived, he went downhill very rapidly and we let him go without delay. It was sudden and shocking to have him become so ill so fast. I was very grateful to the vet who administered the final treatment that allowed him to relax and die peacefully in my arms. All of us pet lovers know this pain.. it is raw and nauseating and just when you think it’s lessening, it pops up again when counting the food bowls to collect and put in the sink… or out on a walk when the one who was the “lead” dog… is no longer physically present, or when there is no barking at a predictable time or situation and everything seems way too quiet. Those who met Buster know – he was a very cute dog with lots of spirit and attitude. (His “official” name was FunQuest’s Mr. Big Stuff ) Please help me to let that spirit live on by supporting WSU in providing the best care possible to their patients and contributing to this very important fund raising mission.