Bon Voyage Badger

Below is a post I began writing in November, but I didn’t get around to finishing. Shame on me for not closing this blog out sooner. In part I liked keeping it going in the internetsphere, on the other I just didn’t have it in me to officially close out his chapter. We’ve been blessed with an assortment of amazing animals in our lives, but he was most certainly our unexpected favorite. He was tough (and a complete puss at the same time), smart (lol and incredibly stupid), and full of unconditional, unwavering love for his family. If there is such a thing as meeting your loved ones in the afterlife, I hope it includes our pets. Badger will definitely be the one front and center, holding us a beer and asking us what took so long.

We’ve been putting off this post for almost two months now, but it’s time for us to post that Badger has moved on to his next phase. We wanted to say his good bye after we sprinkled some of his ashes in the Ardennes among the hiking trails he loved so much, but, sadly, he hasn’t been able to walk them in over a year. He sure did love sniffing the fresh air from the car or deck of whatever cabin we were renting. Life, being what it is, has been busy, so we haven’t yet had the chance to bring him to the Ardennes one last time. That’s okay, we’ll do it in the spring, which was, most definitely, his favorite season.

Badger died at peace (and, finally, pain free) in My Louis’s arms. You can read her account of it here.

His legs betrayed him long before his heart or spirit could, and he was so very loved by so many. He is greatly missed.

For those of you who’ve not had the pleasure of knowing Badger all of his life, he came into our lives as an aggressive little fur ball who never once whined at night because he didn’t miss wherever he came from (poor thing must have been taken from his mother early on). We don’t know his origins, but we do know that a lady who ran a Rottweiler rescue home, took care of him until we adopted him. He was only around 8 to 12 weeks old and mean as hell. LOL he had to be surrounded by all those big dogs and no mama nearby.

The lady thought he was a German Shepherd/Golden Retriever mix, so we assumed he’d grow to be bigger than our Akita/Samoyed Meiko. Turns out he was more Chow Chow, Beagle and Spitz than big-dog breeds. We discovered the beagle in him him when he was around a year old and let out his first bugle. I don’t know who was more surprised by this — him or us, but once he learned he had it in him, he used it only on the rare occasion when he wanted us to know that he was disappointed in us.

We named him Badger because, at first, he was nothing but teeth and fur. You’d see this cute puppy curled up on the couch, and as soon as you’d go to pet him, he’d come at you like a pissed-off Badger. It’s all good, we tamed him with all the hugs and love we could give. Meiko also took over and taught him to be as an amazing a dog as she was. He was devastated when she passed (also at the age of 15). Little did he, or us for that matter, know at the time that his life would change entirely by our big move to Belgium, where he thrived as the little old man loved and spoiled by everyone.

We honestly believe he’s lived as long as he has because of Belgium. The cobblestone streets, parks, and puppy-friendly pubs and restaurants were his everything (well except for us and snacks). He also made great dog friends, two of whom passed before him.

It has been an honor to share some of his adventures with all of you. Bon Voyage to our little buddy. We know he’s chasing lots of tail in the great meadows beyond (and maybe finally catching some).

Thanks for enjoying his posts and best of luck to all of you,

Joe and Bettina (aka My Louis).

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