Welcome to Buster Elmer's Rainbow Bridge Memorial Residency
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Memories of Buster Elmer
We already had 2 cocker spaniels (Wilbur and Beulah) and all was good when my husband pestered me for 9 months to rescue a dog. He sent me pictures of cocker spaniels everyday from Petfinder until I finally said okay after seeing Buster's picture and description. Buster was taken to a kennel for Christmas 2004 and his owner never picked him up. He was transferred to a shelter for 3 1/2 months until we drove a few hours down to Maryland to pick him up from Cocker Spaniel Adoption Center. We spent the day with him at the Inner Harbor where we found that he was the friendliest little guy.

The first week was a little challenging with all the pups getting to know each other but we settled in perfectly. About 2 weeks later we even picked up another little guy, Cody Hershel, from Abandoned Angels in Flushing, NY. Everyone got along and everything was perfect. We found Buster to be amazingly affectionate and would kiss for hours, cuddle on the sofa by wrapping his paws around my leg and resting his head on me. He slept the same way in bed every night, too! Our bed was his favorite place and he would sleep for as long as we did and would only give us a morning kiss once our eyes were opened. Maybe being in the shelter has resulted in his need to touch and be close to us and his sister and brothers.

Another thing we noticed is that he actually watched TV. He would bark at dogs, cats and even some cartoons. He really made us laugh. He was Mr. Personality and loved everybody and everybody loved him. Life was perfect with lots of relatives and friends that showered love and affection on all of the pups. They were all the center of our lives and we couldn't do enough for them. Having a home office, I was lucky enough to have them by my side all day and night. In the business world, kisses might result in a harassment lawsuit. In my world, kisses from puppies were constant and a company benefit!

Thanksgiving was especially fun and this past Thanksgiving I even cooked all the pups a special turkey ball and pumpkin pie dinner from recipes on Dogster.

In September 2010, Buster was diagnosed with an oral melanoma and the prognosis wasn't good. It was in the back of his mouth and very large. We went right up to Red Bank Veterinary in Tintin Falls, NJ (Beulah had a mast cell tumor 3 years earlier and has been cancer free after surgery and treatment). At the time, Buster's melanoma was too big for surgery so we did radiation and a new oral melanoma vaccine. After a few months of treatment we found that the tumor shrunk 80% and we could have surgery to remove it. It worked out beautifully with a small reoccurance with another surgery. 8 months have passed, with monthly check ups at Red Bank, and on December 2, 2011 we went back and everything was really good...no reocurrance only some scar tissue from the radiation that may have to be addressed. (side note: Wilbur has also been fighting renal cancer and was up at Red Bank, too). Well, a week ago Buster was getting a little sluggish and I took him to our local vet. We thought his eye looked a little odd but thought it may be from the scar tissue. On Monday he didn't eat so I took him back and we thought it might be best to take him back up to Red Bank. Our oncologist immediately said that there was a reoccurance. My poor little guy was in pain and sleeping all day. The last thing I would ever want is for my precious little boy to be in pain and to have to undergo any further treatments that will buy us very little time. We took him to the vet late yesterday (December 27, 2011) and he went to sleep very peacefully in my arms. He will becoming back to us in a week and will be with us here forever.

Rest in Peace my precious little "Bustamonte". You will be in our hearts forever and are loved more than you will ever know.

Buster Elmer Kohler - March 13, 2001 - December 27, 2011

Love you always,

Mommy and Daddy

January 3, 2012

First day back at work and I'm missing you "demanding" your head rubs. It was always one handed typing with you by my side. I'm still looking for the remote when I see a dog on TV so I can change the channel quickly before you start having a conversation with the "new intruder". I talk about you a lot and when I mentioned your name to Wilbur he started looking for you and I can sense that he was missing you and wanted you around to spoon with him. Please look down on us and I know you miss your siblings but take care of Wilbur and his horrible disease. We were not ready for you to travel up to the Rainbow Bridge and we are not ready for him or any of your brothers or sisters to join you just yet. You are with us every second of the day.

Love you forever,

January, 5, 2012

Late yesterday I picked you up from the vet's office so you are back here with us again. So, maybe a bit of your presence is here and up at the Rainbow Bridge. It is comforting to know that you are close by and will be with us forever.

Love, love, love you always,

January 9, 2012

My Sweet Bustamonte,

I'm really missing you, your cuddles, your kisses and everybody here is missing you, too! We received lots of sympathy cards, calls, emails and web postings so, obviously, you meant so much to everyone that you met. I stopped at the vets office last week to pick up food for your sister and brothers and the staff was still crying over you. I doubt that I would get the same level of emotion;) I wish you were here and the last few weeks were just a really bad nightmare.

Love you forever!

January 13, 2012

Good Morning my sweet, sweet Buster Elmer,

Thinking about you every minute of every day. Your sister and brothers are ramping up their level of affection since you raised the bar so high. That's much appreciated! This morning I take Wilbur back up to Red Bank for his follow up. Will you please put in a good word and think positive thoughts on a some good news for your brother....please! I know you both miss each other terribly but, you probably realize that we are not ready for him to come up and join you, yet. I also know that you have so many new friends that will keep you company until we all are together again.

Thank you my sweety boy and I'm missing you more and more each day.

Love always,



January 19, 2012

Hi My Sweetie Pie Bustamonte,

Wishing you were here beside me, cuddling on the sofa like we always did. You were the best cuddler but it looks like your sister and brothers are trying to pick up the slack but they do have their time limits. Unlike you since you were velcroed to me and the sofa! I think Wilby really misses you and has been staring at your portrait. I wonder if he is really looking at it or is it my imagination? We all miss you so much and hope that you are in a fun, safe place with lots of friends to play with, too! Please give kisses to Friskie, Betsy, Pete, Tony, Spot and Phidoe for us. Also, send pawsitive thoughts to your Grandmom and Grandpop who have had some health issues recently.

Love you always,


Sent from my iPad


February 5, 2012

Hi my little sweetheart,

I can't believe it's been 5 weeks since I held you. I can still feel your fur and your amazing constant kisses and hugs. Before I left on my trip to Singapore I asked you to send positive thoughts on my presentation and it went very well. Thank you my sweetie! I'm stuck at the airport now since my flight was cancelled due to the snow in Europe and it will now take me 49.5 hours to get back to New Jersey! I'm going to miss not seeing you and the wonderful greetings I would always get from you after a long trip. By the way, i've been in Singapore for the last week and only saw 2 dogs! What's up with that? While I was away I got the news that Beulah has Cushings. Dr. Delorenzo called my cell phone and she was quite surprised that she was calling Singapore and not New Jersey! Anyway, I'm not happy about that news, but it's not cancer so we will deal with it and I will take her up to Red Bank for a full evaluation. Cody has a staf infection in his left ear and your favorite little buddy, Wilbur, I pray is doing well. daddy has been very busy holding down the fort while I was away. That's all for now. Lots of hugs and kisses and I hope you have tons of friends up there and are eating lots of chocolate, too!



February 20, 2012

Hi my little precious boy,

Well, I knew it was only a matter of time. Your father started to send me pictures of puppies from Petfinder while I was in Singapore. I said "absolutely not". We are not ready and I have my hands full with your sister and brothers and their health needs. It seems that "daddy" had a process and I said that the only way I would consider another puppy is if he was a little guy who looked just like you! Wouldn't you know it, he found a 3 month old sable cocker spaniel all the way in Ohio. This little guy was from a puppy mill and all of his litermates were sold to dog stores and he was left behind. It's kinda like your story where your former "owner" abandoned you and you found yourself in a shelter until we came to rescue you. It was one of the best days of my life and I hope yours!!! We took the 9 hour drive to pick him up and he does look like a "Mini-Bus". He even kisses and snuggles like you, too. Wilbur, Beulah and Cody were a bit shocked and they must have thought that we shrunk you. He's so friendly so all seems to be going well and Beulah and Wilbur have already put him in his place. Little "Elmer Gus" named after you is not a replacement but I needed to have him because I miss you so much and this is a tribute to one of the best doggies that ever lived! Please send positive thoughts and that he will be housebroken soon ;)

Love, love love, love you forever!

March 13, 2012
My Sweet, Sweet Buster Elmer on your 11th Birthday!!!!

You would have been only 11 today and that is way too young for you not to be here celebrating with us. I only hope that you are up at the Rainbow Bridge having chocolate cake and all the goodies you weren't able to eat down here. We are all still missing you more than you could ever realize and I still imagine you laying on my legs every night in bed and waking me up with kisses every morning. Everytime I mention your name to Grandmom Rose she cries and, of course, misses you like crazy. Your father looked at your last video and the tribute I wrote on your Rainbow Bridge site and he spent time crying at his office this week and today was my day for the tears, like most days since you've been gone. We were so lucky to have you as our little guy and appreciated every second that we shared together. You will be in our hearts forever and our new little guy, Elmer Gus, looks just like you and if he is 1/4 as sweet as you then he will be an amazing boy. Also, please think positive thoughts for you favorite brother, Wilbur Bud, since we go back up to Red Bank tomorrow for his check up with Dr. Clifford. Beulah and Cody are also missing you very much, too! Please give kisses to Buddy Girl, who just came up to the Rainbow Bridge 2 weeks ago.

We will always love you!!!

March 19, 2012
Hi My Sweetie Bustamonte,

I was thinking about you tonight, as I do every night, but today was a little different. I am in Baltimore for a conference and I had an event at the aquarium and I saw the spot where I took you right after we picked you up at the shelter. This seemed to be a triggerr for me tonight. That day seemed like yesterday and I remember everything from us taking the drive down, where we stopped for breakfast (Cracker Barrel), waiting outside for you to come out to greet us, how excited you were (we were, too!), our trip to the inner harbor and how friendly you were to everybody. People were coming up and you were so gentle. I am missing you so much. I hope you are looking down on us and realize how special are and always will be. Please keep us in your thoughts and put in a good word for Wilbur's health, also Beulah's continued health, same for Cody and the little "mini-Bus" Elmer Gus. Hopefully, he will stop his teething soon. He is such a sweet little guy and I hope he turns out just like you.

Love you and miss you more than you can imagine,

June 4, 2012
Hi My Little Man, Bustamonte!

Sorry I haven't written in a while. You are in my heart everyday and daddy gave me a necklace with your picture engraved on it for my birthday. It's an urn and we put some of your fur inside so you are with me all the time. Wilbur, Beulah and Cody are doing well and Elmer is trying very hard to be a good boy. He's so cute and he kisses just like you. We introduced him to Garndner's Basin and Back Bay Ale House Saturday night and he enjoyed it like you always did. Your Grandmom Rose and Grandpop Lenny haven't been feeling well lately. Please send your pawsitive thoughts that they feel better.

I hope you are playing, eating lots of treats, having fun with Betsy, Friskie, Pete, Buddy, Spot, Phydeaux and all of your new friends. By the way....Mr. Biggles is a girl!!!

Love you and miss you every second of every day.

October 7, 2012

Hi My Little Bustamonte,

I still miss you everyday! I went out to get the gigantic pumpkin today and the sales girl commented on your necklace. So, a little piece of you went on the pumpkin search with me today. I hope that you are running, jumping, playing , eating and having lots of fun. Everything has been going fine but today Wilbur has been throwing up. He was fine before I left and I'm so worried. Please, please send some positive energy here so that he will be okay and that maybe it's just a minor little thing. I couldn't bear anything happening to him now. Also, please send positive thoughts to little Elmer Gus. He's been quite a handful and I hope he settles down. Anyway, I'm sure that your brothers and sisters miss you like crazy, too!

Love, love, love and miss you!

Hello My Little Bustamonte Sweetie,

I can't believe it was a year today that you went to the Rainbow Bridge. I feel your presence everywhere. I hope you are playing with lots of friends, eating all the chocolate that you want and as happy as can be. We all miss you like crazy and as I'm typing this, your little namesake, Elmer Gus, is laying by my side just like yo always did. To give you an update on everybody, Wilbur is doing great and saw Dr. Clifford last week. I think Beulah is a little under the weather today and I will call the doctor in a few minutes. Maybe it's just a little cold but I'll check it out. Also, we're batting four for four. Cody Hershel was first diagnosed with glaucoma and has lost most of his site but , on the heels of that, we found out the he has pancreatic cancer. Maybe you can help answer this question as to how you and all of your sibling have had cancer. It's not fair! He is seeing Dr. Clifford, too! But seems to be doing really well. Lastly, your namesake is still a bundle of energy but still a good boy. Please send lots of prayers that everybody down here is healthy and that your Grandpop Lenny gets better. He's has some health issues and we're praying that he turns things around and feels much better.

We love, love, love you forever!,

Mommy , Daddy, Wilby, Beulie, Cody-Cody-Cody, Elmie, Biggie and Ophie
March 13, 2013

Hi My Sweetie Bustamonte,

Wow, today is your birthday and you would have turned 12. I so wish you were snuggling with me so I could give you birthday kisses and hugs. I hope you are feeling my love and affection up there at the Rainbow Bridge and that you are eating lots of chocolate cake and also celebrating with all of your friends and family. Please give kisses to Betsy, Friskie, Pete and Buddy. Also, say a little prayer so that Beulie gets better and that Wilbur continues to improve ,Cody stays stable for a long time and Lil Elmie behaves himself! I hope your Aunt Ellen found her way up there and is spending time with Tiger. Tell her Uncle Steve and Jonathan miss and love her more than she could ever imagine.

I still miss you every second of every day and will love you forever!!!!

Love you always,

Mommy , Daddy, Wilby, Beulie, Cody-Cody-Cody, Elmie, Biggie and
August 31, 2013

My Sweet Bustamonte,

Hi Baby. I hope you are still having a good time at the Rainbow Bridge.. You probably know by now that your favorite brother, Wilby, is looking for you. Maybe you were there waiting for him. I hope so. I'm sure by now you know all the best places and fun things to do until we come up to meet you.. We miss you so much and are in shock about Wilby. Please give him kisses and let him know how devastated we are. We miss you terribly and I also hope you give Grandpop Lenny a big kiss from all of us, too!

Love you always,

December 27, 2013

To My Sweetheart Bus,

I can't believe it's 2 years ago today that you took the trip to the Rainbow Bridge :( we all miss you every second of every day. I can still feel your kisses, too! Your daddy still tears up when he thinks of you and has said that you were the best......just to let you know, little Elmer Gus (your namesake) has turned out to be such a good boy and we now have Louie Wilco who is the vildachaya! Let's hope that Elmie wins the dominance war. I hope you, Wilbur, Cody, Betsy and Friskie are all together and having the best time while you are waiting for us. We will love you forever!!!




December 27, 2014

To my sweet Bustmonte,

It's been 3 years since you went to the Rinbow Bridge and a day doesn't go by where we don't talk or think about you. Your daddy stills says that you were the "World's Greatest Dog" but being a mom of many, I will say that you and your brothers and sisters are the "World's Greatest Dogs". You are still so deeply missed and we will always feel that way. I hope you, Wilbur Bud, Cody Hershel, Betsy Belly and Friskie are having the best time and waiting patiently to see us again someday. Please sy some prayers so that Beulah Belle remains in good health and that her Cushings is still stable AND there are NO NO NO signs of cancer in that lump.....please, please please! We will love you forever and ever.
Ps. Hugs and kIsses from Beulie, Elmie (who is taking after you in the sweetness department and Louie, Louie, Louie!)

Love always,

Mommy (daddy and I are in Moscow right now!) also, prayers that daddy's leg feels better and we have a safe trip. xoxoxoxo.


December 27, 2015

My precious little angel, Buster Elmer "Bustamonte",

Even though it's been 4 years since we've snuggled, I feel you are with me everyday. It's miraculous that your namesake, Elmer Gus, who reminded us so much of you when we rescued him almost 4 years ago, is so much like like. You would be so proud of him. He went through his puppy years and was quite the vildachaya, but has turned into an amazing, gentle affectionate, kind and handsome boy just like you. Maybe your spirit is here and influencing him. Also, your favorite sister Beulah still reigns supreme and I know you are watching over her so that she remains healthy and happy. Louie Wilco is still a big mouth so send some calming vibes down to him. Also, we now have little Rupert. He's a good boy, but is giving Louie a run for his money. I can't wait for them to settle down and be best friends.

I miss you and think of you all the time. Please send our love to Wilbur, Cody, Betsy, Friskie, Pete, Buddy, Grandpops Lenny and Donny, Grandmom Beverly.

Love you forever,


My Precious Bustamante,

On this anniversary of your journey to the Rainbow Bridge, not a day goes by when you aren't in my thoughts. You'll live forever in my heart and missed every day. Please send positive thoughts to your sister Beulah Belle. She's 14 now and still as feisty as ever, but a bit slower. Your namesake, Elmer Gus, takes after you and is the peacemaker (so he also has a bit of Wilbur and Cody in him, too!). Please send prayers that his back doesn't act up. Louie Wilco is still a character, but is like you as his favoyplace is our bed and he's velcroed to it like you. Then there is the baby, Rupert. He's such a cutie and a good boy like you. Please send kisses to Wilby, Cody, Betsy, Friskie, Pete, Buddy, Grandmom Bev, Grandpops Lenny and Sonny.

Love you forever!

My beloved Buster Elmer,

Even though it's been 8 years since your journey to the Rainbow Bridge, you are in my thoughts every day. You would be very proud of Elmer Gus as he has turned out just like you. He's lovable, protective and grateful. You would also love Louie, Rupert and especially May Belle. May Belle passed her therapy certification test and has been visiting nursing home and hospice patients weekly. You would have been a great therapy pup, too! I hope you are with Wilbur, Cody, Beulah, Pete, Buddy and Friskie. I miss all of you so much💔💔💔💔💔💔💔

Love you always,



To my sweet Buster Elmer,

Even though 11 years have passed, you are still in my heart and thoughts everyday. My grateful and precious boy💙. Your namesake, Elmer Gus is right by my side and he is the embodiment of you. He looks like you and acts like you, except for the tv watching😁. Please look out for all your brothers, sisters and grandparents at the Rainbow Bridge and say a little prayer that we all remain well here until we are all reunited one day.

Love you forever 💙💙💙💙🐾🐾🐾🐾


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