Tag Archive: dog


buddy-at-tvWhen a dog or dogs bark on TV – or there are any animal sounds at all – Buddy heads to the television. Our son, Conner, rescued Buddy from his former “owner” who had him chained  on a short chain in the backyard. His food and water bowls had ants crawling all over them. Conner told them he was taking the puppy and brought him home.

Buddy was so thin you could see his bones through his skin. We held him and petted him and kept food and water available. Our older dog, Misty’s, mother instincts kicked in. Buddy grew quickly. As I said in an earlier post, he would run up the stairs and all around the house – just because he could.

Buddy still runs through the house when he comes in from the backyard. Partly to see who is in the house misty-and-buddyand partly – again, still – because he can. He still gets this look on his face that says, “this house is freaking cool!” Having Misty to play with is a bonus. At times it seems like he remembers before Conner brought him home. If we do a certain thing – we haven’t quite figured out what it is – he’ll snap at us. Not to hurt us, more as an automatic response.

Buddy does, however, have some odd habits. He will bark at his reflection, thinking it is another dog. Whether it is in the dryer door, the glass of the back door, or the television when it is off. But, as I said earlier, if he hears animal noises – dogs in particular – he runs in and starts barking at the television. He loves cartoons with animals. After he barks, he just stands there watching. If we bought her a small TV and set it on Animal Planet he would be in dog-heaven.

Peace be with you.

 

The Surprise in the Shower

BuddyOur oldest son, Conner, before he moved to California, was visiting with his band at the home of a band member’s sister. Her boyfriend had a puppy in the backyard – about ten weeks old. He was tethered by a short chain. His food and water bowls were overrun with ants. He was malnourished and you could see his bones through his skin. Conner told them he was taking the dog, who we now call Buddy.

I came home from a songwriter’s conference in Austin and opened the door to three dogs rather than the customary two – Misty and Lyra. We named him Buddy a few days later. After a couple of months of regular meals, exercise, and attention, he was almost twice the size he was before. His bones were no longer visible. He was happy having two older dogs to play with, before Conner took Lyra to California.

Buddy is the youngest puppy we have ever had. He is the only dog we could actually take places, like J. D.’s baseball games. He is like a shepherd/terrier mix and he doesn’t shed. But when we would take him to baseball games, he would play in his water dish. Invariably, he would dump the water out and lay in it. Cyndy would put more water in his dish and the process would start over.

He would also spill the water bowl on the back porch and play in the small plastic pool we had in the backyard (until he destroyed it). So we knew he liked water, we just were never sure to what extent. Neither Cyndy nor myself has ever had a dog that liked water. Except for rainy days, it wasn’t of major concern.

A couple of weeks ago, I was in the shower in our bedroom upstairs. I was getting ready to wash my hair when I backed up and felt something move. I looked behind me and Buddy was in the tub with me, lapping up water. I hadn’t seen that one coming. I got him out, hoping he wouldn’t get too much of the carpet wet. Then I finished my shower.

It hasn’t occurred again – so far – but that doesn’t mean I don’t watch out for him. He can’t get up on mine and Cyndy’s bed, but he can get into a slippery tub. Go figure. He’s in that phase now where he is growing all the time, but still thinks he’s a little puppy.

Misty is eight years old (our years). She tolerates him. I think sometimes she enjoys his trying to annoy her. And they like to play tug of war. In some ways it seems like Buddy is “keeping Misty young” – to a degree.

Best of all, though, Buddy is content and happy. At least as long as he gets to lick everything. That’s how he says hi and shows affection. Your pants, shoe, belt, shirt, any exposed skin, whatever – as long as he licks you. There are times when he suddenly runs around the house from person to person, all excited, jumping and licking. The look on his face seems to me to say:

“A house to explore, a big backyard to dig in, a pal to play with, and people to pet me and that I can lick – this is freakin’ cool!”

Peace be with you.

I had the misfortune a few days ago of witnessing the vehicular death of a dog. I was in the far right lane at about 9:30 p.m. A pickup truck was just barely ahead of me in the center lane. The dog suddenly bounded out of the easement between backyards, running full tilt. I’m not very good at dog breeds – particularly in headlights on a dark night – but it was a larger dog, like a Greyhound or Doberman. I had my foot on the break before the dog reached the curb. He was running so fast I barely had time to react other than slowing down. I had not even come to a full stop before he entered the center lane without breaking stride.

There seemed to be a moment when everything was deathly quiet and nothing moved – just before the contact of truck and dog. It appeared to me as if neither the dog nor the driver saw the other coming. The dog seemed to be staring straight ahead as if he were on some type of mission. I have no idea how long it actually took – it appeared in slow motion to me. I will not go into much further detail other than to say that the impact was quite loud, the dog fell quickly, and one of the truck’s tires came up off the road.

I cannot get the scene out of my head – I certainly do not want to put it into yours. I kept coasting along, not wanting to believe what I had seen. The truck kept going, but slowed down, pulling over to make a u-turn. As I continued driving I wondered if there were something I should be doing. The same thing I would feel if I had witnessed an accident between two cars.

But there was no need to be a corroborating witness. It was easy to understand what happened. I had already had a glimpse of the dog after the accident and had no desire for a closer look. Yet as the accident kept replaying in my mind, I had the insistent sense that there was something I should do. So as I continued driving with moist eyes, I prayed for the dog and his owner(s).

I had another stop that I made quickly, without looking anyone in the eye. The accident kept playing in my mind – a bizarre drive-in movie with no concession call. I am not a “real men do not cry” type of guy, yet at the same time I do my best to keep people from noticing. But by the time I walked in the door when I arrived home, I was sobbing somewhat uncontrollably. I walked straight past my suddenly confused family out the back door and paced back and forth until the sobs subsided.

I have had several dogs that died. But I did not see any of them get hit by a vehicle. Every feeling I have ever had when a pet died came rushing back in a flurry of raw emotions. Along with the inevitable flash reflections on the finality of death and our lack of control of the situation.

“For the fate of humans and the fate of animals is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and humans have no advantage over the animals; for all is vanity. All go to one place; all are from the dust, and all turn to dust again.” Ecclesiastes 3:19, 20.

So I prayed as I paced in the backyard. Then I went inside and hugged our dog. To do otherwise would indeed have been a chasing after wind.

Peace be with you.

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