It was an April morning in 2001, I was outside talking to a neighbor & waiting on my oldest daughter – Amber - to hurry herself out to the car so I could get her to school. As the neighbor and I stood there talking a scraggly looking rather large puppy walked up and attempted to say hello. My first instinct was to look around for my kids because I didn’t know if the puppy was friendly, he was very obviously friendly and hungry and covered in ticks and thirsty and loving.
The girls didn’t see him as I got them into the car so I didn’t mention anything about the dog. However, my mind was thinking that perhaps we had found Amber’s “Air Bud” dog (it was her favorite movie at the time, she was 7; Nikki was 4). When I returned home the puppy was still hanging around so I went in and got my husband who is normally traveling for business, but happened to be home at that point. He fell in love with this scraggly, ragged puppy as fast as I had. We made the decision to keep him. I called the vet and made an appointment to take him in that day and we took him around to the backyard – which is fenced. I couldn’t let him in the house at that point because he was literally covered and I mean covered in ticks.
When the girls got home from school he was still in the yard; Amber took one look at him (and he at her) and they were instant friends. She was a tiny bit intimidated in the first few seconds because of his size but that passed immediately and for his part, the puppy wanted to continuously “hug” Amber – I couldn’t let him because of all the ticks. We left a few minutes after all this to take him to the vet. They took over 120 ticks off him and removed an imbedded flea collar (how’s that for irony). He was approximately 6 months old; Amber named him Buddy.
The months and years that followed were mixed with laughter at his antics and anger at his antics – like eating my custom made blinds, the carpet, the doors to the bedrooms, oh and he could climb fences. While we admired his talent for climbing we weren’t too thrilled with the fact that we had to replace our newly installed, and rather attractive, fence with a not as attractive 7 foot high privacy fence.
Amber and Buddy were inseparable; he was her very best friend and pillow. Buddy got sick this past Saturday morning – to say it was unexpected is putting it mildly. Although Amber and I rushed him to the vet and then on to the animal ER, his spleen had already ruptured due to massive tumors and he had lost a lot of blood; which all leaked into his belly. We had no idea AT ALL that he had anything wrong. He fought hard but died during surgery at approximately 7:00 Saturday, August 15, 2009.
I have so many Buddy stories to share but right now it’s all a little too fresh. I know not everyone will understand why we are so devastated over the loss of a “pet”; the only thing I can say is that Buddy, and our other furry babies Angel and Hollee, are much, much more than pets – they are our family and the loss of Buddy is huge, especially for Amber.
Buddy loved to play in the lake; sleep on the bed; chase the 4-wheeler; chase flies, squirrels, rabbits and birds. Buddy loved his furry sisters Angel and Hollee; he loved company coming to the front door and stealing food off the counter. Buddy loved to patrol the backyard and follow Bryan whenever he was outside working; Most of all Buddy loved his people and especially his girl, Amber. Buddy was 8 years old, we brought him home and laid him to rest in the back yard under his favorite tree.