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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Family Pet (05/15/08)

TITLE: "Buddy" Dog Extraordinaire
By c clemons


I do not know why when I first saw him that I decided to rename him ‘Buddy.’ His previous owners had named him ‘Charley’, which I might add did not suit him at all. Buddy, my buddy is a Bichon Frise, they are known for their fluffy white hair, dark eyes and black button noses. Ours was a slow to love affair. He was ten months old and partially set in his ways when I got him. I was several years older in people years and REALLY set in my ways.

My previous dog had been a laid-back Miniature Poodle, which is a contradiction of terms, laid back and Poodle. Poodles tend to be very clever and usually high strung. Coco was very bright without any of the histrionics, like prolonged inappropriate barking or over protectiveness. I will admit I wanted Buddy to be more of the same. When I first brought him home he tried to go with every stranger that came to the door. His eyes would seemingly plead, “Take me with you, I don’t belong here.” After a few months and intensive dog training, he would come when called. Sitting and staying on the other hand was quickly forgotten after he graduated.

It was not until I gave Buddy a job that we bonded forever. My neighborhood was over run with cats. Personally I have nothing against cats, but because of irresponsible humans, that fed the strays the population exploded. When they started using my flowerbeds as their own personal toilet, was when Buddy and I joined forces to rid the yard of cats. That first summer I caught nineteen cats! Buddy became the guardian of the backyard. All I would say was, “Buddy, cat!” He would take off and chase the intruder from the yard. He was so in tuned to the word ‘cat’ that I had to spell it if I did not want him running for the door and barking to be let out.

One other thing that I did not believe in but Buddy did was getting on the bed. I did not believe dogs should be allowed on the furniture or the bed. There was a constant struggle about who was the master in that area. It was not until Buddy took a bad fall and the veterinarian said he might not walk again, that Buddy was allowed on the bed. I reasoned I could watch him better there. Well, Buddy did walk again and he has been walking all over me ever since. Now, because of his vision problems he prefers to be on the floor.

I have had Buddy now for sixteen years and the Lord only knows how old that is in dog years. He is partially blind and deaf, and he has doggie breath that can knock you down five feet away. Recently he started to have a little trouble walking but his appetite is still good. I no longer have to spell cat because he cannot hear or see the cat. I think back over the good times, for example when people would visit. A few said they were not fond of dogs (my father included), but by the time they would leave, Buddy was either on their lap snoozing or lying next to them getting scratched behind his ears.

There was one person that did not love Buddy, a former boyfriend that wanted me to choose him or the dog. I chose the dog. The boyfriend’s affection turned out to be phony anyway. I will be eternally grateful that having Buddy kept me from making the biggest mistake of my life. Whoever heard of a dog’s loyalty being fake? Yes, there is definitely something different about Buddy. Even now when friends or family call they always ask, ‘how’s Buddy doing?’ before inquiring as to how I might be feeling. I think he has served a purpose here on earth in a lot ways. He brings a smile to the faces of the young and the old. He has provided me with many years of companionship and although he cannot speak he has said volumes with his big soulful eyes. It turns out his name is fitting.

I do not know if there is a dog heaven but I tend to believe there might just be. Why would God use an animal to show how unconditional love and loyalty works without a continuation in the hereafter? Here is a thought, ‘dog’ is God spelled backwards.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Carol Sprock05/22/08
What an lovely portrait of a very special dog! I chuckled while reading about the cat hunts, wanting an example (and this despite my being a cat lover--indoor, I must add). In terms of coherent flow of ideas, I would suggest flip-flopping the third and fourth paragraphs. That just seems to make more sense to me since the third paragraph is about a highpoint of your bonding while the fourth paragraph reverses focus to deal with the development of the bonding. Oh, I also laughed aloud at the twist of phrase where Buddy was walking all over you and hasn't stopped.
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/24/08
You showed your title very well in your story's content. I enjoyed the humor.
Clyde Blakely09/03/08
I love this story. Dogs (animals) in heaven? I don't know. I hope so. Please read my true story "Cutie Pie" - perhaps, just perhaps.

Haven't see anything from you for a few months - keep writing and God bless.