Yesterday was National Dog Day and the closest I came to celebrating it was having two hot dogs from the Official Sponsor of Tart & Tangy Triad, Washington Perk and Provision Company and having a foster puppy on The Less Desirables podcast last night. I liked seeing pics of everyone else’s pics, though. Wednesdays’ blog posts are reserved for The Less Desirables Beer of the Week (brought to you by The Official Beer Sponsor of The Less Desirables, City Beverage), so I waited until today to talk about National Dog Day.
Every St. Patrick’s Day I get a little teary eyed. St. Patrick’s Day was the birthday (assumed) of my Buddie. Buddie was my German Shepherd/Lab mutt mix that would be 21 if he were alive; we’d give him sugar-free cupcakes that had green icing. My ex-wife and I came by him by accident. A friend of my sister’s had stopped by with her and had this puppy that had come from a very bad section of town and basically was the last of its litter. The rest had met a cruel demise, from what I was told. I wasn’t home but had called my then-wife to tell her I was coming home from band practice and I heard a bark on the phone. “What was that!?” I asked. Her response: “Oh, nothing.” I got home and told them that that dog was not staying at our apartment. After some bickering, it was decided he would stay for only a few days. Those few days became 14 years.
He was just like my kid. Before 3B came along, he was my “son,” for sure. I called him and mostly treated him like he was my son. We would stop at McDonalds (or other fast food place on the way) after being out just for him. It wasn’t unusual for us to pull up to McD’s and order 6 double cheeseburgers. 3 for me, 2 for him and one for the ex. We were really protective of him, probably to a fault and possibly his demise. We didn’t let him out to run free. He was always on a leash and if he did get loose we went on a manhunt to find him.
He was privileged. He got first dibs on seats on the couch when we had company over. I’ve always had waterbeds since moving to NC and when we were in ours when we had him, he would go under it (there was room from the setup) to sleep. That was when he wasn’t on the bed. We would play with some of those nylon frisbees and he’d be so rough with them that the middle would usually rip and eventually tear off. So I would still toss it with him and then throw it over his head like a ring to his neck and watch him go crazy getting it off. He loved that. When I took my socks off at night he would come and get them and bury them in the couch, and growl if you went to get them. Usually you could give him a little time and he wouldn’t care.
He knew how to spell outside. When we’d say the word, when he was just a pup, he’d get wise and start barking. After a while we’d spell it instead and after about four times, he realized it was the same thing. You could ask, “where’s mama?!” and he’d jump up in the bay window to look for the ex. He knew where the hot dogs were kept. If you opened the pantry (where the Beggin’ Strips were) he’d come rushing out from under the bed or where ever he may be. He was 75 lbs but would climb up on my lap and sit like a Chihuahua would. He liked to wrestle and he would always hump the throw pillows on the couch. He was always good for a lick on the face when he walked by you.
When we had 3B, of course, some things changed. We moved into our new house and until we could get a dog-door on an out door leading to a newly fenced in pen, he had to stay at the cabin and I’d go over 3-5 times a day to walk him, feed him and spend some time with him. I felt bad about that. But, we couldn’t do anything else. Over time age started getting the better of him. Arthritis in both hips and shoulders started setting in. I believe we kept him around for our own pleasure but I know that he was miserable. One day he fell over and couldn’t get back up. I called a mobile vet to come and relieve him of that; allow him to be at peace. He passed as his head was on my lap, looking comfortable and content. I told him to hit the ground running like we didn’t allow him to when he got to the other side. I had him cremated and sent along a pair of socks (dirty of course) and one of the frisbees that I had saved and they were cremated with him as it was two of his favorite things to do. I have him in a box that sits on a shelf next to The BCPF‘s cat who was also cremated. There’s barely a day that goes by that I don’t think of that dog. I have never known love like that I have for 3B, but he was as close as I could get, I think.
I’ve not had any other dogs since and don’t want any. They’re a lot of work, time and consideration. I’ve been allergic to dogs since I was about 2 years old or so. I noticed once he was gone that my allergy problems had reduced greatly, and I knew what was causing them. But, I was willing to go through that for this pup. I really, really loved him. I mean, who else do you know that has an 11″x14″ canvas portrait from Olan Mills of their dog? Maybe you do, but they can’t be as cute/handsome as my buddy, Buddie D. Beeman (the “D” did not stand for dog, but Dammit). Here’s to you, Bud!
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“A dog will teach you unconditional love. If you can have that in your life, things won’t be too bad.” – Robert Wagner