Saturday, September 12, 2009

And then there is Buddy...

Buddy, not a human but a companion none-the-less deserves to be mentioned as I think of individuals who are inspirational in my life. I am sure that Buddy is not the only inspirational dog that ever lived... after all dog is said to be man's best friend, but I just want to mention him in this blog because he is cool.

Buddy is patient and protective and he is really really smart! I know because I have seen him in action all these years. He is also obedient, most of the time. Less now that he is so old and hard of hearing. (I think he is about 15 or 16 now, and in dog years, it's right up there!) Besides, my young friend Jason, who studied animals and loved dogs once told me that he learned how dogs that have a large bump on their skull, like Buddy does, are the ones to look for when getting a pup, because, he said, it's indicative of the dogs intelligence. For him, Buddy was an example of what he had read.

Today Buddy was getting an inspection of his fur and it was discovered that he had some kind of mass on his neck. To get a good look at it he had to have the fur clipped and what was under that mass of clumped fur was some kind of fleshy thing that made the fur clump with blood. Kinda gross and I am glad the boys are tackling it. Definitely a "boy job" to see what is wrong with Buddy. I am amazed at Buddy's utmost cooperation with it all. It's definitely a four season kinda thing, after all, he was just getting an inspection. There was no sign of distress in the dog... he has had a cough and a runny nose, but we were really just going to give him a bath. It has become quite a project.

Did I mention, Buddy is an awesome dog?

It was several years ago that Buddy, clear out of the blue, went blind. It was so strange having a blind dog all of a sudden. He was so needy and I was not so sure I wanted to be so needed by a dog. But at the time, thinking about what a faithful friend he had always been, by my side when I was working outside, hanging around and keeping an eye on the kids... barking at strangers, I really didn't mind, but I was worried about how life would be with a blind dog. I took him to the vet.

The vet sent me to a doggie ophthalmologist. I had never heard of such a thing. (I guess that I thought vets did everything at their offices for animals.) I can tell you, I could hardly wait to see the eyechart on the wall devised for dogs.

The ophthalmologist was a really nice Christian man and that made me happy. We didn't get to use the eye chart because Buddy couldn't see anyhow... (just kidding about the eye chart) The doc had no idea why Buddy had lost his vision and said it could be a number of things.. he could have gotten into some poison or something. He didn't know if any treatment would work but he put him on prednisone for a few days and some other medication ... four times a day for a while to see if that would work.

I was officially a doggie nurse leading a blind dog around, making sure he didn;t run into things and giving meds around the clock.

Miraculously, it worked! Buddy regained his vision after a while and I was very glad. It was like having a dog again. The meds were discontinued..although the doctor told me that Buddy probably had some immune issues. He offered us to do some doggie chemotherapy, but I declined, mostly because I had just been through chemotherapy myself... and my dog was well, well, at least well enough... after all he could see again. The doctor however warned me that he probably would not live too much longer.

That was in 2004. Now it's five years later and Buddy has some weird growth on the side of his head that the boys removed today while I wrote this story. I really couldn't bear to watch because I thought for sure the dog would bite them as they cut it off, or bleed to death. Neither happened. He was a perfect patient.

That's Buddy for ya, not to mention a great "vet."

We decided not to send the specimen to the lab. Buddy seems really happy and is doing quite well for an old dog. He's a little like my friend Irma who has a great attitude about life and just keeps going, dispite the circumstances or the odds.

There are some good lessons we can learn from our dogs.

This is perhaps a perfect time to post this email I once received:


.1. Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
.2. Allow the experience of fresh air and wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
.3. When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
.4. Especially when it’s in your best interest, practice obedience.
.5. Let others know when they have invaded your territory.
.6. Take naps and stretch before rising.
.7. Run, romp and play daily.
.8. Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
.9. Be loyal.
10. Never pretend to be something you are not.
11. If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
12. When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close and nuzzle them gently.
13. Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
14. Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
15. On hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shade tree.
16. When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
17. No matter how often you are scolded, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout, run right back and make friends.
18. Bond with your pack.
19. Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
20. And, make happy memories.

I think it is anonymously written, I do not know, but I know it was not me. However, they must have had a dog, like Buddy.

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