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My Buddy and Me

Updated on November 17, 2016

A close resemblance of my late childhood pet Buddy, when we got him as a puppy from the shelter

When Buddy came into my life

Buddy came into our lives, when I was five and my brother Eric was seven. He changed our lives for the better.

Buddy’s original owner had tied him to a tree near a schoolyard and left him there. We don’t know how long he had been there; but since he was in relatively good shape, probably not for too long. Buddy broke free when he heard the playful laughter of children in the school’s playground. It was there he was picked up by the animal warden.

Months earlier, my mom had spoken to one of our neighbors, who volunteered at a local animal shelter. Mom described the type of dog she was looking for and asked for help in locating such a dog. Mom’s list of requirements was a female puppy, medium-sized, mixed breed, not high strung and one who was good around children. Mom was hoping to get a dog in September when school started, so she could devote the time to training her.

One day, the neighbor came to our house and told Mom Buddy's story. She said how he was a great dog and he would be perfect for us. So off we went, the neighbor, mom, Eric and me. We drove to another volunteer’s home. When the shelter was full, they sent out dogs to various homes. This lady had eight dogs, besides her own three. When we arrived at her home, we were surprised when we first saw Buddy. He was nothing like Mom's list except for being a mixed breed, and good around children. The female puppy was a year-and-a-half-year old male. The medium-sized dog was a mix of German Shepherd, collie and husky, which added up to anything but medium-sized! He had reddish-brown fur with swirls of black and white. Even the month was wrong-it was the beginning of July, so school has just ended rather than just started. As we were about to leave, the lady who was taking care of Buddy made Mom promise that if we decided not to keep him, that we would return him to her and no one else. On the way home, our neighbor explained that the lady had fallen in love with Buddy and had been trying to talk to her husband into keeping him!!

There was never a chance of Buddy being returned, as by the end of the second day, we knew he was staying. He might not have physically matched the list, but he did on the tangibles.

A close resemblance to my late dog Buddy, when he got big and older throughout the years

Mixed-breed dog poll

Would you adopt a mutt like Buddy for your family?

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A wonderful dog to have as a pet

Buddy was an excellent, caring dog who was terrific around children. In our home, the three bedrooms were at the end of the hallway. Most every night Buddy would be found Buddy sleeping in front of the bedroom doors. He was known to check each room, especially when we were older, to make sure everyone was home, then lay down in the hall. If someone was missing, he waited at the top of the stairs. If someone was sick, Buddy spent the night in their room.

One time, I jumped down off a neighbor’s stone wall and fell. I broke my arm; and for the next new weeks, Buddy was my nighttime companion.

The time I remember most was an especially rough one for me. When I was twelve, I was diagnosed with Scoliosis, and had to have a rod implanted in my back. I returned home after surgery in a cast from my neck to my hips, followed by a back brace. Buddy left my side only when nature called. During the first two weeks, if I moaned or made a noise, Buddy was alert and attentive to me. He would get closer to my bed and lick my hand, or put his head on my bed. I always remember how surprised I was, that a dog could be so tuned in to a person.

Buddy's love for children went beyond just his family. This love was very helpful and healing when a neighbor's child suffered the trauma of dog bite. The family lived down the streets and most evenings would walk passed our home. Five-year-old David would ride his Big Wheel bike, as his baby sister rode in her stroller. On the nights sitting on the porch, David would run our lawn straight to Buddy.

He changed David's life

Five days after he was bitten, David’s mom came to our house and explained what had happened. David was now terrified of dogs and it was getting worse. He didn’t want want to leave the house because of several neighbor’s dogs.

“No problem," my mother said. "Why don’t you walk by in an hour? I’ll be outside with Buddy.”

My mother made lemonade, gathered some cups and candy, placed a couple of lawn chairs close to the street than the house.

When David, his mom and sister walked by, Mom was ready. She mentioned how hot it was, and asked if they would like something to drink. David hung back, but when his mom walked over, he stuck to her like Velcro. Buddy must have sensed something was wrong, because instead of going over to David and licking his face, as usual, he just laid on the ground. After about five minutes, he rolled over on his back, stomach to the sky.

“Oh David, I think Buddy wants you to rub his tummy", my mother said.

David just shook his head no.

My mother then rubbed Buddy’s stomach. “Don’t be sad, Buddy. David will rub your tummy later.”

David kept urging his mother to drink her lemonade faster as he wanted to leave.

But since he wasn’t as fearful around Buddy as he was around other dogs, his mom had hope and drank very slowly. Eventually David’s love of Buddy overtook his fear. After about an hour, he walked over to Buddy. Smart, intuitive Buddy played it cool. He didn’t get as excited as usual and took his cue from David. He just laid there and made David come to him. It wasn't too long after that the two of them were sitting side by side with David petting Buddy. Later that evening, David’s mom called and thanked my mother.

Buddy and Jodie

We lived in a bi-level home, and whenever we came home, Buddy would be waiting for us at the top of the stairs. When we were little, he would lick our faces. As kids, our friends thought it was great fun, when they came to our house. One friend really loved her "Buddy greeting." From grades 1-3, I had a friend named Jodie, who was blind. I was so used to Buddy's way of waiting for us, I hadn't thought to warn her. Jodie was really startled, when she got halfway up the stairs and Buddy began to lick her face. At first, she just froze, when she I told her it was my dog Buddy, she began to giggle.

One time Buddy was in the backyard, when Jodie came to play with me. As she climbed up the stairs, she as usual, put her hand in front of her to feel for Buddy and nothing happened. A look of sadness came over her face as she asked my mom, "Where's Buddy?" My mother told her where Buddy was and Jodie smiled, and she thought something had happened to him. After that day, Buddy was always in the house when Jodie came over. They had a really great relationship. Jodie was the one friend that Buddy would stay with the whole visit.

These are just a few examples that illustrate Buddy's loving and compassionate nature. The only times my brother and I weren't too fond of Buddy, were when we first got him, and he loved to chew our plastic toys. It wouldn't surprise me, if he wasn't working wasn't with my mom to get us to put away our toys!!

Saying goodbye to Buddy one last time

Sadly at the age of fourteen, the German Shepherd in him became his downfall; like many German Shepherds, his hips became weak and painful for him. Our once energetic dog was no longer running around; at first we thought it was just old age. Then in June, climbing stairs became a struggle for him. For the next two weeks, my mother carefully carried Buddy up and down the stairs when nature called. She was waiting for my brother to come home from his freshman year at college. The day he came home, she explained Buddy’s situation. She gave Eric a farewell day with Buddy. The next morning, she sadly took him to the vet.

For months afterward, it was a shock every time we walked in the front door and didn’t see Buddy waiting for us at the top of the stairs.

It is amazing to me that some of the greatest memories of my childhood were of a wonderful dog, who came very close to not being a part of my life. Destiny would've been a good name, but Buddy was the perfect name.




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    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      What a beautiful tribute to your beloved Buddy. He was really smart and intuitive, knowing just how to help eliminate your neighbor's fear. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story about your childhood friend.

    • Kappygirl profile image

      Kappygirl 2 years ago

      Sounds like Buddy was a special dog and very sensitive to the people around him. Lucky you that you had him in your life.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      He was a terrific dog, Kappy. I still miss him. Thanks Kappy and Peg for stopping by my hub.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Krsten, What a beautiful hub and loving tribute to a wonderful dog Buddy. Voted up.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks John for stopping by and reading my tribute to Buddy.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      so sad, your mom took buddy to the vet to put him to sleep?

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Hey Peach. Yeah she did, when I was 13 years ago. That seemed a long time ago to me. My brother and I didn't want to go, since it was heart-breaking. We said our goodbyes before it was time to go. He was 13 years old back then.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      What a loving tribute to a fantastic friend. You are lucky to have found one another. Voted up and more.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Flourish for stopping by and commenting on my essay on Buddy. I would always remember Buddy and the 13 years we had together. Thanks for the votes, too.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      What a wonderful friend! So glad you were able to share part of your life with him. I can understand your loss (been there several times with our "buddies"). Voted up and beautiful!

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      What a wonderful friend! So glad you were able to share part of your life with him. I can understand your loss (been there several times with our "buddies"). Voted up and beautiful!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Heidi for stopping by and commenting on my essay on Buddy. Thanks for the vote!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 2 years ago from Arkansas USA

      What a wonderful tribute to Buddy. Our "Buddy" was Maggie, our family's first dog, a Golden Retriever we got when she was about 7 and our boys were about 3 and 6. We've had some wonderful dogs since, and our now-grown sons have great dogs, but I can't imagine a more perfect dog than Maggie. Dogs are definitely special people!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Susan, thanks for your kind words and visit. Aww, Maggie sounds so sweet. I feel the same way you do on Buddy. It was the perfect fitting name for him. I agree. Dogs are special!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      I love reading about dogs, and I really enjoyed your Hub about Buddy. I had a "Buddy" when I was growing up. He was a Collie, and my very bestest friend in all the world.

      I have a wonderful dog now; a Min. Schnauzer. She is my best friend and companion.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Aww thanks for stopping by Mary. I'm glad you've read my old essay on Buddy. That name fitted him to a T. He was a great mixed breed dog. Thanks for the visit and the follow!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      We had a Buddy, too. He was a stray found at the local rest area. He shared twelve wonderful years in our house with our family and other rescued dogs before his hips gave out. It's never easy when they leave.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Aww Peg, that's so sweet. My Buddy lasted 13 years from the dog pound. I still miss Buddy. When I was 15, we had to say goodbye to him. Good for you for rescuing a dog like him. I wish I had kept photos of him.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 24 months ago from Houston, Texas

      What a sweet story. It is not surprising to me at all that some of your best childhood memories include your pal Buddy. I grew up with dogs and cats in my parent's homes. They were simply a part of our family. My hubby and I were not married long before we got our first dog. We now have one dog and one cat...both older ones. It is sad when they die but I would not trade all the good years and good memories that come from having them in our lives. Those memories still bring smiles to our faces years later.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 24 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Peggy, thanks so much for your kind words. I have two adult senior male cats with me. I agree with you. I'll always cherish and remember Buddy forever.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 24 months ago from New York

      No one will ever convince me dogs aren't amazing! So many of us had wonderful dogs that shared our childhood. Mine was a mutt to, a smaller dog but she was the best! Her name was Chipper and like you, I've never forgotten her.

      Thanks for the memories.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 24 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Mary, thanks for sharing your memories on Clipper. You're very welcome!

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 23 months ago from America

      First of all, what a wonderful mother you have. Our dog growing up was Laddy he also had some German Shepard in him.

      The little dog in my life now had a reaction to his shots and I was up all night with him. He looked like a chipmunk instead of a Chihuahua. He's doing good this morning.

      Voted UP

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 23 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Moonlake. So good to hear from you! Yes, my mother was the best to take Buddy in. He's been gone for 25 years I think. I wished I had actual pics of him to share. Aww, poor dog and glad he's doing well.

    • Akriti Mattu profile image

      Akriti Mattu 23 months ago from Shimla, India

      Lovely :)

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 23 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks so much Akriti. I wish I had real photos of him.

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image

      Greensleeves Hubs 23 months ago from Essex, UK

      This was a lovely essay of reminiscences Kristen. I can well understand why you loved him so much and why he still remains fresh in your memory. I think maybe mothers and dogs are the only beings on Earth who routinely offer unconditional love :)

      I've never kept a dog because my circumstances would make it difficult, but I think maybe I've missed out on that.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 23 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks so much Alun. It's never too late to adopt a pet. I do miss him from time to time.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 22 months ago from Massachusetts

      Kristen, you have no idea how timely this hub is for me. We had to have Gobi our 13 year old ship tzu euthanized just this past Wednesday. She was our baby and the heartbreak we are feeling is beyond description. Coming home from work now to an empty home is so sad for me :(. She was the most gentle, loving companion and was a member of our family. She went almost everywhere with us and the empty feeling we have is undescribable. I am so glad that had the opportunity to experience the unconditional love of a dog, there is nothing quite like it.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 22 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Bill, I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your dog. I did had a good time to be with Buddy back then, since he's been gone over 20 years now. I do miss him. The only dogs are my brother's and SIL's that I'm loved by, from time to time. I've been with a cat and now two cats for the past decade or so. Hugs to you! xo

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image

      Greensleeves Hubs 22 months ago from Essex, UK

      I'm sorry to hear Bill's news. There is a common bond between dog owners and dog lovers I think, because they know better than any, the special relationship that can exist between humans and animals

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 22 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Alun, me too. I would always cherish Buddy in my heart. Now I have to contend with two adult senior cats now.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 22 months ago from Massachusetts

      Kristen and Alun. Thank you so much for the comforting words. We really did have that "special relationship" with our Gobi. I'm sure time will lessen the pain but right now we are heartbroken.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 22 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      My pleasure Bill. You're in my prayers.

    • Robert Beyer profile image

      Robert Beyer 22 months ago from Seattle, Washington

      Kristen

      I had to read your story a second time. My dog named Buddy has cancer and we are currently in a waiting pattern until its time to take him to the vet . Thank you for sharing

      Robert

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 22 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Robert, thank you for reading my essay again. You're welcome. You're in my prayers.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 22 months ago from California

      My heart goes out to you! I have a 13 year old dog--and I treasure my time with her

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 22 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Aww Audrey. Buddy was 13, when I had to say goodbye to him.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 21 months ago

      Such a great story about a wonderful pet. He was adorable!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Dianna! I wish I had original photos of him with me to share.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 20 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Wonderful dog, and such a well-written tribute!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 20 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thx Will! I appreciate your kind words.

    • Shawn Scarborough profile image

      Shawn Scarborough 17 months ago from The Lone Star State

      I enjoyed reading your story about Buddy. I am sure you still miss him.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 17 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Shawn, thanks for stopping by and reading my hub. I do miss him, even if it's been 27 years since he passed away.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 10 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      A lovely hub and wonderful tribute to Buddy. I named one of my former dogs Buddy. When he died I sang the song "My Buddy" to him. The loss of a dear pet is so difficult. My last Shi Ztu, Clancey died at age 15. That was 6 years ago and I still think about him every single day.

      My heart feels your loss.

      Sending you hugs and lots of love,

      Audrey

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 10 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Small world Audrey! Thanks so much. It's been about 25 years since he crossed over the rainbow bridge. Now Marshall, my beloved cat, had joined him 2.5 weeks ago. Poor thing.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 10 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      Oh, Kristen, I'm so very sorry to hear that Marshall is now in kitty heaven. Will you get another? I love how you refer to death as "the rainbow bridge."

      It's a beautiful way to look at this experience and leaves a lovely picture in ones mind.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 10 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      aww thanks Audrey. He had a rough July (due to 4th of July fireworks that scared him and made him hide under the bed for a week). He did come out of hiding and was back to normal, until a bug or bee got him and made him sick. He had a huge abscess on his neck near his brain. Then he had trouble walking and then couldn't walk at all. My brother's vet said he wouldn't have a good quality of life, if he lived. He was 16.5 years old. I do have his brother who's the same age as him and in good health. So I have a couple of years left with him. Thanks so much! That's what they call it when our pets go to Heaven. :-)

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 10 months ago from Home Sweet Home

      very sorry to hear about your dog buddy passing, may I know when was that?

      Another thing, why do americans put favorite pet to sleep when the pet is sick/old/aging?

      In my household, although our pets are aging/sick, we never put them to sleep, instead we let them die in their sleep.

      Then we bury them in our garden.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 10 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Long time ago to be exact. He was thirteen when I was about 15. 1988 I believe. It's the right thing to do, so they won't suffer and be in any pain. Just a sedative and some medicine to make them sleep. Well, Marshall was in pain and couldn't walk at all. I don't remember much about Buddy, except he was limping and in pain. Aww. I wish I had a garden. I had a fenced yard in NJ though, but then there was the woods that separated the two blocks of streets.

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