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my thoughts

I can't believe that what I feel is really happening to me
Make it hurt
And point the finger at my insecurities
Well I guess I just don't understand about those complexities in your mind
And I guess I just don't understand why this world seems so unkind
Maybe just once I get what's coming to me.

**"Maybe Just Once" - Nine Inch Nails**

Thursday, March 10, 2005

A post about my doggy. When I was a kid (some would say I still am), I remember that every given opportunity to make a wish I would use to wish for a dog. I wished for a dog for eleven years (not counting the first few years of my life when I didn't know what wishing was).

When I was 13 years old and in grade seven, my next-door-neighbour, Andy, came home one day with a large puppy. Andy told my family that he had been on his way back from visiting his mom's house in the country and that he had seen a dog tied up on the side of the highway. He couldn't leave the dog out there to die so he brought him to his car and drove him home. Andy didn't really know what to call the dog, so he just called him "Buddy" since he seemed to be rather friendly.

My brother and I went next-door every day to care for and play with Buddy since Andy worked nights and couldn't care for the dog all the time. After a few weeks of this, my parents decided it was time for us to take care of Buddy full-time. Since we were just next-door to Andy, he would still be able to see Buddy all the time. So, we got to keep Buddy. We took him to the vet and she told us that Buddy had been abused and neglected wherever it was he used to live. We could kind of tell that since he was terrified of basements and would shake in fear whenever he heard a man with a deep voice. The vet also told us that he was about 6 months old and was a Yellow Lab/German Shepherd cross. Buddy was a beautiful fawn colour with a white stomach, a black muzzle and a white and black feathered tail. He grew to be about the size of a lab and, despite his Labrador heritage, he hated swimming.

My dad would take Buddy out for an hour every day to train him. We spoiled him rotten, always petting him and playing with him. He liked to play rough, but would always back off if you let him know he had accidentally bit too hard. He didn't like any strangers near his territory and wasn't afraid to bark.

The funniest thing about him was the way he was when someone from my family would come home from work/school/wherever. Buddy had to have something in his mouth. Usually his toy (a blue rubber doggie barbell) or whatever he could grab fastest. He would wag his tail like a helicopter and, boy did it hurt when it struck you (damn Lab tail) and he'd make this sound that my friends described as the sound a wookie (like Chewbacca from Star Wars) would make. My family always called it his "happy sound".

Buddy was a great dog. He was always very well-behaved and he knew never to wander off the property. Whenever he was outside, we never had to worry about a leash as he didn't go astray. He only wandered away a couple times, but usually went into the neighbour's yard which wasn't very far away.

He wasn't allowed on the furniture, but when my family went away on a day trip (like to a relative's house) where we couldn't bring him, he'd greet us with a guilty look in his eye when we came home. My mom would go into the basement and feel the couch cushions which would always be warm because he had been sleeping there curled up in what my family liked to call a "Buddy Ball". He curled up into a little ball of himself and it looked so cute. Buddy knew we knew he snuck onto the couch, but we didn't really care since he only did it when we weren't home (or when my brother and I would feel extra nice and invite him to sit on our beds... Buddy would always stretch out to take up as much room as possible).

He loved car rides and we had to get him a doggy seatbelt so he'd learn to sit still during said car rides. My family would rent cottages with some of my aunts & uncles sometimes and we'd always bring Buddy along. We'd let him run around the property and he'd always be too full for his doggy dinner of kibble since he'd spend all day hunting and eating the giant grasshoppers that one finds out in cottage country. I remember the crunching sounds their bodies would make in his jaws. Ew.

One time, Buddy was out for his bathroom time before bed and there was a skunk in my backyard. He wanted to play with it. He ended up cornering the skunk by the garage and, lo and behold, it sprayed him right in the face. Being an indoor dog, we couldn't let him sleep outside all night so we had to bathe him and bring him in the house. I was the only one who slept well that night as, being a girl, I had an abundant collection of scented candles which I placed, unlit, all around my bed. Buddy had gotten sprayed in the mouth so, after the stink wore off his fur, his breath still smelled like skunk for about 6 months. I hope he couldn't taste it for that long.

During my last couple years of highschool (grade 12 and OAC), Buddy got repeatedly sick. There was something wrong with his rear end. It hurt him to poo. We had to take him to the vet a lot and he was always taking some kind of antibiotics.

When I went away for my first year of university, it was so hard to say goodbye to my doggy. I wouldn't be coming home to those happy wookie noises every day. No big fuzzy beast for me to snuggle when I was sad. No one to play tug of war with. I'd never have chewed-up socks again (he was never a shoe dog, always socks). Coming home for Christmas that year was tough. I remember being able to tell that my doggy was sick. He still looked the same and still acted the same but, he seemed... dull. Like all the colour and life was gone out of him.

I remember talking to my parents on the phone in January and, upon my asking how Buddy was doing, my mom told me they decided to put him down. He was just a week short of his 8th birthday. He was too sick and they'd spent more than 1000$ on medicine for him and he was still hurting. I never even got to say goodbye to my doggy. I miss him so much. The birthday we had decided on for him was January 20th (the vet couldn't tell us the exact date of his birth, just that it was in either Jan or Feb). Every year on that day, I find the time to cry a little for my doggy.

It's been two years now and I still miss him all the time. Every time I come home from school, I expect to see Buddy racing out the door with his toy in his mouth, making his happy wookie sound for me because he's so glad to see me. I expect to see random clumps of blonde dog hair in every corner of the house ebcause the broom & vacuum can't keep up with all the shedding. I expect to see the doggy dishes just outside the kitchen. Whenever I drop food on the floor, I always wait a moment in expectation that a slobbering doggy tongue will slurp it up. I still have the habit of tearing off a few extra pieces of lettuce, or cutting up a few etra pieces of broccoli just to feed him because he loved them so much. I still pause for a moment to remember him whenever I find dog hair on my clothes or on a blanket (yes, we still find it everywhere).

I want my parents to get another dog but, they don't have time for one. They work all day and my brother is in school all day and I don't live at home during the school year. We don't have time for a dog. I know how much both my parents loved my doggy (especially my dad, though he'll never admit to it). One day, last summer while on this weblog, there was a picture of a dog on my Petfinder link (left sidebar right underneath the weather) that looked almost exactly like Buddy did. His name was Highway and he was located at an adoption centre in Oshawa (which is about 20 minutes from where I live). I clicked on the link and printed out Highway's information. He was only 2 years old and adopting him would only have been about 250$ complete with shots & neutering. I was hoping so much that my parents would want him, especially since he looked so much like Buddy. My mom wanted him but, after thinking about it, realized that we really didn't have time for a dog to be trained.

Even now, every time I come onto my weblog, I scroll down to look at the pet finder to see who's up for adoption. All the pets who will show up on my site are all located somewhere in the Greater Toronto Area (since that's where I'm from). I would very much like it if anyone who visits this weblog could put up a petfinder on their site too. I like to think I might have helped some pet get adopted just by having that link up.

Here is a picture of my beloved puppy. It was taken on December 25th, 2002. This would be one of the last times I would ever see him. I wish I had a picture of him taken when he wasn't so sick, but I can't find one at the moment. When I do, you can be sure I'll post it.
I love you and I miss you, Buddy boy!

P.S. I would like to give a big thank you to orchidea. The card is too cute!

*stupid link of the day* the Guide Horse Foundation: instead of seeing-eye dogs, would you prefer a tiny little seeing-eye horse? Come on, they wear little tiny running shoes!
JeN's mind ejaculated @ 3:47 p.m. | | permalink
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