Buddy Changed My Mind
I've always had big dogs...German Shepherds
and Bulldogs. Dogs that could take off a limb if you crossed 'em. We had
a Shepherd named Duke that weighed as much as Jilda and we kept him for
over 13 years before he passed on and we both wept as if he were a child.
Buddy on the other hand, belonged to my mother-in-law Ruby Phillips and
weighed about 10 pounds soaking wet. I had thought many times about smothering
him with a pillow when we visited her. He was hyper and he yapped a lot
which really got on my nerves. But Ruby loved Buddy and Buddy loved Ruby.
He made every step she made.
Last September (2003) Ruby was working in the yard when she fell and broke
her leg and spent the next six weeks in the hospital and in rehab. Jilda
and her sister Pat remained by her side at the hospital for most of the
time and that left me to tend to Buddy.
The first night when I went to let
him out to use the bathroom and to feed him, he raced out to where she had
fallen. He sat down on the spot where she lay until the paramedics rushed
her to the hospital. I tried to coax him in the house with food and treats
but he would not budge. He simply sat there and stared in the direction
in which they took his mamma. I had to physically pick him up and carry
him back in the house.
The next day when I returned, it was the same story. I was his only human
contact and he did not eat for days.
|One Saturday, about three weeks later, when I went down there to feed him,
I just sat down on the ground beside him. I had a couple of Slim Jim sausages
and I broke off and fed him little pieces while sitting with him staring
down the road. I know that people passing probably thought I was disturbed,
but it seemed like the right thing to do.
Slowly he crawled up into my lap and we sat there for a long time..
I walked over to my truck and opened the door and said let's go. Buddy jumped
in and he's been with us ever since.
When Ruby came home, she could tell that things had changed so she told
us to keep him but that we had to bring him for visits. These days, Buddy
weighs about 10 pounds more than he did a year ago because he eats here
and there too. He goes to see Ruby every day.
He has calmed down since he came to live with us. He loves to ride in my
truck and he especially likes exploring down in old Dora. His favorite trip
so far was visiting the old Library. I never really thought I'd care for
a little dog, but Ol' Buddy changed my mind.