Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Ten Memories of Buddy

I started dating Ernie in December 2004. In February 2005, he called and told me that he got a chocolate lab puppy and named him Buddy. I moved in with Ernie a couple months later, and Buddy became my puppy too. We celebrated all of his birthdays together, 1 through 9. 

If Buddy were still with us, we would be celebrating his 10th birthday today.  It is amazing how many things remind me of him on a daily basis. I still think of him several times a day, sometimes to the point of tears. He was unforgettable.

In honor of his 10th birthday, I decided to reminisce and write down ten of my favorite Buddy memories.  He was such a character that it was hard to narrow down the list to just ten.

1. Mirror, Mirror

There is a small mirror on the headboard of our bed.  Buddy was playing on our bed one day when he suddenly turned to the mirror and saw his reflection for the first time.  He seemed completely captivated by the handsome dog staring back at him.  It was as if the world had stopped for a moment.

2. Runaway Dog

Ernie and Buddy were in the driveway seeing me off to work one morning.  As I drove down our road, I glanced in the rear view mirror and was shocked to see Buddy bounding down the road behind my car and Ernie way back in the distance, waving his arms frantically while running and yelling. 

3. Sticky Paws

I had a feeling that Buddy kept jumping up on the counter to, as we call it, "counter cruise" for food or whatever else he could get into.  I set up my digital camera to start recording video, placed it on the counter, and went outside.  I came back in a couple minutes later and watched the video, which confirmed that Buddy was counter cruising.  Hoping to bust him, I laid long strips of tape, sticky side up, along the edges of the kitchen counters.  I went outside for a couple minutes and came back in to discover Buddy sheepishly walking around with lots of tape stuck to his front feet.  That did help to deter him, but it didn't stop him completely (see #4...and #5).

4. Muffin Tops

I baked some corn muffins to go with dinner and had them cooling in the pan on top of the stove.  Chewie wanted to go outside, so I pushed the muffin pan all the way to the back of the stove.  I figured they would be safe from any counter cruising that way.  When Chewie and I returned, I was pleased to see the muffins were still there.  Upon further inspection though, I discovered that the tops of all of the muffins had been nibbled off.

5. Country Crock

Ernie's family was staying with us, so we bought a 3 pound tub of Country Crock to ensure we'd have plenty.  While his family was having toast one morning, Buddy took advantage of them not being familiar  with his sneaky ways and managed to get the tub off the counter.  By the time he was discovered, half of the tub had been eaten, and his whiskers were slick with the spread.  

6. Furniture Tipping

I was standing in the kitchen with my back to the living room when I suddenly heard a disturbingly loud thump.  I turned around and was shocked to see Buddy on top of a now tipped over loveseat.   He seemed pretty shocked too.  He had jumped the loveseat several times in the past with no problem, but he obviously didn't clear it this time.

7. Bread Thief

I made myself a sandwich one afternoon and decided to eat in the living room.  I sat down in the loveseat with my plate and my drink.  I twisted to the side to set my drink down on the end table and turned back around to see Buddy standing next to me, a corner of the top piece of bread in his mouth.  He was slowly pulling it towards himself when our eyes suddenly locked.  He stood frozen for a moment, like he didn't know what to do.  He then chose to suck the piece of bread into his mouth like a vacuum cleaner, chew it furiously, and run away.

8. Pizza Pickup

Ernie and I ordered a pizza, and I offered to pick it up.  I brought Buddy along, since he always loved a car ride.  When we got to the pizza place, I reminded him that he was supposed to stay in the backseat. He sat obediently as I walked across the parking lot.  As soon as I entered the pizza place, I turned around to look out the window and saw Buddy instantly hop into the front seat.  I was then informed that my pizza wasn't ready because they had burned it and were making a new one, so it would be a few minutes.  I sat to wait, watching Buddy out the window the entire time.  He was gloriously going back and forth from back seat to front seat, over and over, constant motion.  Once I got the pizza and stepped out of the building, Buddy saw me and dove into the backseat, where he sat as obediently as I'd had left him.  Even if he had been slick enough for me to not see him, the brown fur all over my seat and the drool on my steering wheel was a dead giveaway.

9. Camp Fire

Things that used to have no effect on Buddy started to bother him as he got older.  He developed a fear of smoke later in his life.  While camping, we were sitting around a fire with a group of friends while Ernie held onto Buddy's leash.  Everything was fine until the fire started getting really smoky.  Panicked, Buddy took off for the camper door, which was behind Ernie.  Still holding onto the leash, Ernie went flying backwards out of his camp chair.

10. Rock Star

I was outside with Buddy, and it was time to go back in.  I called him several times, but he was intently exploring and was ignoring me.  To get his attention, I picked up a pretty good sized rock and threw it so it would land near him.  The rock thumping on the ground caused Buddy to look up, so I called him again and turned around to head for the door.  I waited on the porch for Buddy, who was running towards me.  When he got to the porch, the huge rock fell out of his mouth, and he eagerly waited for me to throw it again.

I put this list together this morning with the idea that I'd finish it up this evening.  During dinner, I told Ernie that I'd put together a list of 10 Buddy memories and asked him to guess them.  The first one he guessed was on the list, but then he said about five or six that hadn't made the cut.  We were laughing so hard and continued remembering many Buddy moments.  I think this list could have easily been three times as long, but I'm sticking with these ten.

Happy Birthday, Buddy.  I miss you.