Just about two years ago now, in the before time, a friend of Lisa’s was panicking because she was moving into a new apartment and hadn’t found anyone to take her dog, a then five year old beagle named Buddy.
Lisa and I had been talking about getting a dog for a while, and after her mother passed away in March she seemed to be getting a little more serious about it. We’d “put in a bid” for a Pug that another friend was giving away, but we lost out on him. So when Buddy became available we went over to meet him and decided to take him home.
He is a smallish beagle, about 15 inches at the shoulder. He has a cherry eye that the vet said we could fix, but it would be purely for cosmetic reasons, so we decided against it. We did give him some “other” surgery which I’m sure he was not too happy about but the vet assures us it will prolong his life so I think it was a good decision.
Buddy came to us during the period between Lisa’s mother’s death, at the end of March and Kevin’s death in October. He was, and still is, an important part of the family. He’s really helped us deal with this pain.
You see I grew up with dogs. From the time I was five until I moved out of my parents home in my twenties we always had somewhere between one and three dogs in the house. Lisa is more of a cat person. We’ve had a couple of cats pretty much continuously since she ended up with custody of the marital cats after her first marriage broke up.
I don’t dislike the cats, I’ve been quite fond of three of the four we’ve had during our life together, but dogs are different. Your relationship with a cat, any cat really, is on the cat’s terms. If he wants to snuggle, he will, if he doesn’t he won’t. If your paths cross he may rub up against you, or not. It all depends on HIS mood.
Dogs on the other hand are totally devoted to us. They’ve been selectively bred for about twelve thousand years to be in tune with humans. When you are sad your dog not only knows it, he actively wants to make you feel better. Your dog actually cares.
I can’t count the times I’ve been feeling lost over the last twenty months and the dog has jumped up and put his head in my lap. Scratching his ears always makes me feel a little better and a little calmer.
Buddy has really bonded with Lisa. He’s really her dog now. He follows her around he house whenever she’s home and if she’s out he pretty much looks out the window until she gets home. He comes to greet me when I come in but he quickly goes back to mommy once he’s said hello.
I don’t begrudge her this. She needed him a little more than I did, and he’s been there for her, in the totally devoted way that only a dog can be. I’m very thankful that he has been.