On 4-18-15, my best furry (or otherwise) friend, Buddy XI, passed away. This is my memorial for him. As with Rigs’ memorial, this is for me so I can read/look back on it years down the road and remember in vivid detail what a beautiful creature he was, inside and out. To help prevent time from eroding my memories of all his little quirks and mannerisms.
Buddy died the same way he lived: with grace and beauty. It was the most beautiful day of the year, 75 and sunny and breezy, and he was in his favorite grassy spot overlooking the sidewalk, in his favorite sleeping position: head resting on the left side of his left paw with his two right legs outstretched. He looked so beautiful in death, his fur still blowing in the breeze.
We all know what we’re in for when we get our dogs. And when they leave us it always hurts, in many cases more so than when humans leave us. Dogs never wrong us. They love us unconditionally which cannot be said of any human love, Disney and other fiction aside. Dogs add a deep and unique flavor of love and excitement to any human life. Buddy brought a lot of happiness into my life, as did Rigs, and now I have to learn to live without them. A significant portion of my daily routine revolved around them, so things are a lot different now. When I return home there are no wagging, silly dogs to greet me. Instead I’m greeted with a sadness that they are gone. Soon, hopefully, my returns home will be neutral.
The format will be different from Rigs’ post. I’ll be speaking to him directly, so bear with me.
Hey Bud, hope you’re doing alright on the other side. Is the Rainbow Bridge real? God I hope so. It would be great if you’d be waiting for me when I die. You and Rigs and all of my future dogs (but you guys first) running to me, jumping on me, licking my face and whining with excitement. Then we could go on a nice hike, go swimming, dive for rocks, laugh, play, and be ridiculous like we always were. Then we’d cross over together.
You already know all of what I’m going to say, you sexy, smart, loving sonofabitch, but in reality I’m saying all of this for myself. Not just to get closure, but so I can read this in a few years’ time, and probably many other times before then, and smile when I remember some of the things I loved most about you. There is no way fully to describe how much I miss you and how much I loved you. Some memories will have to suffice. Maybe cumulatively, all of the words below will give a sense of what you meant to me.
I’ll miss when I’d look up from whatever I was doing and you’d be lying down pretending to sleep, but were actually watching me. I always joked that you were being creepy, but in truth, I loved it. I don’t think anyone loves me as much as you did. Thanks for showing it so clearly every day.
I’ll miss hearing your tail beat the floor as you lay on your side and I’d approach. Even though it wasn’t worth the effort for you to get up off the ground in your old age unless it was a really special occasion, your tail betrayed your excitement. I loved your tail, fluffy, full, and perfect. Remember when girls would ask if I crimped your tail fur? Ha.
Your perfect golden-brown fur that shimmered in the sunlight. So many times while we were hiking on sunny days I’d marvel at how you literally had a golden aura around you. Quite fitting for a divine, ascended being such as yourself. Your departure has weakened that divine connection for me, so I ask, whatever you can do for me from wherever you are, please send some of that good grace my way.
I miss so much when I would get frustrated at my computer during the day and curse at it, and wherever you were, you’d hear me, get up, even in your old age, and come over to me wagging your tail, head down, then look up to me and say so clearly with your eyes, “Hey Chaki, everything ok here? Don’t worry about it, life is good!” You immediately turned frustration into laughter and love. Now when I curse at my computer, which is often as you know, I think of you and I miss you.
The way you’d play with whatever was your favorite toy at the time, and when you were done, you’d lie down, place it between your paws and rest your head on it. I have so many photos of you doing that. I just found one of your toys today, one of your favorite rubber balls. It was under the chest in the living room. Sorry I didn’t realize you’d lost it under there. I would have gotten it for you. It still has that fresh rubber scent you loved so much.
Remember near the end when I’d take you to PETCO a few times a week and you’d go up and down the aisles sniffing everything, and pick out any toys you wanted? It made me proud when the other customers would watch you and smile at your antics. Like when you made me proud at the fireworks a few years back and you stayed glued to my leg without a leash walking through the crowds of hundreds of people, and everyone commented on how well trained you were.
When I mowed the lawn for the first time this year a few weeks ago it took me almost thirty minutes to clean up all the toys you lost in the snow last winter. Man you were spoiled! They’re in a garbage bag in the garage. When I get some puppies next spring I’ll probably give them your toys, other than a couple of your favorites. If my future dogs are even half as amazing as you and your brother, I’ll be ecstatic. It’ll be tough for them to measure up though – you guys were perfect. Except when Rigs attacked poodles every single time. That was embarrassing. Pretty sure their owners will still give me dirty looks if I go to the farm. THANKS RIGS. But really, who cares? Fuck ‘em.
I miss when I’d call you over to my bed or the stairs and you’d come slowly, tail wagging as always, your head lowered. Hard to believe that such a beautiful creature could be as humble as you. Then I’d hold your head, my hands under your ears, and I’d say, “Who’s a good boy? Buddy’s a good boy. Buddy’s the best boy in the world. Best boy in the world.” I could feel your head moving back and forth with your tail. When I close my eyes now I can still remember every sensation. I hope that never leaves me.
The way you’d light up so completely when I’d say “hike” “treat” “ride” “Dartmouth” “walk” or any other number of your favorite words. An impressive vocabulary for someone who couldn’t speak.
How you’d stick your head out the window on the road, close your eyes and just enjoy it. When I was going fast enough and the wind was strong enough to push your head backward, you’d do a nonchalant 360 in the seat then try again, as if you meant to do it. Remember the time we were on I-91 going about 80 and you stuck your head out the window? Your lips caught the wind and blew up over your snout and stayed there for 30+ seconds. You looked like some kind of freak and the guy we passed saw your ridiculous face and laughed his ass off. I’ll never forget your face or his.
Remember when I’d get drunk at school, go upstairs, find you, and spoon you in the hallway? Thanks for staying in my grasp until I fell asleep. I’m sure it was uncomfortable for you, but you know I did it all out of love.
I miss when you’d go into the pantry, lie on the floor in front of your bowl, and look back at me. “Some food please?” And when you’d face the door, tail swishing, and look back at me with a smile. “Cool if I go out for a bit?” Even now, when I walk around in the dark, I’m careful not to step on you guys.
It always made me laugh when, in your last months, weak from your sickness, you still couldn’t help yourself so you barked at every passerby, but you didn’t get up off the ground. Hilarious, my man. Thanks for all the laughs, and tell your brother the same x1000.
I never told you this, but lots of the time when I heard you bark to come inside, I’d first watch you through the window and laugh at your little routine. You’d stare at the door, wide-eyed, bark your “I want to come in bark”*** as you closed your eyes, take a few steps back, wag your tail, then approach the door and repeat. Sometimes I’d watch you do that four or five times, careful not to laugh loud enough for you to hear.
(***Noticeably different from your “Hey this is my house go away” bark and your “Holy crap I can’t control my excitement because you just said ‘hike’ so I need to yell at you” bark and all the rest of them.)
Thanks for getting me out in the woods so much. You know I would have spent maybe the equivalent of months less in the woods over the past decade if it weren’t for you and Rigs? I’ve been to the farm once since you died. I have no real reason to go anymore, although I know I should. It always calms me to be out in the woods on the trails, but it’s really not the same since you’ve been gone. The farm itself has changed. It doesn’t have the same charm it did, and it all looks a little different. So again, thanks for getting me out there and everywhere else, and really for making the farm such an awesome place.
I think that’s pretty much it for now Bud. You and I both know there are a million other memories, and it makes me happy when they pop into my head throughout the day. For a while they’d sadden me, but I think I’m getting over it. Below are a few pics so you and I can remember some of the good times we had together.
Rest in peace Buddy Boy. Miss you like crazy.