We had to have him put him down on May 4 – probably the most difficult thing my wife Kay Lynne and I have done in 48 years of marriage.
The reason is that Buddy was not an ordinary dog. He hardly ever barked, he didn’t chase cats or birds, and he never chewed on the furniture. All he did was love everyone and anyone. I often said that “Buddy had never met a person or dog or other animal he didn’t like.” In fact, I don’t think we ever heard him growl.
He was our constant companion, especially in recent years as we’ve gotten older and were at home more. Buddy’s first love was Kay Lynne. He bonded with her on the way home from the airport (he was flown to Seattle from Arkansas, where he was born – a harrowing eight hours in a dog crate with a change of plane to boot), and she was the one who first gave him love and cradled him on her lap when he arrived. From then on, he was only truly happy when he was by her side.
On his first trip out on the boat, he paced around as we got going. About five minutes into the journey he jumped up onto Kay Lynne’s lap and remained there for the rest of the trip. A fishing dog Buddy was not. His behavior displayed his dislike for motion of any kind. He never liked the car – despite our many trips with him – but he always was ready to go at the drop of a hat because he just wanted to be with “his people.”
Buddy did love the outdoors and a grassy lawn or field. And he loved to smell the myriad of aromas on the leaves of bushes. That’s why he was happy in our back yard, small that it is. He had green grass and bushes all around. He spent many happy hours out there.
One of his favorite places was in Oregon at the home of our son Gregg and family where he could run at will and enjoy the acreage of their classic remodeled farm house. Buddy loved to roam the perimeter of the yard and enjoy all the fragrances of the bushes which grace the setting. He could scamper around on the spacious lawn and just plain have fun. All we had to say was, “You wanna go see Talli and Hayley and Aubrey and Gregg and Elaine and Jack (their dog)?” and he would spin in pirouettes, his way of expressing joy and happiness.
Buddy loved all of our grandkids including the smaller ones. Nathan, Doug and Jamie's son, now 4-1/2, would ride on Buddy's back when he was 2 or 3, loving to play "horseback". Buddy was always a willing participant. Our youngest granddaughter, Ally, (Nathan's almost 2-year-old sister) loved to follow him around the house, calling out, "Buddy", "Buddy".
One of my favorite pics - granddaughter Aubrey with Buddy on their porch exactly seven years ago.
But all is just a memory now. Buddy’s ashes were spread over a nearby apple orchard, appropriately honoring his love of trees, bushes and the grassy outdoors.
So farewell, faithful friend and companion. You will always have a spot in our hearts.