Best Buddies

A family brings home an abandoned Terrier-Poodle mix with a larger-than-life personality.

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More than nine years ago, my mother went to the city swimming pool and noticed a small 15-pound dog tied to the flag pole. There was a note on his leash that said he was abandoned and homeless. When my mother left the pool, she noticed the dog was still there. She felt bad for the dog and brought him home, then called to inform my wife and me that she had a present for us. We went to claim our surprise and quickly discovered a little Terrier-Poodle mix named Rusty, who was about 11/2 years old at the time. I was sure he hadn’t had a bath in months.

We told her we would take the dog for the weekend, but would probably bring him back Sunday night. When we got home that night, we gave him a bath and played around with him. We quickly realized he liked playing tug of war and chasing the tennis ball.

We weren’t sure what to do with him at bedtime, so we put him at the end of the bed and hoped for the best. Somehow, he wriggled his way under the covers and slept there all night. He immediately bonded with my wife and followed her everywhere that weekend. Needless to say, he became a part of our household for more than nine years. We knew he was one of those special pets that do not come along every day.

We changed Rusty’s name to Buddy, and he immediately became the commander-in-chief of the house. We placed a small stool in front of our kitchen window, where he looked out for hours. He growled and barked at any passers by. He perched there at 5 p.m., waiting for us to return from work and always greeting us with love.

There was never a dull moment with Buddy. He loved going for walks and riding in the car. He walked himself on the leash and always looked forward to his bedtime treat. Every morning, he fetched the newspaper and dragged it to the bedroom. Buddy entertained himself for hours by hiding a small tennis ball in a shoe or chasing lizards in the backyard. He even howled along whenever we sang songs.

Buddy loved small stuffed animals. Once, we visited the assisted-living home where my grandmother lived. We noticed Buddy hopping onto a stool, then onto the back of a sofa. We had no idea what he was doing. Then we saw a small teddy bear on the fireplace mantel. He was trying to get that little bear!

When we brought home Barney, our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Buddy wasn’t too happy. But he soon realized he was still in control, and they became good friends.

We knew Buddy had a large heart, but he literally had an enlarged heart that caused his death. Recently, Buddy passed away peacefully as he lay on my chest. We were thankful we could be there for him as he took his last breath. He gave us so much joy.

We encourage everyone to take a look at a shelter or rescue dog as a pet. I have had Labrador Retrievers, spaniels and German Shepherd Dogs as pets, but our little rescued mixed-breed dog Buddy was the best dog I have ever had. Rest in peace, Buds.

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