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My Boy Buddy

A Pet Story

By Florence MattersdorferPublished 5 years ago 3 min read

I met Buddy when I was doing social work for a school for autistic students. I was doing field work with our nurse for a student who required a clinical visit. As we began to enter the hospital we saw an emaciated Yellow Lab mix dog at the entrance. My heart broke for him but I had to go inside to do work. The nurse, who was also an animal lover and I took turns running out to see if he was still there which he was for the duration of our work at the hospital. I decided I was going to adopt him but here was the thing: he thought we were a two for one model and would not go with just one of us it had to be with both! Fortunately, we were both able to coax him into her car to take him home. My daughter had just gotten home from school and was thrilled that I had brought a dog home but he needed care. He needed to see a vet and be checked out. He had mange and he was starving but getting him to the vet was a challenge because he was terrified of crossing the streets. I had to carry him across every street on the long walk to the vet's office.

Visit done I finally got him home and fed him. I put a blanket on the bed where he could lay during the night and treated his skin condition with great success but, he didn't bark. For a bit I wondered if he could. After a couple of nights he finally did bark at a noise and I knew he had adopted me too.

I named him Buddy because I knew he would be a pal which he was. He was also so so sweet natured I was amazed given what he must have gone through. I estimated his age to be a little less than a year so he still had some puppy in him. And he had his moments. He would take my mom's underwear from her hands and run through the house with it. I had a good friend that lived upstairs who would stop in every day after work. It was winter so she had a big fake fur hat that she wore which bothered Buddy. He would sit and stare at her then jump up, grab her hat and run throughout the house with it!

But this was the least of it. We soon discovered he had separation anxiety. If no one was home he was very destructive. He destroyed my favorite chair, he ate the wooden molding off built-in closets and would rip down shower curtains. We loved him but what to do? We soon realized he needed a companion, a cat of his own. My daughter found a cat and brought her home and they bonded right away. That was the thing about Buddy. He got along with every rescued dog and cat I brought in the house and his separation anxiety stopped. I loved sitting on the sofa with Buddy to watch tv. I would prop him up in a sitting position and he would stay that way. Sometimes he's lay on his back in my arms like a baby. He truly became my pal.

Buddy loved the beach! My daughter and I would walk to Coney Island where he would run and dash into the wave nonstop! Truth be told it was often difficult to get him to stop as he loved the water so much! Since he was part Lab he had webbing between his toes which made swimming natural for him to do.

What was special about Buddy? His devotion and gentle nature. When I was home it was me and the Buds hanging out with my daughter. As he got older he became more of a pal, more devoted and more gentle. One summer I had been in an accident and the only comfortable place for me to be was the sofa. That whole summer he was on the sofa with me when he could have been on the bed in greater comfort. When he was under the weather in the summertime he would get seizures. I would have him sleep on cushions on the living room floor with cool wet towels and a fan on him and I would be on the floor with him. We were a team bound by our love for each other. When he got older he became deaf but learned our personal sign language for going out, having something to eat and so on. I had Buddy until he was twenty years old. I miss him to this day. He was my pal, my Buddy. My Boy Buddy.


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