Wednesday, April 21, 2010

(Tap tap) Is this thing on? I got something to say!

Being a stray dog is no box of Milk Bones. Never knowing where your next meal is coming from--or whether you might have to skip it. Sleeping out in the rain with a rotten log for a pillow and a pile of wet leaves to keep you warm. Counting the ticks in your ears and the fleas on your bum until the itching just about drives you crazy and you lose count. And worst of all having to constantly look over your shoulder for the folks from Animal Control. (Who let those mutts out? Har-har!) Put it all together and you have some idea as to why, after a year or so on the run, I finally decided to let my new humans "catch" me. Whoever said that the hell you know is better than the hell you don't know . . . well, he doesn't know what the hell he's talking about.

I started the process of "getting caught" by conducting semi-silent interviews with a number of people who brought food and treats to me at my various hangouts. I'll admit I made it difficult for them to help me in this way, because they never knew from one day to the next where I'd be. (Such is life on the street and in the woods--you have to keep moving because you're never quite sure who your real friends are until it may be too late. Although many humans wished me well, a few were always on my case and trying to sic Animal Control on me. I wouldn't have put it past a couple of these self-absorbed Scrooges to poison me!) By "semi-silent" interview I mean that I just let people talk while I watched and listened. Slowly I developed a following that I could sort of trust--but I wasn't about to make any snap decisions. And then Mike and Jeannie came along.

Don't get me wrong. I love everyone who showed me kindness and compassion. But M and J were different. They approached me on my own level. Literally, they got down on all fours and even low-crawled through the weeds to get close to me. I found that comforting. Once after Jeannie had come up to me like this and handed me some yummy bits of raw New York strip steak, she lay down on the ground with her head on her purse. I couldn't resist lying down beside her!

For those of you who like pictures, here's the first one I let Mike take of me. I think he did a decent job, don't you? (Of course, he had a fair amount to work with, subject-wise.)

And here's one of Jeannie feeding me steak!

After about six weeks of checking M and J out, I was pretty sure I wanted to live with them. So a week ago last Tuesday I followed them into a friendly neighbor's fenced-in yard and let another of my fans put a leash on me. It felt strange and scary, but good in a way. Does that make any sense? From there I took a ride to the vet in a big SUV. You can tell from the next photo that I needed a little coaxing.

The doctor poked and prodded, stuck me with needles, shoved something up . . . well, let's not go there, pulled a bunch of ticks out of my ears (that hurt worse than the needles!), and subjected me to various other indignities. But I liked her, so I didn't object too much. Then it was on to my new digs.

I was mega-impressed when I went into this place Mike and Jeannie said was a living room. (I vaguely remember one from my puppy-hood.) They have this long, soft thing in there called a couch, and I felt right away that it was better for resting and sleeping on than the hard, cold ground or a pile of wet leaves--a theory that I tested and verified even before I had my leash off.


I do love me some couch!

I think I'm going to be happy here. Mike and Jeannie and their friends give me lots of gadgets called toys--mostly little furry statues--which they say are to play with. I believe this means you're supposed to tear them limb from limb and pull their stuffing out. The quicker you can accomplish this, the more impressed humans seem to be. I was able to do it almost instantly. Here's a picture of me showing my friend Davina the proper way to maim a toy.

And here is a picture of three of my favorite toys. At first their names (left to right) were Brown Bear, Bobo, and Blue Puppy--which made good sense to me. But after I played with them a time or two, M and J started calling them Anne Bear-lyn, Bobo Van Gogh, and Tripod. I'll be darned if I know why. No offense, dear reader, but humans are pretty weird.

But Mike and Jeannie are nice and they mean well (I think!)--and they let me use their computer to keep this blog. After I get some rest and start regaining my health (did I mention I have a mild case of heartworms and possibly a tick-borne illness called Ehrlichiosis?), I'll tell you more about myself and let you know how my new life is going.

One last thing I'd like to do today is thank the people (in addition to M and J, of course) who fed me and brought me fresh water and talked nice to me and otherwise, directly or indirectly, helped me survive when I was on the run. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Gail, Bonnie, Judy, Larry, Lillian, Davina, Luis, Nancy, Dewey, Ron, Cheryl, Julie, Dolores, Doyle, Martha, Rick, and Holly. Thanks, too, to the caring doctors and staff at Countryside Animal Clinic, who opened an account in my name long before they laid eyes or hands on me. There are also many supporters whose names I've never learned--but they know who they are. To them I am equally grateful. And a big shout-out in support of M and J's favorite charity, Journey's End Animal Sanctuary, a shelter that cares for many species of abandoned and abused animals. Finally, to those few who wished me ill--and they also know who they are--I would simply say: May the fleas of ten thousand stray dogs and cats infest your eyebrows!

Thanks for checking out my new blog. I hope you'll come visit me again. I hate like the dickens to see you leave. Did I mention I have separation anxiety, too? I'll tell you why in a future post, if I can work up the nerve. (It's not something I like to think about.)


Anonymous said...

Good morning, Buddy; it's so nice to hear from you first thing in the morning (that's whenI check out all the blogs that are posted overnight.) It sounds like you landed in a pretty safe haven after being on your own for so long, and I'm happy for you. I believe you picked well. I've known M & J a lot longer than you have; and, believe me, they will take care of your every need (and some of your frivolous wants as well.)

Don't worry; be happy!

Love, Grandma Grace (Yes, I am your newly adopted grandmother!)

Uncle(?) Fred said...

You have chosen well. I too was adopted into the M&J household and it has been a great ride for almost 19 years (people years).
Watch out for the two cats, they have sharps up front.
Sometime I'll bring down your cousin(?) Ginger and you all can have a ball.

judy said...

Hi Buddy, my gentle giant. So glad you have a good home now!! It's been a long road for you. Good luck with your new family!! Love you, Buddy. JUDY

Julia said...

Hi, Buddy -
What a great story you have to share. I'm so glad that you were adopted into a family that will allow you to use the computer and keep up your blogging.
You really have selected an ideal place to live. You are going to enjoy being in the lap of dog luxury which I am sure you deserve after being homeless for so long.
Enjoy your new life and keep us posted about your adventures.
You are one lucky dog!
Love to you and the family,
Aunt Julia

Kevin and Pam said...

Hi Buddy, you don't know us, but we have been keeping up with your story for quite a while now from Tennessee. We were so happy to hear that you finally gave in and allowed your new human family to adopt you and make you their newest family member. We followed your progress everyday while you evaded the mean animal control people, and all your followers on the phones with each other tracking you down as to know where to feed and water you. We are sure your new home is a great one, and that you couldn't be in a better home with more loving humans. We saw your picture, the first one you let Mike take of you, and now to see you after having a bath, makes us smile. You are truly a beautiful animal and we just know you will be very happy in your new home. Take it easy, Buddy and keep us posted on your new life. Wishing you and your new family love and happiness from Tennessee,
Love Kevin and Pam

Dewey and Nancy said...

Hi Buddy Brown!

When we first saw you, you were automatically dubbed the stray 'brown' dog. This evolved very quickly into 'Brown'. After hearing from other sources that you had been named 'Buddy', of course you were immediately named 'Buddy Brown' by us. You are a very lucky and smart canine since you chose M and J as your new parents. All of your 'support group' will agree that you made the right decision. You will get more love, attention and care than you could have possibly imagined. Although, we still look for you in passing by, at what used to be your 'homestead' at the old house, we are so thankful that you are now warm or cool, dry, and above all have a wonderful chef to cook that egg for you each morning. By the way, who spoiled you???? Oh well, that's okay - you deserve it.

Buddy Brown, thanks for sharing your life with ALL of us in your 'support group' of friends that so wanted your story to have a wonderful and happy ending.

Love to you and your new parents,
Dewey and Nancy

Gypsy said...

Tap,tap--Hi Buddy are you there? Remember me, I'am Gypsy. I alway's walked my people mommie, Judy, to the old house where you stayed some of the time. Judy was always so worried about you! I told you to look sad and hungery so M & J would love and want to take you home with them. See it really works. This worked for me too!! Judy was so worried when you was at the bank cause of the big highway. Judy say's I can come play with you soon! Get well' and remember to look sad, and wag your tail alot!! People seem to like that for some reason. Judy says I got to get off this thing. See you soon! GYPSY

Bonnie Durham said...

Yes,Buddy, miracles do happen, and you sure are one!! Many kind people worried and cared about you. Then, M&J came on the scene and won your heart and trust and took you home with them. What a wonderful, warm feeling knowing you are now SAFE, LOVED, and NOT ALONE any more. You will always be, to so many people, our SPECIAL BUDDY.

Anonymous said...

Great blog Mike! Very creative and humorous. Buddy has found a great home.
It does show that when the government steps in it can become insane for everyone involved.

Very clever


bill and jan

Libby said...

Hey Y'all...I have no confidence you'll ever see this but at least I tried. Your story is the best. Am looking forward to the next entry. Oh, my friend Pat stopped the 1ooo's of copies on my computer! See you soon when Daisy and I are walking. Libby

BUDDY said...

Good for you, Libby! I had a feeling that if I--a dog--could write this blog, you--a human--could successfully post a comment! ;-)