It is with great sadness that I have to report that my little shadow, Buddy, has died.
He’s been a pretty sick little boy the past few days and we had a doctor’s appointment the next morning, but he didn’t survive the night.
When I got home from work he was just an old friend, even though he was weaker than normal. He had dinner with some warm chicken broth on the side and he was fine most of the night but for the last few hours when I comforted him and finally put him in his favorite bed with that favorite blanket and stuffed lamb next for him I wondered if he would still be with us tomorrow. When I got up I found him under his blanket, still warm but not breathing.
I don’t believe in mysticism or any of its many forms, but the power of a little dog’s love is a strange thing, and maybe it was his death that sent me a brief, very vivid black and white dream. It was night and I was standing in a barn yard, or so it seemed from the area, a bright light showed a spot on the dirt. Suddenly two big dogs ran into the light and somewhere under my feet Buddy ran out to play with them. He was young and very happy to see her. They were running into the dark somewhere and I never saw Buddy again. I don’t think I woke up right after that, but I may have. It was three minutes past midnight.
Buddy was a small dog that was taken away from its neglected owners by the Humane Society of Ventura County. Until then, he had had a pretty tough little life. They took care of him and loved him while trying to find him a home forever. I volunteered there at the time and raised money to pay older dog adoption fees to encourage people to take an older dog home with them. I named the program Tinker’s Treat, named for my former little older dog who suddenly died. After months of trying to get Buddy adopted, I decided to bring him home. He was the 30th and the last dog to be adopted through Tinker’s Treat.
Our relationship was not a dog and master situation; We were friends, best friends, and I took him everywhere to meet as many people as possible. I did this because he put an instant smile on everyone’s face and he was always the gentleman when people wanted to stroke or hold him. When he went everywhere with me, he learned that not all people are terrible people.
He was a quiet little man, he rarely barked and only made screeching noises when I got home or when I was preparing his meals. Nevertheless, it will be a much quieter world for me and his mother without him.
Thank you to everyone who knew and loved him. You can be sure that he cherished it and that the last years of his life have been very happy.