Sunday, August 5, 2007

Deep South - Part 3 - Dog Named Bud

After giving up Bunny, I kept talking about getting a dog.

I never had a dog growing up. In fact, I really didn't like dogs much, and was even scared of some. I don't know where the desire to get one came from. Perhaps, it was the heat and humidity. More likely it was meeting one of Sargent Leary's dogs.

Jeff and I spent some time at Sargent Leary's house. He was helping Jeff build an RC plane. So, I went along and hung out with his wife. They had two dogs. One was a really small white dog, who loved to hump my leg. The other was a sable sheltie, named Maggie. The sheltie would jump in Sargent Leary's arms and give him a hug. Maggie was just a real love bug, a great dog.

One afternoon, Jeff came home with a tiny puppy all wrapped up in one of Jeff's shirts. Jeff had gotten him "free" in the Walmart parking lot.

The puppy was a shepherd/husky mix. She had bright blue eyes. She was absolutely gorgeous. We named her "Bud", after our favorite drink, but we never called her that. I always called her "sweetie". Jeff pretty much called her "little f*&#er".

Bud was a really cute puppy, and I was excited to have her. I had no clue about puppy training, exercise or health care. I think I just assumed puppies came into the world knowing they had to pee outside. I would bring her out a few times a day, to the vacant field next to our apartment complex. I would let her off the leash, and she would run around like crazy. I don't recall ever picking up her poop, or even thinking I should.

A short time after getting Bud, I complained to our apartment complex manager that part of our carpet kept getting wet. The ceiling wasn't leaking, so there had to be a leak under the floor. She came to check it out, put her hand on the floor and smelled it. She told me that my dog must be peeing on the carpet. I was shocked. Dogs go outside, why would she pee inside? She gave me some carpet cleaner and asked for a pet security deposit. I had never seen Bud pee inside, but who knows what she did when I wasn't looking.

We brought Bud to the Toledo Bend beach once. I let her off the leash, and she made a beeline for the water. Once she was submerged up to her neck, she squatted and pooped in the water. She kept looking around smiling to see who was watching. "Look at me, look at me," she seemed to be saying. She thought it was just great. It seemed like she was trying to entice us to do the same.

Bud loved to go for car rides. She would stick her whole head out the window. Her ears would fly back, her eye lids would fly back. We could practically see her entire eyeball. The only problem was I had to hold on to her for dear life, because she tried to jump out of the car while it was moving. I think she wanted to fly.

Bud took off running down the road once. Jeff ended up getting hit by a car while chasing after the dog. Jeff knew I would be devastated if I lost my dog, so he kept chasing Bud.

One day, I noticed that Bud had a really strange metallic smell coming off her. I couldn't figure it out. This went on for several days. Then, we saw her squatting in the living room, and she began pooping. Jeff ran over to yell at her, but saw this weird wormlike substance coming out. It kept coming and coming. Bud really began straining, so Jeff had to help her get it out. Jeff had to keep pulling on it to get it all out of her. It was one big long piece. Jeff kept saying, "What is this, oh god,what is this?", as he pulled and pulled.

Bud had eaten the tape part of a cassette tape. It must have been a 120 minute tape, because Jeff had a huge pile by the time she was done. We took her to the vet to make sure she hadn't done any harm to herself. The vet gave her an antibiotic, and said we needed to get this dog spayed. I think the vet was afraid of the puppies Bud might produce someday.

Jeff got teased endlessly about this incident by his fellow soldiers. They would ask what songs the dog played when we pet him.

We got Bud spayed, hoping it would calm her down. She was calm while the anesthetic wore off, but then back to her old crazy self.

We would throw a bone for her and it would land on the vinyl floor by our front door. Bud would run for it, slide on the vinyl floor and slam her face into the door. She did this over and over again. She never learned to slow down on the vinyl.

In hind sight, she probably wasn't crazy as we thought, it was more poor parenting. I'm sure a large part of it was lack of exercise and structure.

Bud kept getting bigger. Soon, my little puppy was becoming a dog. Jeff was getting out of the military, and we were heading back north, to the real world. What to do with Bud?

At first, I was going to bring her home with me. We bought a crate for her, so I could bring her on the plane with me. Then, I began trying to picture her in my parent's house, where I would be staying while Jeff processed out. I was having a really hard time picturing how she would fit into our life, when I didn't know where life was taking us next.

We gave Rick and Bonnie a call.

They had met Bud. Bud had been to their house and played with their dogs. Luckily, they agreed to take on Bud. I felt better knowing Bud would have a good home, and that my mom's house would stay in one piece. We lost our security deposit at the apartment complex, they had to replace the carpet.

Bud fit in at Rick's right away. I don't think she missed us at all. She never really bonded with us. She seemed to be more of a free spirit. Now, she had a back yard to play in, and other dogs with her. Rick told us her favorite spot was on top of the dog house. Better view up there I guess.

By the time Jeff made it home, Bud was missing from Rick's house. Jeff thought she might have been stolen, because she was such a good looking dog. I always thought she just took off, not wanting to be confined by a fence. Who knows. I know I couldn't have given her a better life in NY, and that I did the right thing by trying to find a better home for her. I hope that where ever she ended up, that she had a good life. Bud may have not been my dog of a lifetime, but maybe she was to someone else.

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