Buddy and His Climb to the Top{23}


Buddy caught reading my email.

I’m an early riser, but this morning at 4:32 am, I was an earlier riser. A poorly set alarm clock named Buddy awoke me by bounding out of bed with an urgency usually reserved for small bladders and long movies. Within seconds of heeding his march down the hall, I heard the sound, the coughing song, the gag reflex set-up, that gets this man out of bed faster than the words “house a fire.” Yep, Buddy was about to show me how his stomach felt about a few “treats” I gave him before bedtime. Apparently, I am not the only one put off by fatty pot roast. (Please accept my apologies, Buddy.)

In hot pursuit, tripping over shoes, yesterday’s sweatshirt, and a tangle of extension cords, I made it to the guest room and flipped the light switch. There Buddy stood, scowl intact (and in my direction, and deservedly so). I still had time to save the last rug untouched by any dog’s delivery (no matter which end).  Then Buddy, started heaving with mechanical precision and cadence. There was no stopping what he was about to dispense. With the determination of a base runner sliding home, I pulled off my t-shirt and lunged toward Mr. Buddy. Disaster was averted, well at least for the rug, not so much for the tee.

It’s a bit later, and Buddy is fine, I am fine, my t-shirt—now in the washer—is fine, and I have learned my lesson. And since I can’t get back to sleep, this chatty prologue brings me to another story about getting to know Buddy.

I’ve been enjoying Buddy’s company now for a little over three weeks. And as we get to know each other, his stalwart personality reveals itself in quirky and comical ways (which is probably what he says about me). Buddy prefers to sit up high, say on a chair or ottoman, as if thrones. When I work at my desk, he requires a chair be placed next to me so he can climb up ( I will video this for you some time) and sit eye-to-eye, well actually more like muzzle-to-shoulder.

I learned about Buddy’s druthers for high-altitude climbs the first time I left him alone.  When I returned home, Buddy was peering out the window from the vantage point of the kitchen table. Papers, a laptop, camera cords, cups and saucers did little to deter my determined Sherpa. He had reached his Everest courtesy of bulldog pluck and a well-placed Captain’s chair.

I had to laugh, but knew that this stunt was a one-time thing if I had a say in the matter. Apparently, I did not. The next time I returned home, I found Buddy unapologetically back on the table, butt wigglin’, heart soarin’, papers a flyin’. How could this be? I had moved all of the chairs away from the table, and yet one was backed up to it like a step stool.  And then I recalled Buddy’s antics of the day before. Buddy hides his bones and toys under two wingbacks in the living room. When he wants to access his hidden treasure, he body blocks the chair until it moves enough to reveal his chewable cache. Yes, Buddy moves hearts and furniture.  So to keep Buddy off the table for good, I now flip the kitchen chairs over on each like like it’s closing time at the neighborhood bar. Unless he grows thumbs, I think my tabletop is now safe from his claim.

And yet, this is not the end of the story. I’ve been missing my camera, which was last seen next to my laptop on the kitchen table about—you guessed it—three weeks ago. And since I use my camera daily, I’ve been scouring every inch of house, truck, coop, and farm environs to find it. I hate to make accusations, but I do know Buddy has a fascination with anything small enough to be carted away by his ample jaws. After a week of coming up empty, I feared my camera was likely buried in a mossy grave or under a crush of ferns outside, courtesy of my resident excavator and object relocator. And so I bit the bullet, and ordered a new camera.

Yesterday, I was pitching my recyclables in the new compactor at our island transfer station. The curious behemoth takes just about everything and crushes it for transport off-island to be sorted at a central facility. With the last bag in hand, ready for its handoff to the gaping compactor, I spotted a couple seed catalogs. (I have trouble letting go, sometimes.) I grabbed them, only to reveal my camera beneath their folds, along with a favorite cap. And so I discovered Buddy’s other hiding place just in the knick of time. Now if I can just find out where Buddy put its battery charger, I’ll have some new photos for you on your next visit to Tall Clover Farm.  Well wishes, friends, oh, and Buddy says “Hi and thanks for the warm welcome.”

Someone’s been sitting in my chair… (photos via camera phone)