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Buddy and His Climb to the Top

Buddy and His Climb to the Top
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)


  1. Is it my imagination or is Buddy narrowing his eyes at you? Hide the phone Tom, he’s hatching a plan. Even so, he is such a beautiful pooch.

  2. Lying next to my own fur pal, the somnolent, overweight Penelope Cat, I appreciate your Buddy Chronicles deeply. I was woken at 5:30 this morning by the same mechanical whoopsing sound and knew exactly what was happening. I got a good laugh out of Buddy’s current antics. I look forward to every post.

  3. I so enjoy starting my day reading about the “new manager” of the kingdom! Time to batten down the hatches and start putting things up out of paw reach😄

  4. I thought was the only person obsessive enough to grab a magazine to reread just before tossing it into the recycle compactor. Hah!

  5. Ha! Buddy obviously knows his own mind, has a strong will, and the determination and strength to have his way. Watch out. But keep us posted. We are all grinning out here, watching the fun. (For the record, our ‘buddy’ is an orange cat named Monty. Oh dear. He’s been with us for a year and a half now, and he is definitely winning.)

  6. For years, we had an XL (80 lb) Briard named Nacho, who had a nose for butter and salmon and anything else fragrant or fatty. Countertops were no challenge for this big fellow; he didn’t need a chair. Solution: top of the refrigerator.

  7. Tom, I feel like all is right with the world, now that you and Buddy have found each other. I’m enjoying the tales of his adventures, very much!

  8. All of us animal lovers know that gag-reflex sound (with our cats, it was a rhythmic “ticking” sound), and run as quickly as we can to slip something under them.

    • Oh yes. Last week I heard it, just two days after laying down a gorgeous new hand-woven carpet in the dining room. I rushed out, too late, naturally, but fortunately it was only a hairball. Could have been much worse. For that reason alone we always choose er, earth-tone rug patterns for our home.

  9. I have a feeling that, somehow, Buddy is going to figure out how to turn the kitchen chairs over and climb back onto the table when you’re gone. Do not under estimate him! What a guy!

  10. Hello Buddy and Tom,
    Oh, it is that bonding time when human and canines have to learn the rules.

    What is so very important to us is showing our humans how we love them but sometimes it is taken the wrong way by them. We can illustrate this example: Harris is the only male in our household; of course, he has the full responsibility of protecting all his women from the terrorist postman that drops letter bomb throw the mail slot. Can he really be responsible if he demolished the mail slot? He really is only protecting the homestead. It is a tough job? The stress!!!! Harris needs to have a massage after the postal battle. Protecting his 4 bitches is more than a full time job.

    Buddy, we know that you have created your lookout tower on that table top. The camera was just put in a safe place for Tom. We are sure, he probably gets a little forgetful like our human. We always have to be taking care of them and there possessions.

    Perhaps, Buddy you may need to whisper in Tom’s ear you may need some help with all the chores and responsibilities of taking care of him!! What do you say?

    Love the Furry Gang


  11. Just love Buddy and your chronicles of his antics. He is one smart dog! I just about lost Gracie on Tuesday – long story – and so dogs are at the centre of my heart these days.

  12. Every time I go to your blog I’m disappointed that there hasn’t been a new entry. You’ve spoiled us, Tom, with your beautiful writing and gentle sense of humour! You’ve mentioned previously that you like Valentine’s Day: what about a Valentine blog about all the things you love? Beginning, of course, with Buddy.:)

    • Thanks Sandra, I’m feeling the love, so you’re right, I should share that love with my friends. Let me think about your suggestion. Great idea. 🙂


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