© Mickey Steen
In early November I received an e-mail from Gord & Sandy, asking if I would consider looking after their black lab dog, Buddy, for 5 day’s from Nov. 19th . to the 24th.
Having had the pleasure of looking after Buddy for 10 days this past April, it took me all of 10 seconds to say Yes! I arrived out at their place on Nov. 18th. to get all my instructions as to when to feed this gentle giant of a dog. Not too much had changed as he gets fed twice a day, dog food only no human food, morning & again around 6 P.M. at supper time which is Farmer’s way of saying it where as city folks refer to it as dinner time. And the other thing that was the same was that Buddy get’s cold water to drink, if it has been in his water bowl too long you have to add ice cubes to cool it down, no he’s not spoilt.
Now having written a short story on my experience with Buddy this past April I decided I would do the same and come out with a Fall/Winter Buddy report.
What I did not know was that Buddy learned about that previous story and the devil had hired himself an agent, whom I had to negotiate with to get this one on paper. I must say that she was a very attractive, young, blonde haired, Golden Retriever. So we made a deal I would come up with 2 bags of dog food and that the 1st. 12 words had to be done by Buddy, so here we go, they are as follows:
BARK, bark, bark bow wow bark bark bark bark bow wow bark. Translating from my dog language book it goes something like this.
Wow, I see my Mom & Dad must be going away, and they have brought back that same old guy who was here in the spring to look after me, Yahoo, TREATS!
In the spring we would start each day off by going for a walk, and so that is what we did again. We had a set direction and coarse that we used and I was wondering if Buddy would remember what that was as to morning go East and afternoon go West from their yard. So Thursday morning after breakfast I said we should go for our walk, out the door we go and Buddy starts heading out the lane and when he reached the road we use be darned if he didn’t head East, no coaxing or anything and then in the after noon same thing, we walked out to the road and he headed West, smart dog. I carried dog treats for Buddy and he also remembered from before they were in my right hand coat pocket. Going out he would stay fairly close and if I stopped and reached for my pocket there he was. Coming back to the farm yard was another story.
We walked a kilometre in each direction before making the turn for home and after some more sampling I would say,” well let’s go home Buddy “ and he was gone, way, way ahead of me, but each time I got to the turn off into their farm, he was standing there waiting on the old guy.
Evenings were spent down in the rec. room watching TV. and this is where Mr. Buddy would test my patience and see just how far he could go before I would snap.
He loves to get hold of something and then he wants you to get hold of it and he then shakes his head, he is one powerful dog and can move you around with ease if he wants. Now I mentioned “treats” well his favorite treat is roasted hickory almonds and I had remembered and brought some out with me. This is where you get to see Buddy smile, yes I said smile. He was allowed 6 each night and this usually turned out to be 8. But when you had them in your hand you tell Buddy to sit, and he would do this, then you ask him to smile, he would look at you and each side of the top of his muzzle would curl up & you could see his teeth. Once you saw that smile then he got an almond. Needless to say I got a lot of laughs out of watching that, a clever dog.
Buddy still sleeps upstairs on the landing where he has his bed under the coat rack and if he needed to go out and relieve himself, he would push open the gate and head on down to my bedroom and let me know either by whining or using the cold nose contact and you have no idea how cold that nose is until it touches your bare skin, whether it was 11:00 , 1:30 or even as early as 3 in the morning.
Believe it was Sunday that Buddy had been down at 1:30 & I got up, went upstairs opened the door and out he went. He barks or kind of yelps when he is ready to come back in and if you miss the 1st, call believe me it get’s louder. Then he was down again around 3:20 and I got up but when we got up to the door he simply went & laid down in his bed, nice doggy. So getting dressed in the morning I found out I was missing a sock, looked all around but it had vanished, thus I had to issue an APB in hopes someone would find it. After breakfast and Buddy & I got ready to go out for our morning walk, I questioned him but he just looked at me with those big brown eye’s and tail a wagging. Out the door we go, Buddy 1st. then me and low and behold lying out on the ground was my sock, he just kept on going, hey let’s get walking.
Monday evening the 2 of us were downstairs when Gord & Sandy arrived home, you should have seen the greeting performance Buddy put on, he was just so happy to see them. He is such a people person dog, he just loves being around people.
On leaving the farm on Tuesday morning we were all out by my car and Sandy told Buddy he better say good bye to Uncle Mick and he came over and he got another good rub down mind you I had spoke to Buddy Monday afternoon and said my “misty” good bye to him at that time. But we did say goodbye again, then he proceeded to to do a run through the front seat of my car as both doors were open and then I was on my way home.
Thanks Buddy, for a great 5 days, love yah! Keep Smiling
Since arriving back in Winnipeg, I just noticed that Buddy indeed did keep a part of the old guy out at the farm, either it’s on his bed or he digested it through his system.
My scarf is partly missing as I guess it had fallen onto Buddy’s bed area and he has chewed out a piece out near the one end. It looks funny and I did chuckle, but it will be a great reminder for me of Buddy for the rest of the winter.