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Columns : The Pet Pages - Kim Aranha Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

Buddy's Story: Part 8 - Buddy grows up!!
By Kim Aranha
Oct 28, 2008 - 1:05:55 PM

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Buddy on the pool step

Wow, how time flies… Buddy is over 18 months old. It seams just like yesterday that he was a rather round ball of soft fur waddling around on the floor looking up with soulful eyes to be lifted and carried and loved.

Well, not much has changed except his size. He is still looking up with those amazing melting black eyes asking for a constant cuddle and thinks he is a lap dog, and would be happy to be carried.

Most of his endearing characteristics have remained, with a few new ones thrown in too. Unfortunately, the bad habits have stayed too. Perhaps that is my fault, but he is still so very cute that I find it very difficult to get cross with him and even more difficult to say NO! Even when he has put his paws up on the kitchen table, poised to steal (No, not steal, that is too big a word), to “borrow’ something to eat!

Buddy is really the most fantastic swimmer I have ever seen His jumps into the pool cover half the pool, and our pool is not too small. He swims back and forth and retrieves anything. His favourite game with my son, is when my son jumps into the pool and Buddy follows, Paul then stays underwater and Buddy hunts for him… Buddy has started to very willingly put his head underwater too, and will pick things up off the bottom of the pool in the shallow end.

He also enjoys lounging on the pool float to catch his breath. A the end of a vigorous game in the pool he gets out of the pool and goes over to the beach towel to ask to be dried off. Once he is dry enough to go back into the house he collapses in a heap and sleeps very soundly indeed for several hours.

When the boys are away the dogs sleep upstairs in our room with my husband and I. Abby has her own very special orthopedic bed which she protects with a curled lip if any other dog “dares’ to approach with a view to lying on it. Chief has his bed besides my side of the bed, complete with cuddly toy dog and chewies. Buddy has a bed too, but…When we go upstairs, Chief snuggles down into his bed and is asleep before I have turned the first page in my book. Buddy? Well Buddy is another thing all together. Those of you who have been reading these articles since the beginning may remember that my husband did not want the dogs on the bed. So I bought dogs beds for all and spend hours every night settling the dogs into their beds. It worked with Chief and Abba, but Buddy?  I am afraid that I failed miserably with Buddy. He just will NOT sleep anywhere else but on our bed, between us, on his back, SNORING…all efforts to get Buddy to sleep on the floor have been abandoned. He was so very pathetic and extremely persevering that he wore us down completely. It is very cute to wake up in the middle of the night and have to give Buddy a shove because of his snoring.

Buddy saving the ball

Buddy is now a very accomplished guard dog and defends his property valiantly. Anybody so much as daring to walk past our house has to be barked at. If that person happens to be accompanied by a dog, Buddy rushes up and down the yard barking frantically to scare them away. You should see the track in the grass Buddy and Chief have worn into the lawn! When the people and dog have gone, Buddy trots back to the front door with immense pride, his tongue lolling out of the side of his mouth, and a swagger to his gate. Buddy is convinced that he single handedly frightened those people away and he is very pleased with himself.

Buddy drives poor Chief crazy, as he absolutely insists on “cleaning” Chief’s ears. Buddy will come over to a sleeping Chief and start licking his ear. Chief will ignore this for a while, feigning sleep, Buddy keeps on. Chief will then sit up, Buddy keeps on, Chief will then growl, Buddy keeps on… finally Chief has to hurl himself up quickly, shake Buddy off and move away… Buddy is not deterred, he simply waits for Chief to go back to sleep.

The friendship that Buddy and Chief enjoy is truly special. I think of them as salt and pepper. They lie close to each other and sometimes Buddy has his head resting on Chief’s body. If one is out in the garden and the other is in the house there is no peace until they are reunited. . They love each other and play together endlessly.

Buddy still has a puppy face and not the "big boy" look that all the Labradors have in the calendars I buy. They all have this stern and controlled look of purpose; Buddy is always smiling and a bit “floppy”. He is irresistible and impossible not to love.

A few weeks ago I was at dinner and the couple next to us asked if I was Kim Aranha, when I said yes they reminded me that they were Buddy’s breeders. We had a long and lovely conversation with them, and they were so happy to hear how well Buddy is doing. We are in touch with three of Buddy’s siblings and it appears that they all have the same endearing and lovable personalities.

You know the more time I spend with animals, the more I realize that they really are the key to so many answers. When you watch them and their unconditional love that they give to you. The way they understand your moods and they just know when something is wrong, they bring you a gift or come for a pat, they just do “the right thing’. They don’t need words. We could learn a lot from our pets if we cared to listen and pay attention.

I consider my life blessed by my animals. When Spats died last month, it was very sad, but there were other three wet noses waiting to give me comfort. They push their faces in your hand to remind you to stroke and love them and they in return, give you everything they have. Thank you God for the gift of animals in our life. Thank you for Buddy and all his endearing antics that give me an extra reason to smile every day! God bless you Buddy.

Buddy having a rest with me.

About the author: Kim Aranha grew up in the Berry Islands with her first dog, a beloved potcake named “Friendly” (who was anything but!). First educated at home, and then in boarding school in Switzerland, Kim moved to Rome, Italy in 1974 to pursue a career in the dramatic arts and ended up working as an interpreter. She moved back to The Bahamas in 1980, and now lives in Nassau with her husband Paul, and their two teenaged sons. Kim has 4 dogs, 5 fish (1 Beta, 4 Goldfish), 10 turtles (6 babies, 4 adolescents), 1 Asian box turtle and 4 Budgerigars. Her idea of relaxing is being home to take care of all her pets. Kim is President of the board of the Bahamas Humane Society. Kim can be contacted at kimvba@coralwave.com

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