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

Happy 1st Birthday Buddy - so much love in one little body!
By Kim Aranha
Apr 8, 2008 - 6:28:24 PM

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Going for a dip!

So much love in one little body!

A few days ago our sweet wriggly black Labrador ,  “Buddy” celebrated his 1st birthday. Belonging to a crazy family like ours, Buddy had a Birthday party! Oh yes! I see the raised eyebrows now! Is she nuts? Why he is “just” a dog! With all the problems in this world, remembering a dogs birthday! Well, I never!!

So, I figured, precisely, with all the problems and horrors in this world; we need to come down to basics and celebrate the simpler things in life, the sweet and happy things in life……..like…..Buddy’s 1st Birthday.

I baked a cake and wasn’t going to bother with candles until I found some irresistible Scooby Doo candles at the supermarket. Chief should have a birthday around the same time as Buddy working backwards from how old he was when we adopted him on June 1st, 2006 . So I bought two candles one for Buddy and one for Chief!!! Nuts, again! As Buddy and Chief shouldn’t eat cake, I made a ground beef “cake” and put milk bone dog biscuits in it as opposed to burning candles. The dogs loved the “dog cake” and the humans loved the “people cake”.

Buddy and Chief shared, after some prompting from me, their “cake” with Spats and Abba.

So, I look at my beautiful Buddy, still silky to the touch and wriggly to the pat.

He has not grown to be quite a big as I had expected. I like to refer to him as my “pocket Labrador ”. He has so much love packed into his little body that I simply cannot imagine how God was able to squeeze so much of it into him. In the mornings Buddy climbs tentatively up on the bed to say good morning. I say tentatively because officially he is not allowed on the bed, but, the licks and snuffles and grunts and wags as he positions himself so that his nose is just a few inches away from my nose. Once he has received some love and recognition he closes his eyes blissfully and with a sigh departs into Buddy dreamland. Some times his little paws start moving, his nose twitches and he does funny little “puffer” barks. What are you dreaming of little Buddy?

His woof is now totally big bog and he uses it with pride, however, he invariably waits for one of the other dogs to sound the “alarm”, when they start to bark, Buddy looks around to catch their eye and then, if they give the nod, he joins joyfully in.

His swimming continues to improve, he happily puts his head underwater and the length and height of his leaps into the pool simply amaze me. He tries to get his Potcake brother, Chief, to come in with him, but Chief treats water with great suspicion, and only once in a blue moon will he venture in for a very short dip and then gets out looking reasonably indignant because he is now…..wet!

I would say that Buddy’s weakest point is his chewing and digging….anything and anywhere! Don’t get me wrong now, if I am at home, and Buddy is with me he behaves better that those fancy Westminster Dog Show dogs. When I turn my back or heavens forbid, go out, well, that is when the halo that once adorned the perfect Buddy sitting at his owner’s feet turn into two rather bulky devil horns…. Buddy can reach up onto the kitchen table further than I could ever imagine, and he has the most extraordinary tastes! His idea of a real gourmet snack is turtle pellets or goldfish flakes, when they are not available, then, the blue filters pads for the aquarium water filters are excellent substitutes. When he is not chewing; he is digging. That poor garden of mine looks worse every week. If I separate Buddy and Chief when I go out they behave better, because they feed off of one another’s “ideas”. But separating them sort of defeats the purpose of having two young dogs to keep each other company, doesn’t it? Fortunately I can keep the two of them in one separate section of our yard, so they cannot destroy everything. Buddy loves to dig up pot plants too, I had never seen this before but when I mention this to friends I am beginning to find quite a few people who have had dogs who liked to dig up pot plants.

Chief and Buddy (right)

We collectively decided that Buddy was not ready for the Bahamas Kennel Club Dog Show, or versa versa. I believe at least one of his siblings entered, his sweet little sister,
Berry , whom I had the great pleasure of meeting on the beach a few weeks ago. She is a dead ringer for Buddy and just as exuberant and happy! Happy birthday Berry !

I still have not got around to doing any formal training, it is rather like going to the gym, always, “we’ll start tomorrow”, I’m sure actually that Buddy would love it and be very happy to please, the problem lies with me and the lack of free time. I really have to try and make it a priority….

It is interesting that he still has that cute chubby little puppy face and a puppy way of doing things, he is still a “child’ and shows that constantly with his playfulness and his sweet and silly way of doing things…

He is due to go in for his one year check up at the Vet and can now officially eat grown up dog food (he got sooooo sick of that puppy food some time ago).

I guess our little Buddy is growing up fast to be a happy and affectionate “teen age” adolescent dog, with all his little mischievous little tricks. I would not have him any other way and it never fails to amaze me how much love he can dole out a day to everybody in the house! He certainly is one of God’s creatures!

Happy First Birthday Buddy, may you live to enjoy many more!

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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