Buddy . . . striving to become a Working Dog!

Dum Dee Dee, Dee Dee, Dee Do, Oh life is good." OK, In case yer wonderin, that's my bestest attempt at singing online cause I'm always happy now! Oh, by the way. It's the Bud Man, Budmeister, and of course yer little buddy Buddy here, Hello to everyone!!

Well, it's now officially been three months since my new step mom and dad Mary and Butch took me into their home in Western NY and wow, have I ever learned a lot! Every day is a new experience, but all my days are easier to handle now that I have some courage. I'll start off this week by telling you about some of my new favorite things.

Mom and Dad have been letting me stay in the house every night for the last week, can ya believe it? The reason is that Badger has a girlfriend visiting for 'you-know-what,' and I'm not allowed to peek. (They musta forgotten about that living room window! :) If I get on the couch and stretch on my little tippy toes, I get a perfect view of the kennel. That's when I can see Badger and his girlfriend . . .oops, shush Buddy!

Anyway, the house is the place for me! It's full of many really cool things like TV! I love to watch TV. My favorite show is the Animal Planet's Good Dog U. I get to watch all my friends doing really cool tricks. If I see one I really like I go right up to the TV and sit in front of it sniffin' it and watchin all those doggies!

Hey, did you guys know houses are filled with shoes just made for us fuzzy little guys to carry around? Yep, there's really big ones like Daddy's, and kinda big ones like Mommy's, and they all smell just like my favoritest peoples in the whole world! I just carry 'em all around and get real proud when I have one in my mouth. If Mom and Dad are in two different rooms, I have a parade. First I carry my prize to Mom, then to Dad, then I start all over again. They even use me as the delivery boy. If Dad wants his slippers from another room, Mom just calls me in and I take 'em to Dad. I draw the line at the pipe though!

The other night when I was in the house, I decided to practice my arts and crafts. When Mom and Dad went to sleep, I went in the bathroom and found this whole roll of really cool artist's paper. I worked and I worked but it was too dry, so I added some top quality slobber. Well, by morning I had perfected the bestest paper mache carpet sculpture Mom and Dad had ever seen! I think Mom was particularly impressed at my artistic ability cause she kept saying she couldn't believe how many nice spit balls I was able to make that paper into. Well OK, she didn't exactly say it that way. She used some other funny sounding words that I'm not really sure I'm allowed to say, but I really think she was impressed with me, yup.

I found sumpfin in the house that I don't think I like. Mommy was standing at the sink when she opened the cupboard underneath to throw sumpfin in the waste basket. I saw this little square thing that had peanut butter on it sitting next to the waste basket. It smelled really good so I decided to taste it. All the sudden that little square thing snapped me right in the nose! Eeeeekkkk!! Well, that night, Mom and Dad had Willow and me outside by the fireplace and decided to give us a special treat. She took a bone that had peanut butter smeared in it and gave us each one. Well you don't have to hit this boy in the head with no tire iron twice! I knew it was a trick and peanut butter will come alive and beat you up if you try to eat it. I took one sniff and started shaking my head like when that little square thing attacked me, and I would have no part of it, no siree, not this kid!

Speaking of the fireplace, Dad says I need more lessons about these. Dad had his chair in front of the fireplace when I decided to go see him. Well, I started waggin' my tail (not that it ever stops mind you) and all the sudden I smelled hair burning, and Mom jumped up and grabbed my tail. How come she did that, was she mad at me? Doesn't she like me to wag it?

Well guess what? Do you remember me telling ya about my first swim and how scary it was? Well, Mom decided I needed to get more exercise, so she's been taking me every morning for swimming lessons. She said I did pretty good cause the first day she only had to rescue me four times! I got my big front feet out in front of me a goin' like plungers. They splashed and splashed water everywhere and I couldn't see nuthin, so I tried to get my neck way out of the water to see better.

Then I started to get tired, so I just quit kickin my back feet. All the sudden everything got real dark and bubbles started coming out of my nose! I was just about to get scared when all the sudden Mommy's loving hand came out of nowhere and pulled me to safety. Was she ever a sight for watery eyes! Now Mommy makes me wear Willow's life preserver until I get better muscle tone. I call it my jacket of courage and I think I'm a real cool dude when I'm wearing it cause it says "Search Dog" on it. We won't tell anyone, OK? It'll be our little secret.

I really love to go swimming everyday now. We leave at 7:30 AM and go to a little bay in the reservoir right near our house. Mommy, Willow (my lifeguard), and me swim across the bay and back. We are up to two trips a day now. Just before we finish, Mommy takes off my life preserver and lets me swim some without it. I have now learned that it works much better if I keep my feet under the water and kick all four legs. I get to carry a big training bumper so I look like I really know what I'm doing.

This morning we had visitors in our little bay. They were these two kids covered with grey, black and white feathers, and they had red eyes. I kept trying to go swim with them, but the harder I swam, the further away they got. I think Mom said that's cause they're 'loonie' or sumpfin. Some day when I get really good at swimming, maybe those loonie kids will let me play with 'em.

OK, OK, I know you have all been waiting to hear about how I did at my very first real dog show. Well It was on June 14th, 15th, and 16th. I was so nervous cause I kept rememberin' how awful I did at the practice match, so I spent all my time beforehand looking at my badge of courage and saying "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can." I wanted to do real good so Mom would be proud of me and not send me away.

Well, along cam the big day. Mommy gave me a bath and brushed me and combed me and took lots of extra hair outta me. She said it was about two Golden Retriever's worth. She said it's cause it's not nice to go in the ring looking like a giant walking head and neck. Well even though I felt kinda naked, I let her do it. (I gotta keep her happy cause you know my plan!) Well Mommy took me in the ring, and Daddy took Badger. They said I was in the Open Dog class. (Does that mean they unzip yer zipper and peek at yer stuffing? I sure hope not!) We got in there . . . courage Buddy, courage . . . and Mommy picked up my feets and put them in just the right places. She said stay and gave me some really tasty food. I stayed and I stayed and then this nice lady came up and started to put her hands all over me. I remembered what Mommy said and stayed real good, even when she touched me you-know-where. Then she asked us to run around and around and around.

Pretty soon she started to juggle us dogs all over the place and that's when I think she musta got mixed up cause she put me in the front of the line! She made us run around again and then she pointed her finger at me! Then we ran up in front of the number sign and she gave my Mom a blue ribbon! Mommy was huggin me and telling me how good I was. I musta been so good in fact, that I had to go back in the ring. Well, round and round and round we went, and out came that judge lady's old pointy finger again pointin' right at me.

That's when I think I musta made my Mom a little sad cause she started hugging me and crying. But, she was smiling. (I just don't understand these human peoples.) This time, we went in front of another sign and the lady gave Mommy a really pretty purple ribbon. Mom says that means I have points. (I hope they don't put the points on the top of my head, that would look really weird.) Well, I thought we were done but no, not yet. We went back in for a class called "Best Breeder" I think. Well I sure was looking forward to that one! Yipee! Then (darn it) I found out it was "Best Of Breed." There were really pretty boy and girl Champion dogs in this class. Well round and round and round we went and the next thing I know, the judge lady person with the pointy finger put me behind this really cute little girl dog and her human Mommy. They both smelled sssooooo good!

Well, lemme tell ya, did I ever strut my stuff trying to keep up with those two! Next thing I know, the pointy finger lady looked at me and said "Best of Winners, Best of Opposite." Opposite what? If they were talking about that cute little golden girl in front of me with her Mom, well then opposites attract and I sure was attracted to them! Next thing I know, we were in front of that sign again and Mommy was getting a pretty blue and white ribbon, and a red and white ribbon from the pointy finger judge lady person. Mommy was really acting weird, squealing and giggling and telling me what a great boy I was. I sure did like that. Then they even took our picture so my friend Julie can put one up for me to show you all. It was one great day I will not soon forget, and I met lots of real nice new friends.

I was supposed to go to the show the next day, but Willow got called to a real search and rescue and Mommy had to go with her. Geeze, just when I was starting to get the hang of this dog show stuff, Mommy yanks my entry! Sunday's show was pretty good, but I didn't have to run around as much. This time we got a red ribbon.

Two weeks ago was my second set of shows, and we got to go to see all my friends at the Golden Retriever Club of WNY. The search dogs got to come and do a demo, and I got to find drugs for the peoples too. I showed three times that weekend in Open and came home with a white ribbon and a yellow ribbon. I'm not a scared of dog shows anymore, but I still get kinda tired by the end. Mommy says my swimming will help with that.

This weekend, we went to our third set of shows in Madison, Ohio. These shows were for the Cuyahoga Valley Golden Retriever Club. I love my friends in this club! They all remembered my demo at their match and gave me lots of hugs and kisses. Mom and I went in the Specialty show on Friday and got another white ribbon for my scrap book. Saturday, I got another yellow ribbon. There were so many dogs in my classes that I was really starting to fade by the end, but Mom kept encouraging me and telling me it was OK. She said not to worry cause I'm a new kid and still learning.

We got a nice break Saturday night when some of the nice peoples from the CVGRC invited my Mommy and me to a party. We got to go to Aunt Rochelle and Uncle Ed's house and do what's called "mingling." We met lots of nice peoples from the CVGRC along with all the nice goldens. My cousin CJ even did her "terrible teeth" impression and everyone laughed and laughed. Somehow Aunt Rochelle gave CJ a magic toy that made her toofies look like human teeth. CJ just walked around smilin and smilin! She sure looked funny!

That's about the time I saw my new girlfriend Donna! She's got the same color hair as me and everything! I really liked her! I got on her lap and licked her ears and nuzzled and snuggled and started gettin really goofy! Oh boy, oh boy, did I ever like her! I even gave her my famous 'nibbly wibbly' love bites! She told me I was a good boy and everything (putty in the Budmeister's paws, er . . . a . . . Boobmeister as she called me!).

The next day's show was the best yet. I got in that ring and ran around with new vigor after meeting those nice people the night before. I saw my friends and really strutted my stuff. I needed the energy cause there were lots of us in there running around. Next thing I know the judge lady had us goin round and round and got confused, and I ended up at the front of the line. All the sudden, she pointed at me. I did it, I did it, again! I ended up with a blue ribbon, went back and got another purple ribbon, and then went in the "Breed" class. Guess who ended up in front of me? My new friend Donna and her cute little golden girl! Well boy did I ever fly around that ring, Yipee! When all the dust settled, I ended up with best of winners and then I got drafted into the military cause Mom said I got enough points to be a Major! I sure hope that doesn't mean folks have to salute me or sumpfin cause after all, I'm just a plain little old noBuddy deep down inside.

Well, yer probably all wondering why I've been babblin' on so long today. It's cause it may be a while before I will be writing. Please don't be sad, it's a good thing. You see, I've been holding out on you all. I've got the most wonderful news of all . . . Mommy and Daddy are keeping me! I can't believe it, a family of my very own! Oh gosh, I hope I don't start crying and ruin Mommy and Daddy's computer keys. I am now the happiest little fuzzbottom in the whole wide universe!

You know what? They said they knew it all along! They said I was so special that they could never part with me. They knew it about a week after I got here. They said I was one truly special boy and fate must have brought us together. Mommy said she has never seen a golden kid learn so much so fast, and overcome such huge obstacles with ease. She said to be quite honest, she and Uncle Steve never thought I would be able to gain the confidence needed to be a real drug dog. Never say never to the Bud Man. "I know I can, I know I can, I know I can!!"

Willow, Badger, Echo, Gus, Peaches have all been watching me doing tracking and said as far as they are concerned, they said I can be part of their search dog team! Wow, me, little ol Buddy on a real honest to goodness Search and Rescue dog team. I get to be a member of Kinzua Search Dogs! Of course I'm only a trainee at this point and will have to study extra special hard to make sure I pass my certifications.

Awe Gee, I hope to make you all proud of me each and every day. And who knows, some day, you just might get an unexpected hug from Buddy the Narcotics Dog, Buddy the Search Dog, or who knows, maybe even Buddy the Champion if I keep studying hard for dog shows. If things go right, I may even get to go to what Mommy calls the "nashinal" this year. (I been tryin to look it up in the dictionary to see just what that might mean.) Now, don't forget, as always, to stay Golden!

Love and Sloppy kisses, Yer little buddy . . . Buddy
(Send comments or questions to Mary MacQueen)

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