Buddy . . . striving to become a Working Dog!

Hi, it's Buddy :( I'm so very very sad. I just can't believe it. My bestest friend in the whole wide doggie world died. My Bloodhound friend Zeb. You remember, "Mr.Snuffleupagus." Oh my gosh, I don't know what to do. I never knew anybody who died before. Where did he go, where did he go? I miss him so very very much. Heather and ZebHe was right in the middle of teaching me to be a good people sniffin dog so someday I might be able to be on a real search dog team, and now he's gone. Oh what am I gonna do? Who will help me now? They all said Zeb had a serious medical emergency and the doggie doctor couldn't fix him. How come?? Couldn't they find a bigger band-aid? Couldn't he eat lotsa extra chicken soup? I just don't understand. My mommy said he went to a very special place called the Rainbow Bridge. She said he'll have lots of good times and special friends there to keep him company.

But what about me? I was his special friend too! I never lost someone I really loved before. This is really hard. I feels like I got a big boo-boo that mommy can't kiss and make better. Mommy said my pain is like the waves in the ocean going out with the tide. First the pain is deep and loud, and then it gets to less and less painful. She said I'll never really forget Zeb cause he was my friend, but pretty soon it won't hurt so bad. I sure hope so. I miss my friend. By the way, what's an ocean?

I decided to do something to make Zeb's mommy Heather not hurt so much. I'm not sure, but I think I made her feel better. Kinzua Search Dogs hosted a water search seminar last weekend with a real special search dog trainer from North Carolina. There were K-9 teams there from throughout the Northeast as well as the members of Kinzua Search Dogs. Heather was gonna take Zeb. Well, since Zeb was gone, Mommy told Heather that if she wanted, she could take me . . . Me! Yippee!

Yup, I got to go to a real live search and rescue dog seminar! It was to teach us how to find drowning victims underwater. I was kinda scared at first cause I didn't think I could hold my breath very good underwater. Then I found out, you don't have to get IN the water, you get to ride on the front of a boat and sniff the water. Cool! Heather gave the scuba diver my favorite toy, then they teased me with it and took it underwater with them. Then it was up to me to sniff out where they were hiding. Neither Heather or I had ever done this before, so we learned together. I was a little afraid of being on the boat at first, but Heather helped me through it. She talked to me and stroked me and told me how brave I was. Heather says I'm kinda like the Cowardly Lion on the Wizard of Oz, but she said she's sure that someday I'll get my badge of courage. I sure hope so. At first I was scared of the diver. They look like giant scary frogs! Then they put this thing in their mouths and they sound like Darth Vader! Eeeekkkk!! But guess what? That scary diver showed me my toy and petted me and all the sudden I really liked him! Pretty soon, I was sniffin 'em out like an old pro!

Heather was so proud of me cause I did such a good job. All day long I kept giving her extra hugs and kisses so she wouldn't be so lonesome. I talked to her when we were alone and said that someday soon she'll have a new special K-9 partner and he will take really good care of her too. I told her that if she wanted, I could show her new partner all the good stuff that Zeb taught me about trailing lost peoples. I hope I can remember all that important stuff and do a real good job so Zeb and Heather will be proud of me. Heather says I'm a pretty special boy and she calls me 'Buddercup.' I really like Heather, she's pretty special too. I'm just gonna keep on giving her big hugs every time I see her and maybe I can help to fix her boo-boo like she's fixin mine.

Hey guess what? I've been getting to play with Willow's puppy. He's real cute! Mommy let me meet him and she was careful to make sure I didn't get too rough with him. She laughed at me cause when she put him down by me, she said I got "small." Well gee, he was so little that I figured I'd be just like him if I laid down by him. So I laid down with him right between my big old front feet and he jumped up an kissed my face and pulled at my ears and boy oh boy did we ever have fun! Mommy says I look funny wearing puppy earrings! Pretty soon I was rolling on my back batting him with my feet and he was climbing all over Mt. Buddy! He's really good at playing King of Buddy Mountain. When I run out in the yard, he follows me just like I was his daddy! I just love puppies! They are really neat. It's like having a real live cuddly Teddy bear!

Last week, I got to do another drug demo for an elementary school. It was pretty hard this time. Not the drug sniffin part, I did really good at that. It was the part where mommy tells the kids all about me. That was hard. Well you see, mommy and I talked about it, and I thought I could handle it, but I was still really embarrassed. Mommy told the kids about . . . well, er, um, well . . . that I wet my bed. Don't laugh at me, pleeezzze!! I just hate it cause it makes me cry. Some of the kids laughed really loud, some of 'em just quietly looked at me in disbelief, and the teachers just roared. Well, I did not find the humor in it!

You see, when I came to live with Mary and Butch, they put me in an indoor/outdoor kennel. Well gee, I never had a real bedroom with a bed in it. I thought you could just go potty anywhere you wanted to. So I went potty on my bed. Mommy and daddy had to wash my bed lots. Pretty soon I figured out why I was the only kid sleeping outside at night. All the other kids were sleeping inside on the beds! I get it now, beds are for sleeping on, they're not toilets! I always wondered where the flusher was on that darned thing! Well ya know what, after mommy told all those kids about my secret big secret, and after all the teachers stopped laughing, those kids loved me even more than before. They said I was very brave for admitting something as hard as that.

Well guys, mommy has had me studying extra hard with my drug work cause next week, I'm gonna get to go do a real drug search if I pass all my tests this week. Uncle Steve is gonna hide the drugs in real hard places so I gotta work extra special hard to find 'em. Maybe if I do real good, Mary and Butch will want to keep me after all, do ya think? Or will they think I'm ready to go live with the policeman person and send me off sooner? Oh I'm so confused! Oh what to do? I think I'm gonna go with my instincts and do really good, that way they will be sure to want me! Oh I hope so. I think I'm gonna go study some more right now! Keep your paws crossed for the Budmeister!

Well, I gotta go do my homework now. Don't forget to give extra big hugs to yer friends this week cause ya never know when they too might have to go live at the Rainbow Bridge. Sleep well noble Zeb, I'll never forget you. Until we meet again at the bridge...stay Golden.

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

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