Monday, July 23, 2007

Going to The Dogs

“I want to be like Buddy”, I thought this morning as I stood in my driveway and watched my neighbor’s dog sprint home. Buddy is a free spirit…a traveler and an adventure seeker. He has the heart of a child and the soul of a gypsy. His tail is always wagging, and he always seems happy. I think he developed his wanderlust when he rode all over the country as a pup with his owner, a long haul truck driver. They traveled the lower 48 states for a year or so. When the trips got too long and Buddy got too big, Buddy ended up with the trucker’s dad, my neighbor Mr. Tom. To say that Mr. Tom is Buddy’s owner is not quite accurate. Buddy belongs to no one but belongs to everyone. He makes the whole neighborhood (and a few nearby) his home. Mr. Tom feeds him and so do ten other people. Even though Buddy roams the subdivision, he doesn’t bother anyone and he doesn’t damage stuff, so most folks tolerate him. Except for Mrs. P.. She doesn’t like it when he tinkles on her lilies. He doesn’t pee on anyone else’s plants, so I think he does it just to spite her because she’s so grumpy. She really is. Ask anyone on the block.

When I saw him at dawn this morning he was slipping home like a teenager who had snuck out for a beer party. He had a bounce in his step and a twinkle in his eye. Goodness only knows what he had been up to. He’s a hunter, a gatherer and a lover. He didn’t have any squirrels in his mouth so I suspect last night’s adventure had more to do with affection than with game. He’s a love ‘em and leave ‘em kind of guy, although he was pretty smitten by that little female lab that showed up about a year ago. She had wandered far away from home and was obviously attracted to Buddy’s free spirit. They had two days of romping and running together before her owners found her and took her home. As she pulled away he seemed panicked. He moped for a week before he took to the streets again.

He has street smarts, too. He knows how to stay out of trouble, and he knows to keep away from moving cars. He’s not interested in barking at the UPS man, and he never snaps at kids. He just wants to have a good time…all the time. He never seems to have a care in the world. That’s why I want to be like Buddy….sometimes. I love my life, but we all have those little moments when we’re tired and stressed out and we wish for something different. Sometimes I want to be a free spirit; an adventure seeker without a care in the world. I want to see the world, meet a lot of new people and have lots of fun. I want to romp and roam and not be responsible for anything. The next time I’m feeling down, I’m going to run with Buddy.

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