Buddy, Buddy and Buddy (Or the story of Three Golden Retrievers)

When I met James, he was the owner of a Golden Retriever named Buddy.  This was a wise old dog, with dark eyes that when he looked at you, it seemed like he had once been a human.  This dog was huge as far as retrievers go, with a wide, flat back perfect for resting your feet on, and a reddish gold coat.

I was hesitant to like this old guy (the dog, not the man); I was a self-proclaimed small dog lover.  I couldn’t understand why James took this dog everywhere; he even had a designated seat in the back of James’ pickup, and came on quite a few dates with us. James had adopted Buddy 2 from the pound after he moved back toCaliforniafromHawaii.  James blamed the dog with separation anxiety, but I think the anxiety belonged more to the owner than the dog!  Inevitably, I fell for both the man and his dog.  They both had quite the stories to tell.

When James lived in Hawaii, he had his first Buddy, a golden he had adopted from the shelter onMaui.  This dog was well known on Kaanapali Beach, and people knew James through his dog.  James spent 3 years on Kaanapali, running a Jet Ski rental business, with Buddy by his side.  When the canoe was full for the trip to the platform, Buddy would swim out to be with his owner. Buddy the First’s favorite pastime was bodysurfing the waves with those tennis balls he could recover from the ivy next to the Marriott Hotel tennis courts.

When James moved back to California, he had to leave his companion behind.  That is how Buddy Boy 2 came into his life, and subsequently into mine.  We had a great several years with Buddy 2, and he would even let little Nicky ride on his back.  After Buddy 2 went to doggy heaven, we searched the shelters for over a year, hoping to save another dog, with no luck.  We decided to buy a puppy.  What an experience!

We had previously owned just adult dogs, pre-trained and well behaved.  Puppies are another story!  So cute and cuddly and destructive!  To date, we guesstimate that with the damage this dog has done, we could have a) gone on vacation, b) bought a new car, or c) retired early.  Anyway, he has mellowed out, especially after his most expensive chew toy, the pool gate he and a friend’s golden decided to chew through so they could go for a midnight swim.

As a final effort to make our lives even crazier, we got our daughter a Yorkie for her birthday, forgetting, as new puppy owners do, the pain and suffering your pet will put you through until they are trained.  Thankfully, since the Yorkie is small, the damages were less, and “Chiquita” has been a great thing for Buddy.  Now he has a friend, a cohort, and someone to blame things on!

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