Sometimes things happen in our lives that we did not plan or wish for. Things that have a profound effect on us whether we choose it or not. None of us have the ability to predict how our actions and every day activities will or can alter the course of our existance. We don’t always have a road map to follow as we glid down our paths in this world which are laid out before us. But I am a firm believer in the fact that things happen to us for a reason. I believe that some parts of our lives are beyond our control. I am going to tell you just one of those stories.
It all started back in the year of 2002. I was having a not so good year. I had been suffering with pain from an accident. I had began to loose some of my spirit and zest for life due to becoming disabled and no longer able to perform many of the activities I loved. My life was missing something. I still had the love and support from my family and friends as always, but there was an empty spot in my heart that was not being fulfilled. I did not know exactly what was missing or what I needed to fill the empty spot, but I did know that something was needed. Then came the day when all that changed. The day when I discovered what was missing and what I needed. And it came to me whether I was ready or not. Well, I will just tell you the story as best as I can remember it.
I had started out to run a few errands one day in October when, as I opened the garage door to leave there in the middle of the doorway was a dog. It was a female, and she had obviously had pups not too long ago. She was as skinney as a rail and looked as if she was either still nursing pups or had been recently. I looked at her for a moment and she looked back at me with the most loving eyes. She was a pretty little dog with a tan or buff color hair. She weighed about 20 lbs and had beautiful loving eyes. I do like dogs, but did not want a pet at that time in my life. I yelled at her to “Get out of here!” She backed up a couple of steps, wagged her tail, and came right back. She looked at me as if she had known me forever. I tried once more to shoo her off and even kicked at her ( I wasn’t really going to kick her) as I yelled. No use, she simply repeated her first reactions and came right back to me, sitting at my feet and looking at me with those eyes again.
After seeing that all my efforts to get rid of her were not going to work I gave in. I asked her, where are your pups girl? She simply sat there looking confused. She looked very weak, and undernourished, so I began to suspect that she had been either lost or thrown out by someone, and that her pups had probably died. She did not appear to be the sort of dog who would ever leave her pups. She looked very hungry and alone, so I made a decision. I would go to the store, run my errands and return. If she was still there I would feed her.
In a few hours I was back and to my surprise, there she was, running out to my truck as if we had been friends forever. I parked the truck and got her something to eat out of the house. She ate the food, drank some water, then began wagging that tail again with excitement and gratitude. It was becomming clear to me that whether I wanted it or not, I had gained a new friend.
I called my wife, who was at work and told her that when she came home this afternoon to be careful as there was a dog hanging around and that it might be in the driveway when she pulled in. Of course then I proceeded to inform her of what had taken place today with the dog. When she arrived home later that day the dog was still here and ran out to greet her the same way she had done me. It was as if we had owned that dog for years. We looked for any sign of the puppies, but never found them. We sort of figured that when she was thrown out and left on her own that she then had the pups. She most likely fed them as long as she could without food. She was probably forced to leave them to find food for herself and they either died or were killed. Either way, I know she would not have abandoned them on her own.
We talked about the dog that evening and discussed what we should do with her as we were planning a trip to the beach for a week and were leaving in a couple of days. I told my wife, we will leave her some food and water on the front porch and if she is still here when we return, I guess we will have us a dog. We both agreed and left for the beach two days later, her food and water sitting on the porch. When we arrived back home after our trip we turned the corner near our home. It was raining, and as we came into view of the porch there she was, looking up as if she had been expecting us. She got up, ran out in the yard and running in circles around the car as fast as she could run. The decision was final, we now owned a dog.
After a few days we talked it over with our son, Chris and decided that as her color was such a nice shade of buff, we would name her Buffy. Thats how it all started. From that day on Buffy became part of our family. She did not like being tied, or pened as I could tell from her demeanor, so she was allowed to run free on the property. She shedded hair like a bail of straw, so I did not allow her in the house. She simply was on her own, free to roam un restricted any where at any time. She very quickly established her teritory, which was our yard and a close perimeter. (never out of sight of the house) She adopted us as her family and stayed right there at home, she did not like riding in cars, (it made her sick) so whenever we left home she stayed there alone and waited for us.
No matter when we left or when we returned Buffy was always there waiting for us when we got back. She was very loyal and loved people, especially small children. She became so close to me that she began having a possitive effect on my state of mind. She followed me anywhere I walked all day long. If she did not follow me she never let me get out of her sight. She was a very smart dog and could learn tricks and commands quickly. I spent about 15 min. with her and had her opening the screen door on the porch with a bungie cord I had fastened to the door. She could go in and out of the screened porch whenever she wanted. She also learned many other tricks very easily.
Buffy was becomming quite a dog. Everyone who met her just loved her so much, and would always ask about her. Buffy enjoyed being around people. We live on the lake and she would explore the waters edge constantly. She drank from the lake and the flower pots rather than a bowl. This re enforced the thought we had that she had been used to beeing on her own and fending for herself. She loved to go fishing with us on the pier. You could ask, “want to go fishing Buffy?” and she would beat you down to the pier. When we would catch a fish she would want it. Sometimes we gave them to her and she would carry them up into the yard and leave them. (we put them back so they wouldn’t die) But she got a big kick out of that.
Buffy seemed to think that it was her mission in life to protect us. She did not allow any other dogs to enter the yard or walk in front of the house without a good thrashing and barking attack.( her bark was always worse than the bite.) I never saw her bite another dog or even act like she would bite a person. She did however like to let them know who was boss around here. She also took it upon herself to patrol the perimeters of our property constantly. She watched for anything out of the normal and was quick to investigate it when she found it.
She was one of the smartest dogs I have ever seen. You could teach her almost anything if you worked at it a little. She always seemed to feel that she needed a job to do. So I would tell her it was her job to keep the squirrells away. Buffy took to that right away. Every time she would see my truck rounding the corner she would jump right upand run as hard as she could all up through the woods and act as if she were chasing them. I think she thought she could give us the impression she had been doing this all day. (we knew better). Still, Buffy really did a great job of both looking after us and making me feel much better about things. Buffy had a big part in improving the quality of my life from Oct. 2002 until Jan. 25th 2009.
That is the day she left us. She did not die, but instead she simply disapeared on that day. This was a dog that would not ever go out of sight of our house and absolutely hated to ride in any car or vehicle. You would have to physicly put her in the truck to get her in there. Then after a short time riding she would get sick and make a very upleasant mess in the truck or car.
I remmeber on that day my wife and I both had to go out, which we had done hundreds of times before. That afternoon when Bethany came home she asked me where Buffy was as she always ran out to greet us when we returned home. I told her that I had seen her there when I left. So when I got home a little later I began to look for her. Buffy was no where to be found. She was gone, it was as if she had just disapeared. I called for her, and I searched all around the neighborhood for her with no luck.
I began looking in all the animal shelters near our home, and driving up and down any streets near our home every day. No luck, she was gone. Several weeks had gone by and I had told Bethany that if she did not turn up in six weeks or so that we would most likely never find her again. We wondered daily about what happened to Buffy. Did she get picked up by someone? Did someone harm her, or have her locked up somewhere? It was a real mystery that was becomming dificult to deal with because the way she left did not make sense. We even suspected that her barking at the neighbors had made her some enemies, and that someone had took her away.
One day in the mail I got a letter from our un official grand daughter, Lexi. She had expressed how much she missed Buffy and had written a “Lost Dog” poster with a photo of Buffy and the pleading wish to find her. Being written by a girl who, at the time was only 12 yrs old the letter had a big impact on me. I had actually about given up looking for Buffy until I read the letter. It re motivated me to look some more for the dog. I checked around some near the home and then one day decided to check the animal hospital/shelter in Denton, which was a very long way from our house. My wife asked, “Why are you going that far?” My reply was that I had looked about everywhere else, so I might as well check there too.
The next morning I got in my truck, drove to Denton and pulled into the Denton Animal Clinic. I walked to the door and found it locked, as they had closed for lunch. (just my luck) So I left one of the flyers in the door and proceeded to drive back home. On the way home my wife called me on my cell phone. “Mike” she said, I got a call from the Denton Clinic and they told me they had possibly matched Buffy’s poster up with a person who had ironicly left a “Found Dog” poster about five weeks earlier. My response was both excited and worried. We both felt the same way about it. If it was her it would be great for us, but sad for the other people. We had found out that who ever had found this dog had had her since just two days after we lost her.
So we took the phone number that was left with the clinic and called the people who found the dog. After just a few questions and answers we very quickly decided along with the finder that this might very well be our dog, Buffy. So we made an appointment to meet both the couple and the dog that evening. When we pulled in thier driveway it was obvious that we had found Buffy. She ran out and greeted us as if we had never been seperated. I asked her to do a couple tricks, which she quickly did. The man (Kenny and his wife Betty) both stated there was no doubt who that dog belonged to and invited us in to visit and talk about Buffy.
Kenny and Betty had become very close with Buffy over the past few weeks and had been very good to her. They had been keeping her in the house,(which we did not do). It was very cold that winter and Buffy had landed right in the lap of luxury with her new owners, Kenny and Betty. Turns out that Kenny had found her at a boat landing on Jan. 26th, just a day after she went missing. He had placed the poster in the animal clinic the next day. It was just by pure chance that I had decided to visit that clinic, otherwise we would have never found Buffy again.
After talking with Kenny and Betty for a good long time and finding out more about them we realized that Buffy and this couple alike both had been very fortunate to meet each other. Kenny had, (Like myself) suffered an injury and was disabled. His wife informed us that she was about to loose her job as well. They had two other dogs and were both very much animal lovers. They had taken Buffy to the vet and had her shots updated and been good to the dog. It was obvious to us both as well that Buffy, (they had named her Pebbles) was very much in love with them too. This made taking Buffy home very hard for all of us. We were getting our dog back, and they were loosing a new found companion. Buffy did leave with us and return home that night.
We were so glad to have Buffy back home. We had made a promise to Kenny and Betty that when we would leave town on vacation we would leave Buffy with them to care for. This gave us all a chance to share Buffy and it was good for the dog as well. Shortly after that we did go on vacation and leave Buffy with them. When we got back home she was confused and pulled between us. She did go back with us, but it was clear to us both that Buffy was now attatched to Kenny and Betty as well. She had spent nearly six weeks living with them and had grown fond of them and thier other dogs.
After a couple of weeks of having Buffy back home Bethany and I were eating dinner one evening. I looked at her, and she at me. We both knew what the other was thinking at that moment. I spoke up and said, ” You know, I have a feeling that Buffy belongs with Kenny and Betty now.” She looked at me and answered, “I’ve been thinking the same thing.” I told her that I felt that Buffy was the kind of dog who has a mission in life. When she came into my life seven years earlier, I was at a low point. Buffy became a big part of my life and turned it around for me. I told Bethany that the way I felt about it was that now Buffy had been assigned a new mission. She had not found Kenny and Betty just by accident. I felt that she was destined to meet them and that she now had a new job to do.
We both felt exactly the same way about that. We knew it was going to be hard to lose Buffy again, but this time was different. We would not only know where she was, who she was with, but that she would also be safe with Kenny and Betty in thier home. Both of us had felt that Buffy did not leave our home on her own free will and that we were now afraid to leave her at home when we left. For all of these reasons we had decided to give Buffy to Kenny and Betty for good. I told her that I would make the call to them the next day, and inform them of our feelings about Buffy.
When I called Kenny he answered and said hello. I told him that I need to ask a favor of him and Betty. He wanted to know what it was so I proceeded to explain to him how Bethany and I both felt about Buffy,the both of them, and all that had happened lately. I said to him, “Kenny, when Buffy came into my life I needed something, I was having a hard time with my emotions and health and Buffy came along. It was as if she had a mission to do and that was to help me.” I told him that I felt all that had happened over the last few weeks was meant to be. That I felt Buffy had achieved her mission with me and now she had a new one. I told Kenny that Bethany and I had talked about it and decided Buffy belonged with He and Betty now. I asked him if he would consider keeping Buffy permanantly for us.
His reaction was filled with excitement and he said he would tell Betty and we could make arrangements to bring Buffy back to them. Soon after that we took her to them to leave her for good. It was a moment filled with emotions for all of us. Gladness, sadness, fear, excitement, and tears. We all talked about the whole ordeal and then we left Buffy with them and drove home. Kenny and Betty told us that we could visit anytime with Buffy,(Pebbles).
Time went by for a few months. We had visited Buffy once and I decided that we needed to wait longer between visits to give Buffy more time to bond with her new owers. One day we got a call from Kenny. He explained that both of his other dogs had wondered over to the neighbors and apparently got into some poison. They were taken to the vet and one had died. Buffy did not get into the poison as she never went far from the porch as the other dogs did. Kenny proceeded to tell me how much he and Betty had suffered over the loss of thier dog. He told us how much comfort Buffy was during this, and that they would not have managed it as well as they did without Buffy.
Kenny told me that when I explained to him about how that Buffy was the kind of dog who had missions in life he at first did not understand. He stated that when all this happened with the dogs and the poison. While he and Betty were suffering, and hurting so much, that’s he remembered what I had said earlier about Buffy. How I had told him that I wanted Buffy to belong to them now. How I felt she had been given a new mission in life now. He said.”Mike, Now I understand the whole thing more clearly. I realize now just what you meant. Buffy really did have a mission to complete. That made me feel so warm inside. It also re enforced in me the thought that I had made the right decision in leaving Buffy with her new family. She had done her duty once, and had now done it a second time. I feel so good now about the whole situation with Buffy, myself, my wife, and Kenny and Betty. I really do feel that things worked out just the way they were meant to.
That is pretty much the whole story about how this dog touched the lives of so many people. I’m sure that there are many, many other dogs out there with a mission in life. Dogs are at times such a big part of our worlds. They can change or improve someones life and in turn be helped and loved by the very people they touch. This is just one of those stories. I did not choose the dog. She was there when I needed another friend, and never faultered or complained. There are many stories in life just waiting to be told. This was just one, This was Buffy’s Story.