The patter of Buddy’s paws beneath his bull-legged stance have always been a musical note to us. They came in to our house, fast, making a quick tckckck sound as they scampered over the wood floor, onto the wool carpet and landed smack in the middle of Ginger’s bed.
The bed was one of many, but a favorite of hers that sat prominently at the end of our, then, glass coffee table in the living room. There was a sunbeam on the pillow that particular afternoon and Buddy took to it as if it were his own.
Everyone took a breath to see the other shoe (paw) drop, so to say. Ginger, who was also ten years old at the time, had been an only child since coming home and was never very accommodating to other dogs. She saw him claim her bed, walked over and sniffed him (sniff, sniff, sniff) then, matter-of-fact, turned and walked away. No drama. No drama, yet.
It wasn’t long before his little legs were walking beside her on a tandem leash around the neighborhood and then back home where he planted himself on the kitchen rug, a place he frequented often, mostly because I was there, and so was the food.
The sound of Buddy in and out of the kitchen always stayed near me as if I had a shadow, a shadow I was most happy to have. It took him years to realize that if he stayed on the couch while I was cooking, I would still come to him offering samples. Ginger of course, had figured this out long ago and sat on the back of the couch next to Tom, watching Buddy and my every move.
Scampering to and fro. A yelp first, quietly using the inside voice, moved quickly to the bark.
That signature, all in, loud, ear-shattering bark. He knew how to be heard. No wall flower, that one, little pee-wee that he was.
But his insatiable hunger for the morsels on my cutting block, in my pan or in the oven were frantic. He wanted it all, and then he wanted more.
Especially as of late, he was frequently carried around the kitchen in my arms.
But on the ground he had four legs.
They were always in the kitchen, with me.
They will always be in the kitchen with me.
Though the kitchen will never be the same again.
Our dear, sweet boy, in his beautiful, frail body, let go of the physical world Wednesday night,* August 23, 2017 at 5:51 pm. A perfect gent to the end, complete with a sunbeam on his silken head, resting on his favorite blanket in our laps on his favorite spot on the deck after, moments before, having spent time in that same sunbeam while resting in Ginger’s favorite bed.