Sunday, September 25, 2011

Buddy's Adoption Story

Pet's name:
Adopted by: C. Gregory and family
From: Suffolk Animal Control, Suffolk, Va.

This post about Buddy originally appeared on CGregoryRun in July; his introduction took place in this post.

In April, for my daughter's birthday, we adopted a dog I lovingly refer to as "Buddy the pound dog." He's a quirky canine. Unnaturally short legs, full-size body, and tons of character. By character, I mean he pooped in most rooms of the house and even outside on a pair of my son's shoes. Poor dog got pounded by balls and dog toys several times before he realized that we wanted him to do something foreign called "fetch" and "catch." He has also learned that clothing is off-limits for eating and hiding poop-accidents, and humping my daughter's stuffed animals is impolite. He is still attending the "Don't Eat the Kids' Toys" class, but I have a large grading curve since dead toys only need to be cleaned up one last time.

Lately, he has been bonding with my 5- and 3-year-old boys. I noticed him following my 5-year-old around and listening to my son's commands like he had a steak in his pocket. I thought this was very nice, but I have never seen an animal get along with my son this well, so I started to pay closer attention. It turned out that my son was bribing Buddy the pound dog with Goldfish crackers. Awesome—as long as I don't have to clean Goldfish crap out of a bedroom, everyone is cleared to be friendly. But what about my 3-year-old?

Sure, everyone loves my youngest, but Buddy was paying close attention to him. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure my son has tossed him some scraps when I'm not looking, but Buddy really watches him. My son is just learning how to speak because of autism, but does very well when he pets Buddy and says, "This is a dog. A dog says 'woof.' Good dog." He is always very interested in what my son is doing. I didn't know how interested until yesterday, when I was washing my daughter's hair and I heard Buddy barking outside. My son had learned to unlock and open our sliding glass door and walked out onto our deck without my knowledge. Buddy had sounded the alarm.

Buddy can poop wherever he wants to as far as I'm concerned from now on. Buddy the pound dog has been promoted to Buddy the watchdog.

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