In July of 2009 I lived in an apartment and was working a full-time corporate and field science job. The plan was purchase “house, get dog”. The universe laughed.
One hot sunny day I arrived on a job site in Yonkers to find my work truck surrounded by people. At first I was afraid there was a mechanical failure. Upon closer inspection they were gathered around a scrawny, scraggly, ring worm infested little black pit dog. They were rubbing on him and cooing over how cute he was. My only thought was you, do you know what he has all over him? You will definitely want to wash everything that touched that dog as soon as you go home or you will be itching like crazy!
As it happened, I ended up being the one to take that little dog home. Initially, it was supposed to be for a couple of weeks while one of the engineers readied his home for this dog. That was 10 years ago.
Buddy figured out that I was his human long before I figured out he was my dog. I didn’t want a dog. And, my idea of the dog that I wanted was not male, not black, not a pit-bull. Again, the universe laughed and as it turned out I could not have asked for a better dog.
The first couple of years I was working long hours so Buddy and I hiked between six to ten miles a day— at least six days a week— just to keep him in a happy head-space. We have hiked together in more states than I can count. He has been a boat dog in solo canoes, on fancy bass boats, and larger fishing boats for days on end with only occasional trips to shore for bathroom breaks. He has been a skijoring partner, a climbing partner, as well as a downed deer tracking dog. In all of our adventures together, he has become a measure of my quality-of-life. He made me realize that if I did not have time to take a dog for a walk during the day, life had become unacceptably cluttered with skewed priorities.
To maintain his quality-of-life, I have had to adapt certain practices. For example, the gear that I carry on very hot days as well as the canine technical outerwear and hit dog flotation device is on the boats.
These small concessions have been nothing compared to the joy, peace, and laughter this cartoon character of a dog has brought to my life.
Details on Buddy the pit-mutt adventures to come!