Of course, I thought we were going to look at a farm. Let me just tell you now, I was in no mood for this. The last thing I wanted was to move. Especially out in the country!
When we pulled in the driveway Mom and Dad told us we were there to pick out a puppy. Maybe it was because we weren't expecting it, or maybe it's just because no one can resist an adorable fuzzball, but we shot out of the car and made for the puppies! They were cute, of course, and so tiny. I wanted one of the fat little fuzzy guys, but of course my brothers chose the skinny one. That day we welcomed Buck into our family.
This has to be about 13 years ago. We still lived in our old house, so I can't be more than 11. Oh, and my family is weird :)Why did we call him the million dollar dog? If only you knew. It all started with an innocent game of baseball, when Buck happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was hit in the eye with a baseball bat and for the rest of his life was blind in one eye. But did he complain? Nope! Seriously, you might think I'm a horrible person right now, but I swear he was the happiest dog alive.
Not long after the bat incident, Buck came down with Parvo (he got this while at the vet recovering from his injury). So, Mom nursed him back to health. A few years later Buck got lime's disease. Then I accidentally ran over him with the truck.
I know, I know. But picture this. We (my Granddaddy and I) were driving the red rocket (that's what we called the old farm truck) through the field. Dad had just finished building a new pond on the back of our property and we were hauling a truck full of square hay bails out to spread over the dam so the grass would grow. Buck (the million dollar dog) and Jenny (our somewhat annoying dalmation) were riding happily on the top of all those bails. What happens next? For some reason Buck decides to run off the bails, but instead of going off the back, he takes a shortcut over the cab of the truck, onto the hood, and straight off the front. Of course, I freaked. "Oh my GOD! I just killed our dog!!" I'm sitting there crying while Granddaddy shook his head saying, "Damn dog."
I dried my tears when Buck simply got up and ran off, still heading towards the pond. I tell ya, that dog was tough.
Well, we got Buck when I was about 11 years old, which means he was about thirteen last year when Marly & Me came out in theatres. E and I went to see the movie and I bawled at the end. You see, Buck was getting old. Poor guy hadn't been able to jump in the back of the truck for about a year - and boy did he love the back of the truck. He'd sit there for hours.
He was old. We'd been talking to Mom about ending his suffering, but times were tough at the moment, what with the loss of our other favorite dog, Sneaker. It was just too tough to talk to Dad about it. He gets a little attached to those of the furry variety. Just a little ;)
When I was home this weekend Mom asked if I noticed if anything was missing. It took a moment, but when I noticed the empty dog bed in the garage I knew Buck was finally at peace. He really was one of the best dogs. A big furry lug who just loved taking walks around the farm, was the perfect size for a big hug, and loved everyone he met...well, except for our old real estate agent. I'll miss you Buck. You were one of the good ones.