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Cleaning up our 7-year-old Havanese’s barf at 7:45 a.m. yesterday made me think it might be time for a “Buddy” entry. His rolling in some kind of foul matter and bolting through the house at about 5:15 p.m. confirmed it.

 

Buddy has been rank before, but this was epic. Even my kids, no strangers to stench, scattered in revulsion.

“Mommy, Buddy stinks!” my 5-year-old daughter cried.

“Go! Go, give him a bath!” her twin brother yelled.

“Now!” Jane, 2, screamed.

 

After several, severe latherings and dousings with the garden hose, Buddy finally came clean. Then he did what he always does after bathing: raced around like a cheetah on crack, upsetting chairs, bounding on couches, sending area rugs spinning. Again, my kids ran screaming. “Stop, Buddy!” wailed Jane.

 

But he can’t stop. Buddy going berserk after a bath is just Buddy doing one of his many "things" – another of which is jumping on anyone who enters our house. And because he is about 2-feet-5-inches tall standing on hind legs, Buddy usually hits our guest’s crotch.

 

The problem is that we wisely adopted Buddy and then promptly became pregnant with twins. The training process, started in earnest, flew out the nearest window. Luckily, Buddy is small enough and cute enough that most adults forgive his bad manners. Young children are often less understanding, especially when Buddy knocks them down.

 

Clearly, greeting guests is not one of Buddy’s strengths. Neither is playing team sports. Buddy loves nothing more than to chase balls all day. But he never, ever, ever brings them back. So, unless I, too, am in dire need of exercise, chucking balls for Buddy quickly grows tiresome and ends.

 

Furthermore, I think Buddy thinks he's a cow. He loves to eat grass. I should probably consult the vet, but I frankly haven’t had time. I might address this problem, soon, however, because the cyclical digesting of grass to soothe his stomach – which only irritates Buddy’s innards and leads to more vomiting – is getting tedious.

 

The other morning, as my husband was leaving for work and I was wrangling Jane into clothes and urging our twins to brush their teeth, Jeff called out, “Um, I think Buddy’s having some kind of intestinal issues down here.”

 

“You mean diarrhea?” I demanded, in horror. I’m happy to say that at least this particular behavior would be out of our canine’s character.

 

“No, he’s just about to throw up,” Jeff said and left.

‘Throw up?’ I thought. ‘Who cares?’

 

But the truth is that my husband and I – though pulled in too many directions – do care an awful lot about Buddy. He has the most adorable face (minus that of my other children) that I've ever seen. He is so cute, in fact, that I don't even mind cleaning off the gooey matter that collects near his tear ducts.

And Buddy is unabashedly friendly, even borderline promiscuous. After the initial crotch scrabble greeting at the door, he snuggles up to whomever we have over, whether they like it or not. Buddy will even sleep with overnight guests, if they consent.

Buddy also has the endearing quality of taking a big bite of dog food, carrying the mouthful to the nearest rug, dropping the morsels and eating them one by one -- usually leaving a few for me to pick up later. And although Buddy is getting a bit old and grumpy and likes to growl, he never, ever bites.

Buddy may not get walked every day. Occasionally, we even forget to feed him. But Buddy will always be our first child. He holds a special place in our hearts – and on our bed.

 

In fact, Buddy is the king of the mattress. In the fray of bringing twins home from the hospital, someone left his crate door open. Buddy jumped onto our bed, which we weren’t using much in those days, up in the wee hours feeding babies. Ever since his great escape, Buddy in his mighty 14 pounds has managed to shove over my husband each night to the very corner sixteenth of the mattress.

 

Now, that we would never put up with from our other kids.

 

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