A Tribute to Bud
I have been graced several times to have encountered animals like that and Bud is one of them. When I came to check out this place almost a year ago, Bud was the first one I met. He greeted me coming down the driveway with loud deep barks and a wagging tail.
When we would be coming through the first gate toward the pens, Bud would always sit and wait for me as I closed the gate instead of running ahead like Jazz, a Great Pyrenees and Val, a working Border Collie did with their owner. If I was watering the pens, Bud would patiently sit by my feet and when he was feeling up to it, would bring something for me to throw and we'd play while I finished watering. If I was in the pens to move one of the sheep or look at something he was always in front of me and would look at me often as it telling me it was ok that he was there to help and protect me.
Bud had a long and useful life and he seemed to relish his position as protector of the flock. Always there with a bark or growl if a coyote came too close to the fence and his sheep. Yet when he was in with the sheep he was a gentle soul, never bothering any of them and the same with the ducks.
The last few days though it was apparent that life wasn't as good for Bud with his failing vision, not keeping food down, he was limping and it was getting worse. This morning my landlady brought him into the house and we sat a while and as hard as this may be for some to understand, I felt his pain and he seemed to feel my sadness. I am not ashamed to admit that I was choking back some tears as the time for his vet appointment drew near. I looked at his eyes and I swear he was also tearing up. Then just before he headed out that door one last time, I called his name and said Goodbye Bud. He turned and looked at me as if to say, "It is ok, I will not be in pain anymore and I will miss you too and we'll meet up again some day."
Bud, Fluffy, Timber, Sugar and Max: to all of you who have graced my existence, I thank you all for being in my life and making it better because of you! You all are sorely missed and no other dog will ever be exactly like you or replace you in my heart or memories!