Buddy suffers from short term memory loss. 

He literally forgets what he was doing WHILE HE IS DOING IT.

We will be playing with one of his toys, and I will throw it on the bed. Off he will run to get it and then somehow is distracted. 

I will say ‘Buddy! Where is your toy?”  He will look at me as if he is thinking, “Huh? What toy? Do you want me to find a toy?”  He will completely ignore the toy that is RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM and go look for one.  Then he will proudly come back with a different toy.  This concerns me.  If it only happened occasionally I wouldn’t be worried, but this happens ALL THE TIME.  He can’t seem to hang on to a kernel of thought for longer than say, twenty seconds.

OK, to be truthful, perhaps I am projecting my concerns about myself on to him.

Seems like I can’t remember anything recently. I will go into a room to get something and can’t remember why I am there. Or, I will be on a mission to do something, say, get an envelope to pay a bill.

I will go to get one and notice that perhaps a table that needs to be dusted; off I will go to get the furniture polish and once at the pantry, followed by Buddy, I will give him a doggy treat, completely forgetting about the furniture polish.   One thing leads to another.  These distractions continue from room to room, a swirl of unfinish-ness which leaves me wondering at the end of the day, what DID I get accomplished?

So, of course, I am quite tolerant when Buddy forgets what he is doing.

I was going to tell you something else about that but I can’t remember what it was.


First Impressions

A lot has been written or said about making a good first impression. I have just completed significant scholarly research regarding that, and it is often said people make a decision about you in the first three seconds they meet you.

Oh, well, alright, I actually Googled that, but you can too. Look it up.

Often a dog’s first impression is his bark. Now, I am not a fan of yippy little barky dogs so it is a good thing that my dog Buddy does not have a yippy bark. In fact, he doesn’t bark, he “Boofs.” This has earned him the nickname “Da Boofer” at our house. He sounds like he might be a cross between a Newfoundland and a gentle old Golden Retriever. When a delivery person arrives at our door, he will often be amused and surprised to see the dog that has been boofing behind the door. The first impression he makes is that he is a very large dog and he is prepared to protect the property.

Not very much like the dog he REALLY is who would ask any intruder to “Rub my belly!”

I gotta hand it to Buddy, he fakes it until he makes it. HE is a dog to be feared, HE is the guardian of the house, HE is “Da Boofer!”

I admire his bravado.

When I was young, I walked to and from school with my best friend. All through elementary school we silently made the daily trek back and forth. In seventh grade we started attending middle school. My friend said to me, “Look, those girls are TALKING to each other on their way to school.” Nonplussed, I said, “Well, I guess that is what the big kids do in middle school. What should we talk about?”

Neither one of us had any idea.

My partner-in-middle-school-crime had just the right idea. She said, “Let’s just take turns moving our lips so we look like we are talking.” The perfect solution, which we did, I think for at least a year until we discovered boys, but that is a different story.

There is something to be said about “Boofing” or moving your lips.

It makes a good first impression.

The Doggy Tower of Terror

I don’t like amusement park rides.

I somehow missed getting the “thrill seeking, roller coaster, zip-line riding” gene. When our family went to Disney World, my husband would take my boys on rides named “Splash Mountain!” or “Space Mountain!” Nope, those were NOT for me.

They did, however, convince me to go on “Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.” “ Look mom,” they said, “the ride description says that a ride on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad provides mild but wild thrills to those aboard—from big kids and teens to adults not up for the really big thrills found on the other two Magic Kingdom “mountain” attractions: Space Mountain and Splash Mountain.” Feeling guilty that I was the family vacation party-pooper-spoiler, I agreed to go on it.

Big Mistake.

I emerged from the ride, hair disheveled, nauseated, with stiff hands from gripping the ride handles tightly in a white-knuckled grip of sheer terror.

Now, I want to reassure you that NO DOGS WERE INJURED IN WRITING THIS POST, but Buddy has had a similar experience recently; the DOGGY TOWER OF TERROR.

We moved recently to a 20th floor downtown Chicago apartment, which is reached by elevator. Well, I suppose one could climb up and down the twenty floors of stairs, but in my mind, that is clearly not an option. So, in order to walk the dog, we have to take the elevator. Going up the first time for Buddy was apparently not a problem for him, but going DOWN was a different story

When I asked him what sounded to him like,


He responded with his usual enthusiasm because it meant SOMETHING good was going to happen, and we headed off down the hall to the elevator.

We got in on the twentieth floor and I pushed ONE. When the elevator started its descent, Buddy threw himself flat down on the floor, pancake style, feet splayed out in every direction with a look on his face that could only be read as, “I am somehow on the DOGGY TOWER OF TERROR! Hang on, hang on, we are all going to probably die!”

When we returned from our walk, as we approached the elevator he leaned back, dug in his heels and refused to get back on. Now I understand this from my own experience not wanting to go on any sort of amusement park rides. So I carried him in my arms up and down the elevator for several days, and I am happy to report now he views the elevator as that little place where he meets people who say, “Awwww, he is soooooo cute, can I pet him?” A sort of doggy petting pre-walk holding area. So apparently he has recovered from his fear of amusement park rides.

Me? Not so much.
“Who me? Want to go to Navy Pier and ride the Roller Coaster?”

“Ummmm, no thanks.”

Photo: from Wikipedia:

Sunday Drive

”Crusin’ and playin’ the radio
with no particular place to go.” Chuck Berry

My family used to go on “Sunday Drives” when I was growing up.

We would pile in to my father’s 1960’s era Chrysler New Yorker with no destination in mind. The car was so big that you could be  in different zip codes riding in the same car. My sister and I were allowed to pick directions at each intersection; “Right!  Left!  Indifferent!” we would call from the back seat. We would end up in some unexpected Michigan small town and get ice cream cones from an ice cream shop named something like “The Freeze” or “The Whippy Dip.” On the ride home, my parents would smoke in the front seat, windows rolled down, looking eerily like Don and Betty Draper from the TV show Mad Men while my sister and I would sing along to the AM radio, “Hang on Sloopy, Sloopy hang on.”

Reminiscing about these car rides, I said to my husband one day, “We should go for a Sunday Drive.” His response was less than enthusiastic. Of course the cost of gas has increased from 29 cents per gallon to over four dollars per gallon, which may have dampened his enthusiasm a bit. But even if the cost of gas wasn’t an issue, he just didn’t get the point.

Buddy does. He LOVES to ride in the car. Anywhere. If I ask him (as he hears it)


he discerns the sound bite “car ride” and springs into alert and ready-to-go mode, tail thumping on the floor.

Buddy will go for a ride in the car. Anytime.

Buddy will go on a Sunday Drive with me. He will go anywhere in the car. With paws on the door handle, nose sticking out the cracked window, ears blowing in the wind, he is in car ride nirvana. I’m not sure why he likes it so much. But off we go, simpatico, a couple of road warriors, “cruisin’ and playin’ the radio, with no particular place to go.”

Buddy McIntyre is a Dot Com

Buddy McIntyre is a dot com.

Now I realize that all you gen X and gen Y’ers could probably care less, but this is a major accomplishment for me.

I am a baby boomer and my technological skills, as they used to say on my children’s kindergarten report cards, are an “N.” That was actually a grade on my children’s kindergarten report cards, which stood for “Needs time to develop.” This was just a thinly disguised way to break it to you gently that your child was an “F” as a result of poor parenting.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that my technological skills are lacking. I mean, I grew up in the sixties with a black and white TV with rabbit-ear antennas. I remember when they got THE computer at my first job.

Yep, you read that right; THE computer. One. A very large one.

It took up a whole room, and had multiple three-inch-diameter cords going in all directions.  There was a pasty-white computer technician who was responsible for interpreting all things computer to the rest of us computer neophytes. No one wanted to talk to him because every conversation ended in exasperation, both his and yours.

So it is understandable that I am rather pleased with this new development. I, unlike other stick-in-the-mud members of my generation, have boldly ventured into the world of blogging and the World Wide Web. I use website management terms in daily conversation like “Mega-data!” or “Widgets!”   OK, I don’t really know what these things mean, but I have overcome my fear of clicking on things.

So, if you are interested in continuing reading Buddy’s blog, Buddy McIntyre is a dot com.

Buddy has become a Foodie

I have a son who is an architect in New York.  He has morphed over the years from the nerdy kid who only would eat hamburgers, even in five star restaurants, to an over-the-top look-down-his-nose-at-you foodie. This may be the result of “piano dinners” that I prepared for him while he was growing up.

For the uninitiated, “piano dinners” are dinners that ACTUALLY CATCH ON FIRE.  At times I confess that I would put a casserole in the oven when he was younger, and then put earphones on and play my Roland piano. I would drift off; notes and melodies leading me off to far flung musical happy places. All well and good, until he would be shaking my elbow exclaiming “Mommy, mommy there is a fire in the oven!”

So now he is a foodie. Because I live in Chicago and he lives in New York we often g-mail chat  when we are supposed to be doing other things. Somehow our roles have reversed. I will ask, “What are you going to make for dinner?” and he will tell me about his plans to make lime infused planked salmon with hazelnut risotto which is somewhat annoying because well, I was going to make tacos.

I have learned to live with the humiliation, but there seems to be a new development with the dog. I think he has been reading my emails with my son.

Buddy has become a foodie.

He has been fed a very high quality (read expensive) kibble with all natural ingredients since he was a puppy. The kind you can only get at expensive pet shops, not places like Pet Smart.  That is until recently.    Now he is only interested in finer fare.  I have had to make additions to his meal, adding little pieces of filet mignon, the occasional bits of marinated grilled chicken, or perhaps a small dab of an interesting cheese. If I try to just give him his kibble, he gives me that signature foodie look, that look-down-your-nose-at-you foodie stare that seems to ask “Really?”

I think I am going to go play the piano.

Buddy is a Feng Shui Master


Buddy is a Feng Shui Master.  He understands the artful placement of items in a home and the effect they have on the home’s “Chi.” Most dogs, when given a new toy, bone or chew react in immediate pleasure romping, chewing, and gnawing away at the new item.

Not Buddy.

A new toy or bone disturbs Buddy’s Chi. He reluctantly takes it, and then begins to wander around the house making an “errr errr errr” noise; a sort of “I-don’t-know-where –to-put it” sound. This begins the rearrangement of current items he has tucked away in corners, under the covers on the bed, and other secret places known only to him. One by one he moves them to different locations until he achieves some sort of doggy- yin-yang balance. This can take hours and requires much rearranging.

I can relate. Recently my husband brought home a little cut glass crystal bowl for me. One would think a simple little item such as that would not throw anyone into a tizzy. But alas, I had to spend time moving these vases over HERE, and this bowl over THERE until somehow a pleasing balance was created.

My husband watches this exercise in bewilderment with an “it is just a BOWL” look on his face. Not Buddy. HE understands me.

If you have ever seen the movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, you would understand what I am talking about. You know, when Richard Dreyfuss is compelled to throw mashed potatoes to create a sculpture in his living room?  When others in the movie who have had similar visions and compulsions find each other they are so relieved that SOMEONE understands their obsession. It is a similar situation.

Buddy gets it and accepts me as a kindred spirit and this is why I am thankful I live with a doggy Feng Shui Master.

“Happiness is a warm puppy!”

When we first got Buddy, he was “crate trained.” That meant that he was accustomed to sleeping in his crate at night and going into the crate during times that he would be unattended.  Perfect, we thought.  When we weren’t watching him, we would know his whereabouts and we could rest assured that he wasn’t chewing on something he shouldn’t, having accidents in the house, an adventure in the trash, or his favorite, shredding toilet paper.

We had it all together as dog-owners.  We wouldn’t need an intervention by Cesar Millan. Nope, not us! We issued an edict: NO SLEEPING ON THE BED!  Our dog would sleep in his crate.

Then one evening, he had some sort of puppy virus. Poor little thing, he didn’t feel well.  I just couldn’t leave him downstairs whimpering in his crate. I brought his crate upstairs and put it next to our bed. After a few hours of sleep interrupted by pitiful little doggy cries, I unlocked the crate and lifted him up into our bed.

He burrowed in right next to me, a warm little puff of love and affection, his little furry body tucked in as close as he could possibly get to me.  All of the dog training manuals and dog trainer shows on TV forgot to mention one thing: the wonderful feeling of an adoring little dog snuggled next to you in bed.

Needless to say, from that night on, Buddy has slept in our bed. Charles Shultz had it right,

“Happiness is a warm puppy!”

The “It” Factor

Buddy has “It.”

This has been confirmed repeatedly to me over the past five years of life with Buddy.

Once when watching my son at a tennis match with Buddy at my side, the opposing team’s bus came to a screeching halt behind me. Startled, I turned around to see the bus doors opening quickly. I thought there might be some sort of emergency. The bus driver called out to me,
“Hey! What kind of dog is that? That is the cutest dog I have EVER seen!”

This kind of random stranger appreciation has repeated itself through the years. Buddy has that “it” thing that some movie stars and politicians have. John F. Kennedy Jr. had it. So does Barack Obama. Princess Diana had it. People are somehow mesmerized and drawn like moths to a flame; an indescribable attribute, a can’t-put-your-finger-on-it but know-it-when-you-see it kind of thing.

A walk through our Gold Coast Chicago neighborhood confirms it. People say, “Hi Buddy!” on the street. The doorman at a neighboring building will actually run across the street to give him two treats; once a tourist asked me if she could take some pictures of him.

I think I know some of the secrets of his success:

Put a little bounce in your step.
Wag your tail a lot.
Be friendly and approachable.
When someone talks to you, tilt your head to the side and listen intently.
When walking down the street, look people directly in the eye and SMILE.