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.
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.
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!”
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.