a true friend

Posted on July 22, 2009


(Tribute to Buddy)


Last night my dog Buddy passed away after become tremendously ill over the weekend. He was only 5 years old and had been very healthy so it was very unexpected. And it is not until after he is gone that I’ve realized how perfect the name my daughter Myka gave him truly was.

I was blind-sided by emotions . . . I didn’t think I was all that attached. I guess I was. It took a long, long time to stop crying. It is interesting, the things that expose my vulnerability . . . my fragility. So if I am to live an authentic life, I must face my vulnerability and fragility, embrace it, and learn from it.

What was it about Buddy that I can learn? First of all there was his loyalty. He was there by my side for the past four years through depression, divorce, loss of my kids (to half-time, joint custody), foreclosure of my home, loss of job; everything I went through he was by my side, felt my pain, and gave me comfort right on time, right when I needed it. He sat quietly observing me and then stepped up at the time that I needed a bit of touch. Consistency was another trait I need to learn from him. There was NEVER a question of how I was going to be greeted. He was ALWAYS delighted to see me, unconditionally welcoming me into our home. He had a presence I could feel. I felt it very distinctly last night on the way home as I thought of coming through the front door, even though he wasn’t here anymore. I felt it throughout the house. His presence was open and accepting of anything that I did or said. No matter what, I was OK in his book. Just because I am me.

Over the last 6 months, the connection between us deepened. Daily, I would catch him staring at me. He would stare until I looked back into his eyes. Our eyes would lock together affectionately. Actually, his affectionate gaze would just pull me in. When he did that it was more than just looking at each other. It was looking into each other. It was a heart connection. Don’t tell me animals don’t have souls . . . We consistently met, soul to soul. His gaze asked for nothing in return. It didn’t even demand a return gaze, although it often pulled me in. It was simply Buddy giving me his full and deep attention . . . he was fully present with me. Words are irrelevant and shallow where hearts meet.

On his death bed, he often looked past the kids and their mom to me. As I moved around the room, he would follow. Asking nothing. It wasn’t a look of “help me” or “save me”. It was a look of total presence. Of drawing in the best of life in the last minutes of his life by that connection he made to my heart through his eyes. To him, that is all life really was. It was those moments of connection . . . of presence . . . of connecting heart to heart, soul to soul.

It seems to me that Buddy lived the true essence of life. What else is there but our connection to those that we love? What else is there? Outside of that, there is absolutely nothing.

Truth comes from anywhere and everywhere if we are open to learning from life.

My greatest desire in life is to simplify my life to these basic things that Buddy taught me life is all about. I want to learn to be the “buddy” that Buddy was . . . to my kids . . . to my friends . . . to my family . . . to anyone that I am privileged to connect with each and every day of my life for the rest of my life.

This is my prayer.

Now, this is my question.

Why did he have to die for me to see, truly see, these things he had to teach me??? What else in my life do I not see? What else will require a disruptive event for me to see? Or can I learn to live life with open eyes, an open heart, an open mind, an open will, so that I do not miss the very essence of life?