My writings spotlight the last sixteen years with my faithful cohort, my dog “Buddy”.
To know me as a local radio personality for the last twelve years is to only know a small part of who I am. To be termed a “dog lover” would be a gross understatement. Almost all of my time off the air is consumed with Buddy. Our lives encompass each other. As someone without any biological children of my own, he has become all that I may know of as “my son” over the last fourteen years. The time we share cannot be duplicated elsewhere. While so many dog owners simply “own a dog”, others like me take the meaning of this added member of the family a tad bit further. My life revolves around my dog ownership. We are happiest when we are together.
Years of hand scribbled notes on my life with Buddy line the walls of a room in my home waiting to be transcribed into column form. They are true accounts of countless adventures from sailing the waters of Lake Champlain to numerous mountain climbs here in the northeast. From sleeping with baby ducks to his relationship with skunks, Buddy’s personality will shine on the pages to follow. To say that he is remarkable or “one of a kind” would fall short of his true being. He will make you both laugh and cry. His resiliency alone will have you reading more and may even provide faith and encouragement when hope runs thin. You will learn of dogs devotion to man, but also mans devotion to dog.
All too often it seems we hear of how someone “rescued” a dog, but rarely how a dog rescued someone. “Beyond The Dog”, at the very least, will explore a greater meaning beneath the relationship between “man and beast” (or more appropriately man and his best friend). My hopes and objectives of this column are to give strong example to the impacts our canine companions can have on us as “humans” but also demonstrate the often overlooked yet powerful impacts we can have on our pets, canine or otherwise. My stories will outline not only unspeakable hardships and sacrifices but also the joys that counter those hardships. This column may inspire you to re-examine and make necessary alterations to your relationship with your dog. For those of you who have lost your best friend, it will stir your soul, allow you to reflect upon that bond you once shared, offer closure in some forms and maybe even inspire you to consider adopting a new best friend.
Before engaging in the columns to follow it’s important to note my association with Buddy can be substituted for any pet regardless of breed and even species. For the “Cats Only” crowd, you too won’t stop reading, but only if you can relate your feline relationship to the canine one I’ll attempt to write about. I encourage you to step outside the realm of my bond with a canine, read with your heart wide open and relate my writings to whatever pet you love or have shared life with. I will also attempt, half seriously, to demonstrate Buddy’s character as a “superior being”. His personality at times commands the attention to that of a noble wise man or king. As a matter of fact, one of his many nicknames is “The King”, but only when the timing is appropriate.
I find myself overly cautious not to put my dog on a pedestal higher than what I think others could put their guinea pig or pet turtle on. That being said, I will never suggest that one couldn’t possibly love a hamster as much as I love my dog. “Beyond The Dog” will magnify the meaning behind the single greatest impact of my life, but at the same time entertain readers. More often than not, it will bring a smile to your lips, and maybe even a snicker. I hope you find yourself snipping away this column to share with friends. But mostly, I hope you will read this column faithfully and allow it to impact your life regardless of whether you own a pet. I am confident the stories inside “Beyond The Dog” will impact your life in many ways and I can’t wait to begin sharing them with you.