The very best buddy that I ever had was a scruffy
black puppy, a gift from our dad. It caught mom
off-guard and that made her kind-of mad until
she saw those kind brown eyes that Buddy had.
She told us right up-front, “This has to be an
outside dog.” But she’d always let him in,
despite the time he chewed her rug.
There were five in our family, six after we got
him, and as he grew he came to be our wise and
Some dogs never learn how to fetch or how to heel
But every dog knows just exactly how you feel
You can pour out your troubles without whispering a word
And he’ll look you in the eye and you’ll know…he heard
When there’s no one there to hold you
He will kiss away your tears
Because every dog knows just exactly how you feel
Every dog knows just exactly how you feel
Out west where I was raised, the kids all join 4-H,
take their calves and fat lambs to the county fair
to win first place. But there I was a town kid
with no room for a calf, so Buddy was my 4-H
project, which made the farm kids laugh.
As my daddy washed and combed him I put bows in
Buddy’s hair, then Mom drove slow as the car
would go to the Clayton County Fair. See,
Buddy had this problem since he was just a
pup. You couldn’t take him in the car
without him throwing up.
By the end of the two-hour drive we were covered
in dog vomit, but since no other 4-H dogs showed
up to compete, me and Buddy won it. I was so
excited, couldn’t wait to go home bragging.
We ran back to the car leaving Buddy’s judge
As Mom was wiping out the seats I said, “Mom,
this is true love.” She said, “I know, but I
can do anything if I have rubber gloves.” I
can still see Buddy shivering there, wilted bows
and matted hair, knowing it was time to climb
back in that car again. Wimpering just a
little bit, he looked up at me, then crawled
on in. I felt sad for the pain I’d put him
through, just so I could win.
I pull that ribbon out of my scrapbook now
and then. It reminds me that no judge can
measure the love of a true best friend.
The times my daddy drank and my mom and him
would fight, that’s when Buddy and me would
softly slip outside. I’d bury my sobs in
the soft fur of his neck, and I’d hug him
so hard, but he’d never pull back.
They say that angels come in various shapes
and sizes. I believe they can even put on
animal disguises. Buddy came to live with
us when we needed him the most. And now
he’s back in heaven, where all good buddies go.
I think every kid deserves to have a buddy
like that, ‘cuz there are some things kids
can only say to dogs and sometimes cats.
Dogs help us learn to care about God’s
other living creatures, and for unconditional
love . . . a dog is the greatest teacher.