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Friends, Meet Buster

April 2, 2010

Friends, this is Buster Brown, the beagle (mix).  He belongs to my dear friend Lori who, in addition to being brilliant and hilarious, is also one of the best schoolteachers I’ve ever had.  (Sophomore English at C. K. McClatchy High.)

Now that Lori and I live in the same city again, we get to do fun things like team up in caring for Mister Buster.  Who is a special little guy, and needs a Lot of caring.

When Lori adopted him a few months ago, she quickly realized that the boy’s endured some serious trauma, gets spooked pretty easy, and may occasionally lash out in fear.  The first time I met him, things seemed to be going just swell, feeding him treats and cuddling on the couch, until I got too close and he suddenly bit me on the lip.  (I know, tough to imagine a sweet-looking mug like that biting you in the face.)

And so, in the same vein as Heather the cat, though far friendlier to humans, Buster is one of those animal companions whose affection is not guaranteed.  (To anyone but Lori, that is.) We continue loving him anyway, though, because who says love is a perfect give-and-take?  Buster may have his challenging quirks, like anxiety around changes in atmospheric pressure, but he also has many precious ones, like the morningtime phenomenon Lori has dubbed “squishy ears.”

As poor Tamagotchi performance long ago established, I’m not a naturally maternal person in the least, and it ain’t easy for me to look after a creature — especially one without language.  (No reasoning with BB when he’s feeling too skittish to take a walk; sometimes all you can do is pick him up and kinda scoot him forward toward the stairs.  This clashes somewhat with my sensibilities around consent.)

But I will say this: relations with Buster calm down to the extent that I can calm down.  When I stop worrying about whether he’s scared, or upset, or Not Being A Model Dog, and just accept the vicissitudes of his moods, doing what I can to offer him a good environment, then we get along just fine.  I can relax and enjoy the afternoon walks; he can relax and, you know, do the puppy thing.

And as you can see, he’s reeallly good at doing the puppy thing.

Have a wonderful weekend, folks!  See you Monday.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Lori permalink
    April 2, 2010 9:30 pm

    Yes, as I have learned through much trial and error with this unique creature, his way of moving in the world has as much to do with the humans around him–their flexibility, openness, love, and forgiveness–as it has to do with who he is. Thank you, Katie, for such a sweet blog post.

  2. Brandon permalink
    April 12, 2010 7:56 pm

    That may be the cutest dog ever. Been a while! Just dropping by to share happiness : )

  3. April 13, 2010 2:13 pm

    Brandon! I got such a big smile when I realized it was you!

    (guess who‘s coming to…dinner…blog. There’s a pun in there somewhere.)

    Thanks for saying hello. Hope everything’s well where you are.

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