Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Yesterday (August 5, 2008), our valiant Standard Poodle, Buddy Boutts, collapsed and died. He was only ten and my entire household is in deep mourning. Buddy was a rescue who joined our family in 2002. I am too emotional right now to write so I am posting an excerpt from a piece I did earlier this year, called Ode to the Pack, a tribute to all my rescued dogs. This was the part about Buddy, who now runs with the angels. It doesn’t do him justice, but it will have to do for now until I can get over my shock, grief and pain and write about this magnificent creature without getting tears all over the keys.

Buddy Boutonniere (a.k.a. Buddy Boutts)

The others said they didn't know I would get so big. They kept me in the yard and went away. The man who tended the trees gave me water, but he did not always come. I was thirsty so I chewed on the pipes that carry the water. They were mad when they got home. They took out the grass and replaced it with concrete. It burned my feet. But now, I live in paradise.

Your topknot explodes in every direction like the mane of a tenured professor. It shades your soulful Gallic eyes, rimmed in kohl and perched above that Cyrano nose, long as an alpine ski slope. Your great ebon nostrils flare as you drink me in. You sigh like a lover. I hug you to me and listen to your heart. I can just make it out over your pants of joi. An extravagant ear falls over my eyes and I marvel at the transparent magenta of the underside, edged by its ecru tendrils.

How could anyone call you Standard? Poodle Grand Prix is more to my liking. You are the very Vente of poodles. When you walk, your tail salutes as if you were on parade. When you run, you float above the earth like meringue. When you sleep, you drape your long torso and limbs with the grace and abandon of a Delacroix model. You chose the chaise lounge as your bed. What else? The plush rose velvet and satin pillows are your m├ętier.

My sensitive boy. My artist in canine raiment. So easy to hurt. So capable of jealousy. Cher, you are too thin. You cannot live on love.

Buddy Boutts Russell

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