Buster came to us one cold January day. John and I moved into our house in October 2007. John has always wanted a dog, but I told him we had to wait for a house. And then when we got the house, we had already planned on being out of town on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and we were going to have our first houseguests in early January.
Then, on January 3, John got an email through his company listserv about someone who had found a mother dog and her 7-week-old puppies, about 8-10 puppies total. They were giving the puppies away. I told John we would look at them and if we liked one, we would go get puppy supplies and pick up the puppy the next day.
We went home with a puppy that night.
When we got Buster, he looked like this. He was cute and small and cuddly. He looked like a tiny bear. He was so small that he couldn’t climb up on the couch. When we first got him, he was so calm and docile. This was a Thursday. On Monday, we took him in for his first vet appointment and found out he had worms. Lots and lots of worms. So we got him dewormed. We found out that the worms were making him calm, because he turned into a crazy ball of energy after that.
We got him all the food and bones and stuffed animals. His pal the porcupine there looked just like him, weirdly enough. We don’t let him have stuffed animals anymore, because he devours them in minutes and strews stuffing all over the house.
Here’s how we found out what breed Buster is: He had mange once, so we took him to the doctor. She said there are two treatments, oral and a wash. The oral is cheaper, but it can be fatal to collies and shepherds. Buster’s mom looked kinda like a shepherd, so we didn’t know if he was. We had no idea what he was. We couldn’t give him the oral treatment until we had him DNA tested to find out what he was.
The test came back with only this on it, “smorgasbord.” Ha, not really. But the vet did say that he is the salad bar of dogs, because he has a little of everything. He doesn’t have any really strong breeds in him, but has traces of akita, chow, rottweiler and saluki (kinda like a greyhound).
Sometimes, Buster gets really riled up. Like when we give him baths and dry him off with a towel. Towels make him go crazy. And things that move, like the stability ball. Things that crinkle on their own are also terrifying to Buster, like plastic bags. In fact, if you’re at our house and Buster is bothering you, you can just wave a bag at him and he will go away. Sam and Kate did this once, and it totally (partially) worked.
If you are sitting on the floor, or doing yoga, Buster will try to lick your face, or sit on you, or jump on you, or find a bone and eat it on top of you. It’s one of his talents. Here he is “helping” John do yoga. See? He’s helpful like that. Also, when you are cooking in the kitchen, he will sit right behind you so when you take a step back, you step on his paw. He will then yelp and scramble on the tile, causing you to drop a scalding hot pan of oil. That’s Buster’s way of helping.
He’s a pretty smart dog. The picture at the top of this post is Buster’s most awesome trick. He will balance a biscuit on his nose until you tell him to drop it. He’ll sit there forever, even if you leave the room. If the biscuit falls off his nose, he’ll stare at it forlornly until you let him eat it. He also knows the word “walk” so don’t say it around him unless you’re prepared to walk him.
Alas, Buster is not a good guard dog. He is too gosh-darn friendly. He wants to be friends with every animal and person he sees, and he can’t understand why they don’t want to be friends with him. He doesn’t get why everyone doesn’t like his kisses. I’ve tried to tell him that you shouldn’t get so close to people so fast, that not everyone likes French kissing so soon, but he doesn’t understand. Probably because he’s a dog and doesn’t speak English.
When Buster gets up in the morning, he’s really calm. He just wants to sit in my lap and sleep some more.
Buster has the grossest farts I’ve ever smelled.
But he’s an all-around good dog, and I wouldn’t trade him for any other.
P.S. Top and bottom photos are from our awesome wedding photographers, Bend the Light! They deserve many, many shout-outs. They totally were on board with my ideas for engagement photos, including the ones in our house.