His name was Bud. Not really, but that was his Dream Acres-given name. He appeared in the middle of the night, five years ago, and sat there for twelve hours until we introduced each other. He adopted us that day. He was a beautiful, quiet, gentle Golden Retriever. Naturally he couldn't tell us his name, although I swear he tried many times. We tried by calling him by every popular dog name to see if we could get a reaction out of those big, brown, soulful eyes, but they seemed to say, "Are you kidding me?" So we called him Bud.
He also couldn't tell us where he came from or why. Even though he had a tattoo, our search for his past was in vain. And so he became our friend. For five wonderful years. He was such a gentle dog with absolutely no vices. He didn't pee on the visiting salesmen's car or truck tires. He didn't chase cats or cows. He didn't beg at the table – and the list goes on.
He was a friend to anybody that came on the yard and always seemed to have a smile on his face. He loved his everyday walk around the fields, and his drives up to Dream Acres North, where he loved to explore and swim in the pond. He made us laugh and smile with his antics. The cats and other dogs treated him with the utmost respect. His ways earned him that.
Just like his humans, Bud loved life. But t h e r e c o m e s a t i m e when a long life can become tired and burdensome. He developed a benign tumour which grew steadily larger over the last year and burst two days ago. It seemed to drain the energy to live out of him. And so on a beautiful, sunny, frosty fall morning, he took his last slow walk around the yard, came in, laid on his blanket, and told us with his gentle, soulful, big brown eyes, "There comes a time when…"
Some might say he was only a dog, and yes, he was. And some say a dog is man's best friend, and yes, he was.