grief, Uncategorized

Buddy Jack

Ten years ago, my kids were begging for a dog. It was right after I learned of my husband’s affair but long before we separated. I somehow convinced my ex-husband to let the kids have a puppy.

After searching for the perfect puppy, I settled on a Bichon Frise. The breed is small, good with kids, doesn’t shed, and is hypoallergenic.

Enter Buddy.

Buddy was this tiny little ball of fur when I got him. The grass was taller than he was, so he almost hopped as he ran across the yard. He was playful and the kids fell madly in love with him.

As life happened, he was our constant companion. He was the laughter in a horrible time of life. He was the joy that put smiles on my kids’ faces. He was the heart in a home that was broken and hurting.

For the last ten years, Buddy Jack has been the little white bundle of energy running around the house, barking at everything that went by outside. He had a love for the Aflac ducks that were all over our house. He would fight the bigger dogs—and win—if they touched his duck. He loved to play fetch and dance and shake hands and pee in my house (not a good thing). For ten years, he was a light in our lives.

In the last few months, Buddy figured out how to escape from our fence. We tried everything to keep him in, but no matter how many times we barricaded him in the backyard, he found a way to get out. He was pretty good, never wandering far and always coming back. We would hear the scratching at the door and we always let him back in the house.

Last Tuesday night was no different. I let him outside about 9:00 pm. He managed to slip out of the fence, and I found him in the front yard a little while later. I tried to coax him into the house for the night, and his stubborn streak came out. I couldn’t get him to come into the house. I couldn’t bribe him with a ride in the car. He was determined to stay outside a little longer.

After a while, I gave up. I left the garage door open enough that he could get into the garage, and I went to bed expecting him to be scratching at the door within an hour.

But the scratching at the door never came.

When I woke up the next morning, I realized Buddy was nowhere to be found. I began to look for him, up and down the streets as I took my morning walk. I looked in the backyards of my neighbors. I looked in the ditch to see if he had been hit by a car.

But there was no sign of my sweet Buddy Jack.

I continued to hold out hope, posting pictures on Facebook and calling neighbors and friends. I posted on every social media app I could find. I called the local animal shelter. I posted pictures around the neighborhood. I texted pictures to everyone I knew in the surrounding neighborhoods.

But my Buddy is still missing.

Telling my oldest son was the hardest. He and Buddy were always tight. Buddy had his favorites, and his favorites were Blake and me. Blake would always take Buddy’s ear and rub it between two of his fingers, much like he used to do to soothe himself to sleep with his favorite stuffed animal as a toddler. If Buddy wasn’t on my bed, he was curled up next to Blake.

I still don’t know what happened to Buddy, but I suspect that a wild animal got him. Coyotes have been seen in the area and have been known to grab small, unsuspecting dogs and cats. I keep hoping someone grabbed him and he will eventually get out and find his way home. But after a week, I’m beginning to believe the worse.

And my heart is broken.

I have cried many tears over the last week, often crying myself to sleep at night. I look around at all the reminders of our sweet Buddy, the one who carried us through the hardest season of our lives. I watch our other two dogs play, and I think how Buddy should be curled up at my feet watching the chaos. I see the signs still posted in the neighborhood and I hope and pray he will come home.

Maybe you’ve been there. Maybe you’ve grieved the loss of something or someone special. Maybe, like me, you’ve even wondered how in the world you could be so broken-hearted over an animal.

But I am.

When I started writing, I hoped maybe I’d draw some wonderful lesson from this story.

How we need to be so cautious about staying in the safety of the fence God provides.

How God mourns when one of His beloved wanders from the safety of His care.

How God provides companions to help us through the darkest seasons of life.

How God’s love is found in unexpected places like an animal.

The truth is, my heart is too broken to find the spiritual lessons. I miss my little Buddy…and so do my kids. I know God will heal our hearts. I know He has given us incredible memories of this little nuisance that stole our hearts. I know He will carry us through this season just as He has carried us through so many others.

But for now, I grief. The tears flow freely and I long to see him chase the Aflac duck one more time. I long to watch him dance for food or shake for a treat. I long to see him stick his head out the sunroof as we drive down the street. I long for one more day to love on him…for him to love on me.

I may have given him a home for ten years, but he gave us so much more.

We love you, Buddy Jack!


10 thoughts on “Buddy Jack”

  1. Sorry for the loss. Appreciate the honesty. Praying for the family and yourself. Roy

    Prayer should always have the same social consequences: that we love others and God more sincerely.James  M Houston  

  2. This so touched my heart, I’m so sorry to hear this. I do realize that animals become just like family to some. I just want to encourage you to try and stay hopeful. I had a friend who went through the same thing. After about 6 months her dog was returned. AND I saw a similar story on the news. A couple got their dog back after a year of it missing. Some how it ended up in another state. God hears your cry and whatever is important ro his children is important to him. He will move heaven and earth to bring us peace. He can do it. Whatever the case is he is going to make it alright in the end. ❤

  3. My heart breaks for you guys – my dogs are my life & as they age, I start dreading the day I have to let them go. I hope you find him, regardless of the outcome, for closure 💔.

  4. I’ve been where you are, losing my Buddy. The only difference is I know what happened to him. I do take comfort in that because the not knowing is so hard. To make it a little easier assume someone picked him up and he is with them. My husband and I went through months of depression over Buddy’s death, but the day came when we knew it was time to share our love with a new baby. Then a few months later we decided Lily Belle needed a little sister to keep her company. You will know when the time is right and God will bless you with another fur baby to love, not to replace your Buddy, but to share the love you have for him. It took a couple of years to get past the tears every time Buddy came to mind, but now I can think of him with a smile. It will get better. Just give it time.

  5. My heart goes out to you with tears. I pray that Little Buddy Jack is safe wherever he is and that God will provide a way to get him back to your Family. Keep us posted!

  6. When I hear the incident I am thinking of a same situation, when I lost my extremely loving dog (I would say,the best friend of my family) of 8 years, when he was poisoned by some anti-social activists. Because he was a head-ache for them in the midnight, as he barked loudly and disturbed their secret movements. I was bursting into tears for 3 months as I lost him.After that incident, I decided not to keep a dog as a pet because, it hurts when something happens.

    But in your case, I hope Buddy Jack will come back as a pleasant surprise. The reason is that he might have gone after something that interested him more.And after a couple of days he will come back sniffing and finding the way back home. Keep the way opened for him and you will be happy again.


  7. 😪 It’s stunning to me how my life has paralleled yours. I too lost my little dog Basil. She was only 4 1/2 The love of my life. She was there throughout the worse times for me..Divorce, moving, job loses, loneliness and more. I still miss her and bawl like a baby over her every day. I don’t understand why it had to happen this way. But there’s nothing I can do except have a lot of questions and Miss her terribly.

  8. I am so sorry. I know that pain. My daughter and her children know that pain. I learned a hard lesson on a cold night in January a few years back. Never ever let a small dog out w/o a leash, at night. Our Yorkie Zac had gone for his customary potty before bedtime thousands of times, but this night, he never returned. It was freezing and the lake we lived on had frozen on top. A big white cat was on our deck, a stranger, and we think it may have scared Zac and he ran into the frozen lake. We cried and searched for days, but never found him. My grandchildren’s beloved Yorkie was attacked by a coyote that didn’t even want him for food. He just tore his little body up and drug him to the neighbor’s driveway to die. It was horrendous. So, so, sorry about your Buddy Jack. Praying for your family. The Lord DOES heal.

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