Tag Archives: Dog

Buster: A Good Friend Gone

Chronicle cropped“Whoever said that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, didn’t have a dog.” I’m terribly sad to say that, after over 14 years, my best friend has gone to roll in greener grass. Buster, the rare African Spotted Yard Wolf, who has, on occasion, been the guest writer here, trotted across the Rainbow Bridge this week. (Don’t bother Googling African Spotted Yard Wolves. He was so rare, he was the only one. Actually, he was some kind of polka dotted mixed breed, but we never wanted to hurt his self-esteem by calling him a mutt.)

Buster joined our family the summer before my youngest son started Kindergarten, the same son who left just a few weeks ago to start college. Back then, I had boldly taken old towels and rugs to donate to the Brazoria County SPCA. But instead of coming back home with a nice tax receipt, I came back with the same old towels and rugs plus a puppy. You seriously have to wonder if they don’t teach those SPCA volunteers some kind of subliminal mind control techniques that convince you that you need a pet, a spay/neuter package, and a bag of Puppy Chow. More likely, I’m just a sucker for a fuzzy face and a waggley tail.

He taught my young sons important lessons about care-giving, unconditional love, responsibility, respect, and the importance of picking up dog poop before you push the mower. Lessons they will carry with them always.

Buster led a full life, more so after he recovered from his squirrel mania. For a period, he was so neurotic over the squirrels in our yard, we couldn’t even say the word. Unfortunately, the dyslexic son couldn’t spell it, so they just became S-Q-U-earls. He traveled internationally, lived in Saudi Arabia, and regularly got more fan mail for his posts than I have in the entire 8 years I’ve written it. To be honest, I think if we had a funeral service for him, he’d have more people show up than would turn out for mine. He will be sorely missed.

Will Rogers said, “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”  My goal now is to try to be the person Buster always thought I was, so that maybe they’ll let me in there, too.

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Dog Takes Over My Blog

While I was on vacation last week, my dog wrote my column that runs in The Source Weekly. The lesson here is to never give your dog artistic license or access to a keyboard. Here’s what got published in my absence…

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Jean Ciampi is on vacation. Her dog, Buster, is this week’s guest columnist.

Right, Jean Ciampi is on vacation and I am incarcerated. She’s seeing the world, meeting new people, and going to fantastic places. And I have been relegated to the kennel. Dog jail. The big house. The slammer. I feel like I should join a dog gang and get a tattoo. I’m on the inside now, and it’s a dog-eat-dog world here. Okay, eating dog would be kind of cannibalistic, which is gross even for dogs that are willing to graze in the litter box. So forget that last part. Let’s just say it’s rough here.

I’m a good dog, for all it’s gotten me, which obviously wasn’t a dog-sitter. I do the right things, like bark at cats and sleep in the sun. I’ve never eaten a shoe, disrespected the furniture or compromised the carpet. Okay, there was one time I lost control of bodily functions after the neighbor fed me half a pan of lasagna, but that was hardly my fault. And no one felt worse about that than I did. Really. I mean that.

For some reason, though, I have been sent to the kennel while they all go out of town. Do they not realize that I have no concept of future time? For all I know, they’ve left me forever. They’re never coming back, and I’m facing a lifetime now of all-night bark-fests from the beagle next door whether I like it or not. It’s not as if they left a copy of the itinerary taped up inside my cell here.

They didn’t exactly read me my Miranda Rights or give me my one phone call when I got here, either. They didn’t even offer me a lawyer assigned by the courts should I not be able to afford one myself, which I can’t because I’m a dog. I got a bath and the once-over by the vet, then into solitary. Therefore, my only recourse is to make a cry for justice here with this column! FREEEEEDOM! For dogs everywhere!

So, yeah, have fun on your trip, family. Don’t worry about me here, locked up and alone. I’m just the dog, you’re supposed best friend. Nope, don’t feel guilty. Just remind me to bite you when you get back. Love, Buster.

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