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Buddy- 32 x 40

Buddy- 32 x 40

When she was 20, Jenny was living in New York City and on a whim, she stopped in at a shelter and saw the cutest puppy ever. He came home with her and was her first real responsibility, or her "first born", as she calls him. He was never really a dog, always a person. He even had a Bark-mitzvah at age 13. Like an intelligent human, he would look directly into a person's eyes with depth and knowing. He understood, well, all of it- emotions, people, English. He wasn't exactly good practice for Jenny's future parenting, as unlike children, It took barely a repetition to train him, he just "got it" immediately by reading cues and voice tone. And he WANTED to please, loved having the opportunity. Even as an older dog he learned new tricks very quickly- the treat on the nose trick was added to his repertoire when he was eight, and he perfected it on the day it was introduced. You could even change the rules and he would immediately adjust, without repetitions. Well, almost. He learned as a youngster not to get on the bed. The rules changed later and he was allowed, but he was tentative about the new freedom, and at first would only place a foot on the bed. Then after awhile, two feet. It took a year of him methodically putting body parts on the bed, a little more at a time, before he finally hoisted himself fully on the bed--- but with one leg still hanging off, always.

Everyone who met Buddy loved him, and he loved them. It probably actually worked in reverse, he was provoking the love fest. The dog sitters who cared for him, every one of them, wanted to keep him. When her parents cared for him for a month while she traveled in Europe, they wanted her to stay in Europe so she wouldn't take Buddy back.

Buddy was happy, all the time, no matter what. And he was unrelenting about fetching- he would fetch until his paws bled. Jenny removed all of his toys from the house to try to get him to lighten up on the staring at a ball, staring at her, staring at a ball, staring at her. He would find a piece of lint instead, which took several minutes for him to scrape off his tongue and deposit on Jenny''s knee. Then the ritual began- staring at the lint, staring at Jenny, staring at the lint, staring at Jenny. She would finally throw the lint which would travel no further than four inches, because it wasn't a ball, it was lint. But Buddy would launch himself after it with the enthusiasm of a competitor in a dock dog contest, and bring it back stuck to his tongue again.

Buddy passed away while this painting was still in progress. You are deeply missed, best Buddy.