A Buddy for Life
Second of two parts Read the first part
After having to put our treasured dog to sleep in January of 1997, we decided for many practical reasons—including regular out-of-town trips back then—that we wouldn’t get another.
That was the reasoning side. The other, more emotion-driven one was that losing Shadow was so painful that I didn’t want to go through that kind of separation again.
And yet, this June here came Buddy, a three-year-old silky terrier.
His owner is a family member who recently moved back to the area. He only stayed with us for a short time, but in a matter of days Buddy captured our hearts.
The excited barks, playful racing around the room, and unconditional love he offered reminded me of why dogs are our best friend.
They’re also a great stress reliever.
At this particular time, my work schedule had looked like a roller coaster for three months.
After a very slow April, I did much better in May. As June began, I wasn’t sure where the ride would wind up.
The first week of June, I gave a publisher in Florida my estimate of what it would cost to “fix” a book a first-time author had self-published. After hardly selling any copies for four years, he needed help.
Although I knew it wasn’t a “done deal,” I had hopes of soon diving into a healthy size project. Instead, the publisher emailed me the following week to say the author would be unable to proceed because of personal issues.
That unexpected setback made me glad I had agreed to write an article for a magazine. May had been so busy I couldn’t start on it until June. The editor extended the deadline a week or I wouldn’t have finished on time.
Even with the income from that story, my revenue for the month still looked a bit shy of what I needed to generate. That is, before a trio of rush projects and an advance on a developmental book editing project made it the best month of 2022 (so far).
To The Rescue
While these gyrations and unpredictability may sound easy in the re-telling, I found the ups and downs gnawing on my nerves. On my darker days I would ask myself, “Why would anyone want to freelance for a living?”
That’s when Buddy came to the rescue. One afternoon the house grew quiet. Prone as he is to crave human companionship, the terrier trotted up the stairs to my home office.
Sitting there below my chair, he looked eagerly at me.
“Want to climb up?” I said, gently hoisting him into my lap.
Then, I kicked my legs up on my computer table as I started a planned break for the afternoon.
Buddy promptly curled up in my lap, closed his eyes and went to sleep.
As his soft breathing resonated through my lap, I smiled. I had just received a course correction. He reminded me that things weren’t nearly as serious as I was making them. I had been through worse times in the past and survived. I surely would now.
Although I still don’t necessarily want the costs and responsibilities that come with ownership, I’m glad this dog is still around so I can visit regularly. I have a Buddy for life.