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That’s what fur friends are for

The Mommy Chronicles

June 15, 2012
Anne Blankenship , The Daily Freeman Journal

I have a little shadow that follows me wherever I go. Every time I turn around, there he is sitting at my heels. Sometimes, when I don't see him at first, I hear the swish of his feather duster tail and feel a little breeze as it wags back and forth.

There is very little doubt to anyone in my household that Buster is my dog. Oh, he belongs to the whole family, but he clearly thinks I am his mother or pack leader or whatever it is dogs think.

It's kind of nice to have that happy little, goofy-grinning pup meet me at the door when I come home from work. He follows me around until I stop and recognize him, scratch his ears and ruffle his fur. If I don't do that right away, he brushes his nose up against the back of my knee sometimes so hard it makes my knees buckle.

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Despite his diminutive size, Buster is confident in the fact that he runs the house. He seems to think it's his place to check on what all of the members of the household are doing. He's very vocal when he finds something amiss. He stands in front of you and barks in his shrillest voice until you get up and follow him to his point of annoyance. Generally, what we find is Toby eating from the food dish in the kitchen or playing with one of the toys Buster feels are his. He struts around the house - perhaps bustles would be a better word - trying to convince all of his subjects that he is the supreme pack leader.

Of course Toby, who outweighs Buster by 60 pounds, isn't buying his act. He just sits there and watches as the little dog tries to intimidate him into submission.

Buster is also a very curious little pooch and one of his personal favorite obsessions is to watch while someone clips his or her fingernails or toenails. He hears that tell-tale snap of the nail clippers and immediately races over to watch. He likes to zoom right in as close as he can to see the whole procedure. If one pauses in the process, Buster will give a little lick to your hand as if to urge you to continue clipping.

One of Buster's greatest passions is going for a ride in the car. I think my dog must be fairly intelligent, because all I have to say is "Who wants to go for a ride?" and Buster comes running from wherever he was snoozing. He stands by the back door where we keep the leashes hanging on a hook. He sits there patiently waiting and wagging until I hook up the leash.

I've mentioned it before, but I'll say it again: Pets really become part of the family. I'm not sure what we would do without those little fur balls of energy. They certainly seem to complete our little family. And for Daniel, it has become a chance to take responsibility and be accountable. He takes good care of the dogs as part of his chores, and in return, they give him unconditional love.



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