Happy Anniversary/Birthday, Buddy!

Today marks 3 wonderful years of owning my dog, Buddy. I don’t know if I should call it an anniversary or a birthday, so I call it both. But you get the point! I decided that I would share with you all the story of how Buddy came to be with me today. So, here it is:

It was 3 days after my 14th birthday. I was sitting outside, feeding carrots to a wild bunny, when she suddenly took off. I turned around to see what had frightened her, and behind me stood a big black dog. My first instinct when I see a loose animal is to catch it and make sure it is safe and okay. As I approached the dog, it went through my mind that he might be aggressive, but the fear of letting him go and possibly get hit by a car was stronger than my fear of being bitten. Much to my relief, he was friendly and allowed me to grab his red collar. There were no tags, just the broken clip from a leash, which made me suspect that he had been chained outside when he got loose. I brought him onto our lanai, gave him food and water, and showed him to my family. Then my little sister and I walked around the neighborhood, asking neighbors if they knew who he belonged to, but no one did. I really did not want to take him to the shelter, because I didn’t want to wonder what had happened to him. We went anyways and had him scanned for a microchip, which he did not have. Thankfully, my mom let me bring him back home. My oldest sister was away at a school event, and I called and told her about the dog. She wanted to see him, so we convinced our parents to just “keep him until Friday”. We called various shelters and vet offices, telling them about the dog and giving them our phone number in case anyone called looking for him.Â

He did stay until Friday, and the next day, and the next… :) By Saturday he had all of his shots, and we had bought him food, toys, a new collar and leash, and a crate. He also got a name. I called him “Buddy”, after a black Lab I found while living in North Carolina. That Buddy had to be taken to the pound and was covered in ticks. But this Buddy stayed and stole all of our hearts. My mom said she would never let him in the house, he’d have to live on the lanai. Then she said she’d never let him inside on the couch. Well, let’s just say she had to take a few things back, because Buddy has claimed his own couch now and is never left outside alone. You couldn’t leave him outside if you tried, because he’ll just wait at the door until you either let him in or come out with him. He is definitely a people dog.

I’ve thought of Buddy as my “birthday present from God” ever since. I’d always hoped for a big dog of my own, even though we had Sparky. It was just something I really wanted. A dog of my own, like Old Yeller or something. :) I think I got something even better, I got Buddy. Sometimes I wonder if he came from anywhere at all, if he even had an old home. It’s silly, I know, but it is just so hard to believe that such a gorgeous, wonderful dog was never claimed. But I’m so glad he wasn’t. I’m so glad my Buddy found me, and that my family let him stay. He’s really changed all of our lives.

Buddy is seriously the best dog I could ever ask for. He is devoted and loyal. If I’m hiding away in my room, upset about something, he’ll come to the door and wait to be let in. Once inside, he’ll come put his head on my bed and watch me, or, if I’m sitting on the floor, he’ll lay down on my lap, offering silent understanding and devotion. When I try to do Pilates or crunches, he tries to lay down on the mat with me, and will put his front legs on my legs while I stretch. He’s also protective. He barks at strangers, not friends, and is a good guard dog. But I know he’s not just a barker, he would stand between us and an intruder if he needed to. He always loves a walk and a short trip outside to hunt lizards. He sleeps on the couch and will let you know if you’re in his spot (just ask visitors!). He hates to be alone. He won’t even go outside by himself, he just stands by the door and waits. When we leave the house he sometimes sneaks food off the counters, and once tore up a Pilates dvd, until he realized that it wasn’t food. Oh, yeah, and he purrs (he’s doing that right now)! Sure, he does a lot of things I can’t stand, like runs away and only comes home when he hears the car start, or pants hard and nudges me to go out when I’m in the middle of something. But when I think about how good he is, I forget about all of that and love him more.

Sorry for such a long post, and I hope I didn’t bore those of you who finished reading it. I wanted to share Buddy’s story and how much I love him, and I still feel like this does not sum up how I feel about him. It’s just one of those things that there are no words for, you know? I know there are people who feel the same way about their dogs, too.

If anyone would like to, please comment and share how you came to have your dog and how you feel about him, too, so I won’t feel so ridiculous and corny! And feel free to make it long, I don’t mind!

There is nothing quite like a dog, right?

Here’s some shots of the birthday/anniversary boy that I got today:

Ooo… shiny lights!

This is the face Buddy makes when he tries to scratch his armpit. :P

And I need your opinion! I’m thinking about starting a new daily blog for Buddy (and occasionally Livy and Lester). I’d still post some shots of the mutts here every once in a while, but not as much as I do now. It’d probably be one photo a day or something like that, just to peek into Buddy’s life, watch Olivia grow, and see Lester in all of his… Lesterness. :) What do you think? Good or bad idea?

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  • april - What a sweet story, I loved reading it! Happy birthday/anniversary Buddy. My first dog of my very own was a black lab too. My parents got her for me for my 12th b-day and she was the best dog. So sweet and tolerant of all nonsense we put her through like dressing her up in doll clothes and halloween costumes. =) Labs will always be one of my favorite breeds…March 9, 2009 – 8:43 pm

  • nick - Thats quite a story of you and buddy :D My first dog experience was with my friends rottie. A very sweet girl who was quite a people dog too. Would like to ave a dog of my own soon…March 9, 2009 – 9:44 pm

  • Rachel - Emilee you remind me so much of how I feel about Maggie. She found me too, and I think she is the best gift ever! I loved hearing this story and you are not corny, you just have a good heart. Buddy has gorgeous brown eyes by the way. Happy anniversary Buddy!March 9, 2009 – 11:55 pm

  • Jeanette - Great Story, I can relate how much we love our dog and words could never express how much even when we try.
    Happy Birthday Buddy I hope you a Dogtastic Day ! Your birthday photos are wonderful !March 10, 2009 – 1:27 pm

  • Charlotte - What a perfect story Emilee, thanks for sharing it with us. Buddy is gorgeous and you were lucky to find each other. It was obviously a match made in heaven!March 11, 2009 – 4:33 am

  • claire - what a great story!! it definitely sounds like you and buddy were meant to be. happy birthday/anniversary to you both!March 11, 2009 – 11:39 am


As a fellow animal lover and pet parent, I know that no matter how you adventure, there’s no substitute for time spent with your pet. And that’s why Emilee Miller Photography is here, to celebrate the bond and adventures we share with our very best friends, our pets.

I hope you'll enjoy following our adventures on the blog. It's here that you'll find recent work, recipes, places to visit, and lots of posts about Buddy, the best black Lab and sweetest old man you'll ever meet.