Buzz the Wonder Dog

I’ve never seen a dog with so much control of himself.  I’ve never seen a dog that gentle and respectful.

I mean…

I do love dogs. I grew up with one. We’d both arrived in the family at the same time, me as a six year old boy and him as an energetic puppy. I’m fairly observant and always play with anyone’s dog a little bit.

Buzz was different. Buzz didn’t bark for barking. Buzz didn’t care much about hype and energy. Buzz wanted to explore and chill most of the time. And once he understood that he was in good hands, he wanted to play too. And then smell something and chill more.

Morning sun for him and latte for me. And also morning sun.

My ex-wife got him early in 2012. A “free” dog, a rescue, a pit bull. I’m in France and we’re skyping and she tells me that she made the acquisition, after fostering him for a while. I’m a little mad because that’s a layer of complexity added to an already intense situation. I’m also really happy because this dog will help her grief her brother who had unfortunately passed away a few months prior.

Once I got back to LA, after my wife had done an amazing job at caring for him (he was a skeleton), it didn’t take long for me to totally embrace him. Probably five minutes. At that time he’s apprehensive and kind of depressed, still. I see him transform from a pouting dog who doesn’t react to toys in front of him to having loads of energy and being very protective. This apartment in Silver Lake was his. The dog walker had to back off a couple times before I took over.  Anyone not us around, he would bark at. Walking him could be a serious challenge because he’d jump at every single dog behind or not behind the fence, growling. Not to attack them, but to defend himself and us. At least that’s how it felt. One time we were running down the street and he cut in front of me to go after the dog behind the fence, I tripped, fell, and he immediately stopped caring about the other dog. Looking at me like “you alright man? I’m sorry you’re upset now, my bad”.

A majestic dog

I was with him only for a few years, but it was 24/7. Walking him two to three times a day. Playing. Feeding him. I can’t not think of Bill Burr’s skit about dogs where he imagines what the dog thinks. “this dude is cool I love him! This guy feeds me…” . I know I have the picture of him in my old phone where he’s gauging me for the very first time. I can tell he’s like “I think this dude is alright and apparently he’s staying around? Cool”. With that cute face of his.

That’s the picture. That’s when our bond became solid. 2012/12

“I feel good daddy!” he expressed, pooping roughly at the exact same spot “that works 100% of the time”

That happy face after pooping. Sometimes it was challenging to get him to drop a deuce. No noise around, no rain, some privacy or otherwise he didn’t #2. It could lead to frustrating moments of him about to do it and bam, there’s a car speeding up and that’s a wrap. He would raise his eyes, get his little trot on and I wouldn’t be mad anymore. Next time, then.

The only time he ever did something mischievous (tearing up an empty bottle of milk) and oh boy does he KNOW

Nicknames were made. His full name is Buzz the Wonder Dog. But then it became Buzz and then Buzzy Boi and then Bootses and then Bookeets, Da Beast, etc. After adding more exercise to his routine, he started to relax with the barking at strangers and was willing to play. Oh man.

I’d assembled a coffee table with a portion made of glass. He LOVED to jump over it and then he started to jump ON it. I was amazed that it never broke but even in his landing he would be so gentle. Jumping over the table to go grab the toy by the heater was his game and we did it countless of times. He would shake that fake lobster like he was fighting Cerberus. And one second later he would be his soft, careful, observant self. So adorable.

This is how Windows Phone got me hooked: with cute pictures of the dog in my life (pics show up randomly on the homescreen).

He was so gentle and respectful. Like he didn’t even believe in things. I would have his food ready and tell him “go!” and he would kind of wait there, nose hovering over his bowl and look at me like “are you sure I can dig in?” and if you had the bad kind of energy, he would have a bite and then just stick with you. Every. Single. Day.

He also knew he couldn’t get any of our food. We could leave a dog mind-melting, smelling good AF burger on the coffee table, right where he could get it. We would disappear in the kitchen and come back. The burger would still be there, with Buzz smelling it from afar like he’s an art collector in front of the Mona Lisa. Just looking! I was amazed. I’ve never seen any dog able to do that. Especially with some tasty red meat in front of them. That takes phenomenal control and discipline.

With his only girl, Bonnie. The only dog I’ve seen him play with. Sadly, she passed away this year too. Yes, I walk them together, one at each arm and no, I didn’t have to change side on the street.

My ex could have a treat for him on the floor. He would listen to her and lay down next to it. Waiting for the signal to get it. He would wait. His tail wouldn’t and it would start to slap the hardwood floor louder and louder while he was still (which would send me laughing my ass off; he’s tryyyyin’). He would eventually calm all the way down to not move at all. I was so amazed.

My dude in my cool room on West Adams. Taking the sun, as usual. Aww man.

It was hard when we divorced. There was so much to deal with, Buzz was so much part of my life at that point that I didn’t even think about him for months. As stupid as it sounds I was in we’re all together, forever mode. And then I saw him and realized that I was losing him too and I dropped on the floor because it was so good and painful to feel him and he was so happy to see me too. He couldn’t know that I wasn’t going to stay more than a couple days. He just wanted to play.

It’s 2014 and I’m staying for the weekend. It’s Friday night and I’m sleeping on the couch. He’s on the floor, next to me. I’m exhausted, just peeking at him from time to time, listening to music. He’s chilling. My ex calls him to go to bed. He doesn’t bulge. She calls him again and I’m thinking, “thanks for the vigil, Buzz”. He doesn’t respond. He stays all night long with me. The next day, same scenario. At the first call, he stands up and goes to her bedroom.

I think he just wanted to let me know that he had me.

For the next four years, I would dog sit him from time to time. It would always be such an exciting thing to do and of course a bit bitter too. “I left everything in France for a family here that doesn’t exist anymore but here’s my boy!”  type of thoughts. I have videos of myself opening the door to see his antics after not seeing him for months. So cute.

It’s Christmas and Buzz just wants to cuddle. I am down with that.

The last time I saw him, I was dropping him off after the last stay he had with me for 2018 Christmas. He was looking back, to see if I was coming too. I never stopped thinking about him ever since, but life (and his health) made it more complicated to visit him.

Probably one of the last chilling session with this gentleman.

I love you Buzz! You’re the best and Bonnie is right there with you but I think you’re the best though, no disrespect. You’re also anchored in a very important part of my life and I’ll never forget our greatest moments with V.

I really hoped that you would live forever. I guess you are, in a way.

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