MOBILITY MATTERS: STEPPING OUT IN FAITH
A CHARACTER THAT BRINGS LEVITY
One of my favorite characters in Mobility Matters is “Buddy,” the four-legged
companion I brought back from the Middle East. A quiet, unobtrusive stray black Lab mix I picked up at the men’s branch of the college where I teach, Buddy slowly but steadily wagged his way into my heart.
At that time, I was newly-divorced and experiencing some harassment in my neighborhood from the locals. I needed a watchdog.
Buddy, however, was not a good candidate. He lived outside, usually under the bushes, for two months and never let out a single bark. The vet pronounced him “deaf.” One day shortly afterward, he let let out a barrage of barks when someone rang the doorbell at my gate.
He could hear!
In foreign language acquisition, we would call that “the silent period.” He was simply acclimating to his surroundings. When he felt comfortable enough, he began talking (barking). That always makes me laugh, especially now that I’m experiencing deafness. I think of that period in our lives.
After that, Buddy shmoozed his way into the house and, ultimately, my heart. He’s the only dog I shipped back to the United States when I returned home. Buddy quietly but steadily settled in along with me. He even helped me acclimate to the snow.
Now that’s something–a desert dog embracing the snow!
Now that’s something–a desert dog embracing the snow! We took three-hour walks in snow up to his back down three hills to the park. There, I took off his leash and let him run! His goofy run had me rolling as I watched him delight in the snowflakes and release his pent-up energy!
But Buddy Boy isn’t quite as well-behaved as he would have everyone believe. I know the truth! He has a stubborn streak mixed in with that adoring demeanor. It’s that quirky side to his personality that makes him such a fun character in my book.
It’s that quirky side to his personality that makes him such a fun character in my book.
Like me, he has a penchant for ending up in the wrong place at the wrong time, which creates a humorous endearing moment. He never ends up much worse for the wear, I might add.
In this scene, I’m preparing to meet Bob, my mobility instructor for the first time and Buddy has been displaced against his will from his bed (my love-seat). When I leave the room, Buddy takes matters into his own hands–I mean “paws.”
Standing back, I gave my apartment a final walk-through. With my toe, I straightened a small throw carpet between the living room and kitchen. A stray dish towel cluttered the counter. That needed to go in the wash. The cupboard door under my sink hung askew. I scrounged in a drawer for a screwdriver to tighten it.
In the living room, I smoothed the bare cushion of my love-seat. The throw covering never came off unless it was washday or company visited because it served as Buddy’s bed. At least the cushions didn’t appear to have any dog hair.
“Stay down,” I ordered when Buddy looked longingly at his bed.
He knew that tone. But ever hopeful for a change of heart, his tail thumped against the floor. Seeing me leave, his tail slowed down and stopped all together. He looked pitiful stretched out on the hard floor.
***************Bob and I enter the apartment and I invite him to sit down**************
“Now, you’ll find a large tan love-seat.” Why on earth did I mention the color? He can’t see the color. Rub it in, Amy. This guiding stuff sure wasn’t easy. “You can have a seat there.”
Just as Bob lowered himself onto the cushion, I caught a glimpse of Buddy’s tail. “Oh, uh, that’s uh, my, my….”
Oh my gosh, he just sat on my dog!
Oh my gosh, he just sat on my dog!
Bob jumped up. “Seems to be something….”
“Yeah, that’s Buddy.” I gulped. “My dog.” I glared at him. Bad boy!
I reached for his collar to lead him down. “Buddy, c’mon.” The dog made himself heavy and stayed put. He wouldn’t budge.
This calls for drastic measures. A treat might do the trick.
I dashed into the kitchen to get a dog biscuit and tossed it onto the floor.
Buddy eyed the treat and decided on the trade-off.
He jumped off the loveseat to retrieve it. I brushed any stray hairs off the cushion. “Okay, Buddy’s off the sofa. Now you can sit down.”
Bob took his seat and reached out a friendly hand in front of him. How did Bob know where Buddy was?
“What did you call this fella’?” Bob asked.
With a toothy smile at me, Buddy leaned forward for a head rub.
Buddy’s always been a lovable character in my stories. I’m the lucky one, though, I get to live with him in real life.
You have just read “Buddy Boy,” by Amy L. Bovaird Copyright October 2014. What are your favorite characters? What qualities do they have that make you like them? Share it in the comments below. If you liked this post, click LIKE, SHARE and COMMENT.