Oak Tree Trilogy Part 3 – Buddy’s Oak and Dad’s Question

A Balsamean of the bug tribe

A Balsamean of the bug tribe

Trees get so much attention in this drifting journal, The Balsamean, because they are easier to write about than people are, and trees often make better friends than most people do, and the tree fairies would sprout leaves green with envy in the middle of winter if I gave as much time to humanity as to them.

This is another long post, about 3,000 words, but it has lots of pictures, one of my favorite poems (a famous classic), and a piece of original art by The Balsamean.

It took a year to write this.  It’s not that I took a year to start it.  I worked on it dozens of times beginning last September.  The earlier versions were close to 6,000 words, and told too many stories that deserve articles of their own.

If not for too many long sentences, this would be an easy read.  But my readers are sharp.  And it’s especially readable if you just take a seat, slow down and act like the world moves at the speed it should, not the one it does.

Don’t read it in a hurry.  It took a year to get here.
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Thank you, Buddy

While close-up face to face with him and looking at each other’s eyes, Buddy slipped instantly from fully conscious into unconscious perfect peace, and then within a couple of minutes (tough guy – he needed a second dose) into irreversible, eternal oblivion at 9:06 AM today, August 5, 2015, eight years since he adopted me in August 2007.  He was about 9 years old, date of birth unknown.  He adopted me as a stray.  The last words he heard, repeatedly, were, “You’re a good Buddy.”  Nothing is more true.  Thanks, all, for your caring support.  I know that some of you have been really “there” for us, and continue so.  It counts.  It matters.
.Buddy-13

Thank you, Buddy.

I’m going for a walk now, as you would have
me do now and at least three times every day.

——————————–

Buddy, Prince of Balsamea to Die 8/5/2015

Buddy 20150801-SS0On Wednesday, August 5, 2015, The Balsamean will euthanize Buddy, Prince of Balsamea.

He chose Wednesday because there is a cord binding our hearts as three, and the third person will say goodbye to Buddy on Tuesday.  The cord has an existential role in Balsamea and its inhabitants’ relationships with each other and the world.  It has been a lifeline keeping me out of the hospital and morgue.  On countless occasions, the cord has heightened Balsamea to a state of being that banished impossibility. Continue reading

On Loving and the Seizure of a Balsamean

phs1 Buddy 20070919

Buddy, Prince of Balsamea

Balsamea’s new veterinarian, Dr. Nick Sherman summed up the change when he said of Buddy, Prince of Balsamea, “He’s a seizure dog now.”  That was the night he gave me a supply of phenobarbital, because Buddy had four general (i.e., “grand mal” or full-body) seizures in one day, February 10, 2015.

So he’s “a seizure dog” now, but he retains his royalty, and reigns here as ever.

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How to mix deer, campfire, tin foil stew, dog, photography and grace

oscar-deer-20140906e-notxtDeep in the woods there is a great way to ensure that you get fantastic wildlife photography opportunities.  Leave your camera home.

I’ve said before that our deer population is too high, and this year more than ever.  Among the family here, there is one deer that has learned that Buddy and I are harmless.  Harmless enough that in the woods he lets us come close enough and stay long enough to discuss life.  The deer doesn’t say much, but he seems to be interested in what I say.  Stupid things humans say to wild animals.

Keep in mind that Balsamea is densely forested, surrounded by forest on all sides, and many miles of it, with a smattering of houses.  Our deer have not acclimated to people by their suburban gardens.  Deer at Balsamea are wild.  As they should be.  Just one of them is getting too familiar with us since mid-summer.

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Screamy Girl Aids Dog’s Therapeutic Effectiveness; a Scribblement

Over the past two weeks, Buddy the Bio-psycho-social Therapeutic Friend with Four Paw Drive, took to moseying — FOUR TIMES — out toward the distant neighbor northwest of us.  (We’re surrounded by woods, with open space over about half the distance to that neighbor.)

"Don't give me that crap about looking like my human companion."

“Don’t give me that crap about looking like my human companion.”

Apparently they have the grand-kids staying a spell and one of them is an irresistibly (to Buddy) screamy girl (maybe it’s a boy, but I wouldn’t bet on it) playing in their pool, which sits very close to the wall of their house that faces our Balsamea, echoing her voice more toward us than in any other direction, sometimes helped by the west wind and humidity.

Measuring in a straight line, their house is about 350 yards away, on the other side of the road.  That is highly unacceptable moseying, definitely off the reservation.  Buddy does not have a license to operate on blacktop or to rescue screaming girls that far away.

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Buddy Waits

                                       “I will wait for you.”

I can only imagine the wonders that Buddy enjoys in the woods of Balsamea every day and night, with his great capacity for scent, hearing, and night vision.

When he stops in the trail to investigate something, I wait.  It’s the least I can do for all the times he waits while I do things in my never-ending pursuit of amateur silviculture, naturalism, and trail tending.  Come to think of it, he spends most of his time waiting for me.

There never has been and never will be a friend so patient, so tolerant, so forgiving, so playful, and so nice to pet.  A good dog is medicine for mind and body.  Cats, too.  But you can’t take cats for a hike, and they’re generally not so big on tug-of-war and keep-away with a stick, in all seasons and all weather.

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