Saturday, 3 December 2005

December 3, 2005 NorthWapiti's Little Buddy SDU

Any of you that follow my diaries know Grover, but what many of you don't know if that before Grover there was Buddy.

Buddy as a pup
Buddy as a pup

Buddy started leading for us when he was only 8 months old. He was my main leader up until his retirement after the 2000 Iditarod. He was a pretty shy dog around folks he didn't know, unless he had a harness on - then any one could handle him. It was his 'SuperHero costume' and in it he was invincible.

This is our team on the way to a 5th place finish at the 1998 Quesnel, B.C. Goldrush Trail Sleddog Race.
Photo taken by Ross Mitchell of the Quesnel Caribou Observer.
He was the leader that saw me through the change from sprint to distance racing. He tolerated and rose above my rookie mistakes with patience and graciousness I'll always admire.

This August he underwent surgery to remove a tumour from his neck. He seemed to be recovering pretty well, although was still obviously an 'old dog'. Last night when Mark fed Geriatric Park, he commented that Buddy had some trouble getting out of his house, but he had gotten out and eaten dinner.

This morning Veronica came out to work on the 'A' team (she is the veterinarian/chiropractor that we are very lucky to have working with the team this season). As she had arrived early - and as we had been out in the kennel late the previous evening - I hadn't been out to visit the dogs when she and I headed out to the yard. I asked if she could look at Buddy before we worked on the running dogs - thinking an adjustment might make him feel better and help him be more mobile. Unfortunately, we found that Buddy had quietly passed away during the night.

Buddy was the last surviving member of our 'Gilligan's Island' litter (BIS, BISS CH. Chuchinka's Shawn Boy SD x Meomar's Miss Liberty) - a litter that was really the foundation of this kennel.
Buddy was a very beloved friend and more then a small piece of my heart and soul slipped away with him last night.


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