Sunday, May 8, 2011


A few months after the fire destroyed Geraldine’s house on the hill above us I began noticing a small white and tan short haired dog poking around the debris. The dog was very scared and would run if anyone approached. I did eventually get close enough to see the dog was wearing a body harness, which was unusual for a dog in the country.

I knew the dog did not belong to Geraldine as she had been in the nursing home at Etowah for several years. It is still a mystery how a small dog in a body harness showed up in our community. And even more of a mystery how it was surviving at a place where no one lived. We eventually surmised the dog was slipping down to Alan’s place and eating whatever food might be left in the bowls where his dogs were fed.

As the dog grew it began to limp and it became evident it was outgrowing the body harness and the straps were cutting into its legs. I think the dog knew it needed help because Alan and Jo would occasionally see it standing and watching them from a distance. Alan then began to coax it nearer with food and was eventually able to pat the dog on its head.

Next was the removal of the body harness and after a few weeks the places under his legs healed and Alan and Jo’s family increased by one dog. There was only one name that was appropriate for the dog and that was “Buddy”.

Buddy has some unusual characteristics for a dog. It has been proven that animals can detect things that humans cannot and can sense situations that are not apparent to people. For example Buddy will sit in Alan’s yard for long periods in the afternoon and look toward Marshal’s old log barn. It is as if he is mesmerized by what he senses because he will not respond when called. And when the full moon rises over the barn he barks, and he barks, and he barks.

Could it be the aura of what happened in the old barn June 30, 1892, still hangs over the place? If only Buddy could talk.