Buddy, The Main Dog and Lucy the Back Up Dog

The Main Dog and the Back up Dog

I remember once Dave Barry pointing out that most families have a main dog and a back up dog.  When my kids were growing up, we had just such a situation, their names were Buddy and Lucy.


There was our main dog, Buddy, a Cocker Spaniel who we bought one afternoon after stopping by the pet shop “just to look.”    Buddy had been hard to sell because he was way too big to properly represent his breed in any kind of aesthetic way.  I think Buddy might have had the same condition as Clifford except Buddy wasn’t red.

drawing of a dog that might be a cocker spaniel or a poodle
Our Main Dog, Buddy (actual size much bigger)


And then there was our back up dog, Lucy, whose parents were purported to be Cairn Terriers.  Lucy, however, grew up to resemble a miniature coffee table with bugged out eyes more than she resembled a Cairn Terrier. Lucy’s parents were ahem . . . how to put this . . . brother and sister.  We always referred to Lucy as our little Egyptian.


Dog with carrying coffee cup, magazine and wearing Egyptian hat
Lucy walked like an Egyptian coffee table

If you were holding Lucy when you opened the front door to find, say, a Jehovah’s Witness or roofing salesmen, Lucy would wait until you were talking and then she’d stick her tongue inside your mouth and then back out again in one smooth, rapid-fire motionleaving you to wonder if you should acknowledge what just happened to the total stranger or if you should simply ignore it and hope it was quicker than a Jehovah’s Witness’s or Roof Salesman’s naked eye could detect.

Jehovah's witness shocked expression
“No I didn’t just see anything.”

Back to Buddy

Now Buddy was horribly sneaky, and horribly horrible at hiding his guilt.  Sometimes we would come home to find Buddy with this expression:

drawing of guilty looking cocker spaniel
Uh . . . there was a little accident while you were gone . . . heh heh . . .

which meant that while we were away, Buddy had binged on his favorite, decadent guilty pleasure, the garbage.

One day, we came home to find Buddy with “the look” lying next to an empty package of hot dogs which had previously been thawing on the kitchen counter.

It seems in our absence, Buddy had somehow managed to climb up on a stool   jump onto the counter,  grab the package of hot dogs then fall off the counter shattering his elbow all in one unsmooth, uncoordinated move. The hot dog package was empty however, — so, knowing Buddy, I’m sure shattering his elbow was well worth it.

We rushed Buddy to the vet and Buddy came home with his leg in a cast up to his armpit   The vet gave us strict instructions not to let him run for at least six full weeks.

Of course an hour later, in the joy of the homecoming — my daughter, Nikki, who was two — threw the tennis ball for him and Buddy raced across the back yard as fast as he could  to retrieved it for her (bless his heart!).  His leg finally healed but he always had a limp.

cocker spaniel with a cast retreiving a ball for
“Here’s your ball kid, ow!”

Buddy also had a strange quirk, when it came to my friend Laura. 

Whenever Laura came over, Buddy, who was normally house trained, would poop on the rug right in front of us.  One day, Buddy even went so far as to climb up on the dining room chair put his front two paws on the top of it and tip it over into the family room as we sat visiting then, of course, topped off his performance by pooping.

Another time, when Laura was over, Buddy somehow got into the refrigerator vegetable drawer and  pulled out a carrot that had a long green stem on it.  He brought it into the family room, where Laura and I were visiting and then, with carrot in mouth, topped of his performance by pooping.

Anyway, I think it’s fair to say that Buddy, the main dog, and Lucy, the back up dog, lived their entire lives as though they were auditioning to become the world’s weirdest circus dogs.  And oh how we loved them for it!

Until next time . . .I love you

41 thoughts on “Buddy, The Main Dog and Lucy the Back Up Dog

  1. I am laughing out loud remember all the things Buddy and Lucy used to do. (I love your picture of the Jehovah’s witness too). I remember Buddy once bit our neighbor Glen (the only person he ever bit). Buddy and Lucy really added a lot of fun and love into our family life! I hope you write more stories about them. Or you could write a story about Cooper and Lucy running away. Craaaazy Cooper!

    • I think that he was trying to bite Glen and didn’t you put you hand in Buddy’s mouth to block him from biting Glen and he bit you instead and Glen didn’t even notice and kept on talking. No wonder he was trying to bite Glen!

  2. I’d think Lucy, walking around with a teapot on her head, ready to serve, would be the main dog.
    But I don’t really know. I’ve only ever had fish.

  3. What great dogs! We had a main dog and back up dog growing up.. I never thought of them in this exact light but now it makes perfect sense – Molly and Bilbo Baggins – they however as cute and entertaining as they were could not hold a candle to Buddy and Lucy… I had a dog named Lucy when my younger kids were very small – she was a rat terrier and on her paper I named her Lady Lucille Bell – cause Bell was her middle name and well anyways…I would come home and wallk in and say Luuccyy I’m hommmmmme you got some spainin to do! She always looked guilty just to amuse me…. i love your animal stories. 🙂

    • oh! and great drawings – seriously – you nailed the guilty look . I haven;t forgotten the Artsy Fartist badge – despite the appearance I have forgotten that and more – I am just so behind I think my behind is ahead of me 😉

      • Hahaha! Perfectly put. I feel like that sooo much of the time. I kind of mourn the days before computers when I’d actually get bored! I guess boredom is a thing of the past now. I’d kind of like to feel bored for awhile, if for no other reason than to catch up with my behind! HA 😀

        • I know right? but (t) I hear there is an app for that now and boredom may be one of the obsolete words in the dictionary..someday. Shame I say.. so many fun things thought up in boredom..

          • I think the only way to be bored nowdays is to be stuck in a meeting of some kind. Where you can’t sneak and get online! HA! Which is why I try to avoid meetings like the plague!

            • you can;t? i thought thats what all those sneaky..ohhhh they are sneaky they make you THINK you can escape a meeting then trap you…insidious .. i will too from now on no more meetings!

              • Oh how I hate meetings. One time I got wrangled into being on a board for the arts council. You’d think it would be interesting right? Wrong. I just kept wanting to set off a firecracker or something during the meetings. I finally had to quit. I just couldn’t take it! Ha! Besides I’m much too immature to be on a board of any kind! HA! 😀

    • Haha!! I love that! Lady Lucille Bell! That makes me want to get another dog just so I can name her that!! And I am a huge I Love Lucy fan so that would be perfect!! Oh those two were so funny combined with the things my kids would do like — for some reason — my youngest daughter was always putting a pair of spandex blue polka dot shorts on Buddy (this was in the 80s) and she would forget and leave them on and then he’d poop in them. People would come to the door (people were always coming and going in those days — I’m sure you know what I talking about, it was grand central station — anyway, there would be Buddy in his poopy polka dot shorts to greet them!! HA! What a happy zoo life was in those days!

  4. The Egyptian coffee table is one of the greatest cartoons ever posted on the web!! And that Ladies Home Journal must be hanging in that 5th dimension Rod Serling always talked about. There’s the signpost up ahead!– you’ve just crossed over into… The Egyptian Zone… woof!! : )

    • Wow! The greatest cartoon ever posted on the internet!! I’m humbled Mark!! Well, I must admit I did dig down deep to get to the bottom of my creative talent art-wise and I’d say I pretty much scarped the bottom with that one!

      And, you’re right, that Ladies Home Journal has definitely crossed over into the Egyptian Zone. In fact I think the whole Egyptian Lucy Coffee Table concept has reached the outer limit and then some.

      Oh but wouldn’t you like to see the faces of the archeologists 10,000 years in the future who are trying to ascertain life in our civilization and the only thing they’ve got to go on is Egyptian Lucy as a Coffee Table?

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