For Buju | Chandra

This is not the story of a shelter dog who needs a home. Instead, this is a very small tribute to a very big dog.

Buju is a beautiful black Great Dane in our neighborhood. We've watched him grow up from puppyhood and he's always been a sweet, gentle soul.

The most amazing thing about Buju is that he stands calmly outside his house, right on the sidewalk, and watches the world go by. All the time. He never goes further than the lot line of the house, and he greets everyone serenely, dog and human alike. He's up for a brief hello and pet on the head, but he's really just there to take it all in. He's our neighborhood mascot and everyone knows and loves him.

Years ago, when we still had our dog Gracie, he had a big crush on her. Every time we'd walk by with her, his eyes would follow longingly. When we'd bring her over to say hello he'd get really, really happy. It was our little inside game and it was wonderful to see him light up.

Tonight on my walk I noticed that Buju was resting on the lawn. Not standing like normal. The last few times I've petted him he's looked very thin and we've suspected that he's nearing the end of his life.

Tonight I made a point to walk over to him to say hello, thinking it might just be the last time. My eyes immediately filled with tears. His once beautiful body is just fur over a skeleton at this point, his eyes are rheumy, he smells of the end. He let me pet him, but there wasn't any joy anymore.

It's time for Buju to leave this place. It's time for him to vacate his post on the sidewalk, to go somewhere else entirely.

I sobbed for the rest of the walk home.

Buju, so many of us in the neighborhood love you. I wish you Godspeed big boy. You deserve it.

You are the example of what a good dog can be. May all the dogs one day have homes. May they all be loved like you are.

Buju in his prime, at his Post.


Buster Celebrates Freedom | Ron

Update: Buster was adopted the same day our video and blog were posted!

A kennel in the isolation ward at the shelter is no place to spend the 4th of July...especially not for a handsome, friendly firecracker like Buster.

Buster - SacCountyDogs.com

You could tell by Buster's first reaction to us that he was ready to explode like a bottle rocket. He spun and leapt and shot from his kennel. This was a dog ready to paint the day red, white and blue.

Our destination, once again, was the river. I mean, who doesn't want to spend the fourth on a delightful beach, dangling your toes in a cool stream? Our boy Buster was a little reticent when he saw the crystal-clear waters of the American River. We weren't sure he was ready to take the plunge. But, hey, this was a holiday and he gently plodded along the river's edge, testing his courage. First, two paws, then four, then his furry belly.

Ahhhhh. The joy of patriotism, a cool river, and celebrating freedom - at least for a few hours. 

Buster was gonna take his day of independence and make the best of it. He bounced proudly along the shady river trails. As we watched him explore from behind, we were quite amused by his curly-q-swirl of a tail.  We'd never seen a tail quite like this, curling round itself like a cinnamon roll or a ballerina bun.  

We stopped at a bench to do the most American thing we thought possible on this day - take selfies. Buster happily obliged, posing for an array of photos even Taylor Swift would proudly display on her Instagram page. Turns out Buster enjoys being part of the pack. He will bound onto your lap and sit there for as long as you want - and maybe longer than you want.  A friendly boy, this Buster.

We were a little saddened to leave Buster back in his iso kennel, but at least we know he'll nap well and dream about his holiday respite. 

We're all hoping that the internet works its magic so that Buster will make his way home to a new family soon. Tomorrow would be perfect. 

Tomorrow would be especially perfect because adoptions are FREE and folks adopting PB SOC dogs score a free family glamour portrait shot by our very own Shannon Skalisky. But really, any day soon would be just fine with us.

Do your part and share, share, share. You can sing "Oh, Say Can You See" at the same time if you want.

Happy Fourth!

(If you cannot see the video below, please view it HERE.)

For more info on Buster, please visit his webpage at SacCountyDogs.com.