Ghost of "Buddha"

Ghost of "Buddha "

Buddha was the first born to Tien'kou (U.K.C.) and Asa (A.K.C.) blood lines. Being pure white he was not a show dog but he was certainly exactly what my husband had been wishing for once he found out that Asa was pregnant. My husband wanted a white shiba inu from the moment he found out that there was even such a thing. Despite me telling him that white was a undesirable color in shiba's according to most breeders and judges. He didn't care, He had his name picked out and his dreams lined up. "He's going to be the strongest, the smartest, the whitest, and the bravest." It was like magic, my husband had Buddha pegged.
From the moment the little guy could stand on all four legs he was always studying his surroundings, pushing his weight around and trying to figure everything out as if it were a puzzle to be solved. This was the perfect working dog. Eager to please and as loyal as could be. He would protect the weak and fight any who opposed his goals or the goals he was given. All of our dogs and cats knew Buddha was large at 16 1/2 inches and in charge. He was a master escape artist and natural sled dog. Yes, I said sled dog.
It became apparent to me by 9 weeks of age that this little guy was not your ordinarily house pet that was content laying around on the sofa and chasing squeaky toys all day. I had to put this little guy to work if I wanted him to be happy. First I trained him be my little tattle tale just as Tien kou always did. When ever one of the cats, kids or other shiba's did something they were not supposed to do, Buddha would give me a whimper and I would know, something was not quite as it should be. But of course this was not nearly hard enough for our little Buddha. It was second nature to him just as it was to Tien'kou. 

So I simply gave him more walks in the day. He of course loved the one on one attention but that quickly started to cause jealousy within the other Shiba's. All  six of my Shiba's would line up at the door each wanting a turn to go for another walk, each looking at me with their sad brown eyes as I told them "no" and seemingly favored Buddha by picking him to go with me over any of the other. On the return the Shiba's would line up once more and wait patiently for their turn that would never come. I had other responsibilities and five more trips around the block was exhausting. It didn't take long for the pack to realizing I wasn't going to take them on another walk as I did with Buddha. Buddha may have been their leader but he couldn't take down all of them at once. The jealousy spread like wild fire and they began to fight. My poor babies I had to put a stop to this. So, I began to research, found and bought couplers and linked them together so that I could walk them all at the same time. At first it was quite the chore some were more willing and understanding than others. But it didn't take Buddha long to figure out what I was trying to do and he began to force them into line for me. It was truly an amazing sight to witness. As he nipped, barked and pushed the pack into line.
Still I could not keep up with Buddha's energy we would all walk the block only to return for him to crave more. Yet I still had other responsibilities that I was neglecting. The other Shiba's were clearly exhausted. 
My boys burst out the front door upon our return home as they did most of the days I took the Shiba's for a walk "mama can we play outside?" they begged." Finally after a week and Buddha still rearing to go I was feeling defeated and so I agreed as I normally would but added, "Sure, but play with Buddha." My oldest son Solen'del unlatched Buddha from the rest of the group and the three of them ran off to play as I took the other Shiba's in for some refreshing water and to make dinner. Soon, I heard my boys laughing and giggling as if they were having the time of their life so I peeked out the kitchen window and noticed my boys had latched Buddha to our garden wagon using the coupler. He was pulling them as a dog would pull a sled in the snow. At first I was furious. Such cruelty! I couldn't believe my children would be so cruel to an animal like that, I had taught them better than that! I don't believe in spanking my children but boy was I going to tan some hide. "Stop that!" I shouted as I ran out to rescue my poor little Buddha. But as I neared him I watched as he put his little white paws up to my youngest son who was sitting in the front of the wagon and he licked his face then turned with a dash pulling the wagon behind him. Buddha was actually having fun?! I stood their in awe and watched as Buddha would drag the wagon around the yard with my two boys and they would giggle and Buddha would stop, lick them and do it again. However, I also noticed Buddha was finally getting tired. His runs were getting slower and he began to pant and lay down before leaping back up for another short run.
Weeks went by as I watch Buddha and the boys play with the wagon every day. And just as jealousy spread with the pack because Buddha had more walks in the days before. Jealousy began to spread again because the boys now played with Buddha everyday all day long. But how could I fix this? How could I teach something I didn't teach in the first place... There was no way my two small boys could handle the whole pack. Nor was my boys interested in playing with the other Shiba's because they didn't want to play like Buddha did. Not to mention poor Buddha who wants to pull that wagon so bad that he would stand beside it and wait to be latched to it.

So training began, one on one at first. I would hook each Shiba up to the wagon to see how well they preformed and run them around the yard until they were too tire to run any more. Then I would train them by twos side by side they would pull that wagon around the yard and all was grand. Until the time came when I would try to harness all five shiba's to the wagon Buddha in the lead. It was chaos, like children fighting over standing single file for the first time. Don't touch me. Your too close. Ew who stinks? Well, I'm too pretty for all of this! Such nerve! Was the mix of attitudes I got from our pack. I tried to make them pull but some would lay down, other would nip while others would just plant their feet and not move. What was I to do? How do real sled dog trainers teach their dogs? I certainly didn't have a clue. I had decided I needed to research this more and perhaps find better equipment if this was to work. But Buddha wasn't about to have that, he must have sensed my defeat and as he had forced his pack into line when we walked around the block he began to force them into line to pull. We all ran laps around the yard with me cheering them on. The tails began to wag and the shiba smiles began to look up at me as I praised them. THAT'S MY BABIES!
But life was about to change for all of us. We bought a new house far out in the country. It was supposed to be a happy time. A bigger house, with a bigger yard. Lots of room to run and play for all of my little babies.
But with the move came complications and a lot of responsibilities that demanded adult attention. 
Buddha and his best friend and brother Renji found themselves playing all alone in the backyard for the first few days. But that was all it took...
I opened the back door and called my babies in for dinner everyone eagerly rushed to the kitchen and danced around my feet. Everyone except Buddha and Renji. I sat all their food dishes out and looked around but my boys were no where in sight. I searched the house and found Buddha in the laundry room curled into a ball sleeping. Renji was in his room sleeping... Did they play too hard? Maybe they will eat after a nap.
Evening came and I would try to coax Buddha into coming into the living room with the rest of the family and he seemed ashamed as if he did something wrong. I tried to comfort him but he wouldn't have it, back to the laundry room he would go and lay. Renji would act the same way returning to his bedroom with our life-mate Alex. 

I took a flash light outside and searched the yard thinking maybe they killed something and they think I'm going to get mad at them once I find out. I found nothing though.
The next morning I went to check on them but when I looked into Buddha's eyes I knew this was far more than shame on his face. His eyes... eye soul... his spirit... Was gone. He was breathing, his heart was beating but my little Buddha was no longer here. I rushed into check on Renji and I saw the same horror. What happen to my babies?! I cried. Holding myself together the best I could, my training began to kick in. I took their temperature Buddha was at 105.1, Renji was at 104.7. I called our vet and explained the situation and she assured me that I had been doing everything I should have been doing but at that point there was little she could do. I rounded up the guys and gave them the details, my husband came to Buddha and hugged him. But it was like that was all Buddha was waiting for. He laid his head on my husband's arm and he was gone.
There is no doubt, like all of my Shiba's, Buddha and Renji both in their own ways were amazing dogs. The two brothers changed our lives forever and touched our hearts in ways that words can not even begin to express. Though we have our suspicions we will never know what truly happen to Buddha and Renji. Though I have been taking protective measures to ensure that it never happens again. 

There's no other love like the love for a brother.  There's no other love like the love from a brother.  ~Terri Guillemets
In loving memory of Buddha and Renji
two brothers who were best friends.

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