by Mateo Erlenbusch.
The beginning of Buddy solidified soon after Lilith and I relocated for my previous job from Bend, OR to Truckee, CA (in the Tahoe Donner neighborhood) in January of 2017. Similar to our situation in Bend, I spent a major proportion of my time away working while Lilith remained home building a new career for herself in nutrition entrepreneurship. Also similar to when in Bend, Lilith connected with a few neighborhood dogs to walk and care for while their owners were away. We couldn’t have dogs in our rental house so this mostly took the form of Lilith going to the dog’s house and taking them out for activity, or sometimes staying overnight at the dog’s house if the owner was away for a span on travel. Two neighborhood dogs in particular became pivotal characters in Buddy’s beginning. Madison and Scout.
Madison is a chocolate lab that Lilith met for near-daily activity in Tahoe Donner. Madison is a grounded, loving, and strong character who Lilith was guiding towards a therapy-dog certification. Common understating, trust, and connection grew naturally between Madison and Liltih. This strengthened their engagement, the effectiveness of the guidance and training Lilith gave, and the affection for Madison. Dogs often learn best from other dogs and Madison became a key partner for Lilith’s training of other dogs in need of good-dog-behavior role models. Madison not only helped teach other dogs but also taught Lilith and I what great dog-person connection is all about.
Scout is another of Buddy’s earliest clients and she remains one of our most consistent and favorite regular’s. Scout was a tiny white terrier puppy who was born with the outsized heart of a lion. Though no longer a puppy, she’s still tiny, and still absolutely lionhearted (except around the vacuum cleaner). Terrier energy is unique stuff and Lilith quickly recognized Scout’s powers must be channeled towards good.
Lilith helped redirect her reactive barking and jealous energies towards other dogs into more constructive behaviors upon triggering stimulus. Through consistent training Scout’s zen has emerged. Yet Scout’s unique personality, hysterical antics, and wild heart remain. Scout has filled us with delight for two years straight and provided key experience in Buddy’s approach. Scout also achieved the privileged position of joining us on camping trips, here at Saddlebag lake in the Eastern Sierra Nevada.
One day our Tahoe Donner landlord unluckily heard Scout barking in our rental house and asked us to remove her. We quickly hopped in the camper and zipped down to Prosser Reservoir for the night with Scout and Camber to stay out of landlord trouble.
After catching a trout for dinner soon after this picture was taken, both dogs were fascinated to encounter a fish and wanted the bodily remains after I cleaned it lakeside. Our time in Tahoe Donner included many more canine characters and further proved Lilith’s career future wasn’t going to be in human nutrition, rather in developing Buddy Dog Care and Training. More Buddy beginnings to come soon!