My Buddy’s Candle

by Bernie Siegel, MD

Please see Bernie Siegel’s book, Buddy’s Candle>

Postscript by Bernie Siegel, MD

When I finished writing this story two meaningful events occurred. One day while discussing this with a friend she told me she had the same thing happen to her. She watched her dog be run over by the school bus which was bringing her home from school. Sharing Buddy’s story helped her to heal.

Then one Saturday morning my inner voice said go to the animal shelter this morning. I have learned from experience to always listen to this voice and often feel it is coming from God knows where; as my wife Bobbie says.

I arrive at the shelter with our dog Furphy and when I walk in a volunteer is sitting next to the door holding a dog. I asked, “What’s his name?” She said, “A woman brought him in an hour ago. She doesn’t like how he behaves. His name is Buddy.”

Buddy went home with me and I shared a copy of his story with everyone at the shelter that day. How could I not adopt my Buddy? So he is our latest family addition and learning to live with four cats and Furphy. I can live with his behavior and will reparent him. It is obvious someone was not nice to him. His color matches Furphy’s color and he also has had his tail amputated as Furphy has. So it’s obvious we are family.

Many months later I was at the shelter and they told me there was a dog there they had named Simon. Well I helped pay his medical bills, as he needed surgery for a large tumor, and then took him home too. When he recovered we found a family who would give him lots of love and keep sharing his story with us.

At least in this case I got to choose my relatives.

“Life is no brief candle to me, it is a sort of splendid torch which I’ve got hold of for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations”
- George Bernard Shaw

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