By August 31, 2017

Goodbye, Best Friend

By Chris Prickett — Buster was a pitbull mix of some sort. Maybe mastiff, maybe boxer. Whatever he was, he was one of a kind. He didn’t fetch so well and was afraid of the pool… except when using it as a drinking trough. He had a severe “licker” problem and a tail that could be classified as a deadly weapon. And we loved him dearly.

Buster came into our lives as a “failed foster.” Someone dropped him off at the park during the housing bust and we agreed to watch him just in case the owner came back. Their loss was our immeasurable gain. A two-week stay lasted 10 years.


Strong as a bull but with the manners of a gentleman, he was nicknamed “Buddy” when we got him. I thought “Buster” was a better fit and that was that.

We didn’t even know he could bark until we had him for six months, but when he finally did, it was to alert us of a herd of donkeys frolicking in the wash behind our house. I think he just wanted to join them.

He learned to poop and pee in the designated area (mostly), and was extremely gentle to kids and cats. His favorite activity was hiking with me. When we both were younger, we’d run the desert together. As time went by, the trips got shorter and slower, but the enthusiasm never waned. Buster never wandered too far and always put himself between me and any danger, real or imagined.

When you first get a dog, you know somewhere in the back of your mind that it’s a limited engagement. Of course, that never stops a mutt from stealing your heart.

At a certain age, the kids stop rushing to the door screaming “Daddy’s home.” But a dog’s enthusiasm never fades. Buster had unconditional love in his eyes until they slowly closed for the very last time. He leaves behind his little “sister,” Fargo, two cats (Moe and Cilian), and all the humans in the Prickett home. Buster was my best friend.

Over the Prickett Fence is a column in In&Out Magazine. This article first published on North Phoenix News.

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