Buddy in foreground with Jon Rowe, Tracey Draper with Elaine Polizos, left rear, and Shirley Rowe after several vigorous games of catch

 My Buddy, My Pal

by Elaine Polizos

The first and last time I saw Buddy was on November 19, 1999, as he played with his yellow tennis ball in his back yard--the Rose Garden at the White House. Bill and Hillary weren't around so Buddy and I enjoyed a game of catch. 

Buddy's keeper was the chief engineer who kept him in his office area just off the doors exiting out onto the North Portico of the White House lawn.  As I would toss the ball he would run to catch it as his sleek, arched, chocolate brown, body leaped through the air like dolphins playing in the bay.

What a magnificent animal!

How did I manage to be on a first name basis with the then number one First Dog in the country? It was through a mutual White House friend of Morris and Shirley Rowe's who invited us to spend the day at the White House. "Take all the photos you want," we were told as we were given 
Buddy RIP

Buddy - R.I.P. 1-2-02

the freedom of a  personal tour of this magnificent house and grounds. And take pictures we did. But, Jon Rowe and I wanted to meet Buddy. He was on the top of our agenda of things to see and do, along with First Cat Socks, who also managed to entertain and pose for us.

Imagine our thrill when we were permitted to play ball with Buddy. He was frisky, glad to have someone other than the uniformed Secret Service guard - an attractive young girl - who really wasn't into his playful antics.  He was a most gracious host--attentive, alert to our presence, and most of all, delighted to have found some new playmates. As ball catching was his line of expertise, he would at times tease us and refuse to give up the ball, but he would then permit us to wrestle it out of his mouth. 

When he tired of this sport, he sat and posed with us, his new friends,  as if he was adding dignity to the occasion.

What fun Buddy had that day! I would like to think it was a day he had found as unforgettable as Jon, Tracey, Morris, Shirley and I did.  Buddy, we will miss you.