Nancy and Reid Shoemaker won’t be moving to a condo or apartment anytime soon. Buddy, their beloved 10-year-old short-haired dachshund, loves to bark at anything that moves, which likely wouldn’t be endearing to new neighbors. So they intend to stay in their Charlotte home with its big backyard, and Nancy tells Buddy’s story.

Making friends: Our tri-color female beagle, Hunter, didn’t like losing her “only dog” status when we got Buddy. For the first few weeks I put him in a child’s playpen with four mesh sides so they could acclimate safely. One day I came homeand a large hole had been chewed in the playpen. I was spellbound to find them playing together like the famous friends they would become.

Play nice: Buddy and Hunter could play and wrestle for hours without tiring. They were much alike in personality: sweet, playful, energetic and fiercely protective. He showered Hunter with affection for 10 years, and they snuggled in their “Bow Wow” bed every night before she passed in early 2013. Buddy is the “only dog” now, but he seems to relish the attention and is still going strong.

High alert: We nicknamed Buddy “Firetruck” because he’s long, red and goes off like an alarm the moment a cat, person or anything sets foot in our yard. He’s especially fond of chasing chipmunks down their holes, which he has enlarged by digging. Dachshunds have an ancestry as badger hunters in Germany, and he lives up to his heritage.

Here’s to longevity: We hope our Buddy will spend many happy years walking in the park, digging in the big, natural backyard, fetching a tennis ball and curling up in our laps. With this ball of fire, who knows where life will lead. Hilary Trenda



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