Our Vacation and Buster- the North Carolina Dog

January 11, 2013 | By More


North Carolina Vacation- family


For a few summers in my tween years, my parents packed the Aerostar mini-van, loaded my brother and me into the bench seats and we would take off for a vacation in the North Carolina mountains.

Many things were always the same.  My brother and I would fight over who had to sit in the back van bench.  We always caught rainbow trout at a “stocked” pond.  Always played board games at night and always, I mean every time, became fast friends with a neighborhood dog.  And, as our vacations came to an end, there were always tears (from me) about the dog we had to leave behind.

This year, my family and I decided to take a mountain trip during the holidays.  My brother and his family traveled from the northeast and met us in Banner Elk, North Carolina and my parents and I caravanned from Tampa.  What a trip!

North Carolina Vacation- Fishing with the Kids

The time we spent together was reminiscent of our vacations in the 80’s.  We just about froze as we took our kids to fish for rainbow trout.  We played dominoes, Monopoly and ping pong at night and of course, we met a neighborhood beagle named Buster.  He literally ran up to our cars as we pulled in on day one.

Initially, I thought he was a stray and quickly came to terms that I would be returning to Florida with another dog.  My husband, who had the chicken pox by the way, was “thrilled.”

On day two, we met the gentlemen who owned Buster and the miniature horse which he kept in the pasture next door.  This man lived with his family in the home on the other side of the field and was the preacher at the church adjacent to his house.

Phew, Buster had a home.

North Carolina Vacation- Buster and I

And, he had the life in so many ways.  He spent hours with the mini-horse, playing, eating grass and chasing anything and everything.  He roamed the hillside, chewed on sticks, ran with abandon, left no leaf un-sniffed and was just a simple country dog.  Unleashed.  Untethered.

My heart did break to know that he most likely would not be a house dog and I was not sure how much human love or affection he would receive….not to mention baths.

I worried about him leaving the property, getting lost or worse.  Each time we pulled in and out of the driveway, I was the last to get in the car.  Making sure Buster was safely in the field and away from our tires.  I was driving my family crazy.

When it came time to leave, I got teary eyed as I said my goodbyes to Buster and our sweet time in North Carolina.  I handed Buster off to the preacher, got in the car and drove away…Beagle smell lingering on my clothes and in my hair.

North Carolina Vacation- Buster Kisses

Not sure if I did the right thing by leaving him there with his family.  Should I have subjected him to suburban life with restrictions, leashes and a small fenced backyard?  I think if I were a dog, I would have wanted to live the country life in North Carolina.  Who knows.  I do know that I got to share my love with a little four legger in a different state for a few days.  I am grateful for that!

Has a pet ever entered your life unexpectedly?  Bark back!

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Category: Family

About the Author ()

Jenn Fadal is a national Pet Wellness & Lifestyle Expert. In addition to being the founder of her own holistic pet boutique, Wag, this Tampa native can be seen frequently on Media General’s Daytime Television across the country, as well as on FOX, NBC and ABC. She is also a writer and subject matter expert for various publications.

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  1. Nikki says:

    Thank you for sharing this story. All of my rescued dogs have come to me by chance. I currently have four dogs, all mixed breeds, all rescue and all full of themselves. Love them!