A Man and His Maniac: The Bunkie Story – Second Edition, is a heartfelt memoir about Bunkie, the yellow Labrador Retriever Wonder dog. The memoir contains highlights of a 14-year chronological voyage through Bunkie’s and the author's life.
It won’t take you 14 years to read it; but it’s got 14 years worth of love, laughs and tears buried within. The memoir is primarily a humor piece, but has some serious components as well, and deals with the positive aspects of pet ownership as well as the grief associated with losing a loved pet and family member.
"The man gazes at the Boston Terrier puppy in the crook of his arm. The puppy is lying on his back and stares adoringly into the man's eyes. The man has seen that look before and once again, falls in love with a pup. He knows that loving look is a con and loves the pup all the more for it. Wishful thinking perhaps, but the man feels that his departed Lab is looking back at him from those deep brown eyes. The eyes are a window into the soul and the man likes what he sees within. He looks at the lady who has brought the puppy to him and nods acceptance. Transaction complete, the man places the pup on a camouflage jacket in the cab of his truck that lies next to him; that jacket has a history and scent from the man's beloved Lab. The puppy is instantly comforted and settles into slumber cuddled up next to the man. For the first time in a long time the man's soul is at rest."
I’ve always had a love for dogs.
When I was a kid I would always pester my Dad for a dog. Dad loved dogs too. In fact, Pop loved all animals.
We also loved to hunt, Dad and me. My Dad taught me to respect all life and to never take another life lightly. That meant that you eat what you kill, fish or fowl or furry critter, with the exception of killing varmints that were damaging your other animals or property.
I learned early on that my pets had a shorter life expectancy than me. I don’t care who you are, that’s a tough truth to deal with as a youngster and even as an adult.
It doesn’t matter how much you love your critter, that will not make them live any longer than what they are supposed to live. That’s a tough reality.
I describe the realization that you will have to deal with the death of your loved pet as a Sweet Pain. The sweetness comes from the unconditional love that you receive from your critter and the love that you deal back to your buddy. We all know where the pain comes from.
But you know what? It’s worth it.
All you have to know is that it’s not your fault that your buddy passes on; they were going to go anyway. You also have to know that when your buddy is/was with you that they lived a privileged life; that you loved them and made their existence on this world a good one. You can be proud of that and happy that you were able to make your friend happy when he/she was with you.
That is a GOOD thing. It is a SWEET PAIN.
I know that it hurts to put your friend out of his misery when the time comes. You must know that it is an act of love; nothing else. Do not second-guess yourself as to whether you did it too soon; in your heart you must know that it was the right time. You know that it was time, so do not beat yourself up over the inevitable. You had the courage to do what was right; never denigrate yourself over doing the humane thing for your loved ones, whether human or critter.
You love; therefore you hurt. The greater the love; the greater the hurt. What better testament can there be?
I may be naïve, but I also believe that if there is a final reward after this life we live, and I do, that our critter buddies will be there to greet and guide us into that life. In my heart I feel this.
I guess my message to you is this: don’t let the fear of loss keep you from taking another critter buddy into your home, arms and bed. It is a sweet pain that gives more than it takes.
My Dad taught me this and I believe it. You should too.
Charles Franklin Emery III was born in Los Angeles, California in 1956. He joined the US Navy Submarine force in 1977 and spent the following six years on Fast Attack and Fleet Ballistic Missile submarines as a Sonar Technician and Sonar Supervisor. He forged a career in commercial Nuclear Power and is now a Consulting Engineer to various electric utilities. He is an avid fisherman and hunter, enjoys working on his 1964 Plymouth Savoy and collecting colonial American coins. Drag Racing is also a passion and his 1964 Plymouth Savoy Nostalgia Super Stocker provides the needed outlet. He now resides with a Boston Terrier horde and his wife Sherry in Port Saint Lucie, Florida.
Charles’s early influences are Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes mysteries). Sprinkle in a liberal dose of Sports Afield, Popular Hot Rodding and Saltwater Fisherman magazines and that about wraps it up. Charles always had an interest in dogs, as his father and he were avid hunters and nature lovers. Charles spent a large amount of his youth hunting and fishing the Coachella Valley in the Southern California desert. There he chased quail, dove and rabbits and fished the Salton Sea for Corvina, Sargo and Croakers.
Charles developed a love for muscle cars. He grew up in the Los Angeles suburbs in Bellflower surrounded by the raucous exhaust tones of the high horsepower years that defined the muscle car era. He is passionate about Mopars and thus his present ownership and obsession with his 1964 Plymouth Savoy.
Charles is also a mentor to various nuclear industry entities and enjoys teaching the next generation electrical power theory and relay testing techniques and regimen. Charles owns and operates his own publishing imprint, Bunkiedog Press. The website address for Bunkiedog Press is http://www.bunkiedog.com.
Bunkiedog Press has published “Dad, Dog and Fish” & “A Man and His Maniac: The Bunkie Story” and “A Man and His Maniac: The Bunkie Story” – Second Edition”. He is currently working on the memoirs “Moondoggie and the Boston Terrier Horde”, “Gearhead” and “Bubblehead”.