Goodbye, buddy: The Eulogy
It was my honor this past weekend to be asked to deliver the eulogy at the funeral of former First Dog, Buddy. For those of you who were unable to attend, below is a transcript.
Title: In Remembrance of Buddy
Date: January 6th, 2002
Church/Location: Our Lady Of The Blessed Shredder/Manhattan
Theme: “He Slipped the Surly Bonds of Earth, to Hump the Leg of God”
President and Senator Clinton, Rodham-Clinton, family, and friends. First of all I’d like to thank Attorney General Ashcroft for making some minor changes to the federal work-release program which has allowed some close friends of the family to be in attendance today.
We’ll all miss Buddy, but nobody more than Bill and Hillary. They’ll miss the way he’d fetch their slippers, wag his tail at meal time, and they’ll certainly never forget the way he brought in the morning paper which often displayed giant headlines featuring one of the President’s many problems. Sure, Buddy wasn’t the only lab that ever gave the President bad news, but he was like family nonetheless.
Let’s take a moment and reflect on the life of Buddy. He was born just before the Great Depression…Hillary’s. Buddy’s namesake was Clinton’s great-uncle, Henry Oren “Buddy” Grisham. However, being the consummate politician, whenever the President ran into Buddy Hackett, he told him he named the dog after him. And whenever he ran into Buddy Ebson, he told him he named the dog after him. And whenever he ran into Buddy Lester, Buddy Guy and…well, you get the point.
When the President received Buddy as a gift in December of 1997, everything was going great for the First Family. But, just like the residents of Pompeii in early 79 A.D., they had no idea of what was just around the corner waiting to blow. Unaware of the troubles that lay ahead, the First Family would often be seen in the Rose Garden clapping in approval as Buddy would catch the “Junior Samples Commemorative Frisbee” the President received as a gift from Boxcar Willie. The White House staff also remembers the joy in Buddy’s eyes as he would go on long walks with his master, or how he liked to sit on the hitch of Uncle Roger’s house and watch the fellas work on the still. Or after dinner how he would go around the table and lick everyone’s plate clean. Or was that Hugh Rodham? Nevertheless, it was a happy doghood. Happy, that is, until the scandal broke.
“The Scandal” involving Buddy was kept quiet, but it tore at every fiber of Buddy’s being. The general public didn’t hear much of the incident, but one day a passer-by found a big pile of poop in Fort Marcy Park. Poop that authorities later claimed belonged to Buddy. The President claimed that on their walks he always picked up Buddy’s droppings. But the accusations didn’t stop there. Representative Dan Burton of Indiana not only claimed that the poop belonged to Buddy, but that it in fact was originally dumped by the dog in a White House office, and was later moved to the park. The scope of the alleged cover-up was enormous. Representative Burton became the first government official to ever perform tests on high level excrement, with the possible exception of Archibald Cox. Some even claim the existence of a grainy videotape of the feces being moved, the so-called “Crapruder Film”, on which the constant narration of “plop, and to the left…plop, and to the left…” is heard. The charges were never proven and the video has never been seen, but the conspiracy theorists are still talking about it to this day.
The stress that Buddy was under didn’t end there. Soon his best friend would be impeached, and the President had just about his only friend in the world in Buddy, who stuck by his side all the way. Secret Service agents have said that they’ll always remember seeing Bill and Buddy side by side on the couch watching Baywatch and Hee-Haw on their “picture within a picture” TV until the wee hours of the morning. But that’s what Buddy was made of. He was the President’s only true friend in his time of crisis…Well, him and Susan McDougal. How many of us can say we have that in our lives?
After the President’s term ended and Bill, Hillary, and Buddy moved to Chappaqua, things quieted down quite a bit. Buddy finally got some time to relax, and a chance to witness a great marriage in action…their new next door neighbors, Ted and Maria. They seemed so happy. The neighbor couple called themselves “Pookie” and “Love Dove”. Buddy wished his masters used pet names other than “Bunghole” and “Retard” for each other. Despite the small problems, Buddy was a fulfilled dog and was enjoying life. Then came that fateful day last week.
Buddy, we’ll miss you deeply. You know, my friends, Holbrook Jackson said, “Man is a dog’s idea of what God should be.” If you ever looked into Buddy’s eyes as he stared at his master, Bill, you’d see that he viewed him as a God. Now that Buddy’s up in the presence of another God, he must be wondering why his new God isn’t getting subpoenaed as much.
Rest in peace, Buddy. And while you’re up there, ask Lassie how in the world she got Timmy to understand that “Billy fell down the well at the old McAllister farm and has a broken leg” with only one bark.
Thank you for coming.