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Buck Lives on Forever

When I saw this tattoo, I had to know the story behind it.


The arm belongs to my friend Eric Fain, a Kansas City musician. Here’s the tale of his family dog Buck:

I was ten years old.

I had just arrived home after a week long Boy Scout Camp and my parents surprised me with a fluffy gold and white English Shepherd.

We decided to name him Buck, possibly because he was absolutely buck-wild and it just seemed to fit.

Until he was about a year and some change, he was just a ball of fur with a big head.

We moved to the Netherlands a year or so after and he made the trek with us overseas. Buck thrived in Holland. Every day my sisters and I would take him and our old Boxer, Cocoa, to the dog park, where he could run around free and play with other dogs and chase us while we tried to escape him on our Razor Scooters. His herding instinct was strong; he loved hovering around your feet. He also loved to sit on people, even if they were in a chair and he had to boost his butt onto your lap.

We returned to Kansas in 2003, and he was a great house dog for a while.

In 2008, he finally got to be the farm dog he always wanted to be when my folks bought seven acres in the countryside.


Buck’s final years were the best any dog could ask for. He adored my mother more than anyone else. When he started getting frail, my mom started to feed him hard boiled eggs in his food every night before she went to sleep. If she forgot, he barked until she brought it to him. She went so far as to have two separate cartons of eggs in the fridge; Buck’s Eggs and Human Eggs.

Every time I visited them, I always went down stairs to his room and gave him a big hug, except the night before he had to be put to sleep.

I’ll never forget hearing his bark from the basement. I left without even saying hello, not thinking it would be the last time I would hear him. I got a call from my sister as I was getting off work, and I could tell something was wrong.

She said he fell when he was outside and that Mom had to pick him up and bring him inside. ‘He’s bleeding internally and there isn’t much we can do’ the vet told my mom. She loved him so much and couldn’t bear to see him in any more pain. I told her to give him a kiss for me and tell him that I was sorry for not being there to say goodbye.

Buck was my best pal, and I decided to get a tattoo for his memory because I never want to forget the happiness he brought into my life.

Big thanks to Eric for sharing this story. 

To catch a glimpse of Eric’s tattoo of Buck in person, go see him play with his band Clairaudients.

Does anyone else out there have a tattoo memorial of a beloved pet? Tell your story in the comments.

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