The Bensons’ Buddy (and also the upstairs neighbors’ Buddy)

Buddy’s view from the bench.   Photo by lori benson

Buddy’s view from the bench. Photo by Lori Benson

BY HEATHER DUBIN  |  Recently on a street in Tribeca, a Cockapoo, a cocker spaniel and poodle mix, suddenly appeared, unleashed, and seemingly unattended.

But his owner, Lori Benson, was nearby, and watching Buddy from behind her apartment building’s front door.

“This is how a lazy person walks their dog,” she joked.

After a quick introduction, Benson invited this reporter inside her warm and cozy apartment to learn more about Buddy. On the stairwell, Benson admitted to being embarrassed that she was caught in the act of “walking” the dog — though, really, only the dog had been doing any walking.

This responsibility was supposed to belong to Talula, her 12-year-old daughter, as part of the negotiations agreed upon to get Buddy, who is now five years old.

“That didn’t happen,” Benson said of the dog-walking deal.

Buddy has a dog walker during the day, and when Benson, a former documentary filmmaker who is pursuing a master’s degree in social work for family therapy, is home, she tends to rely on her method to let Buddy out to do his thing.

Buddy’s addition to the family was Talula’s doing. She decided she wanted a dog, and created an effective campaign to win her mother over.

“She made a book, and every time she saw a dog that she liked, she put it in the book,” Benson said.

Talula was thorough — she researched breeds, found photos, and wrote a summary of positive attributes for each.

Benson started looking for a small dog to make Talula’s dream come true for her seventh birthday, until her own mother tracked down some Cockapoo puppies on Long Island. The three of them then headed out on the train to see the four that were still available.

When they arrived, the runt of the litter, which Talula described as having sad eyes, was all that was left.

“I didn’t know you take a dog that day. I didn’t know how it works,” Benson said. And then she was off to the bank to withdraw $750.

Benson shared a video of Talula on the train returning home with Buddy.

“I love her little voice, it’s so different now,” the proud mother said of her daughter.

Luckily for the Bensons, their neighbors upstairs also have an affinity for Buddy. The recently married couple take Buddy for walks, buy him toys and, essentially, borrow him as their own.

“We say we live in a duplex,” Benson explained. “Buddy comes and goes between the floors, and spends half of his time between the two apartments.”

This modern arrangement involves key exchanges and swapped photos of the Cockapoo.

“They love Buddy as much as we do,” she said.

People are more appealing to Buddy than other dogs. When he sees a particular dog in the neighborhood, they bark at each other from two blocks away.

And at the dog run on North Moore St., Buddy is ready to bolt the minute another dog enters the park.

Perhaps he prefers his “indoor playground,” playing catch in the stairwell at home.

“He owns the joint,” Benson said.

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4 Responses to The Bensons’ Buddy (and also the upstairs neighbors’ Buddy)

  1. You know what? This isn't really cute at all. One, the dog is not protected and what happens if a strange
    dog attacks it or some unstable person tries to hurt it? These things can happen quickly and by the time
    the owner gets there, it may be too late. And then there is also the obvious question which is: WHO PICKS
    UP THE WASTE?" Sorry. Buddy is adorable but that's where this story stops being cute.

    • thanks for the response, just so you know, Buddy is in a public dog park in the photograph!! And secondly, Buddy's "waste" is always picked up. Not sure what your point is. The fact that have trained him to run out and pee quickly on our block, which is closed off for construction, poses no threat to any individual or other dog.

  2. I thought I better add something to hopefully explain my stern demeanor about this. I was walking my own
    dog Josephine Bonepharte years ago and she WAS on a leash. However, I was looking the other way when
    someone yelled "Look out" and I turned just in the nick of time to see a lady about to pour very hot coffee on my dog's head, this because she was angry when I refused to give her more than a dollar (which truly was all I could
    afford at the time). I quickly yanked the dog out of the way with less than two seconds to spare. So, I speak
    from experience when I warn someone about staying close enough to your pet to protect them if needed.

  3. I love mey much the reply: “They love Buddy as much as we do"!!!!

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