By: Eric Kinkel
It all began in the fall of 1984, after suffering a major
kidney stone, the surgical removal and consequent
hospitalization to follow, my dear friend and confidant
Marion “Ma” Nugent returned from her son Ted’s ranch where I
had been the previous week.
After coming home, she called to ask if she could visit me in
the hospital and that she had something to give me.
Prior to her arrival I had told the attending nurses that
Ted Nugent’s mother was about to visit me. Escorting “Ma”
Nugent to my room,
I was warmly greeted by all the curious nurses. Under "Ma's"
was a bulky case cloaked in a mink coat, her own of course. With some help, she gently
laid the gift across my lap while I
lay in the hospital bed.
Open it she said! it was an acoustic guitar that Ted rarely
played. One, which at the time was at the top of its line, a
black spruce top,
deep bowl, Ovation acoustic/electric. What a beaut!
“Ma” knew I had an appreciation for the guitar because I
would occasionally get it out while visiting with her at Ted’s
ranch in Michigan.
She enjoyed the melancholy melodies I would bring alive from the
sedentary 6-string axe perched away in Ted’s hunting room.
So, there I was surrounded by a room of filled with beautiful nurses and
“Ma” Nugent. “Ma” exclaimed; “well, now you’re going to
have to name it”.
Quickly, I dubbed it “Old Ebony”.
She demanded; "you must learn one of Ted’s songs on it
right away". I was able to manage a slow bluesy ballad called
“Take me Home”.
I proceeded to strum out a few lines and
chords in the key of “A”, while I directed the
lyric’s to the star struck nurses.
With a raspy voice, I retorted a few lines from the song:
“Take me home girl, I think I know what you’re looking for. Take
me home girl, you won’t have to look no more”. Everyone in
the room laughed while they enjoyed my quick wit and slick
Soon the girls began to gather around my friend whose lively
spirit preceded her celebrity.
“Ma” graciously answered questions about her famous son
and her life as a columnist for the Illinois Entertainer.
I kept that guitar for nearly 12 years. I wrote many a song
using “Old Ebony” and played it on occasion when I would
perform in the local clubs in and around the Chicago area in the
late eighties and early nineties.
In 2002, I sold “Old Ebony” to a close friend in
California. Paul takes good care of her for me and for that, I
am deeply grateful.
In turn, I used the capitol I received from the gifted guit-fiddle
from Ted to purchase my pup.
My soon to be dog would become the proverbial
transference of “love”. My guit-dawg for sure!
Shortly before my 41st birthday, I had an idea
that one day I would get a puppy and raise him on my own.
I prepared my house, bought a crate, built a gate for the
kitchen area, made all the preparations necessary to bring a new
After talking to breeders and looking for months at adds in
the paper, I exacted some careful consideration and settled on a
scrawny little pup at “Lambs Farm” in Libertyville,
Illinois. Lambs Farm is a place which empowers an
extraordinary group of more than 250 people with developmental
disabilities to lead personally fulfilling lives. Their pet shop
was home to a lean yet beautiful chocolate lab mix that could
not stop chewing on my dress shoes and accidentally peeing on
them as well. He exuded a
potent happiness all pups do when they receive attention.
The morning I was to pick up the pup, I reached for the
newspaper at my door and there on the front page the headlines
“Clinton dog “Buddy” hit and killed by car”. The poor
little guy. I decided I was going to take his name, however
I had a feeling he was going to live up
As the years have rolled by Buddy has remained my
steadfast partner and pal. A joy to come home to, Buddy is a
proud part of my life. Together, we share life’s ups and downs
all the while he imparts his unique yet never ending hormone
filled happiness along with: tail wags, kisses, side by side
naps, play time, wrestling and of course chasing pretty women as
a favorite past time. Buddy enjoys women far more than men, yet
he manages to sense true dog lovers above all no matter who they
I often express my joy of life through my pal. I end up calling
him goofy nicknames such as: “Monkey nuts”, “Waddle
butt”, “Belly Boy. On occasion he gives me what I
call "dork face". A rather quirky look, exposing his
lower teeth, while anticipating something good -a - comin...like
a treat, or, a walk etc.. He expects from me....nearly every day,
as a part of my coming home greeting, that I give him some:
“butt rubbin luvin”, where I rub his back end with
my two hands while he wags his tail to the delight of
kisses which amount to slobbering all over my face…..lovely ha?
I love it. These are daily moments I never grow tired
I embrace and share the love for my dog with all who come to
When I hug my Buddy, I can only describe it as; a deep abiding
affection, which he in turn radiates back to me.
Through his eyes, I see an entirely different world.
The next time someone express frustration over life’s trivial
moments and says to me: “For the Love Of God”, I will have to correct them and say; no sir, or, Ma’am….its:
“For The Love Of Dog”!