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.


About crystalwayward

I live with two formerly wayward dogs. I care deeply about the environment, and I think gardening is a revolutionary act.

Posted on February 24, 2013, in Dogs, Dogtography, Random Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. I have tears in my eyes – but it’s a wonderful story. I think such a tattoo is like endless love …

  2. As a person who really enjoys tattoos I completely agree. A good dog really does become part of you in your heart forever – why not wear your heart on your sleeve?

  3. What a touching thing to do. The tattoo is a splendid likeness too.

  4. Thanks for helping share his story! If anyone is interested in the artist, his name is Chris Hess and works at Abraxas in Lawrence, Kansas off of 7th and Mass Street.


  5. Very beautiful story indeed!!!! That tattoo is awesome…I mean the detail is perfect!!!! That part where he heard the longing bark in the basement…oh, that got me…He wanted to see his old master so badly…Thanks for posting this great story!!!!

  6. What a story and a perfect way to remember a faithful companion. It sounds as if Buck lived a very long and happy life.

    I’m planning to get a tattoo in honor of Boomer on my foot where he likes to sleep. And, I plan to do something for Dottie too but haven’t decided just what and where to put it.

    • That’s so cool! I have several tattoos as it is. I feel like if I start getting them for the dogs I love I will soon be covered. I might instead get special pieces of jewelry to commemorate them – like a necklace made of their old tags perhaps.

  7. Thank you so much, Crystal, for sharing, that beautiful story, about Eric’s Dog, Buck!

  8. That was so sweet and touching!! Mom is thinking about getting a tattoo of me on her. XOXO – Bacon

  9. Beautiful Story – amazing the unconditional love that our pets bring to our lives – priceless! My mother made me a mouse pad with a photo I took of my cat – still have it today – we grew up together – hardest thing I did at 21 was put her to sleep when she was 19. Happy Monday:)

  10. The dog my family got when I was a teenager is getting up there in years. Although I haven’t lived in the same house with her for a very long time, I know it will be a sad, sad day when she passes. I think we will plan a special tree or bush in my mom’s back yard.

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