Buckie Von Fange was born on October 17, 2000, in Blytheville, SC. His mother Scooter was an opinionated Southern belle. His father was Ace, a weight-pull champion from Texas who enjoyed cliff diving with his owner. Buckie and his 10 siblings were all given names with a pirate theme such as “Shiver Me Timbers”, “Rum Runner” and “Rebels and Raiders”. Buckie's legal name was “Buccaneer."
Although usually called Buckie, this was sometimes shortened endearingly to “Buck”. Buckie also had his alias, “Buckster”. His magazine subscription to Farm and Ranch was sent to Buckster as well as his yearly birthday greeting from the local restaurant. He was also on Facebook as Buckster Von Fange. However, he didn't do much posting, having more important things to do with his life.
As a young, pedigreed Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Buckie spent his younger years engaged in all the elite activities of his breed—packing, carting, weight pull, and sheep herding. Sheep herding was a favorite, not so much for the herding; but for the sheer joy of chasing all those scatterbrained quadrupeds.
A handsome, well formed dog, Buckie earned his championship at numerous dog shows—even garnering a “Best of Breed” award. These achievements were somewhat hampered by Buckie's strong sense of fun; since judges believed that well-mannered dogs should not play tug of war with the leash while in the show ring.
Buckie was extremely intelligent, requiring child proof locks on the refrigerator to prevent him from helping himself to pizza. Neither was he deceived by the spelling of vital words in front of him. If he decided he didn't want to go with you—then “Keep Away” was his solution. Dancing and dodging back and forth, Buckie was a master at a game no human would ever win. Fortunately “Treat” was his weakness, and for this, one could gain the house horse's cooperation.
Although he excelled in many areas, Buckie's greatest job was in representing The Light Source as its mascot. Putting a face on the company was his job from Day One. He appeared in every magazine ad, every catalog, and on the web site. He was a big hit at all the Orlando LDI Conventions where he met dog-lovers from all over the world. After spending time with Buckie, attendees would often say, “This is the best part of the show for me.” Buckie loved the attention and loved the people who came to see him.
In 2007, The Light Source moved to a sprawling facility in Charlotte, NC. Now Buckie became a commuter--a big dog cruising the Interstate in a sports car. (There was plenty of room for him once the front passenger seat was taken out.) He spent much of his day on a large, comfortable bed by the glass entry doors where he could keep an eye on people coming and going and make sure that the Canadian Geese parading on the lawn in front of him did not get out of hand. When Buckie wanted fresh water, a cold nose placed firmly on someone's elbow usually got his message across. Other times he was less subtle—standing in front of the desk with a bark so powerful that papers levitated and metal blinds jingled.
Buckie's presence at work was like a tonic—a physical reminder that no matter how frantic or busy the day became, there was a warmer, gentler side of life. The sight of a contented dog curled up on a soft bed with his nose tucked lovingly under one paw, or a joyful greeting with wagging tail and warm brown eyes—these were reminders that there is more to life than work.
On May 28th, Buckie passed away. For nine and a half years Buckie faithfully represented The Light Source, bringing joy and smiles to many people. Although, the doggie bed and the well-worn ball that he played with are gone; reminders of Buckie are all around. On the front desk is a picture of his first birthday with Buckie wearing a party hat as he gazes on his birthday cake with its large “one” candle. In the hall is his portrait in front of a Yule time fireplace; and on the catalog is Buckie the aviator looking cool in his “doggles” with his red silk scarf blowing in the wind. Now Buckie the dog becomes Buckie the legend. Much loved, he will be greatly missed.