Sharing one of our favorite rescue stories…
After you have been doing rescue for a while, you begin to learn that reality may set limits on what your heart would love to accomplish. You start to set limits. You start to make decisions with a mind for business. You may love black cats (I do!) but you also know they will take a lot longer to get adopted, so you will make an effort to balance out black kitties with more adoptable colors so your adoptions don’t stagnate. When your house has a few rescued dogs in it that are “adoptable” but in reality are very likely never going to be adopted.. well, you have to start being careful about who you take on. But then once in a while.. once in a while, you see a photo or you get an email or you happen across a face in the shelter that makes you throw all REASON out the window — your heart wants you to act, and that’s why you got into this whole rescue business, so you do.
Buddy is one of those cases. We learned about Buddy from an email, which read:
“When Kelly lived in Bradenton she volunteered for Honor Animal Rescue for 3 years. I now live in Murphy, NC. I volunteer with a small rural shelter. She needs to find a foster/adopter for a senior large dog with bad eyes, thin and skin issues. He is gaining weight and his hair is growing back. His blood work came back with normal kidney and liver levels. He is living outside 24/7 and it is getting below freezing at night. He is heart worm negative and good with dogs. He was abandoned with 14 Beagles. The Beagles have been placed with other rescues. Transportation is arranged. Kelly is coming to Bradenton, FL (south of Tampa) on Dec. 8th. Please consider this poor soul.”
Here was the accompanying video which showed the conditions he was in and living in:
Buddy was in another state. Buddy was a senior with health issues. Buddy was a big dog. Lots of reasons why we shouldn’t rescue him, but my heart was moved. I forwarded the email to my rescue partner, who was moved just as I was. We started posting his photo to try to find a foster — and we did, a foster who said she would hold onto him as long as necessary. So Buddy came to South Florida.
He spent about a week with me. I set him up in our guest room with a big comforter on the floor. He didn’t seem to understand it was for him at first and was laying on the hard floor. I had to pick him up and walk him over the comforter. Then you couldn’t get him off it. He was a joy to have at our house.. even though he’s a big guy, I trusted him with my little dogs right away because he was just so gentle. He is just as he appears to be in his photo – sweet & gentle.
We had him visit our vet and get a dental, and amazingly, aside from a few teeth that needed to be pulled, he was given a clean bill of health. We were sent home with some joint supplements that would help him keep moving well. Then we had his eyes checked out. Turns out he needed eye drops to keep his eye condition from getting worse, but that was about it. The doctor at Animal Eye Guys, who wasn’t familiar with how our rescue worked, asked for reassurance that Buddy would be alright and be cared for, despite his advanced age. We assured him that he was now SAFE.
Buddy put on weight and his coat filled out. Then he went to stay with his possibly “forever foster.” Just a couple of weeks later, the foster contacted us.. she had taken on half a dozen dogs from other rescues and shelters after Buddy, and now decided that she was overwhelmed and EVERYONE had to leave. This, after she promised she would show Buddy love for the rest of his life if necessary. We started making calls and had a couple of amazing people offer to open their home to him as a foster (thank you Carie & Danika). And then the most amazing thing… WE GOT AN ADOPTION APPLICATION ON BUDDY!
It turns out that Buddy had caught the eye of a woman when she saw us post about him. She had been thinking about him when she saw our plea for a new foster home go up.
That was the catalyst she needed — because of that post, she filled out an application. She and her husband had a young son and never had a dog before. I thought it was an amazing thing for someone who had never had a dog to decide on a “less adoptable” for their first one. We had her meet Buddy and it was love – love – love for everyone. It turns out Buddy was the perfect dog for a novice dog owner — he’s a senior boy, so content to laze about the house, extremely patient with his human brother, and (despite his time left outdoors), he had likely been potty-trained eons ago so never gave them a bit of trouble. Buddy, as unlikely as it had seemed just weeks before when he came to us from Georgia, had found his forever family.
This was the first photo we got of Buddy and his new friend, Cole. How adorable is this?
And here is the most recent photo.. still best buds!
Here is Buddy back when he was looking for a forever home, at our Christmas event. He wore a jingle bell red velvet collar and reindeer antlers and was a perfect gentleman to all the kids who delighted in giving him attention. I guess it was a sign of things to come!
It was an unexpected outcome for an old man.. We thought he would live out his days as a beloved foster dog, but instead he was chosen to be a forever dog. We hope you enjoyed this story as much as we did…