Friday, June 27, 2008

Today's Dog on the Blog: Buddy - From Feral to Friendly

Baby - In MemoriamBuddy with Ricky
This is a bittersweet story about Buddy and Baby...
Buddy came to us from Dallas. Michelle and Lisa had found Buddy and Baby living in an old truck lot. Baby was more open to human contact, and allowed herself to be taken to safety, but Buddy wanted no part of it or of people in general. Michelle and Lisa had to use a trap to catch him.
After evaluating both dogs, it seemed clear that Baby could adapt and adjust to adoption, but Buddy was just not destined for that. Baby was placed in an adoptive home. Michelle and Lisa brought Buddy to Smiling Dog Farms to live out his life in safety and peace, in a place where he did not have to like people if he chose not to!
Ricky and I were sorry that Baby had not come with Buddy. We believe strongly that dog relationships should be maintained at all costs! But we understood that the goal of rescue is to get dogs into homes, and that was a better situation for Baby.

Buddy spent his first several months living in our bedroom, where we could talk to him and hold him and try to get him to accept human contact. Of all the feral dogs who have come here, Buddy is our greatest success story! Buddy eventually decided that he would trust Ricky. Ricky would carry him outside, singing to Buddy all the while! Buddy will now take treats from any of our helpers, as well as Ricky and me! That is a long way to come for a feral dog! In time, Buddy was ready for his own play yard and cottage.

About six months after Buddy moved here we got a call from Michelle asking if we could possibly take Baby! Her adoption had disrupted! We were thrilled for Buddy and Baby! Of course we said YES!!

One of my happiest moments at the farm was the day Michelle and Lisa brought Baby to be reunited with Buddy. They instantly recognized each other. You could see and feel the love and happiness in both dogs' hearts. From that moment, Buddy and Baby would be together for the rest of their lives!

They enjoyed happy times together in their play yard and cottage, making occasional forays into the house to spend the night in our bed with us. The past few months, however, we noticed that Baby's muzzle was getting very grey. Her step had slowed, as it does with all of us as we become seniors. We knew that Baby was coming to the close of a well lived life with her precious Buddy...

It was a Sunday, three weeks ago, when we found Baby laying still next to her beloved Buddy. She died quietly, peacefully in her sleep. Buddy sat motionless next to Baby, protecting her and not understanding why she would not wake up to play with him.

We will treasure the years that Buddy and Baby had together. We appreciate the sensitivity of Michelle and Lisa who respected their relationship and allowed them to be together.

This past week, we finally introduced Buddy to a new friend, Bailey, an older white German Shepherd. Bailey is quiet and non-assertive like Baby. It seems to be a good match. Buddy has accepted Bailey, and Bailey clearly loves Buddy. For Buddy, it is a new beginning, a new chapter in his life that he is embarking upon with his new friend, Bailey.

We will never forget our precious Baby, who left us all too soon.

Jay Hellerich, executive director
smiling dog farms
a 501(c)3 corporation
wharton, texas

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