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When I heard Buddy had just been surrendered at Dr. Cordova’s, I offered to go take pictures of him for the web site. He was brought in just days before his first birthday, and immediately neutered by Dr. Cordova. He was a sweet, playful, but very skittish little bag of bones. Knowing that there was no available foster home for him, I decided to just bring him home with me. My female golden, Sunny, loved

him right away.

Buddy was loved by his first owner, but not well cared for. He weighed 43 pounds, but given his size he should have weighed about 20 pounds more. He also had very loose bowel movements constantly, about 11 times a day! I didn’t feel I could write a proper story about Buddy for the web site until we found out if there was something medically wrong with him. I was feeding him a premium food, Canidae, which is

what I had been feeding Sunny since the pet food poison scare. Still, his digestive system was such a mess. It took over a month of tests, treatments, and waiting until it got to a more stable condition.

In our care, Buddy became much more confident, less skittish, and more handsome as he got the right food, attention, and environmental stability. Parallel to his arrival at our home, I had injured my back

and was also going through my own ordeal of doctors, tests, and treatments until I learned that I needed to have spine surgery. Since the pain was worse in a sitting position, computer work was out of the question; thus, Buddy never made it to the web site. As for prospective adopters, no one knew of him.

At first I thought I was taking care of him, but through my 3-month pain, surgery, and recovery period, Buddy never left my side.He always HAD to lay by my side during my bed rest, and I soon realized

he was also taking care of me. The more we bonded, the more I struggled with the thought of having to let him go. Adopting a dog was never part of the plan when I joined EGRR as a volunteer, but Buddy had quickly become part of our family. However, I hesitated for weeks in making the decision to adopt him because our finances were also an issue. Suddenly, a very kind stranger helped Buddy become ours and

made a big difference in our lives.

It’s funny that we hated the name “Buddy” at first, but I never changed it because it truly suits him — he really is a buddy to all of us; a good, loyal friend. He’s a lot of fun as he fanatically chases a tennis ball no matter how many times you throw it. While Sunny only thinks of food and chasing lizards, he’d rather be by my side. He earns the love of everyone he meets because he’s so sweet and funny. Particularly, though, Buddy is a mama’s boy. He needs to be wherever I’m at. He is as faithful and loyal as a dog can be — more

so than our beautiful Sunny is. He’s dug holes in our yard and frustrated us all with the way he toy-bullies Sunny, but he’s brought so much more joy in return that it doesn’t matter much to me. He is Sunny’s playmate and friend, the son we never had, and the little brother my daughters never knew. He’s shown me more unconditional love than I thought was possible.

I’m sad that I can’t foster other dogs now that I have a truly full house and life full of responsibilities, but I know he was meant to be with us. Whenever I see that smiling face and odd manner of tail wagging, I know I did the right thing in keeping him. He’s such a happy, carefree, and good-natured little boy!

This August we celebrate Buddy’s second birthday and his first year with us. As I write this story for the Newsletter, I reflect on all the wonderful things Everglades Golden RetrieverRescue has been in my life. I thought by joining EGRR as a volunteer that I would be giving of myself to help others, but I have repeatedly found ways in which the rescue work is reciprocal. Getting to know great people with the same love for this breed, helping lovely families adopt wonderful dogs, and getting the immense joy of having Buddy in our lives has made me a rescued soul too. Thank YOU, Everglades!

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