A New Buddy


My friend and neighbor with whom we are gardening called me the other night. I could tell something was wrong immediately in her voice.

“Someone dumped a dog up here and someone told me there was an animal sanctuary on your road,” she said.

I asked the type of dog. She and her husband both thought it was a Beagle or Beagle mix, they didn’t know much about dogs. They could tell it was male, but couldn’t even tell me if he was fixed.

The “animal sanctuary” she referred to really never got off the ground and the woman only took wolf hybrids anyway. I offered my friend the number to the local SPCA and she said she had tried the shelters and all were full, no one would take him.

“He’s such a nice dog,” she said. “I can’t even pet him because I don’t want to get attached because of whatever has to be done….” Her voice trailed off.

Unfortunately, that “whatever has to be done” in the country usually means shooting a stray. It sounds harsh, I know, but dogs are routinely dumped here in the country, there’s no animal control in unincorporated areas, and when shelters and rescues won’t take them, that is mercifully better than the dog starving to death, being hit by a car on the main road (and possibly causing an accident), or being left to the wildlife predators.

My neighbors are good people; they hate it when people leave this horrible decision to them. She’s a passivist, but for the first time, I detected anger in her voice toward the people who dumped their responsibility on their doorstep.

Their jobs require them to travel, sometimes for months at a time. They have a cat and it about kills my friend every time she has to leave her little feline.

“We have four, really, what’s five?” I said. “Feed him whatever you have tonight and we’ll figure out what to do in the morning.”
About noon on Wednesday, they brought the little guy down. He is a Beagle. Sweet, well mannered and won’t even jump up on you if you beg him to.

“We’ve had a lot of dogs dumped at our place over the years, some were mean, some were sick, this by far is the best one,” my neighbor’s husband said.

The Campbell Clan’s Fearsome Four were all put out, but I explained to them that he was homeless just as they all once were. They didn’t seem to understand, or care, but we didn’t have any major rows either.

“Thanks, I think,” I said to my friends as they drove away.

He had one accident in the house while trying to mark “his” territory from the all-female Fearsome Four.

My friend called me later that evening saying she thought she might have found him a home, but the man is traveling until late May and can’t take him until he returns.

“I hope I don’t get attached,” I told her.

“You have four, I told him you really didn’t need another one,” she said.

I’ve been calling him Buddy and Dale’s been calling him Bubba. Like my friend, I don’t want to get too attached. She’s right, we have all of the mouths we need to feed with the Fearsome Four. Besides, I don’t know if I can remember one more spot in the floor in the game of Twister during the middle of the night.

A local charity offered to pay for part of Buddy’s vet bill to get neutered, heartworm tested and get his shots. My neighbor offered some money toward the bill as well. My own dogs are behind on their shots, vets are definitely not less expensive in rural Arkansas.

He came home yesterday minus the ability to perpetuate the pet overpopulation problem, groggy, but otherwise no worse for the wear.

Just another week in paradise.

This week’s giveaway:

Last year, I switched my dogs over to Wellness Brand dog food, which has “human quality” ingredients and not all of the by-products and fillers many foods have. K9 Cuisine, which supplies Wellness, as well as other high-quality, natural and organic pet food, has generously offered one Living Large reader a $20 gift card toward the purchase of any of their food on their site. (Disclaimer note: I do professionally blog for K9 Cuisine, but I am receiving no additional compensation for this give away). Simply make a comment on this post between now and 5 p.m. CST Sunday April 11 telling us about your pets. I will randomly draw a winner and announce it on Monday morning’s post. Sorry, you must be a U.S. resident to win this one. You must claim your prize by sending me an email by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 13, or I will draw another winner.

Please visit my blog at K9 Cuisine, where I write about rescues and shelters. Also, check out the other cool pet blogs there where you can learn about training, pet food, general pet tips, and mixing your human kids with your furry ones!

You may also like...

43 Responses

  1. Joyce says:

    It just occurred to me something that my father once told me. Sometimes hunters will start to train a hunting dog only to find that the animal is gun-shy. Rather than take the time to find the dog a suitable home, they will just dump them off at a near-by farm, or someplace where they suspect that there might be children. It’s wrong, it’s cruel, and very selfish and unethical, but this may be how you came to have Buddy/Bubba in your lives. Incidentally, not all hunters do this. We had a Walker coonhound when I was a kid that just couldn’t get the gist of treeing raccoons, but she was an AWESOME pet. I don’t know who was more upset, my Dad or my sister, when my parents moved into an apartment and had to find “Clyde” (female) a new home!

    • I’m glad you were able to give your kitty a shot and she reacted purring! 🙂 How cute.
      It could be that Buddy is a hunting reject. There are definitely a lot of Beagles around. The man who said he wanted Buddy rescued one dumped in the same general area last year.

  2. Joyce says:

    I had a kitten one time that I vaccinated at home. I’m terrified of needles. He purred like crazy; I cried!

  3. Jenny says:

    I used to give my dogs their routine vaccinations also. My local feed store carried the all the vaccines except for rabies. Rabies shots had to be given by a vet (who would then give you the paperwork to show inorder to get the required liscense and tags) The vaccines come with instructions on how and where to give the shot. It isn’t hard to do—-just difficult for me because I’m sticking a needle into one of my ‘kids’. The dogs didn’t hardly notice and loved the following treats! lol

  4. Thank you for saving this dog! What can we do to get more people to spay and neuter?

  5. Brandy says:

    God love him. Its a shame people dump animals.

    Our last boy is stray we took in from a rougher neighourhood. hes too sweet to be on those streets long. hes a bit bigger then we prefer and we had just gone to being a 1 pup family (down from 4, 3 have passed naturally in the last 3 years) and our 1 pup was loving being an only but this one needs a loving home we provide and they try to get along. its hard but theyre getting there. hes perfect though, loves our cats and no aggression at all. 2 house accidents. im glad im off work for now to spend the time getting him settled into our lifestyle. I may have a house of cats and the 2 pups but all of our babies (current and passed) have been fixed. we arent contributing to pet overpopulation.

  6. Awww, that photo of Buddy/Bubba makes my heart swoon 🙂

  7. olivia says:

    If only we lived nearby (we live on Canada’s Atlantic Coast)!!

    We had a purebred beagle that lived for 15 1/2 years – we ADORED him. He was the smartest dog we ever had (altho’ beagles can be very stubborn)and were devastated when we finally had to put him down. He was such a character. Looking at the photo of “Buddy” brings back so many memories. Bless you for being so loving.

  8. Karen says:

    We’d had a kitten living on our porch roof the past few weeks. We already have way more than our share of kitty love so I spent a couple weeks trying to find him a home of his own. Finally, a wonderful couple drove from an hour away to take him home to spoil. It’s so sad that people will dump these once-loved pets to fend for themselves. Thank you for caring so much. =)

  9. Linda Mason says:

    He is adorable. You just can’t believe the resemblence. About two years ago my daughter got a call from an ex-neighbor about a pup she found in her townhouse parking lot. No one claimed him and she called my daughter to see if she could take him and help to find him a home. To make the story short when she got the pup she called me to come and see him and help her find him a home. Hubby and I were thinking about taking him. Took me less than 15 minutes to get in my truck and get to her place. In that time her and my son in law had named him and were keeping him. A little male beagle that looks exactly like yours. They already had two good size dogs ( both rescue ) but he just fit in. He is son in laws baby and he is a love.

    I have two cats, both rescue, ferel in the neighborhood. Was given a little dog last year and another puppy just this christmas. So I am full up too but when we get on our land hubby will want a big dog, so that will be joining our household later. It will be a rescue also.

    Don’t enter me in the giveaway as I already have mine spoiled on what I feed them. You can use someone else’s name to sub for mine. Someone that could really use the stuff. Just had to tell you about Sam cause he looked just like your picture. Thanks

  10. We lost our beloved Beagle, Elwood the day after Thanksgiving last year. It was very sudden. He was fine when he woke up and got sick in the afternoon. The vet said it was autoimmune hemolytic annemia.

    Please take good care of Buddy in loving memory of my Elwood, who had the loudest bark in the neighborhood.

    • I’m so sorry about the loss of your Elwood, Miriam. It’s so hard when we lose one of our beloved 4-legged kids. We just heard Buddy’s bark for the first time at 3:30 this morning, typical Beagle bay. Now I will think of your Elwood each time Buddy starts in.

  11. Vida says:

    First we had two, the third came along when she was returned twice to our vet for being too destructive (we took her in because we know fox terriers very well), the fourth we found wet and starving under our car outside our house, she was just a pup, who could turn her out? The fifth was a “gift” from last Christmas, she’d been poisoned in a nearby village (here in Greece they poison dogs like they would rats). We answered a call for help and ran with our emergency kit… we saved her… now she lives with us and gives us immeasurable joy and trouble in equal parts!

    With number five we had the same thought: We have four, what’s five? But five is a handful, they’re a pack now! The dynamics have changed… But what can one do? It’s difficult sometimes to be an animal lover, but I am heartened that there are others out there who do the same! Good job!

  12. S.A.B.L.E says:


    Last week I, after your post about what green things we do daily and plan to do for April, the thought continued and I realized I also have recycled cats and dogs. Those that no one else wanted but probably more so those that someone else refused to take responsibility for. It is a subject that really makes me angry with so many raids on puppy mills, etc. I love my recycled critters, 7 cats and 10 out of 13 dogs. The people that gave them up don’t know how much love they are missing out on.

    Thanks for taking Buddy in. He does sound a wonderful dog. Also glad to read there are many folks out there that love their recycled critters.

    I give my critters their shots. It really is not that hard to do and saves alot of money.

    • I look at mine everyday and wonder what the idiots were thinking when they gave up these bundles of love and joy.
      You and David have inspired me to learn how to give shots. I just have to find someone who can teach me to do it. I knew plenty of vet techs in the city, but will have to ask around here. I know it’s a common practice and a great way to save money.

  13. Sandy says:

    We have a dog named Nina that we adopted after seeing a ad placed on the door of our local farmer’s supply store. She was ~1.5 yrs old when we got her and she is the sweetest dog ever! And smart! Being a part lab mix, she definitely likes to carry things in her mouth and will go get the paper for us in the morning..so funny to see her with the Sunday paper(it’s so heavy and big). Our 2 cats, Smidge and Smudge(sisters) came to us after a cousin found them abandoned. They were very small and not more than a week or 2 old(hence their names). She nursed them until we took them at 8 weeks. They are now very seasoned in the art of laziness. We also occasionally babysit our granddog, Emma(scottish terrier)and I have to say she’s the cutest little thing ever. You know how grandparents are with their granddogs! We’ll soon be empty nesters as our youngest son graduates high school in May, so I am thankful we have our pets to dote on!

    • Love those names, Smidge and Smudge! And I can just picture your dog with that Sunday paper, too cute! Yes, I do know how those grandparents are with their granddogs. I was just telling my Emma yesterday how she was her grammy’s favorite (she knows this, of course)! 🙂

  14. Susan says:

    We have 2 dogs (PeeWee a fox terrier 7yrs and Roxy a Lab/Heeler 5yrs) and 2 cats, both will be 11 this year. Edgar the grey Burmese my son brought home said some guy was going to kill him because he was the runt. I thought he was a 6 week old kitten (he weighed about 1 1/2 pounds. Come to find out he was about 6 months old. We ended up putting some money into him to save him and here he is 11 years later. The 2 dogs have been brought home by the same son….Guess you could say we have our own NO-Kill shelter here. The other cat showed up on our doorstep and I hid him for awhile before telling my husband. We lost another cat (the youngest at 5 1/2) in January unexpectedly.

  15. MarthaandMe says:

    It is wonderful that you could take him in. We recently had a dog come up to our front porch and look in the front window and refuse to leave. Unfortunately, our town has a law that you can only have 2 dogs (which we do) unless you get a kennel license (which we wouldn’t qualify for). So we took her to the town shelter which is no-kill and which places every single animal they get.

  16. Keri says:

    I’ve been determined to only take in rescue dogs instead of buying dogs and I try to encourage family and friends to do the same.

    In a previous comment, I’ve mentioned that one of our dogs, a terrier and rottweiler mix, is a hearing-ear dog. Her history is heartbreaking but her spirit inspires me. She was originally trained and placed with a Deaf man. Apparently the Deaf community warned the Hearing Dog agency that he was not to be trusted. Fortunately he lived close to the agency so they kept an eye on him. Unfortunately, he put her in the back of his truck and tied her to a line. Somehow she fell out of the truck and was dragged a mile before the man noticed or someone stopped him. She was bald and injured so the agency immediately took her back and nursed her back to health. They knew she was going to be okay because her friendly and energetic personality was still present. When she healed, I was the lucky new owner. Today, Tilly is 12 years old and still going strong. She’s a special girl and I love her to pieces.

    • kerri says:

      OMG, that is such a horrific story, Keri. But I’m so glad Tilly turned out ok and ended up with you! I always see people here driving down the road with animals in the back of their trucks. If it’s illegal to put your kids back there, I think it should also be illegal to put pets there as well.

  17. kerri says:

    Kristi, I’ve often wished I had someplace close to take Sade for training for the therapy dog program, I think she would be a good one. That must be so rewarding for you and Emma!

  18. V Schoenwald says:

    My home is full of cats that have been dumped , severly injured, beaten, etc. I work with a spay/neuter group called Paw-sitive Partners, and I am their trauma nurse.
    I have 6 cats that are in various stages of disability, the worst one I had was a 1 legged kitten about 8 wks old who survived going through a truck engine block, she only has one left front leg, the rest are cut off as well as her tail.
    She is 10 yrs old and does absolutly wonderful, she runs around and looks like a bunny hopping, she can jump up in a chair, and she can run when she has to. This proves that animals can make the best of their situation as it is the strength they have to survive.
    This is a terrible problem that I battle in town, I have huge colonies of wild cats around me, and I really get tired of picking up bodies from the busy street I live by, but it is my job I feel, so I just do it.
    I do not have answers to this problem, just the fact that there are people like all of us who are there for these creatures.
    Bless all of us. We need it.

    • kerri says:

      You’re an angel, V. Most people would just leave them lying there. We all do what we can.

  19. Cindyt says:

    I have the honor to ‘share’ the cabin here with two Pekingnese Brothers! I have always had Pekes over the years but when my last one passed away in my arms I had a ‘dry’ spell of about 5 years. I had been Helping to support a Peke Rescue here in my state with my donations when these two ‘boyz’ pictures popped up on the Rescue website…it was Love at first sight! They were 4 years old and had fallen on hard times together after their owner went into assisted living. Her daughter had them but her husband was abusive to them and threatened to stomp them to death if they weren’t gone when he came home. She called rescue and that is how I came to have my two Best Friends now for six years! I personally had I been the lady would have gotten rid of the Husband! So her loss was my gain! They are the best! Right now they are ‘talking’ to the world outside their door! LOL. What ever the outcome for Buddy he looks to be a lucky pup! Tho Sad in his picture right now. But maybe he has found his home Kerrie ‘Five’Coat-Campbell 🙂

    • kerri says:

      What a lucky break for those brothers, Cindy! I’m with you, I would have kept the dogs and kicked (literally) the husband. I have a Christmas ornament Dale bought me that says, “Missing: Husband and Dog. Reward for Dog.” It’s a joke, but I keep him wondering. 😉

  20. David says:

    “Her and her hus­band both thought it was a Beagle or Beagle mix…” ??? Really? Her did?

    –Sorry, couldn’t resist.

    Personally, I’ll be quite surprised if he winds up anywhere else after a month.

    I used to give my dogs all their routine shots, as a pharmacy in Austin used to carry vet supplies. If there are none in your area, there are plenty of online sources for vaccines. See, for example, http://www.vetmeddirect.com/

    You can get some very good vaccines for four or five bucks a dose.

    • kerri says:

      Thanks for pointing out my grammatical error, David. I’m usually pretty good at English, but terrible at math but I know when I put a week of doing taxes+a full load of work+ a new dog+ new husband’s schedule + getting sick yesterday, it equals errors. 😉
      Thanks for the tips on the shots. The problem is that I also don’t have a clue as to how to give them.

  21. Kathleen Winn says:

    Oh Kerri- what a generous heart you have! Lucky Buddy! I am all too familiar with the problem of dogs being dumped in the country. I have many family members who live in the rural areas, and have helped find homes for countless dogs and cats over the years. My brother has had to carry out the sad task of sometimes putting an end to a dogs life, when it’s too wild or sick to find a home for. Terrible! I will be going out to my sister’s horse barn today, and she’s already told me that there is a litter of kittens in the barn that need to be rescued. It’s an ongoing problem and it breaks my heart that there are so many animals in hopeless situations, because of the irresponsibility of people. At least there is one less dog suffering hunger, neglect and abandonment, thanks to the kindness of you and your neighbors.

    • kerri says:

      Kathy, I know you’ve personally tried to find homes for so many of those barn cats. We had the same problem when we leased land in KC for our horses. People usually don’t venture this far off the blacktop to dump their animals, but my friend says they’ve had many dumped up at their house, right off the black top, many times in their 25 years here. I have a feeling Buddy won’t be the last. 🙁

  22. Alexandra says:

    We had a dog, when I was a child. Then I became a cat person as an adult. My children all have cats. Since my second husband has allergies, no pets for me anymore. Once we were adopted by a clever gray kitty, who had been abandoned and lived outside, under our house. That happens here a lot, once people leave after vacation. They abandon their pets. I don’t think the owners always do it on purpose. With cats, sometimes they don’t come home for days, and I guess the owners had to leave. I was glad to be able to place Kitty with the local librarian who has enjoyed this stray for ten years now.

  23. Kristi says:

    We are a two dog household. One Standard Poodle, Emma and one German Shorthaired Pointer, Brady. Emma is a therapy dog at one of our local hospitals and Brady works as a bird dog, during season. We are your typical middle-aged, post-children dog owners. We take our dogs everywhere and alter our schedules to be home with them if we can’t take them along. And, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Thanks for the contest, even if we don’t win!