Buddy12, January, 2002
When Buddy was found by his rescuer, he was lying on a pile of trash and leaves above a sewer grate on the side of the road. He was a huddled bundle of black fur. At first glance as his would be rescuer drove past, he looked like another dead animal involved in an accident with some uncaring driver. Except that dead animals don't lift their heads...
Realizing that this animal was still alive his rescuer immediately backed her car up near the poor dog. She walked slowly and carefully to him waiting for him to growl or snap at her. Incredibly, he whimpered and wagged his tail between the bars of the sewer grate instead. She then stroked his head as he tried to lift his chest and stand up. Buddy had no tags or ID, but did have a narrow cloth collar and leash. Blood was oozing from injuries on two legs and one of his back legs was angled badly, possibly broken.
Hoping against possible internal injuries, his rescuer picked him up and carried him to her car. As he lay on the back seat of her car on an old towel, he voiced no complaints except for the odd whimper even though he must have been in incredible pain. His rescuer rushed him to the nearest SPCA facility for treatment.
Upon arrival she found she had rescued a young black Lab mix, maybe a year old with a white chest and odd white mottlings on his face and feet. Buddy received immediate help with his obvious injuries and was made as comfortable as possible. The SPCA workers looked through their "lost dog reports" for a dog that matched his description, but nothing was found matching his description. The SPCA agreed to hold this poor baby for the day while his rescuer tried to find a foster home and funds to meet his medical bills.
She first contacted another animal rescue group who had run out of funding so she was referred to LABMED. LABMED immediately jumped into action by calling the treating SPCA Vet. The Veterinarian confirmed that two of his legs were broken and would need surgery to be pinned and set, he had an excellent temperament, and that he was definitely a Lab mix. Meanwhile, his rescuer was trying to raise some funds on her own by asking co-workers to help save Buddy's life.
While LABMED quickly discussed the case and agreed to help fund Buddy's surgical and medical expenses, Buddy's rescuer tirelessly begged money from family, friends and co-workers. She also found several suitable foster homes to help Buddy after his surgery and placed an ad in the local newspaper to find his original owners. LABMED provided the funding assurances that the treating Veterinarian needed to perform the surgeries necessary to make Buddy well again. His rescuer made an initial payment to the Vet on his estimated medical bills so the long surgery required could begin.
During the surgery it was discovered by the Vet that his injuries were most likely not caused by an automobile accident, but by dogfighting. After examining the breaks on his legs and other injuries, the most likely cause was that someone deliberately maimed this dog and threw him in with some vicious dogs bred for this cruel sport. The "odd white markings" noted on the dog were most likely the result of teeth marks scraping the hair off his chest and face. When Buddy proved not to have the temperament necessary for a dog fighting ring, he was then dumped on the road for a non-attentive driver or nature to take its' course.
Luckily for Buddy, his rescuer arrived on the scene and took control of his life. LABMED had agreed to fund the amount of the surgery and medical care she could not raise herself. Due in part to the emotional support she received from LABMED, she found the courage to ask friends and family for help. Knowing that she could only fail by not trying, she was able to raise more than enough funds to cover the surgery and immediate medical needs herself. Like so many seemingly insurmountable hurdles in life, just having the emotional support and assurances a helping hand can give is extremely important.
Today Buddy is in a warm comfortable forever home receiving the attention he so richly deserves. Without the kind attention of his rescuer, his life would be very different today. Sometimes that first step seems impossible to take, but I'm sure if you would ask Buddy, he's say it's the most important one of all.
After reading Buddy's story, Shari Jones wrote this poem.
A small, black heap
Soon all life will slip through the sewer grate where he lies,
An Angel hurriedly passes by
The Angel circles back
The Angel lifts the mangled body
The small black dog never knew loving hands like these