Pet Tips 'n' Tales

Veterans' Dog Buddy

Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"
Laura, Marty, and Buddy proudly wear red, white and blue because Laura is an Army veteran and Marty is an Air Force veteran.  Buddy also wears the colors to honor his adoptive pet parents' sacrifices for their country.

A fascinating fact about Marty's military career is his time spent as a radio intercept operator.  Stationed in Tripoli, Africa he overheard the Russian's Sputnik's code. At the time, the rest of the world did not know what the Russians had developed, so it was a major discovery.

Another interesting tidbit is that Marty's father was in a thirty piece orchestra that toured the country before starting a country western music group.  Through osmosis Marty learned to love music and took to it like a balloon on an autumn wind.

For thirty years, Marty sang at OPEN MIC lounges in California.  When he and Laura moved to Oregon they sang in a Christian Gospel quartet.  Marty then discovered his love for Big Band music was appreciated at nursing homes: 25 nursing homes, memory care centers, and retirement centers!

"Since retiring it is easy to become depressed, isolated, and not exercise," shares Marty.

"Since adopting Buddy we go everywhere together. He is great company and we meet new people on our trips around town.

While doing housework, Buddy never takes his eyes off me. He lays on the couch, with his arm over the arm rest, keeping track of me.   I think I am boring, but Buddy thinks my life is fascinating, and follows me from room to room," says Marty.  "Buddy often runs up to me, and stands on his rear legs. I gently hold his front legs--and we dance together."

Buddy is an Animal Shelter mystery dog.  His body, shape, and color resemble a yellow lab.  His freckles were passed down from a Springer Spaniel relative, and his short attention span  and curious nose are genetically from a Beagle grandparent.
The rest of Buddy's heritage is as mysterious as any long line of All American, Heinz-57, unaltered-dogs can create.  Buddy is possibly a Heinz 157 mix! Even though his origins are unknown, Buddy is perfect none the less.

"Buddy is a healer of the heart, so maybe he has "Blue Healer" in his pedigree?" laughs Laura.  "Shortly after rescuing him, I tore a ligament in my ankle.  Buddy spent hours licking my ankle.  He sensed the injury and showed he cared.  His licking sessions added circulation and warmth to my ankle -- and my heart.

We are first time dog owners and talked about getting a dog for ten years.  We went to a shelter, walked up and down the long line of sad dogs begging to be taken to a new home, but did not see one that resonated with us.

A staff member stopped us to chat and out of nowhere, we turned and Buddy had materialized in the cage beside us.  We looked at him, he looked at us, and honestly--it was love at first sight!

We did not have a fence, so knew not to adopt a dog that day.  But, the further we drove away from the shelter, the harder Buddy tugged on our heart strings.  We returned and arranged to pick him up the next day.  Then we went home and built a fence well into the night.

Buddy is the most perfect dog," admits Laura.  "He is well behaved, and constantly shows us that he is grateful we adopted him.  He was three years old when he was surrendered to the shelter. His previous family was being responsible because they could not take care of him.  How heartbreaking for them and for Buddy who loves everyone."

"We bought Buddy a heart shaped ID collar and he is also chipped. If he ever got lost, we would be devastated.  Buddy is not replaceable," states Laura. "Buddy loves playing tug of war with a rope toy and he clamps onto it.  Then Marty lifts the rope and Buddy clings to it...there is no way Buddy will let go.  It appears Buddy feels about that rope the same way we do about him."

"Rescuing a pet from a shelter is a miracle for the pet. Don't be afraid to fully give your heart to your pets, they will return your love one hundred fold," advises Laura.
"My son, Bob, knows how much I love cats, so he gave me a subscription to the Sentinel so I can read Pet Tips 'n' Tales," writes Pat in Helena, Montana.  "He is right, I enjoy the column.  I have 4 rescue cats, each one is different than the other. Thanks for including the helpful pet "Tips.""

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