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Dog Breed - Schnauzer



silky terrier

Rescue Dog Story - Buddy

Rescue Dog Story Buddy

Hi, my name is Chris and I live in Arizona in the United States. This is a rescue dog story about my beloved dog Buddy.

Life was so busy back four years ago. I had been feeling really ordinary, tired mostly and generally a bit short-tempered and irritable. All this was probably due to the fatigue from working and study. Between work and study, I tried to do some exercise and keep up with friends. All that kept me busy seven days a week. For ages I just put my fatigue down to “life.”

Finally my mom and my closest friend Jennifer urged me to book an appointment with my doctor who I had known since childhood. He decided to order quite a number of tests. Finally the results were back. I had cancer! I was in total shock. I was 31, quite healthy, didn’t smoke, barely drank and tried to lead an active life-style. My world fell apart.

I committed to a course of chemo, which was really awful. I got so sick I had to give up work and defer study. All of a sudden I was feeling sick and had lost my way in life.

That’s when, my best friend, Jennifer, turned up with a mature aged rescue dog who I ended up naming Buddy, a six year old Labrador mix. I have to tell you though that in the beginning I was shocked and afraid, and just thought “no way.” How could I care for a dog in my condition? It just wasn’t right or fair to a rescue dog. Buddy had not had the best start in life. He was adopted from a shelter but reluctantly surrendered when the family moved overseas. What could I offer him? I didn’t want to make life worse for the dog when obviously things up to now hadn’t exactly worked out for him and my prognosis was not good.

I pleaded with Jennifer to take him back, but she refused adamant that this was exactly what I needed. She assured me that if I went to hospital, she would care for my dog. My arguments were met with counter-arguments. In the end I gave in, even though I still had plenty of doubts.


Jennifer had herself adopted mature aged dogs from various dog shelters over the years.

It started with a Greyhound named Bella. Jennifer was only nine and her parents took her to a shelter with the promise that she could pick any dog she wanted. They of course expected her to pick out a cute little puppy. As Jennifer tells it she was looking at puppies until she saw Bella looking at her through her cage door with the saddest eyes. She asked the shelter staff to take her out, and as soon as her cage door opened she ran right to her wagging her tail. Shelter staff told her family that she'd been there over two months after her first owner abandoned her once she could no longer race. She was seven years old and in danger of being euthanized. Jennifer was the first person who'd even asked to see Bella.  Jennifer gave her parents that "can I keep her" look while Bella looked at her with such love in her eyes it melted her heart. Jennifer’s parents intended to talk her out of it, but Bella’s pitiful whimpering when they left broke their hearts too.

When shelter staff handed Jennifer, Bella’s leash, she knew. The grateful Greyhound couldn't stop licking Jennifer’s face and jumping in circles with excitement. She lived every day like it was her first one free from the shelter. As heartbreaking as it can be to loose a mature aged rescue pet after a few short years, Jennifer knew that her last few years were the best of her life and she wouldn't have had them at all if it weren't for Jennifer. Jennifer would urge anyone to consider adopting an older dog. You're doing a great thing for a great animal, and it'll be the greatest dog you'll ever have.

It turned out to be the best decision of my life! Let me tell you about Buddy. He is a beautiful Labrador mix who saved my life. He is just a delight. He is the happiest dog on the planet. When he first arrived I sat there petting him and he just drank up the love like he was starving for it. He spends every night curled close to me beside my bed. He is just so incredibly grateful to be free and loved. He is the most loyal, loving companion anyone could ever ask for. He follows me everywhere. He is never demanding and loves me unconditionally.

Obviously going through my chemo, there were days when I wasn’t well at all, but he seemed to have a sixth sense, and he would just sit quietly with me. He just seemed so in tune with me and how I was feeling. We spent hours on the sofa bed, snuggling or watching movies, and the time just went.

Buddy both took over my life and saved my life. What got me through those trying times was the thought of Buddy. What was he was doing, and was he alright. Whenever I felt well enough, we went for walks in the dog park. This was great for me. I was out in the fresh air, gently exercising. We met many people who stopped to admire Buddy who have now become my friends as well.

I still think to this day that if I hadn’t of had Buddy, I would have been all alone feeling sorry for myself. I just couldn’t with Buddy. I had to walk him, I had to feed him, I had to toilet him. Buddy seemed intuitive to my needs. He demanded less on my off days, but he was ready on my good days.

I was so lucky. Six months after I finished my chemo I received a clean bill of health, and 12 months later the prognosis was the same.

I still, to this day, credit Buddy for much of my recovery. He took my mind off things and more importantly, he knew me. He saved me. My so-called Rescue Dog had rescued me. I love him like crazy and so do all my friends.

So much so, that every year, on my birthday, we meet in the local dog park and have what I call the “Rescue Dog Story Bash”. Instead of presents we ask family and friends to donate to our local rescue shelter. I couldn’t be more happy to know we are helping more rescue dogs find their furever homes.

It is four years on now. I have gone back to study and work. Buddy is the best dog in the world to me. My life has never been better thanks to my rescue dog.


If you are inspired by this story and are considering adopting a dog for your next pet here are some things you may like to consider.

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