To say Buddy Freeman was a lucky dog would be an understatement.
He showed up at the shelter at four years of age and was, miraculously, adopted out despite the numerous “dangerous dog” warnings posted on his kennel door. However, within a few hours of his adoption, Buddy found himself at a dog trainer’s doorstep as he’d already tried to attack his new owner.
After a quick assessment, Sarah Freeman knew this dog was not safe to be around the general public. Despite her better judgment, she had a soft spot for this 90 lb, un-neutered, aggressive dog, so she took him in. She gave him the generic name “Buddy,” as was her custom with all training clients.
Notwithstanding a rocky start, Buddy flourished under her care. For ten years he was her companion. Once, he even saved her life as an adversary came after her with a camping axe in the wilderness. The attacker even poured a pot of boiling water over Buddy’s back, but Buddy held onto the axe wielding arm until the attacker retreated. He then walked an injured Sarah several miles to safety.
Sarah eventually contracted a fatal illness, but Buddy stayed by her side until the very end, literally. They had to call animal control to escort Buddy from her side after she died.
With Sarah gone, 14 year old Buddy went into a funk. For a full year he lived in a kennel where Sarah had worked. The staff tried to enrich his life, but it wasn’t until Elijah came along that Buddy began to come around.
Eli started taking Buddy out on midday walks, and then started to take him home a few nights a week. Soon it was evident the two had bonded quite closely, so, at the age of 16, Buddy was adopted again.
Under Eli’s care, Buddy became a different dog. With his “job” (protecting Sarah) gone, he went into full retirement mode. The once aggressive dog now met everyone with the same enthusiasm as his new owner, and he was even caught cuddling with cats, his former arch-nemesi. The once serious dog became a full on goof ball, and was free to enjoy the life he had left.
Unfortunately, the end always comes. Buddy had 19 adventuresome years, which is quite a feat for a Newfoundland cross.
From all of us at Paco Collars, we’ll miss you, Buddy Freeman.