Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rescue Story: Stray Makes His Mark on a Mountain

Todd Stuart's life changed when he heard about a stray dog hanging around his mom's neighborhood. Todd writes:

"I first met Buddy on a sun baked frontage road next to I-10 near Palm Springs, California. My mother Velora, lived in an old folks trailer park in a little town called Yucaipa. It was filled with old folks who couldn't afford Palm Springs or San Diego or Beverly Hills, but loved the weather none the less.

My mother's neighbor had parked her Suzuki Samurai out on the frontage road for sale, and when she noticed a beautiful dog hiding in the shade underneath it, she began to feed it.

The other old folks, who were in the habit of walking their little poodles past this little jeep for sale, were afraid that this 'big' dog would eat their little friends. They asked the managers of the trailer park to call the pound. The managers of the park were dog lovers themselves, and didn't want to call, but were increasingly pressured to do so.

One day, as I was leaving the park, I saw Woody the manager trying to coax this beautiful dog over to him with a beef stick. The dog was tempted, but resisted. I parked my little truck, and asked Woody what was up.

-Todd, can you take this dog? You've got a nice place up in the mountains, don't you? Could you give him a home?

-I do Woody. But I can't just be bringing home stray dogs to the Christian Camp for kids. There's a hundred and twenty new kids every week, and it takes a special dog to deal with that kind of attention. He's obviously a good dog, though...look at that face....

-I know, I hate to have the pound come, but the poodle owners are hassling me to do something.

-Well, I'm headed up to the Kern River right now, for a few days of kayaking, but maybe when I get back.

-Think about it would you? See, he's got a swollen right leg. I bet somebody dumped him on the freeway, not wanting to pay a vet to fix his leg. Happens here all the time.

-Well, I'm a nomad, and can't be hauling a dog around with me because half the time I'm on a bicycle anyway, and well, I do love dogs, and this looks like a good one, but what if it isn't good with little kids? My boss would kill me if I brought a stray dog home, and it bit a camper.
After a long weekend kayaking the wild whitewater of the Kern, I stopped by to say hi to my mom. Woody saw me and came over to talk.
-Hey Todd, I've had to call the pound, because I can't find a home for that dog, and they're on their way. Do you think you can take it?

-No, I haven't talked to my boss.

-My mom chimed in, slugging my arm, 'Yes he can take it!! You better take it!! You can't let that beautiful animal be killed just because you haven't talked to your boss yet. You've got a fenced yard. Just take him home and let his leg heal up while we try to find a real home for him. He's such a beautiful dog.'"
So, Todd's mom convinced him to give Buddy a chance. Todd recounts that he,"went out to where the dog was hiding, and opened the back of my little pickup. I sat on the pavement and called him. 'Hey Buddy...c'mere Buddy...I won't hurt ya...c'mon up in the mountains with me and heal up.'

The dog inched close and sniffed me. I think he could tell that I was a chef who lived in the mountains, and that he may never get an offer this good again. He hopped in the back of my truck, and we've been the best of friends ever since."

Everyone at the camp loved Buddy, especially all the kids, so Buddy found his forever home.

After Buddy's leg healed, Buddy and Todd moved to ski country in Utah. They live at 9800 feet elevation and Buddy can't get enough of the snow. A few years back, Todd was featured in the ski mobie PWO5 - Powderwhore 2005 and guess who co-stars? That's right Buddy! Buddy loves to ski with Todd, especially in the deep snow. Buddy follows along in Todd's ski tracks. Both Todd and Buddy live life to the fullest, together in the wilderness. Clearly, this pair was a match made in heaven.

Todd recently published his first book, Nobody Owes You Tomorrow, which tell the story of how truth, beauty and wilderness can heal the human soul. We're sure that Buddy is happy to be a part of the tale.

Please send us your rescue stories and we'll share them with everyone in Happy Dog Land. Your story may encourage others to save a life and in the process bring meaning into their own.

1 comment:

  1. lovely storey i have three dogs and for sure they make your life complete.