The Buddy Story
by Lisa Holmes
He came to England with a different charity and spent 3 weeks with his adopter petrified in a corner. He had had no previous foster. After about 3 weeks he escaped and was on the run terrified bewildered and lost until Mandy and her team tracked him down and managed to catch him in their dog trap. He then had to be sedated and they had to use a catch pole to handle him. Then he came to me. More or less feral and totally scared.
We got him into the house where I had a huge cage up and ready. It was only going to be for a few days I had no intension of keeping him. I tried to get a lead on him so I could give him a little walk and get him out to the loo but he freaked. Bucking. Bronking. Crocodile rolls. This wasn't good. So I covered my floor in lino and towels and that's how he was. I could cope for a few days. I fed him and basically he ignored me. He didn't want interaction and I was happy with that.
Nearly 2 years ago I received a phone call from a friend that does dog tracking, she asked if I could help out with a foster for a few days. Of course I said yes, without much thought and without asking questions, my downfall????
Buddy arrived later that day, petrified, he was in a cage which we had to carry into the house as we couldn't get him out, this was going to be a nightmare and was only the beginning.
A few days turned into weeks. I started bribing him with tit bits and he would approach and take them. I was starting to get quite fond of him. I still couldn't get him out so basically he had to cock his leg on a towel and poo in his cage. Not ideal and more work cleaning up and washing but what could I do. On a night while I was watching TV I would leave the cage door open and eventually one night he crept out and shot under a chair and hid there. Great. How do I get him out of this one. Luckily he’s food orientated and I bribed him back in with a treat. But this was far from ideal and I didn't really want him, not living like this, so I contacted Mandy and said can you come and get him. I had had him months now but I still couldn't get a lead on him. That night, as if he had heard me he climbed up on the settee next to me. Curled in a ball. Sighed and went to sleep. That was it I couldn't send him to kennels now. All that noise. Kennelled with others. I couldn't do it to him. So only half heartedly I said to leave him with me. That was the only time he ever got on the settee. He ain't daft that one.
One day I had gone off to collect a rescue and got a frantic call off my mum. Buddy had got out of his cage and trashed the living room. How on earth he had got out in the first place I will never know. It was a strong cage. He had defaecated in his frenzy to escape. Pulled the curtains down. Scratched and chewed my settee. Pulled all my WiFi down. Pulled pictures of the wall. Broken ornaments, he must of literally done the wall of death.
The scary thing was I had a small top window open and he must of been half way out of it as we found blood on the outside of the window where he had broken his nails in his panic to escape.
Mum god love her managed to get him back in his cage and clean up the mess. We cable tied the cage up like fort knox and thought there was no way he could escape from there. About a month later he did the same. Trashed the living room. I had learnt my lesson last time so the window was shut but even so this was to much. It was no life for him or me. I was beginning to resent him. All the extra work and the fact he wasn't really improving. He was 2 steps forward and 5 back.
Even though he was hard work and not particularly a joy to live with I had become fond of him foibles an all. There was signs of improvement. A slight tail wag every now and then. I had to crawl on my hands and knees into his cage to trim his hind dew claws. He wouldn't let me brush him so also on my hands and knees while he would tolerate it I had to pluck his old coat. Never once did he show aggression. Face level he could of taken my face off. He squirmed and backed away as much as he could but never aggressive
He couldn't go on like this neither could I, but what could we do with him, nobody would want him, he couldn't go to kennels and anyway he was now my problem, so at the next Rags to Riches Trustee Board meeting Buddy was our main topic, we voted that we would officially adopt him as a Rags to Riches dog and convert a building at my house into a kennel with a run. Fund raising began as did building work, as with everything it didn't go without a hitch, so what I presumed would be a simple task became a fairly big one, September last year we were finally able to move him outside, we had to coax him into a smaller cage then lift him and the cage out into his run, he's put a bit of beef on since we were first lifting him into the house, but we thought it was the safest way as if he escaped he would be gone. He took to his kennel like a duck to water, and I got my living room back!! He toilets in his run, eats well, loves his bed and more importantly appears happy. I have a chair in his kennel run and sit and chat to him, mainly about nothing, but he listens, he takes treats, he puts his feet up on my knee but he's still cautious, something dreadful must of happened to him to make him like this, I can touch him if I have a treat, around his muzzle but that's about it. He will never be able to go for a walk, or play in the garden, but he accepts dogs in his run and does interact with them, I wish he would trust me a bit more and let me stroke him properly, who knows with a bit more time we might get there but he seems happy in his Buddy house and that's the important thing.
Ps he must think a bit about me as he never goes to the loo in his kennel house, unless I've been away, when I come back we have a 'protest poo' for about a week and then he's back to normal until I go away again, He's a funny lad.