Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Meet Buck

It's official. We have a new dog. We weren't looking for a new dog, nor an old one. It turns out our new dog isn't exactly new. He's been used. Used badly. Someone abused him.

I met Buck at my neighborhood Bark Park, where I take Tank to play almost every day. I arrived to see what looked like a yellow labrador puppy cowering outside the park gates. No collar. He scooted off when we approached. Once inside the park, I asked several of the people inside if they knew anything about the dog. Everyone was concerned about him.

Once Tank was happily chasing someone else's tennis ball, I approached the dog. He skittered away, his tail between his legs. Upon closer view, I could tell he wasn't a puppy, but an adult male, probably a beagle and lab mix. He wouldn't come to me, which is rare, because I can usually get the most timid of dogs (and cats) to trust me. Back inside the park, all of us dog companions discussed what to do. No one wanted to leave him at the park, as temperatures were expected to drop overnight. I decided to take him home and see if we could find his owners.

BassMan came out to the park with his truck and with much wooing with food and a steady hand, was able to load him into the cab. We put Buck in our backyard and brought our 12-year-old collie, Princess, inside along with Tank. Once we had him at home, it became clear to me by his behavior that he'd been abused. A sudden move would send him cowering away, hiding under the patio table or the BBQ grill. I gave him a jerky treat that he looked at like it was poison. As soon as I stepped back into the house, he devoured the jerky treat. We fed him. He ate. By the end of the night he was letting me pet him, looking up at me with sad brown eyes that broke my heart. He slept in the doghouse that Tank never uses and the next morning met me at the door with his tail wagging.

I called the shelter to report him, then put signs up at the two local pet stores, the vet offices in the area, and around the bark park. Two people called me, but their descriptions didn't match Buck. By the third day BassMan and I were in love with the little guy. We knew we couldn't take him to the shelter if no one called for him, and began hoping no one would.

By the second week, he'd come out of his timidness, but still lurches if someone moves too suddenly around him. I kicked the tennis ball one day when he was nearby and he ran with his tail cowed so fast, you would have thought I'd kicked him. These are sure signs he'd been abused.

When no one claimed him by the second week, we took him to our vet and had him scanned for a microchip. Nothing. That's when we decided to make a claim on him. We had him immunized, given a physical, chipped, and... neutered. He's all ours now. Buck is already house-trained, sleeps on a pillow on my side of the bed, and snores. Have you ever heard a dog snore?

10 comments:

Lynn Sinclair said...

Congratulations on your newest family member. Buck is lucky to have found as loving a family as yours.

Jody Reale said...

Buck is a very good boy indeed. How lucky for all of you.
In dog love,
Jody
PS I have a Buck story too, although his name's Lou. He's 10 now and sounds like a chainsaw when he sleeps. Go figure.

Amy Hunter said...

He's adorable! Tank looks pleased to have a new companion, too. Congrats on your new furry four-footed. I'm glad you were able to catch him and give him a good home.

Karen Lynch said...

That was such a loving story about Buck and boy is he cute. I HATE PEOPLE WHO HURT ANIMALS. I am so glad you found him and he found you.

Love
Karen

Carolyn Burns Bass said...

Lynn~ There were several people at the bark park who would have given him a good home, but I'm so glad we're the ones.

Jody~ I'm learning that snoring dogs are not that unusual. My husby assures me that I snore louder than Buck.

Amy~ Buck's fur is like velvet. I may write a book about a Velveteen Beaglador.

Karen~ I'm with you. People who hurt animals are no better than people who hurt people.

Devon Ellington said...

You're the best! What a lovely story -- he seems like a true sweetheart, and I'm glad he found you.

B. K. Birch said...

OHHHH! He is adorable! Both of your dogs are beautiful. You're a good person for giving him a home.

I'll never understand how (or why) people abuse animals. It sucks!

Carolyn Burns Bass said...

Devon~ I know you're an animal lover. Thanks for stopping in!

Brenda~ Sadly, the kind of people who beat, kick, starve and dump animals don't see it as abuse.

gerald Brandt said...

People like you make the world a better place to live!

Carolyn Burns Bass said...

Thanks, Gerald!