On a Tuesday afternoon, there’s no better spot than the garbage dump. The smell of rotting trash and mud on my boots are quickly overpowered by the yearning to begin a rescue operation. You see, garbage dumps offer a place of survival for dogs and cats who have no home, no food and no safe place to go. No matter where you live in this world, if you pay a visit to the dump, you’re bound to find them there. And if the animals are lucky, really lucky, perhaps you’ll have the heart to do what we do. Please enjoy this account of one little garbage dump dog who repaid his adoptive “mom” in the most extraordinary way.
The Rescue Begins for Buddy The Garbage Dump Dog
“Buddy was found by the wonderful rescuers of All Sato Rescue,” Diane Delaney of Providence, Rhode Island explains. “He was wandering the San Juan [Puerto Rico] dump, looking for food with other strays, and the volunteers used to bring food and try to win them over.”
One of the dump guards named Rene is from the Dominican Republic and he called Buddy “Bolo” which is a term used to refer to a dog with no tail, a common genetic trait for the island dogs. Buddy and the guard spent a lot of time together.
“Rene was ‘Buddy’s person’, even though he never fed the dog, ” All Sato Founder Edilia Vazquez explains. “Our volunteer Aidita was feeding Buddy and dozens of others. In fact, she goes to the dump for them every day. She waited for months to take Buddy because the guard did not want her to take him, and kept on saying that he was going to bring Buddy home with him. But he never did, so finally one day Aidita had enough and she made the decision to scoop him up.”
A Home of His Own
Buddy stayed at Edilia’s house for a while until he was ready to come to the mainland. It turned out that he had a condition known as “cherry eye” and needed surgery to prevent a prolapse. So All Sato Rescue and Cape Ann Animal Aid in Massachusetts provided for the operation and then put him up for adoption.
“He really bonded with me right away,” explains Buddy’s adoptive mom Diane. “I fell asleep the first night with him on my bed, down near my feet, and I woke up with him right next to me up near my face.”
Diane adopted Buddy after the passing of her elderly dog Sheeba left a void in her life. It was the companionship and the early morning walks that she missed the most. And though she was used to having an 85 pound dog, Diane is a single woman who understands that adoption is a long-term commitment and she worried about her ability to lift such a large dog 10 years from now if it needed help going in and out. So Diane fell in love with little Buddy and he soon proved that, despite his petite size, he was every bit the guard dog.
In the Middle of the Night, Buddy Leapt Out of Bed
“It was Super Bowl Sunday, at 1:30 am, and I was dead asleep with Buddy at my side,” Diane recalls. “He suddenly jumped up and started barking like crazy. He jumped off the bed and ran down the hall to the kitchen and was barking madly at the back door. I got up and followed him and was saying, ‘what’s the matter?’ when I heard someone on the back porch.”
It turned out to be a man, intoxicated, who was attempting to work the knob and began yelling for Diane to open the door. Diane quickly called out to the man that he could leave or the police could come and give him a ride home, and she was fortunate enough that he decided to go.
“I stayed up for a while afterward, then went back to bed,” Diane recalls. “I called Buddy but he refused to come and spent the night in the living room where he could see both front and back doors, as if on sentry duty.”
A Mission to Save More Puerto Rico Garbage Dump Dogs
We at the Harmony Fund believe in a better world for animals and make it our aim to zero in on the ones who others deem unreachable. We go after neglected, abused animals in some of the poorest places on Earth, with the aim of bringing them comfort and of building a more humane future for the others. Our work in Puerto Rico with our partners at All Sato Rescue is particularly dear to us, and today we’re proud to show you just how loyal and grateful these rescued animals can be.
The Harmony Fund and All Sato Rescue are teaming up in an effort to make September a very special month with the rescue of 110 dogs: one for every mile across the main island of Puerto Rico from East to West. We’re already in the thick of it, and in fact began mange treatments for two small dogs who arrived today. To some this is not glamorous work… taking dogs off the street, managing their worms, their fleas, their wounded legs and their lonely hearts, but for us this is the most meaningful way to live. If you’d like to help fuel our rescue work, please make a donation today. Or, click here if you’d like to learn more about adopting a Sato.