The Shelter Dog That Changed Our Lives Forever- Who Rescued Who?

Buddy from RadioFence.com They say things in life come full circle. Everything happens for a reason. You don’t choose your fate, it chooses you. And most importantly, never say “never.”

There are times in our lives when surprises, big or small, come our way unannounced with no warning. We make plans and imagine our future only to find it can all change in an instant, and our lives take a different course that we never saw coming. Things we “never” imagined for ourselves turn out to be the blessings in our lives that we’re most thankful for and never knew we needed. 

The surprising “never” of our family’s fate walked into our lives on four legs, covered in fleas and ticks, malnourished, battered and bruised, with a heart of gold and a tail that has never stopped wagging since the moment we met him. 

Buddy from RadioFence.com Pet ProductsI was driving to a doctors appointment one Wednesday afternoon when a dog that reminded me of Jem walked across the road right in front of my car. I quickly pulled over to check if he had an ID tag for me to call his home. When I jumped out to look for him, I couldn’t find him anywhere! I was so worried that I missed my opportunity to reunite him with his family. After no luck finding him, I got back into my car and shut the door. In my rear-view mirror I saw big brown eyes staring back and me and heard the sound of a tail thumping against the seat. I had left my car door open when I was looking for him, and he jumped in!

Buddy from RadioFence.com Pet ProductsHe chose me. I couldn’t believe how fateful it felt that he walked in front of my car and then made his choice to jump on in to join me on whatever road was ahead of us both.

Buddy from RadioFence.com looking forward to a new futureMy first impression of him was “wag more, bark less.” He was such a sweet, quiet, gentle, obedient, and overly happy boy who never stopped wagging his tail. His unwavering positivity was so inspiring because I would expect a dog in his condition to be as emotionally damaged on the inside as he appeared to be on the outside, but he acted like he was the luckiest and most grateful boy in the world just to be alive and in the care of someone who could potentially give him a future. 

He didn’t have a collar or ID tag, the vet didn’t find a micro chip, and Animal Control and the shelters had no reports of a missing dog that matched his description. He was officially a stray without immediate hope of a family.

Buddy from RadioFence.com on a walkI have seen lots of success stories on Facebook of pets being reunited, so I posted his picture with a description of where I found him and his traits such as gender, size, condition, and the fact that he had not been neutered.

Introducing Buddy To The Pack

I brought him home and hesitantly introduced him to Zoey, Jem, and Laci. They can be cliquey at times and unfriendly to new guests that threaten their pack, but I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw how welcoming they were to him. Laci jumped all over him like they’ve been best friends for years, Zoey wagged her tail as she sniffed him, and Jem only gave a few curious howls. Our dogs welcomed him so easily and accepted him in a way that felt like they knew him all their lives. I had a fateful feeling that was their way of telling us this new dog was always meant to be here with us. 

Buddy Meets The OthersI was also worried how he might react to them since I had no idea what kind of trauma he had been through in the past or if he had dog aggression. I was so impressed with how gentle and kind he was with our little dogs as he towered over them sniffing them curiously and wagging his tail.

Buddy from RadioFence.com sharing dinner with LaciHis tail has never missed a beat since we met him. He could be standing outside all alone and he would be wagging as if to say he was happy and content no matter what he was doing or what the circumstances were.

I was sad for him when I noticed he didn’t seem to know how to interact or play with our dogs or their toys. It was like he had never learned how to be a dog, and maybe he was never given that chance. We would try to play ball, fetch, or tug of war with him and he seemed confused like a new puppy being introduced to a toy for the first time.

Buddy from RadioFence.com didn't know how to play with toysHe was cautious, looked for approval, and aimed to please us. He would look up at us for permission before going inside the house wondering if he was welcome. He was extremely smart and attentive from the start. He even knew the general commands like “sit, stay, come, no, etc.”

Buddy from RadioFence.com Knows "Sit"He loved being in the car more than any other dog I’ve met. We’d take him on as many car rides as we could, and when we got home he didn’t want to get out. He wanted to stay in there for hours by himself just parked in the garage. It was his comfort zone. He could only be coaxed out with a treat, and even then he needed a lot of encouragement before he would give in. We wondered if he felt most comfortable there because he associated it with being rescued. Maybe he figured if he stayed in the car we would have to take him with us if we ever left, and he wouldn’t be abandoned again. 

Buddy from RadioFence.com wouldn't get out of the carHe had such a selfless spirit and gentle soul from the second he walked into our lives. We didn’t know what to call him or if we should name him. Naturally we would say, “come here Bud,” or “hey Buddy, good boy!” His friendly spirit led us to instinctually call him Buddy as a term of endearment, and after a few days the name stuck. 

Buddy’s Past In The Kill Shelter Is Revealed

 The day after finding him, two women came forward on Facebook saying he was their dog and his name was Elvis, but he may not know his name because they had only had him for less than a week. They said he dug out from under their fence while they weren’t home. They had just started a non-profit out of their house with a mission to rescue dogs from kill shelters. They arrived at the kill shelter 30 minutes before the dogs were scheduled to be euthanized and rescued them from that fate.
Buddy's rescue from the kill shelter

Minutes Away From Being Euthanized 

We called the kill shelter that “Elvis” came from, and the woman on the phone couldn’t speak more highly of him. She said he was such an amazing dog that they actually gave him two weeks longer than protocol before they are euthanized hoping that he would be rescued.

Every Creatures Salvation saved him only minutes before he was scheduled to be euthanized. I was speechless and numbed at the thought of how close this remarkable dog was to never walking out of that kill shelter.

Buddy from RadioFence.comBecoming His Foster Family 

The women who rescued him had saved multiple dogs at once and were tight on resources. We asked them if we could foster Buddy at our home. We were attached and didn’t want to see him leave, but mainly we knew it was in his best interest if we funded his journey to adoption. There was a PetSmart adoption event in one week that they originally planned for him to attend, and he needed to be neutered by then to be eligible.

Surprise Of A Lifetime On The Operating Table

 We scheduled Buddy to be neutered with a wonderful veterinarian in town, and we joked that we should get the operation at half price because he only had one testicle. The veterinarian laughed and warned us that it would actually be more expensive because they have to make an incision in his abdomen to go looking for the other testicle that hadn’t dropped.

Buddy from RadioFence.com after surgeryWhen we picked Buddy up, the veterinarian said it was a miracle that he happened to make the incision in the location that he did, because as soon as he opened Buddy up he saw a large bubble on his bladder that was moments away from bursting. The vet said his bladder could have ruptured just from playing or rough housing with him and couldn’t believe it was still in tact. He said an injury like that is only consistent with being kicked in the stomach or hit by a car. Both scenarios were tough to stomach thinking about him in either of those dreadful situations. We began to feel like we should be calling him Lucky rather than Buddy!

Is Buddy A Boy Or A Girl?

The surprises didn’t stop there, when looking for his other testicle, the vet instead found a uterus and an ovary. Buddy was a boy on the outside but a girl on the inside! The poor thing went in for a routine neutering surgery and came out with a bladder repair, full hysterectomy, and neutering. We slept with him on the living room floor throughout the night to care for him after this extensive operation. 

Buddy from RadioFence.com recovering from surgeryAdoption Event Cancelled

Buddy’s recovery time doubled once these surprises showed up in the operating room, and the plan to have him ready for the adoption event that weekend was no longer an option. We were going to be caring for him through his recovery for another week or two.

Buddy from RadioFence.com recovering after surgeryWe had all been getting more attached and emotionally invested in him at this point, and on Valentine’s Day Buddy suffered from a seizure in the front yard which scared us half to death. We rushed him to the vet, and once we got there he acted like nothing had happened. The vet said he could just be epileptic, and this may not be the last time he has one. He took a long nap that day because he was so tired from the seizure.  Buddy from RadioFence.com taking a nap

A Change of Heart – Or Was It?

It’s hard to pin point the exact moment when we realized we could never give Buddy up for adoption to another family, or if we somehow knew it all along. But after everything he went through at the kill shelter, getting rescued moments before being euthanized only to find himself on the streets again within days, his surgery, seizure, and how positive he still remained, my dad was the first person to utter the words that we were all thinking -“maybe we should just keep him.”

He had already been through so much and reshaped our family’s structure to include his resilient spirit. I don’t think we could have felt whole again with his absence, and we couldn’t imagine putting him through another huge life change of being re-homed. He is finally home, he has a forever family, and he isn’t going anywhere unless it’s in the backseat with us. 

Buddy and Laci going for a car rideBuddy’s Transformation 

There was a noticeable change in Buddy once we established that he was a permanent member of our family. When we were fostering him, it felt like he didn’t want to play with the toys and join in with the other dogs because maybe he was worried it was just temporary and didn’t want to get his hopes up or get too used to it. After we adopted him, we could notice him letting his guard down. I will never forget the night he opened himself up and learned to play with Laci and the toys in the living room.

Buddy and Laci PlayingHe and Laci have been inseparable and obsessed with each other ever since.

They sleep together…

Buddy and Laci from RadioFence.com Sleep Together Cuddle…

Buddy and Laci from RadioFence.com CuddleWatch TV…

Buddy and Laci watching TV!Laugh together…

Buddy and Laci from RadioFence.com Swapping JokesNap…

napKeep each other company…

Buddy and Laci from RadioFence.com Hanging OutAnd comfort each other

Buddy and Laci from RadioFence.com Have A Strong BondThey have such a great bond and fun adventures. 

He has finally been given the chance to learn how to be a dog, and he’s probably the purest-hearted one we’ve ever known. He still loves going for car rides, but he trusts that he can go inside with us afterwards until the next ride without worrying he that will get left behind.

Buddy from RadioFence.com Loves The CarWith all of the improvements he has made, our favorite thing about Buddy hasn’t changed since the moment he came into our lives – he still wags his tail constantly without fail. And now he goes to bed every night with a smile on his face.

smileThere are few people or animals in this life that are so wonderful they make you feel indebted to them. It’s like they have done you a favor just by giving you the honor of knowing them. That is how Buddy has made our family feel – blessed, gifted, indebted, uplifted, inspired, thankful. We didn’t choose our fate, he chose us.

Buddy from RadioFence.com's Cheesy Smile

Is Canned or Dry Dog Food Healthier?

Canned or Dry Dog Food? Which One Is Healthier?

We are always researching what the healthiest and best diet options are for our three dogs Zoey, Jem, and Laci. Zoey eats only canned wet food because of her frequent urinary tract infections (the water in the wet food helps prevent her UTI’s). Jem eats dry kibble with a scoop of Zoey’s wet food because she sees Zoey’s food and is envious of the flavor. Laci is just a puppy and indulges in her dry kibble without complaint, but she never misses an opportunity to sprint over to Zoey and Jem’s bowls after they’ve finished to lick them dry! 

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According to an article from DogFoodAdvisor.com, canned food may be a better option for dogs than the dry kibble – and no this article was not written by a dog who wants to convince his human to buy canned food just for the flavor of it! 

Why Can Canned Be Better Than Dry Kibble?

Canned foods typically have more meat protein and fewer carbohydrates than dry kibble. Because of the cans’ air-tight packaging, they usually don’t have synthetic preservatives, flavors, and colors. This means the fats and oils in the food won’t become rancid. 

Why Does My Dog Go Crazy Over Canned Food?

Has your dog ever had a taste of canned food? If she has I bet she went crazy over it! Our girls can’t seem to get enough. The smell lures them in and the taste gets them hooked. Laci fiends for Zoey’s wet food so bad that we have to put Zoey in a separate room to eat. Jem has become so spoiled by the scoop of wet food that we add to her kibble that if we don’t add it she looks up at us like we’re crazy and refuses to eat!

DSC02359One reason dogs go so nuts for canned food is because the meats are closer to their natural state. This makes canned foods tastier and more appetizing than the dry kibble. 

The Moisture Content Helps With Overall Health and Health Issues

PetMd explains that not all dogs drink as much water as they should and wet food can be a great source of hydration. This is one of the main reasons we feed Zoey wet food – she seems to be indifferent to drinking water. Moisture in a pet’s diet becomes increasingly important as the dog ages, whenever the dog is ill, or if the dog lives in a hot climate.

For our Zoey, the canned food is a must. The high moisture content is perfect for preventing her frequent UTI’s. If you have a dog with urinary issues, the water in the canned food helps significantly more than dry kibble. DSC02472Is your dog overweight? It’s much easier for an obese dog to loose weight by eating wet food because it makes him feel fuller quickly. Your dog can eat more canned food than dry food and still loose weight because the moisture in the canned food takes up volume that won’t contribute to weight gain. 

Canned food is great for elderly dogs or dogs with dental issues. Chewing dry kibble can be very painful and difficult for these dogs which may cause them to eat less which will contribute to poor health overall. You may have heard that dry kibble can be good for your dog’s teeth, but many believe that this is an old rumor.  

Advantages and Disadvantages To Both

DogFoodAdvisor.com broke it down nicely for us to compare the advantages and disadvantages to both dry and canned dog foods:

Glancing at this comparison, you can quickly see that dry kibble is more convenient for the humans because of its lower cost, and it does’t take up room in the refrigerator. If canned food is believed to be better for your dog’s overall health, I know the convenience factor becomes an afterthought, because our dogs deserve the best!

Dogs can’t tell us what they want or need, as much as I wish they could, but our dogs make it as obvious as they possibly can that they prefer canned food. It’s impossible for us to ignore their not so subtle hints… so canned food it is! 

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When Is Kibble The Better Choice?

When it comes to convenience and cost, nothing beats kibble. So if you’re on a tight budget (and who isn’t these days?!) then a quality kibble is the way to go, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

You can leave kibble in your dog’s bowl for an extended period of time. If your dog is used to grazing rather than eating full meals in one sitting, then you need to stick with the kibble. Because she’s a puppy, Laci eats multiple times throughout the day, so for these reasons dry kibble is the best option for her at this stage.

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You should never leave canned food in your dog’s bowl for longer than an hour or two at the most. When wet food is exposed to the environment it easily grows bacteria and quickly becomes contaminated. Dogs with a predisposition to dental problems like excessive plaque and bacteria may need more dental attention when eating a wet food than a dry kibble. 

Kibble can be stored for much longer periods of time. Once you open that bag of kibble, you know it will last until your dog eats the last bit. Unlike kibble, canned food has a short shelf life once it is opened. It must be placed in the refrigerator right after it is opened, and should not be stored opened for longer than two to three days before its time to discard it. 

We Love Kibble and Canned Food!

I don’t want you to think we’re pro-canned and anti-kibble, because we are a huge fan of both. We believe in “listening” to our dogs and watching their behavior closely to determine what each individual pup specifically needs because no two dogs are alike. Like I said, we determined canned food was the best option for Zoey, Laci does great on dry puppy kibble, and our indestructible, healthy Jem still has a perfect bill of health eating mainly kibble with a spoonful of canned to satisfy her flavor cravings. 

Whatever type of food you believe is best for your dog’s health and lifestyle is the right choice for your family. If your budget can’t find room for canned dog food and it’s too much hassle for your lifestyle, the “Jem Method” works great – just add a little bit of canned food to the kibble to have the best of both worlds! PetMd explains that either canned or kibble will satisfy your dog’s nutritional needs as long as the food is well-balanced and you make sure it is made with quality ingredients. And always remember what foods are healthy, and what foods are toxic to your dogs!

Laci loves any kind of food!