The buddy system

A sweet stray dog had a string of rotten luck before he wandered into a hotel parking lot and captured a family’s heart. The father, Chris Mast, and the dog, now called Buddy, stopped for a brief visit at the sanctuary on their way home to Salt Lake City.

Chris and his family had gone on a visit to Lake Powell in nearby Page, Arizona. In the middle of the family fun, they noticed a young, friendly dog wandering around the parking lot of their hotel. Was he dumped? Did he escape a bad situation? Did he just wander away from his people? Chris and his family could only imagine. All they knew for sure was that they wanted this congenial mutt with the matted fur to have a better future.

"We thought if he was still there on our last day, we’d rescue him. But the police came and got him before we could do anything. We had to get going back to Salt Lake City soon, but we couldn’t leave without talking to someone about this dog," Chris said.

The shelter was not open to the public on the weekend, so Chris had to make a series of phone calls before he was able to talk to someone in animal control. He said, "This lady at the shelter recommended that if I was serious about adopting the dog - if no one claimed him - I should board him at a vet clinic. She said the shelter would put the dog down in 72 hours if he wasn’t claimed. On Monday, I called Dr. Jerry Roundtree and made arrangements to have Buddy boarded at his clinic."

Dr. Roundtree’s staff took Buddy to a groomer to get rid of the mats. They also had to treat Buddy’s tail, since a rubber band had been tied around it in a crude attempt to dock it; the damaged end had to be amputated. By the end of the work week, no one had claimed Buddy and Chris received the OK to come get the dog.

During their visit at the sanctuary, Buddy was a "Velcro" dog, sticking by Chris’s side. He didn’t need to worry, however - there was no way Chris would ever leave him. "There was just something about Buddy and I had to save him," Chris said.

By Barbara Williamson

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