One of my friends in foster care found this enormous, floppy-eared German shepherd walking across the street in the rain. I immediately grabbed him and took him around the town, but no one knew where he'd come from. After getting him home, bathed, and set up with some chow and a place to rack out, I went back to the town and put up fliers. I was thinking, a dog this awesome must have someone out there who is desperately missing him. But after a month, nobody had claimed him, and my wife and I had become so attached to him (it took about a day) that we kept him. His name is Buddy—that's what I first called him, and that's what he is.
Buddy is about the most laid-back dog you'd ever meet. He even puts up with our Hellion cat, who stays in close proximity to Buddy when he wants to steer clear of the rat terrier. . . If you ever want to see the definition of love, loyalty, and gratitude, it doesn't require words to express. Just watch the way Buddy sticks by me everywhere I go. I don't need a leash to keep him nearby. He just follows me. And he's always excited when I come home. It makes it hard for me to imagine him running away from anybody who was treating him well. Buddy doesn't need much to be happy. Just a place to go into a coma, a daily walk, his chowburgers, and some petting. And to always be in the general area of whatever the action is. Even if he's in a coma when it's going on.
I work with kids—all of them either abused, neglected, abandoned, in foster care, and/or going through adoption. Every kid I work with has heard Buddy's story. And they have all either seen a photo or a drawing of Buddy—or actually met him in person. And they all love him. And when it comes to the question of whether or not Buddy deserved to be abandoned or thrown away; whether or not it was his fault; and does he deserve to be loved—no child I have ever met has ever failed to answer that question correctly. . .