Buddy, one of more than 200 dogs that lived at the home of a hoarder in California — depicted in the video above — died last week at age 15, but not before getting to spend more than a year in a loving home.
Ida Schillaci Noack took part as a volunteer in a March 2011 rescue effort at the hoarder’s home, in southern California, and ended up, with the homeowner’s permission, bringing Buddy home with her. Three months later the Humane Society of the United States removed most of the other animals from the home. Noack took part in that effort, too.
Buddy spent almost a year and a half with Noack. Last week, the day before she had the old and ailing dog put down, Noack wrote about Buddy on her Facebook page. With her permission, we reprint it here in its entirety:
He is the greatest canine love of my life.
I’ve had other rescues. There was Elvis, followed by Miss Piggy, then Rex (who required special care due to renal disease).
After Rex’s passing, I found Sampson, an affable tank.
In between all of them have been fosters; at one time our house had 5 dogs and 4 cats. All were special.
But there was something about Buddy.
Buddy came from a hoarder’s property. This hoarder, an older woman, lived in a dilapidated house. She appeared to at least have electricity and plumbing. The refrigerator in the kitchen — only the freezer portion was working — contained just a few items: some medication and two pounds of raw hamburger, but no stove to cook it with.
In the middle of the living room there was a another refrigerator — inoperable — along with two crated dogs who had no food or water. The flooring had been destroyed down to the cement, and the walls were coated with a brown scum extending at least two feet up from the floor. At one time the property had over 250 dogs: some kenneled, some crated, many running wild, several pregnant … and most were sick.
It was obvious many of the dogs were from the same litters, spanning generations. They didn’t appear socialized; they might accept food or treats, but then ran and hid. There were dirt dens, and some kennels were only five feet long and two feet wide. The neglect of these animals had apparently been going on for years, but even worse was that the property was located in the desert of California where it was hot enough to melt the glue from our shoes.
The level of noise itself almost required ear plugs. Even in the open outdoors, the smell of feces and urine was overwhelming. In the weeks prior to my arrival several other volunteers had come down with giardia.
In all this chaos, Buddy stood out. He was a shaggy mess in a sea of shepherd and lab mixes. He moved slowly in his kennel. No barking, no jumping, nor did he run and hide. I went in as part of a grassroots rescue, for several weekends we cleaned, fed, watered and did basic medical for the dogs. We were slowly transporting them out as the rescue community could take them in. Those that were extremely sick were taken out right away.
Buddy’s hair was probably 6 inches long – so long I couldn’t see through to his eyes. He kept his head down and once he caught my scent he walked sluggishly over to me.
I squatted down, my body pointing away so that I posed no threat – and I slowly reached out to him. His tail wagged – barely – and he nudged closer. Finally I moved the hair away from his eyes. They were closed. Did he even have eyes? I couldn’t tell. I stayed a few minutes with him, then moved on. There were 200 more dogs that needed food and water.
A few hours later I found my way back to him. He came over to me in the same way and I petted and rubbed him gently.
My friend Kim came over – I told her I wasn’t sure if this old guy even had eyes. She looked at me worried, cocked her head and said, “I’ll give you a thousand dollars to take that dog.”
She repeated herself. Crap. It wasn’t the money, I was already in love with him. There was something about him that made my heart swell, skip a beat, go pitter-patter. Pick one or choose all. I called my husband, another great gift in my life. His response? “Whatever you want, my sweet.” I’m lucky.
So Buddy was loaded in a crate and into my life. The groomers bathed and shaved him. The vet pulled most of this rotted teeth out, and his blood levels were great.
He wasn’t suffering from malnutrition, giardia, mange or any tick-borne illnesses – all of which plagued many of the dogs that had already been pulled. Still, he was mostly blind, partially deaf, very thin, and not even house-broken. But he is perfect in so many other ways.
He has never barked or growled; he will just “purr” when you pet him. He’ll get the zoomies about twice a week till he falls over. He rubs up against me like a cat and then falls into my lap.
I have to carry him in and out of the house and keep him crated at night to avoid late night accidents. He loves his breakfast, dinner, and evening Kong filled with peanut butter.
Buddy is a lot of work, but to me this 15-year-old ragamuffin is worth every bit of extra care, and is worth far more than a thousand dollars. He is priceless and he makes my heart sing. Tomorrow, Buddy will cross the Rainbow Bridge, this has not an easy decision. But we can no longer help him, he will not get better. So tomorrow we will let him go, with dignity, grace and our love.
(Photos: From the Facebook page of Ida Schillaci Noack; top photo by Stella’s Hope)
Editor’s note: Volunteers are the foundation of most animal shelters and rescue organizations. In this feature, we invite shelter and rescue volunteers to share their thoughts. If you’ve had an experience with a particular dog, or a particular program, if you’ve found new inspirations, learned some lessons or just want to write about the day-to-day work you do with animals, send your story along, with photos if you like, including one of yourself, to email@example.com.
All of our “Adventures in Volunteering” posts can be found archived here.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 150 dogs, 200 dogs, adventures in volunteering, animal, animal welfare, best freinds animal sanctuary, buddy, california, dead, dies, dog, dogs, downtown dog rescue, experiences, hoarder, hoarding, hsus, humane society of the united states, Ida Schillaci Noack, los angeles, loss, mojave desert animal rescue, pets, red rover, rescue, rescuer, rescues, shelters, southern, stories, surrendered, tales, volunteer, volunteers
A silky terrier in Manhattan, swept off an 11th floor terrace by high winds, survived a five-story fall with only minor injuries.
Sarann Lindenauer, 67, had opened her terrace door to let in some air, left her apartment for five minutes and came back to find Alfie — a 4-year-old, 10-pound silky terrier — had vanished.
“I ran all over the house calling his name,” she told the New York Post. “I looked down on the plaza and onto the landing of the town houses.”
The dog was swept from the Independence Plaza complex on May 3 during a thunderstorm, landing five stories below, and 30 feet to the east, on a rooftop.
“It was like ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ and he was Toto,” said Jessica Gould, a neighbor who rescued Alfie. Gould, who lives in a different tower of the complex, had been looking out at the storm from her seventh-floor window and spotted Alfie.
Gould retrieved the dog and brought him to the lobby.
“‘This is Alfie. Oh, my, God … He came from the 11th floor,” she recounted the doorman saying. Lindenauer was called and reunited with the dog, who sustained only a few bruises and scratches and a cut lip.
“It had to be a horrible, horrible quick wind because he definitely doesn’t jump,” said Lindenauer, who added that Alfie no longer likes going out on the terrace.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 17th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alfie, animals, dog, fall, five, floors, gusts, independence plaza, jessica gould, manhattan, new york, news, ohmidog!, pets, powerful, roof, sarann lindenauer, silky terrier, stories, survived, survives, terrace, toto, tribeca, wind, wizard of oz
Fabian Henderson, the Brooklyn man who threw a 1-year-old dog off a roof this summer, failed to show up for his sentencing yesterday — thereby voiding the plea agreement that would have spared him from serving jail time.
Henderson, 20, pleaded guilty last month to aggravated animal cruelty, and in exchange got a deal that banned him from owning a dog again but allowed him to remain free. Skipping court, though, means there is now a warrant out for Henderson’s arrest, and he could now face up to four years in jail, the New York Daily News reported.
“What do you expect from somebody who would throw a dog off a roof,” said one of the animal rights activists who attended the sentencing hearing.
In June, Henderson threw his pit bull-terrier mix, Oreo, off the roof of a six-story Red Hook public housing project. The dog survived injuries that included shattered legs, bruised lungs and internal bleeding, but last month ASPCA officials had the dog euthanized because she had become too aggressive.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 2nd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, court, deal, dog, fabian henderson, floors, hearing, jail, oreo, plea agreement, prison, roof, six, stories, threw, thrown
(Because of problems with the links when it was first posted, this entry is being reposted. For other audio features, visit our “Pawedcast” page.)
One talks to dogs (and hears them talk back). One wrangles dolphins. And another was an integral part of bringing the sport of rat fishing to Baltimore.
Just a typical Baltimore evening — though one you might have missed if you weren’t at Centerstage for September’s installment of the Stoop Storytelling series.
The night’s focus was “Animal Tales,” and I was lucky enough to be one of those to spin one, “Ten Things My Dog Taught Me About Humans.”
Now the whole evening — seven storytellers, and three more from the audience — can be heard online at the Stoop Storytelling website.
From animal communicator Terri Diener, who once assisted me in delving into my dog’s past (see part six), to Chuck Ochlech (pictured above), tournament organizer for the Baltimore Association of Rat Fishermen (BARF), the evening was full of engaging tales.
You can find the full list of storytellers, and the audio versions of their stories here.
They’ll also have a permanent home here on ohmidog! Just click on “Pawedcast,” our new page that will serve as a home for audio features.
(Photo courtesy of Stoop Storytelling)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 11th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal communicator, animal tales, aquarium, baltimore, baltimore association of rat fishermen, barf, centerstage, chuck ochlech, dogs, dolphin trainer, dolphins, hey mister what kind of dog is that, john woestendiek, news, pawedcasts, rat fishing, rats, stoop storytelling, stories, terri diener, wildlife