Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Buster at the beach

Buster is one of those dogs whose story is so common in rescue work. Buster and his 8 siblings were pulled with their mom almost two years ago in Bakersfield. Bakersfield KCAC is one of the highest kill shelters in the nation.

Buster and his family were found abandoned on S Street, one of the roughest areas in town. They wound up at the county shelter whose intake is 500 animals a week. Their chances were slim to non-existent.

Momma Sadie
Somehow we saw them and worked with HALT Rescue to get them to safety. Shane and family stepped up to foster and took on more than they could possibly have ever imagined. The puppies were only 3 weeks old, but mom, renamed Sadie, was unbelievably trusting for a dog from the mean streets.

They were fostered in the beginning at Shane's place of business where an assembly line was set up to wash the puppies. They smelled so badly, they had to be run through the system twice. Sadie got a spa treatment, a rarity for a dog like Sadie.

Seven of the puppies were placed over the next few months, but Buster and his brother, now Siesel, were overlooked. Buster was nicknamed 'Shy Guy' due to his low key manner.

Amazingly, Sadie was adopted by the foster family and now lives in the lap of luxury. Siesel and Buster took a little bit longer. After boarding Siesel for several months, he was adopted by longtime Reunion Rescue member, Vanessa and her husband Patrick. Siesel is adopted brother to Peugeot, their female pittie.

Buster was boarded for months and months. He was strangely not being noticed, something that continues to happen in rescue. Buster is low key, loves people, loves kids, great with all dogs and gets along with cats! With all those wonderful attributes, he just couldn't find a home.

Benny at the beach
There was a reason. Steaven and Ken adopted Benny from Reunion Rescue in early 2002. Benny's story was another one of those rescue stories. He was on death row at SFACC with his sister at four months. The SFSPCA pulled her and left Benny all alone. A shy dog anyway, Benny regressed, lonely and afraid. He knew he was unwanted and just waiting to die.

At that time, Reunion Rescue placed holds on all available pit mixes at SFACC to keep them from being put to sleep. Benny didn't know that, though. We pulled him at the last minute and he went into foster care. We were at an adoption event when Steaven and Ken first met Benny. It was love at first sight and after entering the Reunion Rescue foster to adopt program, they took Benny home.

Benny was always a shy dog, but Steaven and Ken worked hard to teach Benny not to be afraid to walk down the sidewalk and how to go to the dog park. Benny passed away after a long and much loved life.

Steaven just happened to be looking at the dogs for adoption and saw a posting for four puppies. What do you know? These were four of Sadie's pups, but on an old site. All the pups had been adopted except for Buster and Buster was no longer a puppy. He'll be two soon.

They had been thinking about a puppy, but Buster had been waiting for them. How were we to ever have known this was the plan? Steaven and Ken drove the two hour journey to meet Buster where we had him boarded. It was a match!

Buster has fit right in. He's got the right amount of shyness without being too timid. He has his own personality, but also has a little touch of Benny in him. It was as if Benny was directing this from his special place in heaven. I really believe, and so do Ken and Steaven, that Buster has Benny's seal of approval. That's how it works with dogs, you know.

Steaven and Ken took Buster for a vacation at Stinson Beach, probably the closest place to heaven on earth. He looks so happy playing in the surf and sand.

Dogs help us move through the hard things in life. What's more precious than watching a smiling dog on the beach....

"religion is the smile on a dog...
I'm not aware of too many things 

I know what I know, 
if you know what I mean...."

Buster as a little puppy


  1. Wonderful! Hurray for everyone involved.

  2. What a beautiful story. I love your stories Cindy. :)

  3. Buster was waiting for his perfect family and he guided them to him. We are here to help them. Congrats all around. As for Stinson Beach, it doesn't get much better than there.