Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, August 27, 2013

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Buddy, a true underdog, gets his shot at fame after a near-death rescue.

Buddy gets second chance at life thanks to Bill Grafton

If the cruel world had had its way, Buddy Grafton would not be a contender in the Humane Society of Pike County’s 2014 Pet Photo Contest.

Buddy might not win the contest but he’s a winner at life and that’s what matters most, said his best friend, Bill Grafton of Brundidge.

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Just where Buddy was and what he was doing before early 2010, Grafton has no idea. But about that time, the pup of mixed breed began hanging around at the car wash on North Main Street in Brundidge and causing trouble anywhere a crumb of food was left behind.

Buddy was turning over garbage cans at Crowe’s Chicken trying to find a chicken bone and rummaging around the Piggly Wiggly in an effort to find a stray morsel of food. He was “most wanted” out of town.

The City tried to give him a free ride out and several citizens tried to run him out but no one could get a hand on him

Grafton owns Grafton’s Furniture in downtown Brundidge and his warehouse is in the vicinity of the car wash. On trips to the warehouse, he would see the lonely, hungry pup and it was more than he could stand.

“I’d buy a bag of dog food at the Piggly Wiggly and feed him every day but he never would let me get close to him,” Grafton said. “He didn’t trust anybody.”

For six months or more, Grafton fed and befriended the lonely pup, but from afar.

“Then, one day he was gone,” Grafton said. “I thought the police must have caught him and removed him.”

Grafton kept a watchful and hopeful eye out for the pup. It was more than a week later before he saw the pup lying by the fence, bloody and battered with one ear almost ripped off.

When the pup saw Grafton, he slowly lifted himself and around the fence.

“He just lay down at my feet,” Grafton said. “He was hurt really bad.”

Grafton put the pup in his truck to take him to Dr. Jack Jones to be put to sleep.

“All the way to Dr. Jones’, when I’d look over at the little fellow, he’d look up at me with those big, brown eyes. Every time I looked at him, he looked right in my eyes.”

After Jones examined the pup, he told Grafton that there was a slight chance the pup could make it.

“Dr. Jones said he would give me some antibiotics if I wanted to try to save him,” Grafton said. “There was no way I could have him put to sleep.”

Each day, the pup got a little better and a little friskier. Grafton had given the pup a name, Buddy — “it should have been Lucky” — so it was officially his dog.

“I didn’t have a place for a dog so I fenced off a small place,” Grafton said. “One day I came home and Buddy had torn up everything he could get his teeth into. Ripped the cushions on my porch to shreds. It was a mess.”

Grafton gave Buddy his walking papers.

“I blew up,” he said. “I ran him off in the woods and told him not to ever come back.”

After Grafton calmed down and cleaned the mess, he was sitting on the porch “thinking” and probably missing his buddy.

“I looked up and saw Buddy slowly coming out of the woods with his head down,” Grafton said, with a smile. “He came back. We made up and he’s been here ever since.”

And from that day forward, Buddy has never torn up a single thing.

Buddy is a lucky dog – lucky to have found such a good best friend.

Buddy will try his luck in the Pike County Humane Society’s 2014 Pet Photo Contest. The deadline for entries is Sept. 2.

To enter a photo in the Pet Photo Contest, drop off an 8×10 photo (color or black and white), a $10 donation and pet and owner information at Guynn’s Tax and Bookkeeping, Troy Antiques and The Little Framery in Troy or Jinright’s Hillside on Highway 231 between Troy and Brundidge.

Entries may also be mailed to Pet Photo Contest, P.O. Box 296, Troy, AL 36081.