Caitlin UltimoPet Parenting / Pet Stories

Rescuing Buddy: A Pet Adoption That Was Meant to Be

Buddy the Rescue Dog’s Pet Adoption Story

Some dogs are meant for certain people, and the universe will conspire to make sure you adopt them—no matter how much you resist. Buddy might just be the perfect example of such a pet adoption story.

How It All Started

It was October 2015 when Buddy (then called Skippy) first met Tracey Zeeck and her husband Andy. It all started almost by accident, when Tracey found some kittens living under her office building. ‘We caught all six of them, got them shots, and found them all homes,” says Zeeck. “Then my husband caught the mama cat and took her to the local animal shelter for shots before releasing her back into the neighborhood, a wonderful service our city provides for free.”

While there, her husband accidentally signed on to receive the animal shelter newsletter. When the first issue arrived later that same week, both noticed a cute 2-year-old rescue dog named “Skippy” featured. He was found on the side of the road in Oklahoma City after apparently being hit by a car. “Our city’s animal welfare department was contacted by a passerby and they came to his rescue,” says Zeeck. “Animal Welfare has something called the Angel Fund, and they use it to perform life-saving surgeries on animals in their care—like Bud!” In fact, Buddy would probably not have made it if was not for the surgery to get his leg amputated.

rescue dog Buddy

Real Life Meetings

Just a few hours later, Andy headed to the local park after picking up their son from school—just to see the exact same dog walk by with his foster mom. “He and our son were like ‘Hey! That’s Skippy!’” says Zeeck. “He told me about it that night and we all thought it was a really cool coincidence.” However, the family wasn’t looking to adopt another dog (they already had one, Cowboy), so they laughed about it and let it go.

The following week, Tracey, who works in PR, was at a local TV station with a client when she ran into a funny, cute dog in the green room. “I noticed that he only had three legs and he had the look of the dog my husband told me about—and then I heard a man call out, ‘Come on, Skippy!’” says Zeeck.

It turns out that Skippy was there with the animal shelter rep for an “adoptable dog of the week” segment. “I snapped a pic and sent it to my husband, who was in Arizona at the time,” says Zeeck. “He just wrote back, ‘Why are you with Skippy?’”

Listening to the Universe

At this point, Tracey had decided this dog was meant for them. “It just felt like, how many signs can the universe send that we are supposed to have this dog in our lives?” she says.

So the family made an appointment to officially meet Skippy, and they brought their other dog along. “That was the only contingency—he had to get along with Cowboy,” says Zeeck. “We let them meet, and they loved each other—so we adopted him that afternoon.”

rescue dog

A New Life

To get the pup started in his new life, the family decided Skippy needed a new name, so they tried Ace—but it didn’t stick. “We kept saying ‘Come on Ace! C’mon buddy, good job buddy,’ and our son was like, ‘Why are we pushing Ace so hard when we’re all saying Buddy?’” Zeeck says. So Skippy became Buddy right then and there.

While Buddy has always been a happy boy who loves to play and snuggle, he did have some issues he needed help with, including a serious fear of passing cars. “We had to talk him through it, and he’s getting over it almost completely,” says Zeeck.

Once in a while, he also struggles because of his missing leg. On one occasion, Tracey was driving to Colorado with the dogs to meet her husband and son. After a quick stop at a gas station and a short walk, Cowboy jumped right back in the car, but Buddy had a tougher time. “We had a couple running starts and he finally made it in,” says Zeeck. “I didn’t realize it until he was in, but there were some bikers watching the whole thing and they cheered for him; it was pretty cute.”

Other than that, Buddy is now a rescue dog of leisure. He loves his dog brother and his human brother. “He’s a sweetheart and a goofball, and I think he’s part wild boar, because he roots around all the time like he’s searching for truffles,” says Zeeck. “He’s a good swimmer too, which is surprising—and he likes hiking, but he likes lying in the stream afterward even more.”

This pet adoption shows that some dogs find us, instead of the other way around. Sometimes the universe won’t give up until we give in and follow the signs that lead us to our fate—like a new buddy.



Diana Bocco is a full-time writer and adventurer who has written for National Geographic, DiscoveryChannel.com, Yahoo! and Marie Claire. Diana has lived in five countries and taken her rescued dogs along to each one of them.  

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