One of the worst parts of pet ownership is the emptiness you feel when you realize your pet isn’t where he is supposed to be. And you can’t find him in any of the places he isn’t supposed to be.
Most people panic. If they can keep their wits about them, posters go up on posts and walls in the neighborhood almost immediately. Calls are quickly made to Animal Control and to local shelters and vets alerting them to your pet’s description in case he or she crosses their path.
Most of the time, when a pet escapes, it can be found nearby, unless a human has helped it make its getaway. Sometimes though, if a dog or cat gets scared or is mindlessly chasing after something, it can get miles away from home before it realizes that it is lost.
When your pet goes missing, it’s easy to instantly assume the worst-case scenario. Since they have no way of asking people for help, there’s really no way of knowing what will happen to them or what kind of trouble they’ll get themselves into.
Sadly, animals don’t know to go to a safe place or person to ask for help in finding their way home.
At least, most of them don’t! However…
…after a shepherd mix named Buddy escaped from his yard in Batvia, New York one day and couldn’t find his way back home, he smartly decided to go to the one place where he knew he’d be safe.
Buddy headed straight for the United Memorial Medical Center.
There was a reason he went there, but it took the humans he encountered a while to figure out what it was. Can you guess?
Buddy walked up to the electronic doors at the hospital and sedately walked inside. He immediately laid down on the floor to do what the sign said. He was in the “Waiting Room” after all.
Hospital staff rushed to take care of Buddy. They brought him a blanket, some water and treats. Once they figured out that Buddy was just very tired and wasn’t there for medical care, they called the police to report that he had shown up.
Meanwhile, Buddy’s owners Cindy Hall and her husband were frantic. They had come home from work to find that Buddy had dug under the fence and escaped. They had searched far and wide to no avail.
Hospital staff worker Katelyn DiSalvo posted a picture of Buddy on Facebook with a caption that read, “This sweet pup walked into UMMC ER just like a patient would. No I.D. tag but did have a license tag! The police came and picked him up and the pup will be brought to the pound until hopefully claimed.”
If Buddy’s owners had checked on Facebook, Buddy would have gotten home a lot sooner.
But, he had to wait until police checked out his tags to find out where he lived. Several hours passed while he waited patiently at the pound.
There was a joyful reunion indeed when the police car rolled up at his house and officers turned Buddy back over to his relieved owners.
This is where Buddy’s story takes a strange twist.
Both of Buddy’s owners worked at the hospital where he showed up when he got lost!
That’s right. Although we will never know exactly why Buddy chose that particular place to choose as his safe place that day, it is suspected that he picked up on his owner’s scent and followed it right through the doors into the safest place he could have possibly picked.
Thankfully, Buddy now has a new collar and tag so he can be easily identified should something similar happen ever again. Cindy joked that he “would have to burrow to China to get under and out again. I think he’s home to stay this time.”
If only all lost dogs would be so smart…and get so lucky…as Buddy did. Welcome home, big guy!