MOORESVILLE – He’s a ham, and everyone says so, Mackenzie Babij said as Bud happily scampered up on his three legs with the type of grin only a dog can give.
Bud, a shortened, classier version of his original name of Budweiser, has been through a lot these past few months. It includes getting hit by a lawnmower, being abandoned and put on the potential euthanasia list to undergoing surgery to amputate his leg, recovering from heartworm treatments and finding his forever home.
The circumstances of who really owned the American bulldog mix – he is thought to have been a community dog – and how he was hit by the lawnmower are unknown. But when Lake Norman Humane Director of Operations Emily Beebe saw he was on a list that meant he had to be rescued or euthanized, she and others took a chance. Bud is one of nearly 10 dogs who have been rescued for medical pulls this year by the Mooresville-based organization.
“It was in his best interest to pull him,” she said of the nonprofit taking Bud on. “He had severe lacerations to the bone on his front left leg, and all of the toes on his paw were gone.”
Considering the injury was two-and-a-half-weeks old by the time Lake Norman Humane staff picked him up at the end of April, that he tested positive for advanced stages of heartworm and that he’s 8 years old, Bud’s ordeal was going to take a lot to overcome – both in number of medical procedures and cost. Because of his injuries, vets made the decision it was best to amputate.
“We started a GoFundMe for him and then applied for emergency grants,” Beebe said of how they were able to cover the nearly $3,600 price tag. “We also had private donations. In emergency situations we just have to hope the money comes through and be in good faith.”
Grants included $1,000 from the Petfinder Foundation and $200 from the Ian Somerhalder Foundation. It was the first time Lake Norman Humane had applied for the PetFinder grant, which is designed to assist Petfinder partners who are caring for a pet in need of lifesaving or emergency veterinary care.
Even with the recovery from the amputation, which included being in a cage and pain control, followed by the heartworm treatments (he was cleared last month), Bud’s personality didn’t diminish.
“He never showed pain,” Beebe said. “He just wanted love and attention.”
Other than learning how to go to the bathroom a different way – Beebe giggles as she remembers him trying to lift his right leg and rolling over initially – Bud quickly adapted to having three legs.
“He likes to run up and down the hallway,” Babij said. “You’d never know he was 8 years old.”
Babij, who works as the canine intake coordinator for the facility, said most people knew her in-laws, Tracy and Keith Potts, would adopt Bud after initially just taking him in for foster care. They were known for being a safe haven for animals who needed rescuing.
“They said they just wanted to see what happens, but they fell in love pretty quickly,” Babij said, especially for Keith. “(Bud’s) a man’s dog. He’s a super animal and good with kids. He jumped on the armchair from Day 1 and put his head on Keith’s lap.”
These days he loves playing with stuffed animals and tearing them up with his four front teeth as well as running around his Troutman home.
“He’s such a goofball in personality,” Babij said. “I’m not Southern, so wallering is a new word for me, but that’s what he does. He will get on the chair and lay on top of him and fall asleep like a baby.”
“He’s such a doll,” she added.