Buddy the golden retreiver is happy to be home

  • After 16 days on the loose, Buddy, a 4-year-old golden retriever, was finally reunited with his owner Christina Dubuque of Francestown after being found under the deck of a nearby property. Courtesy photo—

  • After 16 dogs on the loose, Buddy, a 4-year-old golden retriever, was finally reunited with his owner Christina Dubuque of Francestown after being found under the deck of a nearby property. Courtesy photo—

  • Isabella Dubuque was all smiles after her dog Buddy was found following a 16 day ordeal on the loose around Francestown. Courtesy photo—

  • After 16 days on the loose, Buddy, the 4-year-old golden retriever of Christina Dubuque of Francestown was finally found at a nearby property. Courtesy photo—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 5/23/2019 2:12:56 PM

For 16 days, Christina Dubuque searched.

She looked everywhere with her 11-year-old daughter Isabella for their 4-year-old golden retriever Buddy, but every time there was a sighting, every time she saw him with her own two eyes, Buddy would take off.

“I imagined I’d find him and he’d just get in the car and take him home,” Dubuque said.

But that was far from the case. She set food traps, put up posters and spent day and night driving around Francestown in search of the dog she had since a puppy. Then one evening she was checking a nearby property where he had been seen a couple times and the trap was filled with freshly caught fish. A look around a shed came up empty then her friends daughter saw Buddy, cowering under a deck.

“She was just at the right height and said there he is,” Dubuque said. “He was looking to see where he could go and I said this is my opportunity to corner this dog.”

Dubuque got down on all fours, made sure his escape routes were covered and tossed an endless amount of treats. It was the first time Buddy had growled at her ever, but as soon as he finally recognized her, he was licking her face, ready to go home.

“He’s been to obedience school, but I still don’t let him off the leash,” she said.

When he first escaped, thanks to her husky Bella who ripped a hole in the fence, Dubuque wasn’t worried. Her neighbor saw him running near the wood line, so she hoped in the car and went out to get him.

But when that came up empty, she called every police department in the area. Then at 3 a.m. the first night, April 19, she received a call from a New Boston officer who saw Buddy on his way home from work.

And it continued that way for a while. After posting on every Facebook page she could think of and putting posters all over, thanks to the help of Joyce and David Chiulli of Peterborough, Dubuque got countless calls with sightings. Each time she would drive to the area and look. She saw him a few times but Buddy would take off running.

“I rushed everywhere there was a sighting,” she said.

Joyce Chiulli saw one of Dubuque’s posts on Facebook and felt compelled to help.

She had pitched in last summer for a lost dog on Temple Mountain and wanted to see this ordeal end in the same happy result.

“I just kept telling her don’t give up hope. You can get your dog back,” Chiulli said.

It was David Chiulli who made the posters.

The trap was lent to her by Granite State Dog Recovery, and was moved multiple times in hopes of luring Buddy in with fresh food. Then for a five day period, there were no calls and no sightings. That’s when Dubuque doubted she’d ever find Buddy – at least not alive.

“It was like looking for a diamond in a 300-acre field, but the diamond wouldn’t stay put,” she said.

The people at Granite State Dog Recovery told her that dogs go into a flight or fight mode when they get loose for a period of time.

“The dog doesn’t know where its home is, who their owner is or even their name,” Dubuque said.

But she never gave up hope. Dubuque estimates she used eight tanks of gas over those 16 days, going to sightings, driving around and picking up supplies. She put a dirty laundry trail along her road, barely slept and had to get towed out of a muddy field.

“He was staying within a four- or five-mile radius,” Dubuque said.

He had ticks all over him (estimated in the hundreds), required antibiotics for a month and had porcupine quills in his face and tongue. He was shaved completely just to make sure they got all the ticks.

“It was a very costly experience,” Dubuque said.

But it was all worth it once Buddy was found on May 4.

Dubuque said she’s overwhelmed with the amount of help she received and the attention her situation got from people around town.

Two separate families helped with relocating the trap, others lent her trail cameras and so many people reached out to see how they could help or just offer support.

“A lot of the people who helped me, I didn’t even know them,” Dubuque said. “It’s just so heart warming.”

While the trap didn’t help Dubuque catch Buddy, it brought that extra bit of hope.

She left nothing to chance and replaced her fence and is just happy to have Buddy back.

“It was a terrible ordeal and I was worried we’d never find him,” Dubuque said. “But now it’s like he was never gone.”

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

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