“Buddy” the Hero Dog of Knight Island Alaska

22 Jul

Buddy is a touching story with a tragic ending. Bill Hitchcock was the sole caretaker of a remote lodge on Knight Island, Alaska. While out cutting firewood, Hitchcock was struck by a piece of timber and died. For the next two weeks, his faithful four-year-old black lab, Buddy, paced between his owner’s body and the shoreline looking for help. He managed to survive the brutal February temperatures that reached -23°F before leading searchers to his owner.

After people heard of Buddy’s story, over a thousand letters, calls, and emails were sent by people hoping to adopt him. Finally, Bill’s neighbors, Roger and Marilyn Stowell, decided that Jim Brewer, the mayor of the Alaska Peninsula village of Chignik would get him.

Less than a month later, Buddy was dead. Brewer who had initially told reporters that “Buddy will just become part of our family,” had Buddy put to sleep. According to Brewer, Buddy had difficulty transitioning to his new life and, after the dog bit him, he decided to surrender him to Anchorage Animal Control. Buddy was labeled “ineligible for adoption” and euphonized. The Stowell’s, who had told Brewer that he could return Buddy if it did not work out, were heartbroken as were the 999 other people who had expressed an interest in Buddy.- Darcy Logan

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