Buddy the Dog became quite the celebrity in the Three Tree Point neighborhood of Burien and on KING 5's "Evening."
He was known for his unusually long swims in Puget Sound with sea lions and seals. They communicated, played and chased each other.
His owner, Dan Lishner, said he could watch Buddy play with the sea creatures for hours. In fact, the 12-year-old dog’s longest swim was more than 4 hours long.
Last month, when Dan Lishner died suddenly, Buddy found himself with nowhere to go. A neighbor immediately took him in and the entire neighborhood rallied to help him find a new home.
The community was more than ready to help -- more than a dozen people reached out offering to take Buddy in.
One of them was Kristine Morgan and Robert Rice.
“I just started crying, couldn't stop crying. I said he's our next dog,” shared Morgan.
But they would have to win over the neighbors. Julie Burr, a longtime resident of Three Tree Point, filtered through all of Buddy’s suitors.
“Our criteria really was that Buddy lived for saltwater, cold saltwater. He can hardly walk but he can swim forever. So we knew we had the right one or at least thought we did when she started her email saying, 'I have been looking for an old wet salty dog,'” explained Burr.
After meeting in person, she and another neighbor were convinced they had found the one.
“They all smiled at each other. Morgan jumped on the floor and started hugging him and Buddy reacted well. He just nuzzled her. She was speaking into his ear. Me and another neighbor had this code word like how will we communicate if we think it's the right one and so our code word was bonanza So all of a sudden I looked at them and said bonanza and they all went bonanza,” said Burr.
Not only does Buddy have a home now, but he has a human who knows what it's like to lose a best friend. Morgan lost her senior dog, Max, 8 years ago
“I started my affection for old dogs after I got out of treatment for alcohol. I needed a rescue and the dog ended up rescuing us. It's the most amazing exchange of love," shared Morgan, "I didn't know if I could ever handle another dog and then I met Buddy and I said, 'Oh my God, there he is. There's my next old dog! Just like that.' He said ‘Here I am, take me, lady!'"
Julie and Morgan believe Dan would be happy knowing that his best friend Buddy is doing okay.
“It was just such a love story. So for him to know that Buddy is placed with someone that has so much love to give would be so happy,” said Burr.
Burr shared that this experience taught her a lot about the options available for senior dogs.
She hopes people will keep in mind the following organizations and consider taking care of a dog in their golden years.
If you're looking into adopting a senior dog, check out the websites below: