Buddy, the homeless pit bull, returns with a surprise!

What an exciting morning!

I wake up and see an orange glow on the wall of the BLT, right under the television.  I look out the window and realize the source — an incredibly beautiful sunrise!  I grab my camera and jump out the door.  Once again I’m running around in my nightie snapping photos.  It’s still quite chilly out, but I don’t care!  (I’ll post a sunrise slideshow soon.)

I did not edit this photo in any way. Scout’s honor.

Right now I want to tell you the latest developments with Buddy, the homeless pit bull!

I go back inside to look at the sunrise photos.  Wow!  These are fantastic!  I happily imagine the beautiful slideshow these photos will make, when I glance out the window.  I am stunned by what I see!

Buddy is back and he’s brought a friend!

Again I grab my camera, fumble around putting the memory card back in, and hurry out the door.  Buddy’s pal is a scruffy little blonde terrier.   Both dogs run off.  I try to call them back, but they duck down over the embankment into the deep wash below.   Apparently Scruffy is very afraid of people.

He’s running for all he’s worth.

What I witness next has me exclaiming “Oh My Gosh!” in amazement.

Scruffy moves so fast I can hardly find him through the lens.   He’s far away.   It takes the camera’s  10X zoom to catch this photo.

Take a close look at this photo.  See the steep rock behind the ridge where Scruffy stands?  He scales that rock like a chameleon . . . and fast!

Scruffy looks back for an instant before climbing straight up that rock behind him. The photo is not high quality due to poor lighting, long zoom, and a stunned photographer.

In a second he’s over the top of it and gone!

There he goes, down the other side . . .

Buddy, of course, comes back for breakfast.

Bridget and Spike crawl out from under their comfy covers and realize Buddy’s back.  I shut the screen door on them, go out with a large dish, retrieve the kibble bag from the PTV, and load up the plate.  Buddy dives in.

Yellow eyes, pink nose, gentle heart, and a huge appetite!

While he’s inhaling breakfast, I set up a water dish nearby.

Breakfast is three bowls of kibble and a hot dog, the latter eaten with one bite and a swallow.

I look for Scruffy.  No sign of him.

I imagine a colony of homeless canines living somewhere in the desert nearby.  I wonder how they survive.  Hmm . . . The university students left a large bag of trash on top of the full garbage can before they left last Sunday.  The next morning it was ripped open, trash strewn about.  Is that how these dogs survive?  Waiting for trash and depending upon the kindness of strangers?

As I write this, Buddy sits by our door.

When he jumps up on me, arms around my waist in a hug of gratitude, it’s hard for me to enjoy the moment.  He pulls so hard on my heartstrings, one could make a macrame wall hanging out of them.

As soon as Buddy cleans his plate, he trots over and gives me a big hug.  That blur in the photo is his tail wagging.

A heart-wrenching drama replays across my mind.  The crew and I are pulling out of the campground.  I’m sobbing into the steering wheel having looked into the side mirror.  Behind the BLT in a cloud of dust is Buddy, running his heart out, along with Scruffy and Hobo and Dusty and Bella and Jake and Lil’ Bo and . . .  .  Aarghh!

What am I going to do?

Owl Canyon moon at daybreak

If I contact any government authority, I’m convinced Buddy, being a pit bull, will be dead before the month’s out.  I even hesitate to talk with Ranger Jim about the situation.  He’s got a job to do and Buddy can’t be hanging around the campground.

Searching for a previous owner is not necessarily an avenue to a happy ending either.  Pit bulls are frequently abused.

I can’t put him in the PTV with the crew and transport him anywhere.  And where would I take him?

Every meal I feed Buddy, every time I refill his water bowl, every time I let him hug me, the dilemma deepens.  Over and over, all day long, I ask myself . . . .

What am I going to do?  What the hell am I going to do?



About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
This entry was posted in Simple living and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

131 Responses to Buddy, the homeless pit bull, returns with a surprise!

  1. Zophie says:

    I am glad to see Buddy again, but what a heart breaking situation to having to leave him there. I would be totally torn too. You sure he wouldn’t fir in??? The won’t take much space after all, they will curl up into the corner of your heart. And if you take him with you, then what happens to his friend? Sounds like he wouldn’t have much of a chance getting anything from strangers since he is afraid of them. I would be very torn too.

  2. Sam & Donna says:

    Your dilemma illustrates what a wise man once said, “Never take a puppy for a test ride”. Buddy has already captured your heart, It will surely be tough to leave him but you must also be positive if you rescue him that Spike and Bridgett and him will get along seamlessly. Pits are normally well behaved in most social situations when shown a lot of love, but if either other dog shows any aggressiveness or jealousy it could be a bad thing.. Hard to make a suggestion in a case like this. Sam & Donna..

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re right about aggressiveness. I’m trying to keep Spike from starting a fight. He wouldn’t stand a chance. Trouble is, Buddy wants to be close to me all the time. This is not setting well with Spike. I hope a solution appears soon, as I’m going to have to leave here.

  3. Pat says:

    I love desert sunrises and sunsets!!!!! I hope Buddy finds a person to take him home. He seems like a sweet dog and deserves a good home. Sounds like you are going to have a problem leaving him. Good luck and hope Buddy finds a home.

  4. Pat says:

    The terrible part is that you cannot save all of them, Sue.You can feed some and see that your own pets are neutered and fed. You can donate to a charity to help some, but the problem is too large for one person to fix. Each of us can just do a little.

  5. OMGoodness you brought a tear to my eye. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen that same thing out here in the desert………. too many times. Good luck! there is a shelter in Barstow but I am like you. WOULD that be the best thing for him? I know how isolated it is out there…. I hate that people abandon dogs out there. Yikes!

  6. Lacy says:

    Oh Sue, I feel your pain. Know that you can’t take in every stray you see but you CAN care for them when you’re around them. You have a heart of gold and will surely be rewarded for your kindness to both animals and humans alike. I’ll say a prayer for Buddy and his friends and you and yours. You’re a good woman and Buddy knows it and is grateful for the time and generosity you’ve given him. Rather than leaving with guilt, bask for a moment in pride for giving to those who had none.


  7. Teri says:

    First of all…thank you for caring. You might be surprised at how many don’t. I would hope that you will let the ranger know…only because death from starvation and lack of water would be aboslutely horrible. He is a friendly dog, and I think that people use the term pitbull too loosely. There are many breeds that seem to fall under that category. Like I mentioned, he seems friendly and could possibly get a home. And while the little dog is scared, that can be changed with time. Who knows what they’ve been through. If animal control can be brought into this, they could be caught with humane traps, and at least have a chance at finding a home.

    This is a very tough thing for me to say, and I hope that I can say it without sounding callous, which I certainly am not. But I guess that to me, dying a long miserable death from lack of water and food seems worse than possibly being euthanized in a shelter. If they can be caught, at least they have a chance. I adore animals, and if I could I would come get them myself and figure something out. I just hate to see them left behind and I wonder how they ended up there.

    Sorry for such a long comment, but I love animals and hate the thought of what might happen to them if no one steps in.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I agree with everything you wrote, except for one thing. I don’t believe Buddy would “at least have a chance” if he were picked up by animal control. My years of rescue work tell me that he’d be killed. It’s too hard to place a pit bull (which he is) and animal control can’t be feeding a dog that’s not likely to be adopted.

      No need to apologize for the length of a comment. There’s plenty of room here and I love hearing what readers have to say!

      • Teri says:

        I do see pits in the shelters, so they are not automatically put down. I’ve volunteered with rescues too and they will pull from shelters. My fear was that if left out there I’m not sure how long he or the other dog will stay alive. And since he is friendly that is one thing on his side. If you don’t get any response from your email and you want someone to call let me know. I’m going to see if I can find any other helpful resources.


        • Teri says:

          If I can find a rescue to help out and they need a photo may I use one of him? I don’t steal other’s photos and wanted to check with you first.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            You can copy any photo you wish. You could also give them a link to my blog. Thanks for any efforts you can make toward helping Buddy.

            • Emjay says:

              Here is the phone for Best Friends. (435) 644-2001
              Call and ask for advice. I have been in this dilemma before, taken the wrong road and ended up leaving the dog in a shelter. It nearly broke my heart.
              Best Friends may also have a “friend” nearby who can help with this dog and Scruffy.. I also bet that your readers (and I’m including myself) would be willing to donate to BF in Buddy’s name to help defray expenses of getting him to Utah.


          • Teri, I am with you . Find a rescue if possible. They will not live long out there in the desert. Its a long shot, but do you know about Best Friends in Kanab, Utah? Big rescue org. who if they can not help these dogs, they may be able to direct to someone who can. They also rescue Pitbulls !!!

        • Salli Anderson says:

          Sue, you are in CA? MarleysMutts.com in Tehachapi, CA 661-821-1327 or 661-972-3852 Zach@marleysmutts.com Excellent rescue with a heart for pitties and others that no one wants.

  8. Barb says:

    OMGosh Sue. What a conundrum… (spelling?) I wonder if Buddy is chipped… Sending good thoughts your way…
    Your photos are fabulous. What a TRIP you are having. What a life!!!

  9. libertatemamo says:

    Oh geez….I wish I had some wise words to say. Having worked in dog rescue for many years I know that pit bulls are tough to adopt out. My best recommendation would be to call a local no-kill shelter and see what they say. I searched on the internet and found these guys in Barstow:
    Recycled Treasure Ranch Animal Rescue
    24704 Agate Rd.
    Barstow, CA 92311
    (760) 253-4408
    Maybe they’re a possibility?


    • rvsueandcrew says:


      Thanks for looking up that organization and for posting the link. I can’t do anything. I’m having multiple issues with getting online and staying connected. It took me most of the day to make this blog entry and to respond to comments. Can you call? If you can’t call, let me know so someone else can make the call on Buddy’s behalf.

      One of my AC to DC inverters stopped working so I only have one to keep the air card, laptop, and camera battery charged up. Plus the connection between the PTV batteries and the house battery has deteriorated to the point I don’t think the house battery is being charged well. (It was dragged on the ground.) Plus I have doubts about my house battery holding a charge, since it hasn’t been maintained well (hard to get out). So I’m constantly having to stop and charge up the card or the laptop. I lose things I’ve written. I haven’t charged up my cellphone because I need to charge these other things.

      Please let me know . . . .

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Nina, I managed to send an email to the organization. Thanks again for doing the research I wasn’t able to do. I have to shut down for a while and recharge!

      • libertatemamo says:

        Just tried to call, but aparently the number is not in service anymore? I hope that doesn’t mean the rescue shut down. I will try and search around some more.

        • libertatemamo says:

          OK I have more info. I just called the Barstow Humane Society (760) 252-4800. Looks like they are the only bet currently in town. Owl Canyon is county juristriction, so what that means is you would have to call the county and they come pick up the dog. The county then takes the dog to Barstow Humane Society who will keep them for 5 days quarantine while they evaluate health & adoptability. If everything is OK, they then work to adopt the dog out. The Humane Society there is *not* a no-kill so there are no guarantees, but it seems that is the best option in the area. The number for the county office is 800-472-5609. Let me know if you want me to call them.

          • libertatemamo says:

            By the way if you want me to call (and I don’t mind doing that at all) please send me your campsite number and a way the county officer can get in touch with you (you can e-mail me all the details if you want). If we decide to go this route I would like to call the ranger (can you send me that number too?) *before* I call the county to ask if Buddy is a “regular”. Just in case he’s owned locally and the ranger happens knows about him. Better to do this before we bring in the cavalry to take him away.
            So…if you want to go ahead please send me your info (campsite, contact) plus the rangers info and then I’m happy to make all the calls.
            No easy answers here, but I’m happy to help anyway I can.

            • libertatemamo says:

              So sorry for all the posts, but I had one more thought. You’ll probably also have to “secure” Buddy before the county comes to get him. Likely they won’t go out to the campground unless they know the dog is there. So, might need to coordinate a bit before I make all the calls.I can call the ranger and chat to him beforehand, but the county will probably need to know Buddy is there before they pick him up. Plus, I’ll have to give you warning so you know when they’ll be coming.
              Loooots of details.
              If you manage to get your cellphone working call me at 760-413-0258

              • libertatemamo says:

                Arrgh! One more post. Hopefully this is the last one!! Another possibility (if you’re able to lure Buddy into the PTV) is that you can bring him directly to the Humane Society. This may be the easiest option given you’re having connectivity issues (and it might be hard for us to coordinate via phone), plus it might be less traumatic for the dog. I just called the Humane Society and they confirmed you can do that. We may still want to call the ranger first just to find out if Buddy happens to be a regular local. Here is the Humane Society contact info:
                2480 E. Main St.
                Barstow, CA 92311
                (760) 252-4800
                Map location:

              • libertatemamo says:

                And again, let me know what you want me to do. I am happy to be the “central” coordinator for any and all calls (you can post my info on the blog if you want), but I want to make sure I’m not busting in where I’m not wanted. The ranger may still be the best first bet since he’s local & can help there, but I am happy to do what I can including coordinating with anyone else who is trying to contact rescues outside of Barstow. I am not online all the time, but I will check in again in a few hours.

              • Teri says:

                Nina, I called the Barstow Humane Society and they told me the same thing, that they don’t go out there, it’s County of San Bernardino Animal Controls jurisdiction. BUT the girl told me that someone that called said they are going to catch the dogs and bring them in. Don’t know if that’s true or not. I’m going to call the County just in case on my 3pm break, just to see if they would go out there. Is there any way to get a message to the ranger?

              • libertatemamo says:

                Thanks for getting on the phone. It’s good to hear my info confirmed by someone else!! DO let us know what the County says. I don’t know how to contact the ranger at this point. I’m hoping RV sue will get back on-line so one of us can call him.

              • rvsueandcrew says:

                Hi, Nina and all who have been working on behalf of Buddy,

                The situation has been resolved. Animal Control is coming out for Buddy as per the suggestion of Ranger Jim who called BLM dispatch who called AC. I apologize for not monitoring the blog more closely today. I’ sorry. I was on the road looking for an Animal Rescue that apparently doesn’t exist anymore even though they keep their website up (erghh!)/

                There is a possibility of an adoption by someone who has seen Buddy.

                I had to leave Owl Canyon Campground so Buddy would not bond further with me and also because I was worried that Spike might instigate problems and get hurt. Leaving was heartbreaking and time-consuming. We’re at Sawtooth. Everyone can rest easy. I had a problem with the BLT which added to the day’s adventure. I’m too worn out to post a blog entry tonight. I’ll explain all that transpired when I post tomorrow.

                Thanks again, Nina, Teri, everyone! Sorry for any inconvenience my blog caused you good-hearted people!

  10. cathieok says:

    Poor Buddy. Poor Sue. I am hoping that someone can put you in touch with a pitbull rescue group.

  11. Becky says:

    Wow. Oh my! I so wish I was closer and was able to come get him! You’re right about notifying authorities. He wouldn’t stand a chance. Pit bulls get mistreated and are so misunderstood. He seems like such a loving dog. Maybe you could ‘foster’ him until you find someone who can give him a forever home? With your followers help, I am sure you could find him somewhere to be well taken care of. Look at how well things worked out for Rusty and Timber. Keeping my fingers crossed.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Becky,

      I can’t foster Buddy beyond my stay here. I’m already having to keep him and Spike separated. If Spike gets territorial (which he has done in the past) and starts a fight, he’d most likely perish.

      • Ed says:

        What you say is possible but not necessarily true all the time. Patches, my Staffy, has been snapped at 3-4 times and was attacked, an bitten, by a territorial Cocker. In none of those situations did she retaliate in any way and broke off contact with the other dog upon my command.
        I am not saying that Buddy would act the same way, only that it is possible. I am also not saying that you should not handle the situation as you have, only saying that just because Buddy is a Pit does not mean he is a killer.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Thanks for clearing that up, Ed. I certainly don’t want my blog to add to the misconception that pit bulls are killers. I’m being cautious, only because Buddy is a desperate, hungry-for-a-home dog who, like any intact male dog, might want to compete for food and security.

  12. Jool says:

    Sue, I’ve contacted friends active in rescue work with abandoned desert dogs. We will all work towards finding a way to get him to comfort and safety. Nina gave you some good info regarding the Barstow rescue group. Let us know the status, okay? Remember, you single-handedly made national news through your blog in reuniting Timber with Rusty! Your blog is world famous. Geez! Now you are a dog rescue blog as well! Good for you for taking good care of the animals! Hugs, Jool

    • libertatemamo says:

      Jool, Hope Sue doesn’t mind me adding a comment here. The local rescue appears to have shut down and currently Barstow Humane Society seems to be the only bet in town. It’s *not* a no-kill shelter, so if your friends have any other ideas please let us know. We probably only have a few days to figure this out.

  13. Donna K says:

    Perhaps, like Rusty and Timber, this dog was separated from his owner by accident. He looks to be in good shape and is friendly. That tells me he has not been abused and most likely has not be in his own for too long. Please see if he has a chip and maybe he can be reunited with his owner. I would hate to see Scruffy left to manage alone on his own but perhaps another person at another time will be able to help that dog. I know it’s not an easy decision, but I tend to agree with Teri. Thank you for feeding Buddy.

  14. Jim says:

    Sue, I am so sorry for you. I am a animal lover too and know the spot you’re in. I wish I had an answer for you. Maybe someone reading your blog will have an answer. I hope so. If anyone reading this can help Sue and hundreds of her friends out by finding a way to get Buddy out of this mess and into a loving home I hope you’ll take on the problem immediatly, you know it will be good for your heart. Hang in there Sue…

  15. Pat Scrabeck says:

    My heart just aches for poor Buddy and Scruffy. I’m sure someone just dumped them out to fend for themselves–what cruel monsters. Please God help our Sue find a way to get those two poor souls out of their predicament and into a warm and loving home.

  16. Crystal says:

    Oh, Sue, I’m almost crying as I read this. I feel for the dogs…and you. How very sad. We’re owners of 4 dogs, mainly because we can’t say “no”. I don’t regret that they’re here. I know they’re safe, fed, and loved. I hope someone reading this can help. I wish the people that dumped them could walk in their path for just a day. How very cruel. Dogs are so loving. My nephew has a pit, and he’s a sweatheart. I think of him when I read your posts 😦

  17. cinandjules says:

    Hey Sue and Crew,
    I’ve searched the internet for the past two days………..on Buddy’s behalf. Sadly I’ve found nothing. Without getting Animal Control in on this..there is no way for you to determine if he has a chip or not. Plus you don’t know…how Buddy will react if you go to contain him. Certainly NOT worth the risk to you or your crew. You don’t know if he has his shots etc…

    If it was me….I would let the Ranger know and let him deal with it. Sounds like Scruffy is too scared of humans at this point. At least you’ll know you did something.

    As sad/disgusting as it is………….people abandon animals for lots of reasons thinking oh at least he has a chance out in the wild………not really!

    You did what all of us would have done…………..give Buddy something to eat/drink and attention.

  18. Angie2B says:

    Sue, I feel for you about the dog situation, very hard to know what to do. What I wanted to tell you though is my brother and I watched a deer come down an incline like that to get a drink of water from a river we were fishing at. The deer got a drink, then climbed back up the hill just like the dog in your post. It was a neat experience to see. So I know your amazement, because I was amazed too.

  19. Glenda Cornwill says:

    This so so sad Sue. The tears just started to roll as I read of your dilemma. What to do What to do………Poor Buddy……he already loves you (that does not help does it!??) And poor wee Scruffy, all alone out there so scared. My heart is breaking too. Please someone out there help Sue!!!
    I tend to agree with Teri’s comment………that animal welfare catching Buddy may be better than starving to death in the desert. But like in Australia Pit Bulls have a bad reputation and rehoming him would be difficult. Having said that, from your photos Buddy does not look hugely undernourished, so he must be getting enough to eat and drink from somewhere……kind campers like yourself. Scruffy can’t be in to bad a condition either to be able to scale that rock face. I will wait anxiously for your next posts and pray for a positive outcome for noth you and those poor dogs. Love that you care so much !!

  20. Bee says:

    This is the closest rescue to you that I know (and know of) and will take an immediate surrender. I have no idea what to do about the other dog though. Please get in touch with them and see if you can get them to come out or if you can put Buddy in the van and leave your dogs in the trailer just long enough to transport him. http://www.cohpitbullrescue.com/#!Home|mainPage

    • cinandjules says:

      Surrender is a pet that you OWN…..not a stray. They want you to jump thru hoops regarding a stray. “If you find a stray animal please take the animal in to a veterinarian clinic to have the dog scanned for a microchip this may be able to trace the owner. Many Pit Bulls are stolen and then dumped do not assume that the animal is not loved. Once you have searched for the owner and contacted animal control to file a found dog report in case someone is looking for the dog… COHPBR will post a courtesy listing if you are able to foster the dog until a forever home is found.”

      Transporting Buddy in her van and leaving the crew/BLT behind is absurd.

      Rattlesnake Jim is absolutely correct……many AC are county specific in regards to accepting animals….Barstow is in San Benardino County and the rescue place is in Riverside County.

      I agree with RJim…let the Ranger handle it..it’s his park thus his responsibility.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Bee . . . My laptop is not working well today…. I tried several times to open the link and failed. It takes forever to answer a comment or send an email.

      If someone reading this would take on the task of contacting this organization, please do so and know I am truly appreciative. You can tell them we’re at Owl Canyon Campground, north of Barstow, and send them a link or the name of my blog. Thank you very much!

      It seems like my internet connections and technology always get sick when I need them the most!

      • Alison says:

        Sue, I sent messages to Marleys Mutts, Barstow pit bull rescue meet up, and Inland Empire Dog Whisperer Fans. I mentioned the campground and linked to your blog.

  21. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    Ask Ranger Jim what he is going to do with Buddy. Maybe he has resources you don’t know about. If not then don’t plan on taking him anywhere. You could be held responsible for Dog Napping. This happened to me once. I found a dog abandoned out in the desert and took him into L.A. to give him to Animal Control. They told me to take the dog back to where I found him and turn him loose or I would be cited for Dog Napping. I had to turn around and take him back 75 miles.

  22. rvsueandcrew, I don’t know if it’s possible, but here is some info on a pit bull rescue. Maybe you can call there and they can help or refer some help. They are a no kill shelter.

    I know how hard it is. It is breaking my heart just looking at Buddy’s precious face.

    Good luck and thank you for caring enough.


    Valley Dogs
    Type No-Kill Shelter
    Contact Name Valley Dogs Executive Director
    Address PO Box 364
    Gilbert, AZ 85299
    Contact Email adopt@valleydogs.org
    Website http://www.valleydogs.org
    Phone, Day 480.898.3647
    Phone, Evening 480.898.3647
    Fee Requirement Adoption fee covers our expenses for spay/neuter, micro-chipping, DHPP vaccines and Rabies.
    Adoption Restrictions Out-of-State adoptions are on a case by case basis.
    Available Dogs
    3 (View this Organization’s Dogs)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Right now I’m weary of fighting with this computer. (See my reply to Nina for details.) Thank you for the information. I appreciate your concern, and maybe tomorrow I can accomplish something!

  23. FLKamper says:

    You’d be surprised (or maybe not) at the number of Park Rangers that have a full house of pets that they have brought home from work. My husband and I are both Rangers and I can’t think of a single friend/co-worker that doesn’t have at least one pet at home that originated as a ‘drop-off’ or abandoned animal at their park.
    I think mentioning it to Ranger Jim might open up some doors for Buddy’s future. Most ‘park people’ have the same feelings about animals as you do.

  24. Carol says:

    blessings on you little Sue, one ray of hop, my daughtrer checked at a shelter and the pits were all spoken for, if he gives hug, he should be ok, he’s an attractive dog


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      A lot depends on the area . . . I noticed there’s a black “ghetto” in Barstow. There is a subculture that abuses pit bulls. It may mean there’s a surplus of pit bulls in this area. I hope not, for Buddy’s sake.

  25. Kim says:

    Oh Sue, that’s heartbreaking. I don’t have any idea what the solution is. Unfortunately, I’m sure this is not a new problem so maybe Ranger Jim would have some viable ideas. At least Buddy got to fill his belly; though, of course, what he really needs is a loving home and neutering. Hugging Doris extra tight tonight!

  26. Barb Brown says:

    You can’t leave him in the desert.

  27. Sherry Hall says:

    I sent a message to Angela @ Born Again Pit Bull Rescue …. http://www.bapbr.org/ Maybe she can hook you up with someone in the area …,,There’s also the Pit Bull Rescue Center —
    Maybe someone can help you.

  28. Elizabeth says:

    A couple months ago, my daughter found an abandoned male pit type dog. She took him in (even though she could have gotten thrown out of her little apt) and paid out over $350 taking care of him, getting him neutered etc. She finally got him into a home that fosters dogs until adopted. He was very cute, sweet, never barked and very loving. She took him to several adoption weekend events. No one wants a male. And he did pee on her carpet and furniture so she had to keep him confined in the laundry and kitchen area. It is a huge problem. People are dumping animals very often now, in part due to the economy. No one wants to put an animal down, but that is kinder than leaving them to survive on their own when they have no idea how to survive on their own. I am so sorry you are caught in this situation. It is heart breaking!! I hope a good solution will be found. I would talk to the ranger.

  29. Joy A. says:

    I feel for Buddy but living the way you do even without our 2 dogs it would be tough to adopt Buddy. You’d soon find that you would not be able to camp in quite a few campgrounds. More and more campgrounds simply don’t allow Pit Bulls. It’s a shame because they were always such a nice dog until the wrong element of our society transformed them into such aggressive animals. Now you just don’t have any way to know if that meaness is in the back of the genes or not.

    Buddy is a nice looking dog. 8 miles isn’t that far from town. He may just belong to someone there.

    We had a ranch 13 miles from town and a home in town. Occasionally our dog would go missing and simply show up at the other place. Fortunately he never went by the county road so we never worried about him getting hit by a car. He’d just stop over for breakfast or dinner at different ranches on the way to and fro. Everyone loved him.

  30. Dear RV Sue,

    I’ve been following your blog, which I stumbled upon by chance, since the summer. You have inspired me in ways you don’t even know and many times, brought tears to my eyes when relating animal stories.

    I’ve read all the above comments about your situation with Buddy.
    So far and no one has mentioned “Best Friends Animal Sanctuary”.
    I donate to them and thought about them when I was out exercising my crew of 5 just now, having been worried about your situation since you first posted that you met Buddy and fed him. I just called them and left a message for them to please call me back. I explained your situation and said that maybe a bunch of people could coordinate a transportation train similar to what was happening with Rusty this summer. Their main branch is in Utah, but they also have a branch in Los Angeles. They rescued a number of the horribly abused Michael Vick pit bulls and rehabilitated them. Their phone number is 818-643-3989. Their email address is dogadoption@bestfriends.org or bestfriends@bestfriends.org. I also thought about Cesar Milan, the dog trainer, who has his center in Los Angeles. He loves pit bulls, has lots of money, and maybe, if he heard your story could arrange to transport and keep or foster Buddy. I hope this helps. I’ll be anxiously awaiting news of what you decide to do.

    All the best to you – you are a truly wonderful woman.

    Carol Landesman

    • libertatemamo says:

      Did you hear back from Best Friends? My experience tells me that they will not intervene over a local rescue (usually they coordinate thro’ the local rescues), but let us know what you find out. If they don’t call you back, can you call again and let us know the result?

  31. TXBX says:

    Sue, My vet will ‘scan’ any animal I carry in to him for a microchip. I am (right now) trying to spay or neuter the homeless wild cats in my back yard area, and one of them had a chip, so I turned it loose again in my back yard. My vet is free to do this. Is a local dog shelter or vet anywhere close to where you go ‘into town’? You can tell a local shelter that the dog appeared homeless, and you wanted to know whether to try to return him to a ‘lost’ owner, or perhaps let someone adopt him. My local shelter is very cooperative that way, too.
    Can you possibly crate him in the back of your van, and keep your other dogs ‘as usual’ so they don’t feel jealous?
    Animals seem to FIND me, ……..and I always think “Oh, no! Please not again!” It makes me so sad when they show up, because it always looks like another heartbreak!!
    Hugs & Best Wishes,

  32. Barb Brown says:

    Here are some links to Pit Bull Rescues in AZ
    I hope that someone there can help out. Keep me posted. If necessary, I will drive out and get him. You just can’t abandon him again.

    • Teri says:

      Hey Barb…I don’t know if the AZ rescues would work only because these dogs are in CA. I’m trying to find help for them too, but I think in order to catch the smaller dog someone would need a human trap, and then would have to check it to see if the dog is in it. Are you able to drive out and take the dogs? I don’t know where you are located.

    • libertatemamo says:

      If any of those rescues will take the dog, and you’re able to come and pick it up that would certainly work out. Since Sue doesn’t have good connectivity can you call the rescues and find out what they say? Many rescues will *not* take strays so you’ll need to call and find out first. I’ve called the local rescue in Barstow (Humane Society) and they’re telling me they will accept the dog, but the rescue is *not* a no-kill, so there is no guarantee for Buddy’s future if we go that route. If there is an alternative no-kill shelter that will accept him, it will be a better deal. Can you let us know?

  33. gingerda says:

    What a beautiful picture of the sunrise!! It is a sad situation with the dogs there and my heart goes out to you.

  34. Lisa says:

    Pits do make wonderful pets, but Spikes jealously could/would definately be a problem. Someone dumped a Rottweiler/Lab mix out by my home in El Mirage, AZ, and after a few weeks of feeding him treats/food, he moved into the yard and into the house by the second month. He gets along with my two dogs, but can be dog agressive, which I found out when I took all three to the Balloon Fiesta. You might take Barb Browns advise/offer. Unfortunately, too many people dump their pets in the desert, and it’s a harsh life.

  35. EmilyO says:

    Loooove the sunrise and the moon at daybreak pictures, and your big heart. Hope Buddy doesn’t get in trouble with other campers, when they show up.

  36. Barb says:

    Sue, I am hoping Buddy gets some help-will keep praying that some of the avenues pan out… On another note-with this vast network–there has GOT to be a ‘tinker-guy’ out there who could help you get the PTV and trailer fixed up dandy for you. Anyone out there in Sue’s area who has a few hours to pass on some SKILLS???

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Barb, for the concern. The problem I have getting the power stored in the PTV batteries into the house battery has to do with a damaged connection that I”ve been looking to replace, stopping at NAPA, AutoZone, auto shops, etc. for the past several months and haven’t had any luck. I’ll have one mailed to me once I settle again.

  37. Karen says:

    I know that it is difficult to respond to all comments, and I really don’t need a response. Just need you to know that I admire you so much for having a tender and loving heart. By writing your blog you open other hearts to helping in situations where you simply can’t perform the miracles you would like. I hate the fact that people have used dumping defenseless animals in the desert to fend for themselves as a solution to a problem. Bless you for all you do.
    Beautiful photos, once again.

  38. LuAnn says:

    Great photos Sue but your story is so heart-wrenching. I hope with all your commenter suggestions that something good comes of this for Buddy.

  39. Ms Minimal says:

    I’m so sorry you are in this situation. I understand the struggle and have taken in several stray dogs over the years then had to figure out what the heck to do with them because we were at max capacity with 3 dogs and 2 cats. Fortunately, we have several “no kill” shelters in our area that work with rescues, and I know that all of the dogs that I’ve taken have been re-homed. You can’t save them all but if you can tip off a rescue on Buddy’s behalf, that would be fantastic. Peace be with you and your decision. ***No reply needed… you have tons of comments. Hugs****

  40. Geri says:

    Buddy seems like a wonderful dog, but I understand your reservations about taking him away from the campground. Your crew, Spike and Bridget come first as they should. I agree with the others that you should inform the ranger there about the dogs and let him take over. You could always leave a bowl of water and a pile of kibble behind. It’s sad how cruel people can be to abandon dogs in an area where hope of rescue is slim to none. I believe there is a special place in hell for those cruel people! You are so big hearted, I know leaving Scruffy and Buddy behind will be hard.
    It is my hope with all your responses here from people who have resources to help… that these two or at least Buddy will ba rescued. Do not leave with a heavy heart, you have done all you could possibly do! I respect that about you! Geri

  41. Rita says:

    I tried several phone numbers and web address provided by your blog readers: Barstow animal shelter 760-253-4408 is no longer in service; pit bull rescue 818-643-3989 services only oregon, and parts of california, I tried other e-address in Utah & AZ….I was successful in contacting a shelter from Utah and sent a copy of your blog. Hopefully, they will be able to locate a shelter near the campground….I specifically asked for a ‘no-kill animal rescue.’ If you need me to contact anyone else by email or telephone please don’t hesitate to call. My telephone# is 602-272-7850, leave a msg and I will follow up.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you,Rita. I’m sitting in the PTV out in the desert trying to locate the Barstow animal shelter and apparently they no longer exist if their phone doesn’t work. I appreciate you taking the initiative, time and effort to help.

      Note to all helpful readers: Thank you! All these links don’t help me much because it takes hours for me to do anything with them and I have to get out of this campground. I can’t stay around Buddy. I appreciate everyone’s concern. I can’t reply to comments at this time.

    • libertatemamo says:

      I confirmed it too. The rescue I listed no longer exits. The only bet currently in town is Barstow Humane Society and they will accept the dog if the county (or Sue) brings him in. At least that’s what the girl told me over the phone. If Sue decides to give Buddy to the ranger that’s probably where he’s take him too.

  42. Candace says:

    Oh boy, what a dilema. I swear WHEN we hit the lotto, rescues will be out FIRST donations … Hoping you find a positive solution for all of you, and soon! Will be sending thoughts out that the calls and messages left will result in a rescue for Buddy and peace for you knowing you did the right thing. You DID do the right thing RV Sue! We support you, in spirit and in kind when we can. Keep blogging, you have a HUGE fan base, and it grows daily!

  43. Alison says:

    No reply required, Sue. I understand.
    This is an FYI to your readers that Zach of Marley’s Mutts replied that they are way too far away to be of assistance there. So no need to to contact him about Buddy again.

  44. All of us have been touched by Buddy’s plight. Lots of the readers are offering great suggestions for Sue to do but the problem is Sue CAN’T do all the contacting. She needs people who will take the initiative, like some have, to contact the people who may be able to help Buddy in Sue’s behalf. If enough of us email and/or call these organizations, maybe someone in charge will step in.
    Thanks to all of you who are trying to help. Sue, you have always had such a big heart for animals. I love you

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Pauline! I love you, too . . .

      Well, by the end of the day, we left Buddy in the care of the camp hosts and Ranger Jim has contacted BLM dispatch who in turn contacted Animal Control or Humane Society or whatever… in addition to readers contacting AC. It’s been a busy, emotional, challenging day and I can hardly think what I’m writing!

  45. Teri says:


    Is there any way that someone reading here, that might be familiar with that area, be able to call San Bernardino County Animal Control (Barstow Shelter doesn’t cover this area) and give them directions to this campground??? I just called them on my break and was told they will not go out there unless they have an address OR directions to the campground. 1-800-472-5609 They will only be there until 5pm pst. I can try to google it after work, but they will be closed by then. Can anyone please help with this?? I told them two dogs, but maybe they should be reminded of that. They probably need a humane trap for the smaller dog too. Thank you.

    • Alison says:

      I will call. I found a map on blm site, and although I’m not from the area, it may be enough.

      • Alison says:

        I called, get someone out there!!!
        But not sure how soon, it being Friday afternoon and all.
        And -wow! I see what you mean about them needing an address! They kept saying “what city? (They needed it to determine that its in their jurisdiction.)
        I finally got a supervisor who had enough mental dexterity to find it on a map with my prompting. FYI I used the directions from this BLM page:

        • Alison says:

          Meant to say WILL GET SOMEONE THERE

        • Teri says:

          Alison…thank you from the bottom of my heart. I cannot make calls from work, but can email etc. I tried to send an email to the BLM office that covers this area, but it didn’t go through. (of course – ugh) I’ve posted the photos on Facebook, hoping that someone or one of the rescues I am “friends” with could help. Nothing. I’m still going to call the BLM office tomorrow (if they are open) just to alert them. Must be a dog lover somewhere right? I just don’t want the small dog to be forgotten, I know it’s scared, but they can set a trap.

          Thank you again for calling them. This situation is plain sad.

          • Alison says:

            I did tell them about Scruffy, although of course I couldn’t give much description, just that it is a Terrier type, and is fearful / skittish. Lets hope for the best.
            At least these dogs will be out of the wild where so much can go wrong and end in tragedy. And maybe before they get there a true rescue (a no kill org) will get there.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Teri… First off, thanks so much for the work you have done trying to help Buddy.

            You don’t need to call the BLM office. I spoke with Ranger Jim and he contacted the BLM dispatch office which handles this type of situation. (See my reply to Nina.) I’ll explain more tomorrow.

  46. Sandi says:

    My tears are making it hard to finish this blog.

  47. carol says:

    find an outlet is a blog that is also rescue,aa nd she has Paypal , and asks for donation maybe y0u can post a link and we can contribute in Buddy’s name.She loves on the border to Mexico.

  48. carol says:

    find an outlet, angst and art in AZ.

  49. Kellee says:

    The Helen Woodward Animal Center in San Diego CA has a great network of people. I know your web service is spotty but her is the link: http://www.animalcenter.org/ The phone is (858) 756-4117
    They are a great service and might be able to find people to caravan him to San Diego. If anyone is in CA, they can check into it.

  50. Alison says:

    They will try to get someone out there in the next few days! It’s late Friday afternoon so they may not be able to react too quick.
    The shelter’s number is 800-472-5609.
    The directions I gave them came from here:

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Alison… Thank you so much for contacting Animal Control. Not only did they hear from you, but also Ranger Jim contacted them today. So they certainly are aware of the situation!

      Meanwhile, it’s the weekend and campers are pouring into Owl Canyon Campground.
      Camp Hosts are taking care of Buddy until he is transferred. So everybody can sigh with relief. I’ll explain in a post tomorrow. Thanks again to everyone who has made phone calls, researched, cried, written comments and shared rescue information….

      • Teri says:

        Thank you Sue…I was trying to take some of this load from you…while the rest of us are hurting from afar, you’ve been right in the thick of it. And I know you needed to leave, and taking him with you was not an option. Thank you so much for caring. And I hope that somehow that little dog will be caught at some point too, because now he won’t have his friend and possible protector. Safe travels Sue. 😉

      • michsathe says:

        Dear Sue, Please call Eldad Haggar with Helpful Paws ASAP at 310-880-1416. He is willing to get Buddy and take him to The Bill Foundation, a rescue that has offered to take Buddy in. Eldad needs to know your exact address and work out the details with you. Eldad is well-known for getting strays into rescue and will do right by Buddy.This is a MUCH BETTER option than taking Buddy to a public shelter. Please call him ASAP! Thanks.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          The address is for Owl Canyon Campground. There really isn’t an address because it’s out in the desert. Eldad needs to use the directions from the BLM website. I am not at Owl Canyon any more. There are camp hosts at the entrance who are monitoring Buddy. I’m trying to get my phone to work.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Michsathe…. Thank you for referring me to Eldad Haggar. We’ve been in touch and are trying to work something out! See update in comments below the next blog entry.

  51. Liz says:

    I thought readers might like to read this heartwarming blog post about her pit bull mix and how it altered her life.

  52. Liz says:

    Posted the wrong link above! I thought readers might like to read this heartwarming blog post about her pit bull mix and how it altered her life.
    \Here’s the post I was referring to:

  53. diane grace says:

    I wanted to post a rescue in CA called Lost Dogs of the Desert Rescue, they have a facebook page. Maybe someone near you can contact them to help Buddy. Thank you for all the love and kindness you are showing Buddy.

  54. Julia G says:

    Sue, You did the right thing by choosing whats best for Spike and Brigits safety over your own heart break for a stray. Being a trucker, I have encountered the same dilema for strays. Ive dumped alot of bags of dog food along the way, but my number one priority is ALWAYS my little families safety. You’ll never love a stray more than your own when their life is on the line. I was lucky that my choc lab Whitney was powerful enough(at 120lbs) to take charge and save Piyet for the mistake I made. I just love your heart, your such a great lady! Be safe :0)

  55. Dear Sue, Please call Eldad Haggar with Helpful Paws ASAP at 310-880-1416. He is willing to get Buddy and take him to The Bill Foundation, a rescue that has offered to take Buddy in. Eldad needs to know your exact address and work out the details with you. Eldad is well-known for getting strays into rescue and will do right by Buddy.This is a MUCH BETTER option than taking Buddy to a public shelter. Please call him ASAP! Thanks.

    • Teri says:

      Michelle, there is a link in Alison’s comment (11-2-12 at 7:10pm) that gives directions to the campground. Maybe someone could get there before animal control to rescue these dogs. I hate for them to go to Devore too, but wasn’t able to get contact with any rescues and just didn’t want them left there. Not all people are as kind as Sue, and with many afraid of pitbulls I didn’t want Buddy chased off or hurt. It was a case of not many options.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Did I miss something, Teri? What is Devore? Is that the country animal shelter that was notified? I’m confused.

        • Teri says:

          Devore is one of the shelters in San Bernardino County. I have no idea if that is where they will take him. San Bernardino County Animal Control is who covers the area that Owl Canyon is in, and they are the ones that Alison had to give directions to. They are also the ones that the Ranger contacted.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I don’t know if you’ve received a previous reply to you…. I talked with Eldad and he’s trying to arrange a way to pick up Buddy. Thank you!

  56. anna blankenship says:


  57. Alison says:

    Oh GOD NOOOO….Not Devore! I pray someone rescues him!

  58. Kellee says:

    Sue: I think your blog needs a new name – RV Sue and the Canine Rescue Crew! You are a good person – thank you for caring about lost and hurting animals.

  59. Michelle Sathe says:

    I’ve emailed the directions/info for Owl Canyon to Eldad. Paws crossed he can get there in time to rescue Buddy. Devore is not place for any dog, especially a pit bull. RVSue, if you’re reading this, can you still please contact Eldad? 310-880-1416. Just give him the lowdown on Buddy and his friends, where exactly to find them. Thank you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Michelle, for handling this. I’ll try to call Eldad as soon as my phone works.

      • Dear RV Sue,
        I just spoke to Eldad (it’s12:42 pm here in Oregon). He said he NEEDS to talk to to you ASAP before he is willing to drive four hours from L.A., to know exactly what to expect. He’s unwilling to rescue Buddy and leave Scruffy behind because he says Buddy is likely Scruffy’s protector. He’s leaving for the East Coast Tuesday morning, so this all needs to be coordinated quickly. His organization is hopeforpaws.org. His phone number is 310-880-1416. Please let me know as soon as possible if you’ve contacted him. I told him I would call him back as soon as I heard back from you, in case you’re still unable to call him. I’ve been losing sleep worrying about this whole situation. My email address is c.landesman@frontier.com. My phone number is 503-663-7767. I have to go out out to do some errands now, but will be back in a couple of hours. Eldad is very worried, as are we all about Buddy’s fate if he ends up in one of the large “shelters”. Thanks for all you do.

        Carol Landesman

  60. Sue says:

    Buddy is beautiful but he doesn’t look homeless, he just eats like a homeless dog. He is clean and healthy looking from the pictures.

  61. cinandjules says:

    Sue and Crew…………….

    Good job! Glad to hear everything is going to work out and the camp host is monitoring Buddy until AC gets there. Any place where he gets food/water shelter is better than stuck in the desert. Sheesh…that was a fiasco!

    Safe travels to your next destination.

Comments are closed.