Plans re: Buddy and Scruffy (updated)

Scroll down to the bottom of this entry for an update.

Against my better judgment I’m posting what plans are in the works for Buddy and Scruffy, and also I’ll mention some of the issues surrounding the timing of their rescue. 

Perhaps it will be clearest if I simply state the facts as I know them.

Realize this is a process with many influences, so plans are subject to change.  Here is where things stand right now.

1)  Eldad Hagar of the Hope for Paws organization has offered to drive three hours from L.A. to  Owl Canyon Campground north of Barstow.

2)  Eldad wants to pick up the skittish Scruffy by setting out a humane trap.

3)  He does not want to remove Scruffy until he has a placement for him (rescue org. or private).  Eldad is working on this today.

4)  Eldad does not want to take Buddy without taking Scruffy, too, because Buddy may be Scruffy’s protector in the wild.

5)  Owl Canyon Campground is crowded with campers on weekends.  A humane trap cannot be productive with lots of people around.  This is why Eldad did not drive out to the campground on Saturday to set out the trap.

6)  Eldad is an extremely busy person.  From the short time I’ve spoken with him via phone, I’ve become aware that his days are filled with rescues.  A few days ago he was in the Everglades doing a rescue!  He is in the middle of a couple of rescues as I write this (Sunday midday).  On Tuesday he is flying to New York.  I didn’t ask him why.  Maybe more rescues due to the storm?  I mention this so everyone knows Eldad is a good guy and he accomplishes what he sets out to do.  (And if he doesn’t, he is not to be criticized.)

7) The first plan was for Eldad to come out to Owl Canyon this afternoon (Sunday).  However, other rescues he’s involved with have to be attended to right away, so he’s had to change the timing of Buddy’s rescue and Scruffy’s rescue.

8)  In our last phone conversation a short while ago, Eldad said he would drive out to Owl Canyon Campground around three o’clock in the morning on Monday.  He will set the humane trap for Scruffy.  There are no guarantees.  He may trap a grey fox, who knows.

9)  Eldad plans to take Buddy to an organization in Beverly Hills where a safe future has already been arranged.  I don’t know the details.  I’ll find this out.

10)  In a phone conversation with Eldad on Saturday (when the plan at that time was he would come out today, Sunday afternoon), I told him I would drive up to Owl Canyon to check on Buddy, alert the camp hosts, and inquire whether anyone has seen Scruffy since I saw him a few days ago.  Then I would call him, share the info, and wait for him to drive to the campground.

11)  I am reluctant to go to Owl Canyon Campground without Eldad’s arrival coinciding with my visit there.  Why?  Because Buddy will see me and be overjoyed.  I do not want Buddy chasing the PTV again.  If Buddy sees me again, I want his rescue to be certain and immediate, so that he leaves with someone before I drive out of the campground.

12) Since I’m not driving out today (Sunday) and meeting Eldad at the campground this afternoon, I am going to try to get the camp hosts’ phone numbers from Ranger Jim who lives in the campground I’m staying in now.  He probably won’t be allowed to give me the camp hosts’ private numbers, but maybe I can arrange for them to call me.  That way I can inform the camp hosts what is going on, enlist their continued help, and relay information about the dogs to Eldad until he can get to Owl Canyon Campground from L.A.

I sincerely appreciate the outpouring of concern for Buddy and Scruffy. 

Thank you for the praise you have heaped on me.  However, I only did what’s decent and it certainly didn’t involve any sacrifice on my part.  (Spike says he could use some recognition for sharing his kibble.  Bridget would like to remind everyone that she let Buddy sleep in her bed from the exercise pen.)

If Eldad accomplishes what he intends to do, he and the Hope for Paws organization deserve the praise.  He said at one point, “If I can’t trap Scruffy this time, I’ll come back and try again.”



I talk with Ranger Jim Sunday evening.  He doesn’t have phone numbers for the camp hosts so I can’t call them.

Eldad calls me at 5:30 Monday morning with a text message.

“I can’t find Buddy.”  I immediately call him back and tell him “I’m on my way.”  When I arrive at Owl Canyon Campground about 45 minutes later, Buddy still is nowhere to be found.  Eldad has put out cooked hamburger and other enticing food for Buddy and Scruffy with no results.

The volunteer camp hosts emerge from their camper.  Eldad introduces himself as a rescuer from Los Angeles.  Have they seen Buddy or Scruffy?

It seems like I’m the only person who has seen Scruffy at the campground.

As for Buddy, he was the darling of the campers this past weekend, and there were a lot of campers!  The camp hosts estimate 100-150 people at the campground throughout the weekend.  Buddy worked the crowd.  One of the camp hosts overheard someone say that they wanted to keep Buddy, but he didn’t get any details or follow up on that.

I apologize to Eldad for his unproductive trip. 

When we spoke Sunday night, I warned him that Buddy has a habit of disappearing for a day, but Eldad came anyway.

The camp hosts are going to let Eldad and me know if Buddy reappears.  Eldad said he would come back for Buddy.  If Buddy doesn’t reappear, I am absolutely certain that he was taken home by a camper. 

It’s not the storybook ending many of us hoped for, but it’s not bad. 

Please do understand that Buddy is NOT wandering around the desert looking for water and starving.  It is his habit to hide out for a day and then return.

If Buddy should return, Eldad will come back for him, and that’s good.  If Buddy doesn’t return, he’s already in a home with someone who wants him, and that’s good.  Either way, Buddy’s a lot better off than he was this time last week.

If I don’t hear from the camp hosts within a few days, I’ll call them.



About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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70 Responses to Plans re: Buddy and Scruffy (updated)

  1. Cari says:

    Thank you, Sue, for posting this update, even though I can tell you didn’t really want to. I can understand, empathize, and sympathize with your decisions, as I said in other comments, and I think it’s admirable that you have gone above and beyond the call of duty in your attempts to help Buddy and Scruffy. Yes, you only did what was decent, but many people would not have done anything. And to the crew: Thank you so much for sharing your kibble, bed, and Sue with Buddy. I know he appreciated it!

  2. WJ says:

    You three are angels!! THANKS Sue, Spike, and Bridget!! Praying for a perfect ending for all involved!

  3. Pat says:

    Did you expect, Sue, to have a second career later in life? Your blog attracts amazing readers and you have made wonderful connections with interesting and exciting people. Just doing the right thing is a challenge. I know that things could always fail to happen, but I am awed by your willingness to try. Buddy and Scruffy will never know how lucky they are. I’ll be praying for the success of your endeavor.

  4. Tina says:

    Thanks for the update Rv Sue and Crew! Here is the correct link
    I will be giving them a donation. I agree with Cari, you took action. Who knows how long Buddy and Scruffy have been out there. Hopefully soon they will be in a loving home.


  5. Ron says:

    Thank you Sue for doing what you know is right in getting involved with Buddy and Scruffy. Hope all goes well. Bless you, all those involved, and Buddy and Scruffy.

  6. Donna K says:

    Thank you, Sue. Your efforts on behalf of Buddy and Scruffy are much appreciated.

  7. Donna K says:

    P.S. The link for Hope for Paws disn’t work. Here is the correct link.

  8. cinandjules says:

    Thanks for the update. Fingers are crossed. I understand you not wanting Buddy to chase the PTV again…or driving away seeing him in your rearview. With the intermittant signals combined with the progress you have made you have certainly worked hard…….Now take some time out for yourself and the crew.

    Spikey and Bridget………… are the best. Thanks for sharing your mom, kibble and your bed with Mr Buddy. Mom was just dogsitting him…….he will in due time have another home.

    Thanks ahead of time for Mr Eldad for taking the time to care and help with the situation. I truly hope it works out. For someone to travel that far just to make an attempt is heartwarming…and to say he’ll try again for Scruffy if the first attempt is unsuccessful…means Mr Eldad is one of those individuals who care about animals to the umpteenth degree.

    Drive safe and happy trappings to you Mr Eldad.

    • cinandjules says:

      Kudos also to Michelle Sathe for locating/contacting Mr Eldad Hagar and directing him to Sue. Good job!

  9. Kathryn says:

    Hi Susan, This sounds like a good plan. A humane trap is a very good way to get the little guy. There might be a few misses in the process but if he can keep it up and give it some time he will get him that way. I have caught other cats, huge opposums and raccoons in my traps. I have to let them out and start over. The rescue man may want to feed Buddy first or he may sabatage the trap by trying to get at the food and the trap would then close so that the little one couldn’t be saved. I have had that happen where another animal managed to scoot the bait to the front of the trap and eat it or set off the trap so it closes leaving it not effective. That would be my only concern about leaving Buddy in the area when the trap is set. Is there anything I can do from here to help this man or the dogs? Does he take donations? If he is driving 3 hours he may need gas money. Is he able to stay overnight for a day or two locally? I know my rescues have cost so much of my own money. I hope he can monitor the trap frequently. Maybe the host will help support his efforts and check on the trap often. I have heard of animals getting so upset in the traps they turn inward and harm themselves. It sounds like he has done this many times before. Would the host be able to put some dry or any food on the ground to keep the dogs in that spot today so they don’t roam about in search of food? Table scraps would keep them close to where you saw them. One thing I have done is feed for a day in one spot so they know where to go for food. They stay right around there so when I set the trap out BINGO/got ya!
    I start to doubt humanity when I hear of stories about people being cruel to pets as well as those who do not support rescue efforts. But then I hear about people such as this rescuer and people such as yourself who has arranged all of this and my faith is restored. Please let the rescue man know that someone in GA is praying for his safety and his efforts. Thanks…Kath

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Kathryn,

      I wish I had all the details to share with you and everyone about how Eldad will go about trapping Scruffy. When I’m on the phone with him I only ask essential questions (where have I heard that phrase before?) because I don’t want to take up his time when he’s got multiple rescues in process. I can say this: The man knows what he’s doing, he’s experienced and kind.

      I’m sure the camp hosts and campers are feeding Buddy. Scruffy is probably eating out of trash bags I saw opened and strewn about in the morning.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I didn’t answer your question about money. The best thing to do is donate to Hope for Paws. If you click the link (I have to turn my computer’s volume on mute because the music gets to me), there’s a place that tells you how to donate. I assume the organization helps Eldad with gas and expenses. Probably, like most people involved in rescue, he pays for a lot out of personal funds which is his donation.

      • cinandjules says:

        You’re not kiddin about the lyrics to the song…oh and silly me went further and watched the video on Fiona………..I can’t hardly see now due to my allergies. Thank god I type without having to look at the keyboard.

        Reminds me of that plea from Sarah McLachlan – Arms Of An Angel about animal abuse. As soon as it comes on…the tv is muted.

        As soon as my allergies clear up….I will return back to the site to donate.

  10. Barb says:

    All I can say is, if there were only more like you and Eldad… Blessings for your Sunday and all days…

  11. Thanks to everyone involved in this rescue attempt. I wish stories like this would make NEWS instead of all the inhumanity that is out there. Thank the Lord for all of those who still believe in common compassion.

  12. That all sounds great Sue. Thanks for the update. I sure hope they can manage to trap Scruffy.

  13. Pat Scrabeck says:

    A horrible situation is hopefully ending up in a good way. Thank you, Sue—you are now one of my personal heros. Much love to you and the crew for your sweet generosity and kindness.

  14. Chuck says:

    Thanks for update and keeping fingers crossed.

    • earthdancerimages says:

      {{{HUGS}}} for everyone! I just know this story will have a happy ending simply because Sue and Crew cared and shared!

  15. Shawna says:

    WONDERFUL!!! I just know this will have a happy ending. Yes, you do deserve some praise (as well as Bridget and Spike, of course) as there are many who would not have bothered. Bless you for doing this!!!!!

  16. Jim says:

    Sue, I am proud to call you a friend. I love ALL animals and only some humans. You are my kind of gal. I can so easily put myself in your situation and my past reflects this. I have destroyed a neighbors concrete steps to rescue a trapped momma cat and kittens who got in but couldn’t get out, I have literally wrestled a emu that escaped his owners pen and ended up three blocks from his (and my) home in Escondido CA a few years ago. Gawd Emu’s are strong, but I got him home. I cut a lock on a cellar to get a cat out that had been missing almost a week when I heard his weak cry while I was out looking for her. The home owner had gone on vacation. On and on so I know how you feel when you find an animal in trouble. God bless you and all the others who help take care of our animal friends. And Sue, as always…..God’s speed in your (or should I say our in view of your many readers, including me, who travel with you) in your continuing journey.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You certainly do care about animals if you wrestle with emus! LOL Some of the things that animals have to suffer at the hands of humans is enough to turn your stomach. A lot of it is so unnecessary. For instance, the campers in the site next to me have two dogs. Instead of restraining them responsibly, they’ve hung a cowbell on both their dogs’ collars. So the poor animals have a cowbell clanging next to their ears whenever they move. It’s all I can do to keep from going over there and cutting the bells off… which I may do in a moment when my self-control weakens. And that’s a very minor example of people’s disregard for their animals . . .

      Thanks for writing, Jim. Keep on being a protector and rescuer of animals in need.

  17. Carla says:

    There’s not much I can add since the previous comments say it all. Thanks to everyone that helps and heaps of blessings and prayers too.

  18. Sounds like it will all come out with a good ending. Thanks to you

  19. Rita says:

    Thank you Michelle, Sue, Eldad, and everyone who helped to contact and hopefully place Buddy & Scuffy in a good home. I’ve contacted Hope For Paws with my donation. I also donate on my income tax form a portion of my refund to donate to Humane Society. People need to be educated to not abandon animals but to turn them in to the HS for adoption. I have two abandon dogs that I’ve adopted. I found an eight week old puppy next to my house….after posting pictures and advertising for it’s owner and no response I adopted Ralphie. Chowder was offered to me because the family was moving to Alaska. My daughter also adopted two abandon dogs. We are one big happy family 🙂

  20. Zophie says:

    I so wish more people were like you and took to their hearts the concern for the little critters. I am so glad you also posted the link to the rescue group and we can show our gratitude and appreciation for what has been and will be done. Thank goodness Buddy and Scruffy will be fine. Thank you Sue!

  21. Travlyn Shoes says:

    To all involved—thank you so very much for all your efforts and for caring so much. We do have to speak and act for those who cannot themselves. Happy endings can come from this although it can take time, as you indicated. I got word this fall that an abandoned, wild house cat, starved, with pneumona that I was able to finally trap, vet, and find a no kill shelter to take her— just got adopted. The whole process took over 2 years, and we won’t talk about money involved. Priceless, as they say. One happy kitter. With Hope for Paws, you, and everybody behind this rescue, Buddy and Scruffy are in excellent hands.

    I’m still trying to read your blog daily, Sue, but not commenting since busy trying to get ready to leave mid November having finally bought my little rig. Talk about a newbie! It’ll only be parttime for now; but during that time, I sure hope I get to meet you. A great big Hug to you and Belly Rubs for Spike and Bridget!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Congratulations on your new rig! I’m not much more than a newbie myself, having begun fulltiming with no camping experience as an adult. I wish you the best. And good for you for saving that cat!

  22. cathieok says:

    Sounds like a plan to me! Thanks for posting it.

  23. Marcia and Bellatheweinerdog says:

    God Bless You, Sue (Spike and Bridget too).

  24. Pat says:

    God Bless you Sue and all the ones trying to help Buddy and Scruffy. It is so easy for humans to just keep going and ignore helpless animals. Keep us updated on how the rescue goes…Love your blog…

  25. Jack says:

    Way to go! I hope there is a happy ending. If its works out Id like to send a few bucks to Paws. Jack

  26. Sherry says:

    Bravo to all involved in this wonderful rescue. I agree with whomever said that this is the sort of thing that should be on the news. Not the ways in which we hurt each other which is about all we see, but the ways in which we reach out and help.

  27. Eldad ..I have nothing but complete admiration for the man. If he is coming for those dogs then they are in very good hands.

  28. CT says:

    Hooray!! It sounds like this could all work out well. I’m praying for the safety of Buddy & Scruffy until they are rescued, and blessings to Sue, Spike, Bridget, Eldad and everyone who contributed to this rescue!

  29. Wayne Scott says:

    Hoping for a good outcome. Buddy seems like he could make a great companion for the rite person…..

  30. Chuck says:

    I won\der how many folks realize that the area that these dogs are roaming are is probablt 100-300 SQUARE MILES! Buddy has an established area at the campgrourd,,,scruuffy , not too sure but it appears Buddy is his protector….I pray for a peaceful adaption for both of them All of our dogs in the last 10-12 years have been RESCUES, THE BEST BREED!!!!!!

  31. Renee (from Datil) says:

    Sue — Again, words escape me. Suffice it to say that the world would be so much better if the people with your/our heart would outnumber those who are uncaring enough to abandon any animals. Having been in the same position (finding abandoned animals), I know how heartbreaking it must have been to drive away from that campground. Even then, you continue to work on rescuing Buddy & Scruffy. Here’s hoping for a quick resolution. Bless you, Sue.

  32. Ron says:

    After this you will need a bottle of wine to settle your nerves . You deserve it
    oh I just noticed you are better than a 1/3 of the way to a million views.

  33. Dominick Bundy says:

    Sue, I can’t imagine the mental anguish you have been going through. I’ve been totally overwhelmed by this whole chain of events.. Bless you,,And you bet, Hope for Paws Organization not only deserves praise. But a good generous donation, that I’ll be more than happy to send a check to, and add to my other 2 animal rescue origination’s I give to.. Thanks for the updates and God Bless you.. Buddy, scruffy, and all the rest who have been abandoned and abused… Dominick back here in very cold Rochester, NY.

  34. carol says:

    sue, just as there is a place in He’ll for those who dump animal,there is also a place in Heaven for people like you and EldadGod bless you Sue, for all you’ve done.

  35. linda Abdo says:

    Sue I hope things turn out for the best. You definately put in more time and effort on helping Buddy and Scruffy than most would. I went to the hope for paws web site and made a donation. I’m posting here in hopes that other will follow if they can. Every little bit helps right! Travel safe…

  36. Lynne says:

    Following Eldad on Facebook….he posted about leaving at 2:30 this morning. Wishing him success! Thank you, Sue, for caring so much!

  37. patricia Leonhardt says:

    Sue, I follow your blog faithfully, I can’t hardly stand it if we go a day or two without news from you! Good luck to Buddy and Scruffy, hope they will find good homes. My niece has a mix breed pit bull with two children. Baby is wonderful with the kids! Good dogs! Just for lightening up the spirits here, PLEASE DO NOT GO TO BRYCE CANYON IN UTAH !!! Some campers there took videos of a “bigfoot” yesterday and with your luck……………

  38. LuAnn says:

    We certainly hope the situation resolves itself so that Buddy and Scruffy find good homes. You are an angel Sue. 🙂

  39. rvsueandcrew says:


  40. BadKat says:

    I love your blog and all you have done…I am going fulltime next year. Love the animals also. Hope I can be as responsible as you. Gosh this sounds like a fulltime job not retirement. OK, I have a rescue dog..maybe that’s a start. Enjoy the sunset this evening. Wish I could pour you a glass of wine with that.

  41. cinandjules says:

    Thanks to Eldad for taking the time to drive all that way. Cooked hamburger and other enticing food??…How clever and what a sweetie! I know he’s flying out tomorrow….drive safe on your way back. Should Buddy reappear….I’m glad that Eldad will return. If he doesn’t show up in a couple of bet is someone else fell in love with him and took him home….which is REALLY great!

    This is just a chapter in the Buddy saga………like you said he’s better off today than he was last week. Scruffy will come around………….in time.

    The storybook ending is lots of people are still looking out for Buddy’s welfare. We’ve come across Eldad’s organization and we all have a place in our hearts for the four legged ones…to the umpteenth degree!

    Good job Sue……:)

  42. libertatemamo says:

    Wow Sue…you sure have gone above and beyond. Highly commend you for EVERYTHING you’ve done for Buddy. It’s most definitely a good ending if he’s found a home.

  43. Cheryl says:

    Sue-I am now following Hope for Paws on Facebook. You have truly made a difference in this dogs life. Hopefully Scruffy will come around and some camper will take him/her home also. I’m thinking this is a happy ending for Buddy. Good Job and thank you for taking the initiative and doing the right thing. We need more people like you.

  44. gingerda says:

    It sounds like Buddy might of found himself a home (I’m hoping anyway). Thanks to Eldad for driving out there to look for him. Going to make a donation to his rescue group. Thanks to you too Sue for all you’ve done to help.

  45. Michelle says:

    Sounds like Buddy might’ve found a home. If so, that’s great. But wasn’t he Scruffy’s protector? Hope Scruffy has as much luck as his pal.

    • Teri says:

      I was thinking the same thing. But who really knows where either one of them is. I just keep hoping that they are both ok. It’s one of those situations where you hope for the best, because I don’t know what else to do. Thankful that so many people (beginning with Sue) cared and tried to help.

    • Ed says:

      There were some people posting comments that said Buddy was Scruffy’s protector and I think Eldad my have had that opinion. However, nothing Buddy actually DID as reported by Sue would lead me to think he was. IF he was a protector for Scruffy I would have expected him to run WITH Scruffy when Scruffy took off for the tall hills. He didn’t do that, he looked after his own self interest.

      • Bill says:

        ED, you are right! Dog’s (esp cats) don’t have that enate bonding like in the movie ‘Homeward Bound’. People attribute these compasions to animals thinking they think like humans. Curious though there are examples of animals bonding! Playing, protecting (in some cases) each other. But animals have insights due to ‘instinct’! It is possible that an association between these two dogs cultivated a protective bond! Just an alternative thought ED. I’m sure Sue will welcome your perspective…she’s that open minded! Bill

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi Ed,

        I agree with you about Scruffy. I think he’s a scavenger who happened to be with Buddy one morning, doing the rounds of garbage cans and seeing what people left out on their picnic tables. I wasn’t optimistic that Eldad would be able to bring Scruffy out of where he hides. In fact, when Scruffy ran, Buddy followed him part of the way and then turned around and came back.

        • Angie2B says:

          I once saw a puppy that had been hit on a city street, another puppy who looked like it was the hit puppy’s brother or sister was tugging at the hit puppy trying to get it out of the road. I’m not sure if I believe that animals don’t enately bond with each other or humans….

        • Cathie Laurent says:

          Maybe Scruffy was a “she”, and Buddy was just being a guy!

  46. Kathryn says:

    Hi Susan, What a story! It has had me on the edge of my seat. This must be so unsettling. Gosh Buddy is beautiful. I love the big brown spot on his face. He looks like Buster Brown. I guess I am sharing my age. I rescued a pit in my neighborhood a few years ago and she was so lovable too. Scruffy is such a little tiny ball of fluff and a cutie. I am sending hope for paws a donation today and still praying that the angel rescuers will be successful. I agree with you on not calling animal control. I guess if there was a pit rescue agency who would foster and immediately go and get him from the shelter it might be okay but I am not sure either. I am sorry you are going through this heartache. I have been there when I couldn’t get a little baby kitten who fell to peril in front of my eyes.
    As another friend of my said, “life is harder for those who care.” Your pics are beautiful. I have never saw anything like what you are sharing even in a book. Kath…

  47. Alison Kilroy says:

    I just got a message from San Bernadino Animal Control. They have been to the campground and did not find either dog, and will not be going back unless someone requests it!

    So we can hope that Buddy (or both dogs) did go home with some campers. (Or else they knew to hide.)

    We can call Animal Control back if we need to. But with Eldred on the case it doesn’t seem like that will be needed. I’m so relieved that one way or another these dogs will not be spending a lonely hungry scary winter in the desert!

    And I guess the good thing that came out of Animal Control being involved, is that it motivated people to find a better solution!

    Best to you, Sue. I would certainly understand if you want to take a little break from all this, you must be exhausted. Take care and have a nice snuggle with your crew!


  48. Candace says:

    Yes, thanks everyone (and ESPECIALLY RV SUE) for keeping us updated on Buddy and SCruffy. If we weren’t in Ohio at the moment, we’d head west to rescue them ourselves. (That’s a good enough excuse to leave your job hanging, right?!)

  49. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    I think Quartzsite will probably be a little warmer than where you are now. But it is going to be cold for the next couple of months anywhere down in the southwest even in the Yuma area. The desert animals are smarter than we in that they live underground when it gets cold. I think the temperature underground stays about the same all year long if you burrow down a bit. Maybe you could find an old deep prospect hole and have fun burrying the BLT and living like a ground hog until February. Just be sure to shore up the tunnel to the door real good and run a couple of vent hoses for air ha. If we don’t hear from you for awhile, we’ll understand.

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