By pure chance, Nicola Owst met a Staffordshire bull terrier whom she later named Buddy. She was passing by a wasteland outside London when something alarming caught her attention — there was an abandoned cat carrier by the side of the road, and inside it was an unmoving dog.
Nicola hurriedly pulled over and approached the crate to see if the pooch was still alive. He moved a little when she came near, but he was in unbelievably horrible shape. Buddy’s face was so swollen that his eyes had been reduced to mere slits.
The Staffie’s fur was worn down to the skin in some parts, and one of his eyes was bloody. Buddy must have been there for some time for urine had eaten away at his paw pads.
Nicola wrapped him in a towel and rushed to the nearest veterinary clinic. Even the doctor was astonished at the extent of cruelty Buddy had endured. The Staffie had undoubtedly suffered abuse at the hands of his former owners, who then left him for dead.
Buddy had an advanced case of demodectic mange. Coupled with his compromised immune system, it meant that his chances of survival weren’t clear yet, especially during the next few days.
The vet sent Nicola home with antibiotics and medication for Buddy’s skin. She gently bathed the Staffie, warmed his tummy with some food, and told him that everything was going to be just fine.
Buddy still couldn’t walk the next day because of his injured paws, so his fur mom made him makeshift padded socks to help him move around. Slowly but surely, the Staffie got stronger and healthier with Nicola’s love and care.
As it happens, the fur mom was nursing a heartache at that time, and rejection made her feel discouraged and vulnerable. However, caring for Buddy refocused her attention to something more productive. Before Nicola knew it, she was thriving — just like the Staffie.
A few years later, she got married and wanted to start a family. During the time Nicola and her husband Jon were trying for a baby, though, vets found a cancerous tumor on Buddy’s back leg.
The Staffie was a good sport and underwent surgery and chemotherapy with his tail wagging happily. Soon afterward, Nicola discovered that she was expecting, and Buddy sensed it, too.
Unfortunately, she miscarried twice. Through it all, Buddy was right by her side to comfort her. In 2017, Nicola and Jon finally welcomed their first child, Toby. Moreover, they’re expecting their second baby soon.
Buddy continues to support Nicola in all her endeavors, the latest of which is the launch of a book she wrote about him. The fur mom hopes his story encourages more pet parents to consider adopting a Staffie — or any rescue dog, really. Watch Nicola and Buddy here: