I love this story: a dog from an unstable background blossoms, when given a chance to contribute to a community or pack. Buford the Labrador, shows us how dogs give fearlessly to us humans if we let them. His positive influence over these seniors is sweet. How can you doubt the human-animal bond?
Jim and Irene Pollard look forward to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day, knowing their visitor will soon come.
Like clockwork, a wet nose pushes their door ajar and lovable Buford, tail wagging, says hello and readily accepts a treat.
“He will sit there and argue with me if I don’t give him one,” Jim Pollard said, chuckling. “This guy and I get along real fine.”
Though he’s not the first dog that Beloit residential nursing facility Pioneer Court has been home to, residents and staff say Buford is in a league all his own.
“He is so lovable and the residents absolutely adore him,” said Diquashia Byrd, a CMAA at the facility.
Exceedingly gentle and accepting of hugs, pats and ‘pawshakes,’ Buford’s demeanor is surprising when considering that his life has not always been so peaceful.
In the past Buford was a homeless dog in Rockford, spending his days wandering around vacant homes with another furry friend.
It wasn’t until a good Samaritan called the Winnebago County Animal Services that his life took a turn for the better.
“After being picked up and taken to the animal shelter he was placed with a foster family through the Labrador Education and Rescue Network (L.E.A.R.N.),” said Tammy Bailey, Director of Administration and Support Services at Pioneer Court.