By Lynda Jensen
DASSEL, MN Last summer, Dean Straub of Alexandria brought his dog, Buddy, to his brother Scott’s house, one mile west of Dassel so that he could go up north for a camping trip. For a photo of Buddy, click here.
That was the last time he saw Buddy, and he has been searching for him ever since even adding a $100 reward recently to sweeten the pot.
Buddy had been to Scott’s before, plenty of times before, Dean said, and helped keep tabs on the farm animals with “Sarge,” Scott’s resident canine.
But that day, June 25, Dean returned to retrieve his dog, and Buddy was nowhere to be found.
He knew something was wrong right away, because Sarge ran up to greet the company, but not Buddy.
Where was Buddy?
This query has sparked a lengthy search, days after the dog was missing, until now.
Since then, Dean and his friend and former neighbor, Karen Severson, who is also from the Alexandria area, have gone to extreme lengths to bring Buddy back home, even after six months of waiting.
Initially, the search was done by canoe and four-wheeler, then by posting fliers and making calls.
To date, searchers have contacted 18 police departments, nine county sheriff’s offices, and 21 humane societies, and posted fliers in 80 gas stations (see inset for more).
Straub works as an inspection foreman for Star Energy Services of Alexandria, which serves a rural area. He frequently travels on four-wheelers, checking miles and miles of telephone pole strings, and would bring Buddy along with him.
“It’s always been me and him,” Dean said of Buddy, whom he would take with him on the road. The dog is about a year-and-a-half old and a golden retriever/lab mix; with a small touch of rottweiler, Dean said.
“It was quite amazing, the bond between Dean and his dog,” Severson said, saying that her original bond with Dean in the first place was through Buddy, since Buddy would frequently visit her home.
“They seemed to have an unspoken language, which they both clearly understood and enjoyed,” she added.
Severson looked forward to Buddy’s morning greeting.
“Every morning, Buddy made his visit,” she noted. “He’d come running at lightning speed, turn on a dime and stop at your feet, wait for a pat on the head, and then vanish as quickly as he appeared.”
Severson can’t forget the dog who made such pleasant visits. “This young male golden retriever-lab was most friendly, ever so curious, and could run like the wind. The white splotch on his chest looked like a squirrel hugging a tree, and he had the tiniest teardrop of white on his forehead,” she commented.
Though they have found that Buddy has a lot of “look-alike” cousins, they have had no luck. They sent full-color flyers to 49 area schools.
“Though Buddy has been missing six full months now, we still hold the faith that he’s just around the corner,” she said.
Buddy is an excellent companion dog, and may have simply adopted someone’s front porch, and someone may not be aware that they are still looking for him.
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“Our sincerest gratitude to all who have taken a second look, asked a friend, called and/or e-mailed both leads and well-wishes. Of course, we would so appreciate hearing from just that right person,” Severson added.