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When Pete Buchmann and his beloved canine companion were homeless and living in a tent, one animal shelter showed tremendous kindness. Five years later, the 58-year-old continues repaying them—and it has led to a heap of rewards and a new life.
Ever since he graduated high school, Buchmann has worked in construction, but when he lost his job in 2014 he found himself unable to pay rent, and was forced to move into a tent.
Buchmann was happy to camp for a while, but the situation was rough on his 9-year-old dog Buster.
Desperate to ensure the safety of his arthritic pup, Buchmann brought Buster to Faithful Friends Animal Society in Wilmington, North Carolina and found a homeless shelter for himself up the road.
But they were never separated for very long – Buchmann would walk 5 miles every day so he could visit Buster. On top of that, he began volunteering at the shelter for 2 to 3 hours every day walking the other dogs.
After national news outlets caught wind of Buchmann’s story, hundreds of people offered their support. A local man gave him a truck for free; a transitional housing initiative gave him 6 months free rent at a nearby apartment complex; a fire security company offered him a job (which he still keeps to this day); and people from around the world collectively donated over $39,000 to a GoFundMe campaign that was created on his behalf.
But that’s not the end of the story. Pete never stopped volunteering and donating to the animal shelter, even after his beloved Buster died 2 years later.
“Faithful Friends helped me save my faithful friend,” Buchmann told The News Journal. “I’ll be grateful forever.”
Though he was heartbroken, the loneliness would not last for long.
Shelter staffers soon asked Buchmann for a favor: Would he please consider fostering a troubled mutt that had proven to be unadoptable because he barked at everything and hated women? The Answer was YES.
Stuck at Faithful Friends for years because his former owners had not treated him well, Matteo had become very “reactive”. No one wanted him.
Buchmann, on the other hand, had bonded with the dog during his volunteer walks at the shelter and decided to take the pup home for a weekend. It didn’t take long for him to adopt Matteo for good.
Because he was in a loving forever home, Matteo became a changed dog.
He stopped showing an aversion to women—and he only barks a little when Pete turns on the vacuum.
(WATCH the 2014 video) – Photo by Donna Dennis-Vandenheuvel via GoFundMe
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