Buddy's great adventure: a wayward border collie returns home

After five months of being on the loose a Border Collie named Buddy is reunited with his rightful owner

Posted: Jul 28, 2020 8:40 AM
Updated: Jul 28, 2020 9:20 AM

CHICO and ORLAND, Calif. – Each weekday Action News Now’s Cort Klopping brings viewers the Walk the Dog segment within daily weather forecasts.

But now, there is a special “Walk the Dog” event involving nothing short of the ‘Adventures of Buddy the Dog.’

Buddy has been a wayward Border Collie, who at just two-and-a-half years old has created a large social media following. Why? Because he has become somewhat of a local celebrity known for escaping and vanishing.

Action News Now Morning Anchor Julia Yarbough met with Buddy’s rightful owner and his foster mother to talk about what has transpired over the past five months.

If Buddy could talk, he no doubt would have a grand story to share about how and why he escaped from his caretakers, where he spent most of his time and how he managed to survive on his own for so long.

But Buddy can’t talk, so his owners can only surmise what happened.

Anja Grueterich served as Buddy’s foster mother for several weeks after his rightful owner, Gail Kinch had to make a tough decision to place Buddy in shelter care.

Kinch, of Orland, has been battling cancer and did not believe she had the strength or resources to care for Buddy. So she turned him over to a shelter for temporary care.

Buddy had other plans.

“Buddy is quite an escape artist and two days later, he decided to go on this big adventure,” says Grueterich. “People ended up calling him HOUDINI, because one day people would see him, turn around and then he was gone!”

“I think he was trying to get back to me, i really think he was looking for a way home,” explains Kinch.

“We believe he traveled the bike paths, he ended by Eaton road, then traveled all the way to the cemetery by the Chico State Farm and that’s all the way on the other side of town,” says Grueterich.

Kinch says she is overwhelmed that Buddy has been found safe. She says the fact he was gone for five months and managed to survive, travel the area and not get hit, is incredible.

Grueterich says it was the efforts from people feeding him and following him and making a map to track his whereabouts which helped Buddy survive.

“Thinking about all the time he wandered around Chico, and wondering what he felt like, what he felt, what he went through, I wish he could talk, I really do,” says Kinch.

Because of the public input; even a Facebook page dedicated to Buddy and his journey, enough people knew to be on the lookout. So when they spotted Buddy, they knew they needed to capture him and return him to his family.

Now, with the return to both Kinch and Grueterich, Buddy has two families to love and care for him.

“What I want for Buddy is to that he’s happy,” says Grueterich.
“I am just so happy to have him back; he’s not leaving again, because he’s going to be right by my side every second,” says Kinch.

Since his capture, Buddy has been ‘fixed’ and had a full medical check-up; all-expenses paid. And that was covered by donations for those in the community who all want the very best for Buddy.

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Although temperatures began to rise today around northern California, our weather was still quite pleasant for early August. Enjoy the below-average highs will we have them, because hotter weather will return soon.
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