Mary Borrowman speaks to a television film crew in Telegraph Cove Sunday about the 2009 cougar attack that left her dog

Telegraph Cove dog becomes Pet Hero

Buddy the dog gets his own spot on a TV program two years after a cougar left him without sight

TELEGRAPH COVE — During the seasons he freely roamed this historic seaside resort, Buddy the Shi Tzu developed a fan following among seasonal visitors.

Two years and five surgeries after a cougar attack left him without sight, Buddy is about to be introduced to a whole new fan base.

A television film crew highlighted the postcard backdrop of the century-old tourist destination Sunday when it taped Buddy and new canine partner Joey for the program Pet Heroes, which airs on CMT Network.

The taping included extensive interviews with Buddy’s owner Mary Borrowman, until recently co-owner of Stubb’s Island Whale Watching with husband Jim Borrowman, and Port Hardy veterinarian Dr. Michael Paul, who initially treated Buddy after the Feb., 2009 attack in broad daylight on the Telegraph Cove boardwalk.

The pint-sized Buddy survived the attack by the big cat, but lost both eyes and needed additional surgery to repair a shattered jaw and broken teeth.

By the time he was back home with the Borrowmans and learning how to navigate without sight — with the help of some new commands taught by Mary — it was June and a new season of guests was arriving at “The Cove”.

That helped the people-loving Buddy through that first summer, but by autumn the tourists had departed, and Buddy’s spirits seemed to depart with them, Mary said.

“At the end of summer he went into depression,” she said. “He wouldn’t get up to go for a walk, wouldn’t eat.

“It was worrisome. We tried new toys, treats. Nothing worked.”

Despite initial reluctance, the couple discussed acquiring a second dog, and consulted with Dr. Paul and another veterinarian in Nanaimo. By the end of the year, they had taken possession of Joey, a Shi Tzu-Lhasa Apso crossbreed puppy destined to grow little bigger than Buddy.

Though initially resentful of this newcomer, Buddy eventually developed a friendship with Joey, and the two now share a close relationship.

“Joey has given Buddy his life,” Mary said. “I think he understands Buddy can’t see. Sometimes he’ll take a toy and push it into Buddy’s mouth so he can play with it.”

Pet Heroes, which recently completed its first season on CMT, normally focuses on pets who have performed extraordinary acts to save or aid others. Buddy’s story does not follow the same arc, but the producers believe it will be compelling enough to present to the show’s audience.

“It sort of started as maybe a hero angle in Joey as a guide dog for a blind dog,” said director Blake Horobin, who was joined here by cameraman Mike Sorel, sound man Ron Osiowy and researcher Kristina Obad. “In doing the research, it became apparent Buddy is a hero in an inspirational way.

“We think it’s a heartwarming story that will appeal to anyone that’s ever bonded with an animal.”

 

Buddy’s story is scheduled to air in the second season of Pet Heroes, which may begin in September or may be held until January. Check your local listings to check CMT’s availability.

 

 

Just Posted

New look and feel on the horizon for Gate House Theatre in Port McNeill

“We are hoping between now and then to do another fundraising campaign for acoustics”

North Island Bantam Eagles capture Tier Three banner with win over Powell River Kings

The Eagles next game is Jan. 19 against the Juan De Fuca Grizzlies at 4:00 p.m. in Port McNeill.

Mainroad meets with Regional District of Mount Waddington

“It was really nice to have Mainroad there to give a presentation to the RD”

Port Hardy council agrees to list question and answer period on agenda packages

CAO Allison McCarrick confirmed the question and answer period will be listed on the next agenda.

VIDEO: Car flies across median, flips over edge of B.C. overpass

Dash cam footage shows vehicle speeding across Brunette Avenue overpass in Coquitlam

Second fatal crash occurs in Alberni Valley

Traffic on Highway 4 is being re-routed as investigators are en route

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Canadian stock exchanges to conduct lottery for ‘POT’ ticker amid high demand

The symbol became available after fertilizer Potash Corp. officially merged with Agrium Inc. in early 2018

VIDEO: Mattress fire at Cowichan Hospital under investigation

The Cowichan District Hospital was locked down on Tuesday afternoon due to… Continue reading

Most Read