The pair discovered the dog, which they said had been making friends with them and other visitors, had an infected abscess.
After arranging for the SPCA to take him to Te Are Manu for treatment, the couple realised they had become too attached to leave him behind forever. They started a Givealittle page to raise the money for Buddy to join their family in Auckland.
Buddy’s wound is healing nicely, his coat is shiny and he may even be a tad overweight, says SPCA country manager Tony Jamieson. However, his personality has not changed and he is still relaxed and “chilled”.
“He’s a good companion for tourists missing their own dogs at home.”
The SPCA has been involved in preparing other Rarotonga dogs to travel to New Zealand and were keen to help Buddy be reunited with his overseas family.
Buddy, who is thought to be one to two years old, will have to undergo tests before he leaves Rarotonga and once he arrives in New Zealand will be checked over again. He will then have to spend at least 10 days in quarantine.
Until that happens, the lucky dog is hanging out at the SPCA house where he socialises with carers and the other dogs there, and still has a little freedom to socialise down on the beach.
When Buddy arrives in New Zealand he will live with another dog lover, Belinda’s godson Harrison Whittle. The family are dog lovers from way back, having owned a Great Dane, and standard and toy poodles.
“We can’t wait to have him here with us. We are going to arrange a meet and greet with Buddy for all his supporters,”
Buddy’s Givealittle fundraiser has reach $6,987.54.