Buddy Boy remembered |
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He was a multimedia star, had a boat named after him, and touched many lives in his all-too-brief time on earth.
Buddy Boy, a one-eyed Golden Retriever with an endearing love for people and insatiable heart for adventure, succumbed to a lingering illness last week at age 8. Riley Burke said, “ I named him Buddy Boy, because he was truly my buddy, and we comforted each other through all of the up and down times”
“It is not going to be the same around here without him,” said Lisa “The Boatanista” Almeida, who became accustomed to Buddy Boy’s joy-filled presence at home and in the office, as well as out on the water. “He was always welcome wherever we went, at schools, hospitals, the chiropractor, nail salon or picking up supplies at West Marine.”
Buddy Boy, a licensed rescue dog, was as well-mannered as he was joyful. He has been featured on local television stations, Ch. 4 and Ch. 12, as well as in various magazines and newspapers. His story became well known.
In 2010, after an unauthorized swim in the Gulf, Buddy Boy nearly lost his life after being exposed to powerful chemicals being used to clean up after the BP oil spill. He required weeks of treatment, lost an eye in the process, and had to learn to walk again. But he never lost his passion for the water.
“He loved being out on a boat and using the knee board, Hydro slide, tubing, and playing in the water,” said Almeida, who owns Freedom Boat Club Jacksonville. “I had always been a cat person, but after getting to know Buddy Boy, I had a new perspective”. Burke added with smile, “He was special. Everyone who met quickly fell in love with him.”
Almeida and members of her Freedom Boat Club staff, hosted an unusual “splashing of the boat,” at the 2016 Jacksonville Boat Show and christened their new 20-foot Hurricane deckboat, Buddy Boy’s Toy.
“If anyone deserves that honor it is Buddy Boy,” said Almeida. “He gave his heart to everyone without any agenda.”