Oftentimes, we hear stories of abandoned dogs — skin and bones by the side of the street, their fur full of mange and ticks, and their eyes surely pleading for help. But it is not just the strays who face adversaries. There are also animals who have a home but left on their own, every day choked in their tight leashes hoping for a breathe of fresh air, or a family who will give them the attention and care they need.

Luckily for this dog, a couple found him and gave him the loving home he surely deserved.

Fatrick Tabada and his boyfriend posted “before and after” photos of their adopted dog, Buddy. And Buddy’s improvement in just a year was surely inspiring!

“Davinci and I are in constant search for a third, a worthwhile playmate. And exactly a year today, we got this cute boy,” Tabada wrote in his Facebook post.

In an interview with Animal Scene, Tabada said Buddy used to be a pet of his boyfriend’s relative from Cebu. However, he was not properly taken cared for. He had mange and was underweight, he added.

“Before we knew Buddy, we are actually planning to go to PAWS to adopt a dog. We always wanted one but our former apartment doesn’t allow pets. Noong lumipat na kami sa mas pet-friendly na condo, we knew we have to get one,” he said. “When I saw the pictures, I knew we have to rescue him. This angel needs help.”

Tabada said it took a while before Buddy trusted them and got comfortable in his new home in Manila.

“Parang hindi siya sanay na mahalin, na may taong nag-aalaga sa kanya. He’s very clingy,” he shared.

From not getting the care he needed before, Buddy now sleeps in an airconditioned room, eats twice a day complete with multivitamins, and enjoys his daily walks. “He pays us with kisses and licks. And those are more than enough,” Tabada said.

Buddy is a three/four-year-old mixed Labrador who makes sure his hoomans are loved and cared for as well.

“From the first look, you’ll think we have this dog’s life. But in reality, he actually save ours, particularly mine. I have severe mental breakdowns during the quarantine. Buddy was the perfect therapist,” he added.

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