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Happy New Year for dog, owner as pet survives Montana wilds

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It took Dick about 45 minutes to finally coax the dog toward him with treats.

Animal control people found Buddy’s owner through a lost dog ad on Craigslist, which had been posted by Nichols’ daughter in Helena.

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Erin Wall, shelter director, said Buddy was recovering Friday at the Amherst Animal Hospital in Butte and appears to be doing well. She said it is amazing the dog managed to survive so long in his condition.

"They (dogs) have such an instinct to live and a homing drive to get home," Wall said.

She suspects Buddy found food and shelter in barns, because he was covered with hay. X-rays also showed Buddy was shot with a BB gun.

At the shelter, Buddy appeared in good spirits, but exhausted.

"He just sat down, then lay down and let out a big sigh," she said.

Nichols said he plans to reunite with his dog within the next few days — as soon as the vet says it is fine for Buddy to leave.

He wants to call the veterinarian hospital to let Buddy know he’s coming.

"I just want them to put the phone to his ear and let him hear my voice," Nichols said. "I think that would make him feel better."

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Information from: The Montana Standard, http://www.mtstandard.com

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