'Because of Buddy' is dedicated to helping people whose dogs are suffering 
from itchy skin and paws, hot spots, fur loss, yeast issues and allergies.

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About Me

I can't remember a time when I didn't love to be around dogs. After years of having hamsters and guinea pigs, my parents finally let me have a dog, a Cairn Terrier, when I was in elementary school. Muffin died during the holiday break my first year at Temple University and my mom thought it would be a good idea to get me a small pet who would last longer than a hamster. She surprised me with a Chinchilla. Little did we know that Gizmo would live 16 years and see me through college, getting married and having my first child.
Right after getting married in 1990, my husband, John and I went to the local shelter looking for a puppy. We both felt strongly about rescuing a dog from a shelter instead of buying one somewhere. We were surprised that it would take weeks of checking at several shelters before we found Grizzly - a Shepherd/Poodle/Lab mix puppy. Within a year, we were back at the shelters looking for a young playmate for Grizzly. Soon thereafter, Junior, a Lab mix puppy, joined our family. It didn't take long to realize that Junior had some psychological issues. When stressed, he would spin around and latch on to his flank and suck on his skin. This behavior was often triggered by high-pitched noises or heightened activity in the home. Once we had children a few years later, his behaviors escalated and he his fur was falling off and his skin was sore and infected on his one side. After several trips to the vet, we sought the advice of a veterinary behaviorist at Penn, Dr. Karen Overall. Junior was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and we started him on medications and behavior modification. Through lots of trial and error and medication side effects, we found the right treatment for Junior and he lived a very long life. During all of those hard times over the years with Junior, I will never forget a comment that my vet made to me. She said that most owners would have given up by now and put the dog down and she commended me for sticking with him. The thought had never occurred to me to give up on him. I made a commitment when I adopted him and I was not going to throw in the towel because he was an inconvenience. I think my experiences with Junior helped prepare me for high-maintenance Buddy. Junior lived to be 15 and Grizzly made it to 16.
When Grizzly and Junior were seven and eight years old, we decided to add another dog to the family. By then my first son was turning three years old and in a few months, I would be pregnant with my second son. It was early 1999 and the internet and web sites were a new experience.  After conducting a search, I found Brookline Labrador Retriever Rescue, then based in the State College, Pa. area, on a dog rescue page. I emailed Brookline and after a home visit and reference checks, soon had a Lab mix puppy in the house coincidentally named Buddy (who died in 2008).  My love affair with Labs was solidified. A few years later (2005), I became a volunteer for Brookline (now based In Warrington, Pa.)  and was trained to help families get matched to the perfect Lab, evaluate Labs to help their owners find them a new home and I foster Labs from time to time. I find my work with the rescue to be very rewarding and strongly encourage people to adopt a dog rather than purchase one. I currently own three Labs and all were foster dogs I fell in love with and adopted. Buddy is one of those Labs and it's because of Buddy, that I started this web site to help other dogs. 
I've been through so much with Buddy and I am still learning from him because there is no permanent cure for all of his allergies and sensitivities. I do know that he is getting better and stronger as he gets through each allergy season and I credit the supplements he is taking that are building his immune system. Avoiding offending dog food ingredients is critical too. There's no question that damage was done to his body from years and years of steroids and antibiotics given to him by well-meaning docs. All I can do is be diligent with his supplements now and watch him closely. He is such a wonderful dog and so loving despite all he has been through and though we joke that he is our 'high maintenance' dog, he is well worth all the work!  I'm not a medical professional (in fact, my career background is in health care public relations) but I hope that by sharing my personal experiences as 'Buddy's mom,'  I may be able to help your dog too.  -Joyce Hamill

To contact me, email me at:  BecauseOfBuddy@aol.com 

Heartbreaking Update: On February 16, 2013, Buddy died suddenly from internal bleeding due to a large cancerous tumor on his spleen or liver (hemangiosarcoma). Words cannot express the depth of my shock and sadness and feelings of tremendous loss. He was truly my best friend. There were no obvious symptoms and x-rays showed that he hung on for as long as he could. It seems so unfair for cancer to take him just as he was finally beating his allergies. To honor his memory, I will keep this website up and running so that he can continue to help other dogs suffering from allergy symptoms.
Me and my Labbies. Buddy (left), Sydney (center) and Lexi
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Welcome and thank you for visiting Because of Buddy.com. This is an information-only site strictly for educational purposes. It is dedicated to helping people whose dogs are suffering from itchy skin and paws, hot spots, fur loss, yeast issues and food/environmental allergies. The information contained on this web site is not meant to replace the professional advice and treatment of a veterinarian. If professional veterinary assistance and advice is required, please seek the services of a competent professional veterinarian for prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your veterinarian before giving your pet any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by this web site. While I have endeavored, as much as possible, to provide accurate and up-to-date information, there is no guarantee that the information is one hundred percent error-free. Therefore, the information provided should only be used as a general guide. Also, this site has some affiliate programs in place. By clicking those affiliate links and making a purchase, you are helping to support the costs associated with maintaining this web site. Thank you.