Family searching for missing dog who recently lost owner to cancer

SILOAM, N.C. — Dogs disappear or run away every day. In fact, it happens so often in the Piedmont we don’t typically cover them in our newscasts.

But one missing dog story from Surry County caught our eye. A 6-year-old sheltie, a type of dog many call a “miniature collie” named Buddy, lost his owner to cancer just a few months ago and is now lost as well.

Buddy was like a child to Jason Hawks. Hawks had the 29-pound sheltie since he was a puppy.

“He was with him everywhere,” said Jason’s aunt Kathy Whitaker.  “Buddy was everything to Jason.” Hawks passed away in March from cancer, the day after his 43rd birthday. “When [Jason] came home from hospice Buddy stayed with him in the bed the whole time.”

Jason’s dad, J.E. Hawks, treasured the very shy and gentle sheltie as it was the only living connection he had from his late son. Last Friday, while visiting family in Florida, J.E. left Buddy with Kathy here at her home in Siloam. Saturday morning he somehow got out of a temporary fence.

“He had already been out here [in the fence] a couple of times that morning,” said Whitaker. “Buddy was gone, I got hysterical.”

Whitaker has contacted every surrounding animal shelter, put up flyers, signs and placed an ad with a $500 reward in the local newspaper, all in hopes Buddy will be found before J.E., her brother arrives home next Wednesday.

“I cannot even think of something else I could do,” she said. “I know he will be devastated that Jason’s dog is gone.”

Buddy was an inside dog and has been spotted a few times within about 20 miles of Whitaker’s home on Siloam Road in Siloam.

If you can help, contact Kathy Whitaker at (336) 374-2696 or (336) 325-7911​.

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