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Mr August 2009 - Buddy
Avoiding Becoming Dinner

B
uddy doesn’t do tricks. He isn’t, in the classic sense, a looker. He basically sits — and occasionally stands — on the porch railing of Kim Sanders’ home on Kershaw Road. There, Buddy surveys the scene and survives. That’s what he does – when you’re a turkey just avoiding becoming dinner is a major accomplishment. And for that Buddy is August’s Pet of the Month.

Buddy shows off his good side. The dark hairlike feathers on his chest are known as a turkey’s beard.
He almost blends in with the railing, but not quite. Buddy the turkey has been making the front porch his home for the past two months.
A year ago, Buddy was one of 7 turkeys that Kim bought at an auction near Little Washington. (“I’d gone to get a peacock,” she recounts. But by the time she got there, the peacock had been bought.) She came home with the seven turkeys which she wanted to keep solely as pets. They became free-range birds, running thru her yard next to farm fields, and staying in a kennel at night.

Kim Sanders and Buddy.

Then, one by one, their ranks shrank. Kim says it was foxes that got them.

This spring, it was down to two turkeys, Buddy and his dark-feathered friend, Tom. They remained in the yard until two months ago, when Tom also fell prey to a Kershaw Road fox.

A happier time. Buddy at right lounging in the yard with Tom. Two months ago, Tom was killed by a fox.

While Buddy has been mourning the loss of his last turkey friend, it appears that his survival instinct has gone in to overdrive. No more staying in the backyard where 6 others had met their end. Nope, no more ground living for Buddy.

Buddy shows off his classic Turkey good looks. Buddy may be one of the most handsome turkeys… on Kershaw Rd.

Shortly after Tom’s death, Buddy found his way to the front porch and in particular to the front porch railing which he’s turned in to his roost. That’s where he’s stayed, pretty much day and night, ever since.

Buddy has a firm grip on the porch rail.

Very few things will lure Buddy off that porch. One of them is the sound of Kim’s father’s truck when he comes over to visit the ‘deer dogs’ that he keeps at the back edge of Kim’s yard. When Ponce Ham pulls in to the driveway, Buddy cuts a fast waddle across the yard. Kim says it’s because Ponce feeds him some of the dry dog food. Mary Ellen Ham, Kim’s mother, thinks it’s also because Ponce speaks “some kind of talk” to the bird.

While many passersby on Kershaw Road may notice Buddy, Buddy shows little sign of noticing the vehicles — small and large — traveling past.

But for the most part, Buddy keeps to that porch, sticking around in the evenings when the family gathers out there, and staying there all night. And he’s become a now familiar sight for those cars and trucks passing by on Kershaw Road.

Home on the porch.

Kim’s happy to have him there, safe and apparently out of harm’s way (even the porch/roost does require a hosing down every other day). But she’s concerned for his isolation there. “We need,” she says, “to get him a mate.”

Congratulations Buddy – Mister August 2009.

Editor’s note: We felt making him “Mr November” would cause too much anxiety.

Buddy’s Bio

Celebrity Pet Most Resembles: Granny from The Beverly Hillbillies
How his personal ad might start: “Turkey seeks same”
Favorite color: Anything but cranberry.
Favorite sound: The bugle at a fox hunt.
Least favorite time of year: Thanksgiving. Not a fan of Butterball jokes.
Big fear other than foxes: Buddy wonders if Kim Sanders is related to a Colonel.
Unrealized lifetime dream: To have turkeys one day become the national symbol.
Least favorite local TV affiliation: Fox
Favorite international capital: Ankara


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Know a pet that is a standout? Send in some details and a photo to pet@towndock.net. Tell why that pet deserves the coveted TownDock.net Pet of the Month Prize Package --- accolades, a pat on the head (snakes excluded) and a box of Milk Bones ( or snack suitable for the species).

We regret that we cannot offer a college scholarship to Pet Of The Month winners.


Animals caught near the HarborCam attempting to suck up to the judges will be disqualified.