DeKALB – Buddy the dog eluded police after his owner Rick Beck was involved in a crash Oct. 21, but Beck’s family has put together something special to lure him home.
Beck’s son, Shawn, has joined forces with family, friends, firefighters and even strangers to search for Buddy, a 30-pound beagle-Jack Russell terrier mix. Nestle USA is offering a $500 reward to the person who returns Buddy, and Shawn and Rick Beck have been following up on reported sightings of the 8-year-old dog.
“We have a trap set up with delicious cheeseburgers and stinky old man socks,” Shawn Beck said. “We’re trying to get the word out to get the best idea we can of where he is, so we can strategically place it.”
Buddy was riding in Rick Beck’s Buick LaCrosse about 3 p.m. Oct. 21 when a semitrailer turned left in front of the vehicle on Fairview Avenue near the Nestle Distribution Center, DeKalb police said.
The driver didn’t see Beck’s car because of other semitrailers lined up in the center-turn lane, police said.
Buddy ran from police, and a helicopter took Rick Beck to a Rockford hospital. By the time Rick Beck was released from the hospital two days later, a widening search effort was underway. About 30 people, including DeKalb firefighters with thermal-imaging cameras, helped search for Buddy on Oct. 24 near Peace Road and Fairview Avenue. Word of the search quickly spread on Facebook.
“It was one of the most emotional and intense experiences of my life,” Shawn Beck said. “We had 30 people out looking for my dad’s dog just based on one Facebook post.”
Two days later, volunteers searched for Buddy again near Mars Inc., 2805 S. First St. in DeKalb.
About 3 a.m. Thursday, police responded to a report that Buddy was at the Illinois Department of Transportation facility at Annie Glidden Road and Fairview Avenue. They saw him and tried to catch him, but the dog escaped. On Friday morning, a woman reported seeing Buddy near the railroad tracks at Fairview Avenue and Seventh Street.
Aside from being thankful for the public help and support, Shawn Beck remains hopeful the dog is healthy and will be found.
“He’s actually a rescue dog who had lived in the wild previously,” Shawn Beck said. “It’s not like he’s lacking in the skills to find shelter and food.”
How to help
Buddy is a reddish tan dog that weighs about 30 pounds and has a light blue collar with two tags. He does not like to be touched and might bite, so residents are encouraged to call DeKalb police at 815-748-8400 if they see him.