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Happy Ending, Happier Beginning

Bucky’s buddies converge in Vienna to meet the wounded dog who captured hearts.

Did someone say "rock star"?

Amidst applause and cheers when Bucky White strutted into Elle et Lui in Vienna, someone referred to the rescued dog as a rock star. Leashed to his new pet-parent, David White of Ashburn, and sidling up to step-sibling Shiloh, Bucky nosed a greeting to his fans and benefactors, as a group gathered to meet the canine whose bullet wound had touched their hearts.

Even salon customers and staff wandered over to greet Bucky and Shiloh.

To get Bucky to a new, loving home, it took two months, a caring Fairfax County Animal Control officer, a cooperative county animal shelter who gave the dog refuge during quarantine, a compassionate salon owner in Vienna, a dedicated mobile veterinarian from Fairfax, a selfless, determined surgeon in Purcellville, sympathetic benefactors from the Washington metro region who opened their wallets, and a man from Ashburn who welcomed the wounded animal into his home.

"In any other area, this dog probably would have been euthanized," said mobile veterinarian Nikki Brook, who sought out a qualified surgeon to operate on the unclaimed dog.

Elle et Lui owner Louise Carter was determined to ensure Bucky "not be put down" and that the animal receive medical care to enhance his quality of life. Her clients at the salon responded with donations, and humans worked to save this gentle canine.

"When Louise told me about this dog, I felt I had to help," said donor Sharon Granston. "With all that is going on in the world today, when you can do something for someone else, it gives you so much satisfaction."

Dr. Tommy Walker of Purcellville responded to Bucky’s need. With no guarantee of payment, the surgeon cleaned out fragmented bones and isolated the entrapped nerves.

"Bucky is healed now, but still on restricted activity," said White. "He’ll never have a normal gait but nothing stops him. He imagines rabbits everywhere."

When White is relaxing in his living room, Bucky and Shiloh assume play position, and White needs to tell Bucky, "whoa, there …."

"If somebody somewhere thinks he could ever take this dog from me now, he’d have to get the best lawyer there is," said White. "Bucky’s my dog."

Bucky thinks so, too. His eyes follow White’s every movement and his furry head nestles readily against White. Shiloh is comfortable around Bucky, and nobody would ever guess this is a newly-blended family.

"This dog had angels watching over him," said Carter. "All the people who came together to help ... there was a reason for this."