Is it fair to call the bond between a five-year-old Oregon boy nicknamed Little Buddy and a dress-alike Australian Labradoodle named Reagan a love story?
"It is a love story," said dog owner Sandi Swiridoff. "Reagan showed Buddy so much love, and Buddy showed Reagan that love in return."
Swiridoff's daughter, Kari Lewis, is Little Buddy's adoptive mother: "It's a story of love and the power of what love can do," she said.
Little Buddy originally came into Lewis' family as a foster child. Reagan, she said, helped ease the boy's way: "Bringing him into our home through foster care is a, like, scary situation for a child, and so to have a dog to cling to and feel unconditional love for him is really a gift."
And sitting down side-by-side with Reagan for a kind of joint interview, Little Buddy agreed: "I love Reagan. We have a lot of fun together."
And they're not the only ones to share the fun; the twosome have some 450,000 followers on Instagram … and their story is also told in a book called "Reagandoodle and Little Buddy," with the proceeds devoted to helping children in foster care.
Lewis said, "I think having these memories, and Little Buddy getting to see just how loved he was and how much fun he had as a child is a gift that keeps on giving."
For more info:
- "Reagandoodle and Little Buddy: The True Story of a Labradoodle and His Toddler Best Friend" by Sandi Swiridoff with Wendy Dunham (Harvest House), available via Amazon
Story produced by Amy Wall.