Vancouver veteran's well-known service dog 'Buddy' passes away - KPTV - FOX 12

Vancouver veteran's well-known service dog 'Buddy' passes away

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A Vancouver man says his service dog known to many at the Portland and Vancouver VA hospitals has passed away. 

John Peek says his Black Labrador named Buddy had to be put down last week. 

FOX 12 viewers first met the dog in 2012 when he needed surgery to remove a tumor. The community stepped up to pay for it and the extra money was donated to Oregon Humane Society and the Southwest Washington Humane Society. 

"He was a very wonderful dog," Peek said. "He would just never leave my side."

Over the five years since his successful surgery, the two saw ups and downs but they were always bringing joy to veterans at the VA hospitals. 

"The minute when we went down to the VA in Portland he would literally go to each vet and say hi to them and every one of them had to say hi," Peek said. 

Last week, old age eventually caught up with Buddy and Peek had him put down.

"They brought me into a nice quiet room and we were in there together and he went to sleep," Peek said. 

A memorial service took place for Buddy at the VA hospital in Portland on Thursday. 

Peek's counselor at the VA hospital suggested the service not only for him to get over his loss, but for the many patients, doctors, and nurses at the VA hospital who have met and knew Buddy.

Peek is also working on getting a new service dog which could cost upwards of $10,000. The dog helps the U.S. Army veteran with his diabetes.

An account has been established to help pay for a new service dog for Peek. People who want to contribute can go to any U.S. Bank branch and ask to donate to "Buddy's Memorial Account." 

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