Kameron, Buddy and Maggie after Buddy won this year’s Yappy Award for deepest bark.

But Was It a Dogwood?

Buddy found himself “up a tree” recently. The idiom means “in a troublesome or challenging situation” which was perfectly appropriate for the 2-year-old beagle.

Maggie, Buddy’s pet parent, said she had brought him to Deland while she went to a bridal shower for her boyfriend Kameron’s sister. The next day Buddy was playing in her boyfriend’s backyard with two other dogs, but when she went out to get him, he wasn’t there. The family and some neighbors spent about a half hour looking for the pup, but couldn’t find him anywhere. “I was freaking out,” said Maggie.

Finally hearing Buddy whine, they ripped up the floorboards in the deck thinking he might have gotten trapped under there somehow. He wasn’t there. Finally his whining led them to look up a tree, and there he was — on a branch higher than the roof.

The Volusia County Fire Rescue came to the rescue. They told Maggie they’ve never rescued a dog in a tree before. Maggie said Buddy must have climbed the ladder to a tree house, then followed a squirrel out onto the branch. They took the tree-house ladder down after Buddy was safely grounded.

The men who came to Buddy’s rescue, from left: Lieutenant Shannon Prachniak, Firefighter Russell
Scanlon, and Firefighter Scott Knudsen. (Buddy is safely in the middle of his rescuers.)

When Happy Camper staff learned about Buddy’s escapades, they had mixed reactions.

Camp Counselor Emma said, “Although I have only met him briefly, I know he is sweet and gets along with pretty much any dog he meets.”

Camp Counselor Jenna said, “Barking Buddy barked up the wrong tree. Lol!”

Camp Counselor Dave immediately came up with jokes. “How do you catch a squirrel? Climb a tree and act like a nut. How do you catch a unique squirrel? Unique up on it! And how do you catch a tame squirrel? The tame way.”

No matter what the reactions are, Buddy has made a name for himself with the Volusia County Fire Rescue and Kameron and Maggie’s friends.

Some Breeds of Dogs May Be Known for Climbing Trees

Buddy may have set a new precedent for beagles by climbing a tree, but there are four breeds of dogs that (supposedly) are known for tree climbing: the Treeing Walker Coonhound, New Guinea Singing Dog, Catahoula Leopard Dog, and the Jack Russell Terrier. (Note: Take that with a grain of salt, because opinions on tree climbing change depending on the source you reference.)

The New Guinea Singing Dog is a very rare breed — wild dog that are called singing dogs because “they emit unique yet, melodious vocalizations.” They have short legs, flexible limbs and a spine that permits them to be agile. Climbing trees is easy because they also can rotate their front and and rear legs. Both the Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo and Miami Metrozoo are said to have New Guinea Singing Dogs.

The Louisiana Catahoula Leopard dog originated in North Central Louisiana nearby the Catahoula Lake. It was bred to track and herd wild hogs. Known for being very muscular, powerful dogs, they are very agile.

The Treeing Walker Coonhound was bred to hunt raccoons — tracking and treeing them. While they mainly are supposed to bay to tell the hunters that they’ve treed their prey, some of them virtually climb up the tree after their prey. The Treeing Walker was developed from certain strains of English Walker Foxhounds. The credit for the development of the Walker Foxhound goes to two men from Kentucky – George Washington Maupin and John W. Walker.

While we don’t think of the Jack Russell Terrier as a tree climber, their determination takes them a long way, and sometimes that way is “up.” Originally bred in Britain, they were called Fox Terriers. After several generations of breeding, they became known as a Jack Russell Terrier, which takes its name from the Reverend John Russell who bred one of the finest strains of terriers for working fox in Devonshire, England in the mid-to-late 1800’s.

A cat’s body has evolved to enable them to climb trees because of their preference for living in wooded environments. Dogs seem to have lived for the most part in open plains, so tree climbing wasn’t a necessary skill. The ability to climb trees is known as “arboreal locomotion,” and animals who have this skill are known as “arboreal animals.” (But don’t let Buddy know. He may decide to live up to the title.)

References: https://www.dailydogdiscoveries.com/can-dogsclimb-trees/
http://www.publicbookshelf.com/nonfiction/jack-russell/history-jacks
https://www.therealjackrussell.com/breed/whatis.php
https://www.answers.com/Q/What_breeds_of_dogs_can_climb_trees

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