RON AND DON

You’ll always find a buddy at Beaver Lake Middle School

Feb 12, 2018, 3:03 PM | Updated: 3:35 pm

As a middle school shop teacher gets ready for retirement, so does another beloved member of the Beaver Lake Bulldogs — their mascot, Buddy.

“In ’91 we planned the school, and it opened in ’93, so I’ve been here 24 years,” teacher Patrick Ford remembered.

RELATED: 6-year-old saves more than 700 dogs

And through all of those years, Buddy the Bulldog has been there for Mr. Ford and his Beaver Lake students.

Before Buddy, he never really was a dog person. The idea of getting a bulldog started as a joke back when they were first building the new Beaver Lake Middle School on the Sammamish Plateau and deciding on a mascot. Mr. Ford assumed his wife would nix the idea. Instead, she surprised him by immediately jumping on board.

Despite the way he fell into it, he has no regrets about getting his first bulldog.

“Not after all this love I’ve seen over nearly a quarter century and what a dog does to a kid and to me,” said Ford.

Buddy the Bulldog at Beaver Lake

The first Buddy the Bulldog passed away about 12 years ago. The current mascot is actually Buddy 2.0.

Over the years, thousands of students have had the privilege of seeing Buddy at school every day. And the school has required a Buddy-specific permission slip for each and every one of them.

It’s never been a problem, despite allergies and other issues.

“Just because they sign the paper doesn’t mean they have to touch her,” said Mr. Ford.

Even some Beaver Lake students who were deathly afraid of dogs came to like having Buddy around. It probably doesn’t hurt that she’s a small, sturdy dog who really just wants to hang out in her cushioned wagon while the kids occasionally swing by to give her a scratch.

“She’s kind of actually really relaxing,” shared 6th grader, Blake. “She relieves a little bit of stress off, for me.”

Getting a bulldog was a given, since the school is the “Beaver Lake Bulldogs.” But Buddy’s name was specially chosen by Mr. Ford so that every student who came through his doors knew that they would find a buddy waiting.

After 24 years at Beaver Lake, Mr. Ford says this will be his last as a full-time teacher. He’ll be retiring in the spring and 12-year-old Buddy will be retiring with him.

Who will 6th grader Gianna going to miss more next year — Mr. Ford or Buddy?

“This is not a fair question!” she exclaimed. “They’re a package deal.”

Before he retires, Mr. Ford has one more gift he’d like to give the school: a life size, bronze statue created by the same Tacoma artists who crafted the statue of “Ivan the Gorilla” for Point Defiance Zoo. So then, as he puts it, “At Beaver Lake, you’ll always find a Buddy.”

Ron and Don

...
KIRO Radio Newsdesk

Ron and Don’s last show on KIRO Radio

Last night was Ron and Don’s last show on KIRO Radio.
3 years ago
Kelly Herzberg in her natural habitat. (Photo by Rachel Belle)...
Rachel Belle

In Seattle, a personal shopper and stylist who only shops at thrift stores

If you think you can't afford a personal stylist, head to the thrift store with Sweet Kelly Anne Styling's Kelly Herzberg who will pull hundreds of pieces for you to try on.
3 years ago
Viaduct waterfront...
Ron Upshaw

What do we do with the waterfront after the viaduct is gone?

After the viaduct is taken down, we'll be left with a choice: What do we do with one of the most beautiful waterfronts in the country?
3 years ago
(MyNorthwest)...
Ron Upshaw

Shower Thoughts: Ichiro can give Mariners fans something to root for

Rumor has it that Ichiro might make a comeback next year, and I for one welcome it.
3 years ago
Border wall...
Ron Upshaw

Trying to figure out why people want Trump’s border wall

A little over 40 percent of Americans now support the idea of a border wall, but what is it about it that seems so attractive?
3 years ago
Dan McCartney, Pierce County Sheriff...
Don O'Neill

Why you could hear kids’ voices on Pierce County Sheriff radios Monday night

Sometimes, "gone but not forgotten" isn't always how slain officers are remembered. But in Pierce County, a special effort is being made to commemorate a fallen deputy.
3 years ago

Sponsored Articles

...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
...
Comcast

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Courtesy of JWatch Photography....
Experience Anacortes

Summer Fun Activities in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
You’ll always find a buddy at Beaver Lake Middle School