They say that you can choose your friends but not your family – though that’s not always the case. Fortunately, though, when a loving foster mom made a commitment to adopt, little “Buddy” met his furry soulmate. And together they are an inseparable pair that have taken social media by storm.
The dynamic duo’s story begins in Portland, Oregon, with Sandi Swiridoff, who is a nurse by trade. Her daughter, meanwhile, is a foster mother who recently had bittersweet feelings about watching two of her foster children get adopted. As a result, Swiridoff thought that a puppy might help lift her spirits.
So into their lives jumped an adorable Australian labradoodle puppy they named Reagan. And everyone who met the eight-week-old pup fell for his charms. “Reagan is great with kids and other dogs. He hasn’t met another dog or person that he doesn’t like,” Swiridoff told the Daily Mail in November 2016.
In fact, he was so adorable that Swiridoff couldn’t stop herself snapping pictures of the photographic pooch. What’s more, he brought a lot of joy into the lives of the mother and daughter and healed a lot of parting sorrow. And then something wonderful happened.
Several months after Swiridoff got Reagan, her daughter adopted an 11-month-old baby boy – the same age as Reagan. Of course, the dog was so gentle-natured that it was a given that the two would get along famously.
However, no one knew quite how famously. Adorably, the puppy and the little boy – who is referred to as “Little Buddy” or just “Buddy” for privacy reasons – fell in love with each other from the instant they met. The sugar-sweet pair have been inseparable ever since.
“I started calling him “Reagan’s Little Buddy” because that’s who he was,” Swiridoff explained to NBC News in November 2016. “There was an instant bond; they just loved each other from day one.” And the duo also changed the dynamic of her family photography.
After all, if pictures of Reagan alone were themselves utterly adorable, how much cuter could things get with the little boy in shot? Infinitely, it turns out. And when Swiridoff started taking photos of her puppy and grandson together, she just couldn’t stop – fortunately so for the internet’s lovers of charm.
What’s more, Swiridoff’s snaps not only make for the most delightful family photo album, but they also capture the friendship of Reagan and Buddy as they grow up together. Indeed, while the BFFs are only three years old, they already have so many treasured memories – and most of them have been immortalized on film.
Even more endearingly, the two do everything together. “They act like brothers, they will steal each other’s toys and run and chase each other,” Swiridoff described to ABC News in July 2016. “And when I put [Buddy] down for a nap, Reagan will sit outside the door and wait for him to wake up.”
But Buddy’s grandmother couldn’t keep such a beautiful relationship to herself. In fact, she had to share her family’s pride and joy with the world and so took to the internet to upload the images. And there are few things social media users love more than heart-melting pictures of such special pairings.
Understandably, Buddy’s face is partially obscured for his privacy in some of the snaps uploaded to the web. Still, the sensible precaution hasn’t slowed down the duo’s popularity – in fact, the internet can’t get enough of Buddy and Reagan.
The Instagram account set up for Reagan and Buddy, for instance, has reached 125,000 followers. And not only have the pair received internet attention, but television news shows have also picked up the story. Indeed, the media went crazy over the boy and his adorable dog.
And the people swept away in the Reagan-Buddy buzz couldn’t help but call out to their friends to have a look as well. Furthermore, commenters seemed overwhelmed by the volume of cute that the album had to offer. “I just love your pictures, they make my day,” one said.
“This account is everything and more,” another commenter exclaimed. Naturally, Swiridoff and her family were overjoyed by the attention given to the adorable pair. And from the level of social media interest in her family, Swiridoff got a great idea.
“The touching, true story of Reagan and Little Buddy needed to be told. I couldn’t keep all the adorableness to myself,” Swiridoff told the Daily Mail. The popularity of her boys, in fact, gave her the inspiration to create a picture book of their antics.
“Granted, photos of the two of them are regular features on his Instagram, but the book is different,” she continued. “It includes never before seen photos. [And it showcases] their relationship from the time they first met, up until now, almost two years later.”
“Their story is one of a strong bond and a sweet friendship, and includes a few surprises. I am so excited for this book to come out,” she concluded. But the book isn’t for personal gain: the idea is to raise support for the excellent work done by foster charities.
Meanwhile, Swiridoff has already raised $1,000 for their cause by selling calendars featuring Reagan. Half of the profits went to Foster Parents Night Out, which gives busy foster parents an evening off; the other half to a charity that buys holiday presents for foster children.
The grandma has now followed that success up with a 2017 calendar sporting heartmelting photos of the labradoodle. “Adopting Reagan was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made,” she added to the Daily Mail. “He has added so much joy to our lives, and to the lives of many other people.” And his relationship with Buddy is undoubtedly proof of that.