Hartsville Man Reunited With Dog Missing for 23 Days, Calls Rescuers Heroes


Brent Shoemake was distraught after discovering around midnight on September 4 that his dog Bucky was missing from Pine Ridge, a small community right outside of Hartsville. Bucky is owned by Brent’s mother, Michelle Shoemake, but as most of us understand, Bucky isn’t just a pet, he’s a member of the family and they've had him since he was just a little puppy so the whole family was out looking for him. Bucky is a bulldog with a very distinctive feature—he has one brown eye and one bright blue eye—and they felt that surely someone must have seen him.

As the hours turned into days, Brent and Michelle turned to social media for help.They posted pictures and pleas for help on Facebook, and posted fliers at area businesses.They searched all over the area, and tracked down any Bucky sightings they heard about, but still no Bucky.

Weeks passed.The family posted every single day about Bucky and even offered up a reward. Everyday Brent woke up and felt, “Today is going to be the day,” but unfortunately they didn’t have any luck until the 23rd day.

Payton Horton was cutting the grass at a house on Highway 151 and happened to notice some slabs of concrete in the yard. Mr. Horton didn’t know what they were so he walked over to the area, and to his surprise when he looked down he saw a dog down in a hole.The dog had some cuts and gashes on his head and face and growled when Caroll Gainey of Pine Ridge who was also there tried to get him out.They thought the dog’s reaction was from being scared and disoriented so they called 911, and Darlington County Sherriff Deputy Jimmy Walker Jr. was dispatched to the scene.Deputy Walker knew Brent, and had seen the fliers with Bucky’s pictures and story on Facebook so he called the family and asked them to come out and see if the dog was Bucky.

It was! After missing for 23 days Bucky had been found alive! Michelle reached the scene first and was able to get him out of the hole. Bucky is now reunited with the family and they report he is doing well after a full check-up with their veterinarian.

Brent asked that we thank everyone involved in Bucky’s rescue-- Payton Horton, Caroll Gainey, Deputy Jimmy Walker Jr, and John Specht (an off-duty officer who was also on the scene) and asked that we name them our 103X Heroes of the Day, and we will gladly do so for October 1, 2019.

The Shoemakes would also like to thank everyone who shared their story, put up fliers, and sent up prayers.They are so grateful that they are going to have an hour meet and greet session for people who want to meet Bucky next Saturday October 5th from 3p-4p at the peanut stand on Hiway 151 across from Greater Heights Baptist Church in Pine Ridge. Everyone is invited to come out and meet their sweet boy Bucky!

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