BUDDY, SAM SNEAD'S GOLDEN RETRIEVER
Buddy was given to Snead after the Jan. 1, 1997, death of Meister, the golden that had been Snead's sidekick for 14 years. "Dad called me from Florida the morning after [Meister's death], and he was crying," says Jack Snead. "He said, 'I had to put Meister down last night, and it felt like I was losing you.' "
Seeing Sam struggle with the loss reminded Jack's wife, Ann, of Buddy, an 85-pound golden who was owned by her brother in Dallas. She knew that Buddy was not doing well in the Texas heat, so she suggested that her brother give the dog a better home, and he agreed. Buddy immediately bonded with Sam, whose touch with animals is so well known that he is said to have tamed the fish that reside in a pond on his property.
Buddy shadows Sam all day. When Sam plays golf, Buddy rides in the cart, as Meister had, and never jumps out to chase balls. When Sam gets into his car, Buddy takes the backseat, sometimes soiling the upholstery with his muddy paws. "Sam doesn't care" says Ann. "Seeing that dog happy makes him happy."