Packet Sea Foam: Dog barks up funds for Port Royal Plantation

August 15, 2011 

Thanks to Mary Noonan of Hilton Head Island for sharing the story of a special pet contest and an historical event it is tied to. Mary writes:

Port Royal Plantation recently conducted a Plantation Perfect Pet Contest.

The contest was designed to help underwrite the plantation's community commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Port Royal to be held Nov. 5.

In the fundraising contest, a positive vote cost $1 and a negative vote cost $2. Fifty dogs, 11 cats, two birds, one horse and one alligator were entered. After three weeks of voting, a party was held at the beach house to celebrate the $4,339 raised and to name the winning pet.

The winner was Buddy Baker, an 8-year-old miniature white poodle owned by Kay Baker. Runners up were:

  • Brandy Alexander, a cocker spaniel owned by Marlene and Wim van der Graaf.

  • Cricket, a Shih Tzu/Malteze mix owned by Clare and Geoffrey Tyres.

  • First prize was an original pet portrait by local, award-winning artist Vickie Bailey Ebbers; second prize was professional photo sitting and CD by Geoffrey Hobbs of Hilton Head Images; and third prize was a gift basket from PetSmart.


    Buddy's story is an interesting one. His life in Port Royal did not start on a very good note.

    Seven years ago, he was dumped at the gate -- no tags, dirty and flea-ridden. Port Royal Security officers picked him up and drove him around the plantation for a couple of days to see if anyone could identify him. There was no recognition.

    The poor fellow did not look too attractive for adoption, so I took him home to bathe and groom him.

    Once fluffy and cute, I walked him down the street to Kay Baker's home. Kay had been widowed recently and was feeling very much alone. When she came to the door, she said, "Did you get a new dog, Mary?"

    I said, "No, Kay. It's your dog."

    She didn't say no, so we called area veterinary practices to see if any had reports of a missing white poodle. There weren't any. We took him to the Hilton Head Humane Association shelter to be checked for implanted identification. None was found.

    Buddy and Kay Baker have been inseparable ever since. Buddy got a great, new, pampered life. Kay loves all the attention she gets from Buddy.

    It's a perfect match, and great conclusion to Port Royal's Perfect Pet Contest.


    Port Royal Plantation is the historic site of Fort Walker that was quickly overtaken by Federal forces in the Battle of Port Royal on Nov. 7, 1861.

    To commemorate our important connection to local and national history, a special community event is being planned for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 5, to which the public will be invited.

    The outdoor program will include encampments of both Union and Confederate re-enactors; displays of historic photos, maps and artifacts; as well as history presentations on the Battle of Port Royal, the Drayton brothers who famously fought on opposite sides that day, and the role of the fort and the battle in the Civil War.

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