“I Still Feel Like This is All a Dream”


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Dirk “Pete” Buchmann, the Wilmington homeless man whose story has gained world-wide exposure, received gifts today that even a month ago would have seemed unimaginable. Pete received the keys to a fully-furnished apartment (reuniting Pete with his dog), keys to a new truck, and a check for $32,000 — all in an effort to give Pete and his dog Buster a fresh start.

Down on his luck, Pete dropped his dog off at Faithful Friends Animal Society a few months ago, while Pete checked into the Sunday Breakfast Mission. Pete walked 5 miles every day to visit Buster at the no-kill animal shelter, where he eventually landed a part-time job.

The story of Pete’s devotion to his pet and his personal hardship gained the attention of the media, local businesses and well wishers, including Donna Vanderheuvel, who started a GoFundMe.com page, which has generated more than $32,000 in donations for Pete. Donna has written 700 individual e-mails of thanks to the many donors world-wide, and she still has 300 more to write. Pete also received other gifts today:

  • DAA & Apartment Angels Program  –  a 6-month rent-free apartment
  • Pettinaro Construction  –  Pete’s choice of new furniture for his apartment
  • The Kenny Family Foundation  –  a $500 ShopRite gift card
  • Wayman Fire Protection  –  a full-time job as an assistant inspector
  • Mary Beth Cichocki  –  a Mazda truck

The outpouring of support was a lot for this once homeless man to manage. So Faithful Friends assigned one of their volunteers to assist Pete with managing the media and donations. Pete told Town Square Delaware that the past few weeks have felt like a dream. “This is a life-chaning event for Pete,” said Faithful Friends Executive Director Jane Pierantozzi. “We are so happy Pete and his dog Buster can be reunited. This story makes this a holiday filled with hope for a bright future.”

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  • Faithful Friends works to find creative solutions to help pets and people! Our goal is to keep pets united with their loving families whenever possible. A donation today will support Faithful Friends, the animals in our care (like Buster) and our important outreach services. Your donation saves lives! Donations here: https://donate.towercare.com/faithful-friends-donate

  • I am so happy for Pete and Buster. Congratulations and Merry Christmas. This is going to be a wonderful beginning for both of you. Thank you to all who supported Pete & Buster. This truly warms my heart. Best story of the year! Love and prayers for you both. With love from Massachusetts.

  • Thak you so much for what you have done to help a well deserved man and his dog, makes my Christmas full, I did contribute in a very small way to Pete’s fund and Buster care, but you guys did it all! Thank you, thank you to all of you that have reach out to Peter and buster Merry Christmas and God bless you all!


  • This story is the real thing! I have spoken with Pete and a number of those that made this all happen. Pete is so deserving as he never lost faith.He personally told me that on his walks to and from the shelter he would pray to be reunited in a home where he could be with Buster. He is so very thankful for all he has been blessed with. Pete and Buster’s story has brought out so much goodness in others. Thanks to Faithful Friends Buster had a temporary home where he was cared for with love.

  • I know Pete, and out of all the guys in there at the Sunday Breakfast Mission, he’s definitely one of the nicest. I’m very happy for him. If anyone doubts about their contribution -no worries- he is one of the good guys. God bless you Pete, take care of yourself and enjoy!! 🙂