Challenged athlete looking for lost dog in La Jolla Shores

Since this story was posted and after deadline for the Light’s print edition, “Bud has been found,” according to 10News, which reported the dog turned up at the Hilton Torrey Pines Tuesday night.


Staff Writer

Help Rudy Garcia-Tolson find his lost black labrador “Bud” with a red collar in La Jolla Shores so he can go home to Colorado.

The high-profile 22-year-old, who is a double, above-the-knee amputee, is a spokesman for the San Diego Triathlon Challenge — a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run — held at the Cove the end of October. Rudy’s participated in the event for 15 years.

This year, while he was staying at La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club in anticipation of the Oct. 24 triathlon, Bud got out of his room Oct. 21 and went missing.

There have been numerous sightings of Bud since in La Jolla, mostly around the Shores area and Calle de Collado.

Rudy’s been driving back and forth from Riverside County where he’s staying temporarily to search for his “best friend” until he has to leave at the end of the first weekend in November. At times, he has been sleeping in his car around the area in hopes of seeing Bud.

“A lot of people say he’s just a dog but he means a lot more than just a dog for me,” said Rudy via cell phone Nov. 1. “I’ve had him for 8 years. He pulls me on my skateboard: We do a lot of things together.”

Rudy is continuing his search but he’s becoming frustrated, fearing Bud may have strayed further away. “I have a feeling he’s not in the (La Jolla) area anymore,” he lamented.

La Jolla Shores resident Stacey Willis saw a poster at La Jolla Shores Market about Rudy and his lost dog and noticed they were from out of state. She then encountered Rudy looking for Bud while she was jogging recently.

“Rudy stopped me and asked if I’d seen a black lab,” she said. “I’m a huge animal lover. I thought, ‘How devastating, this poor guy has lost his animal and lives out of state.’ I have a great need to help him find his dog.”

Willis said Rudy has been pushing himself on his skateboard for over a week all around La Jolla looking for his pet, adding he has been unable to put on his prosthetic legs due to a staph infection.

“He doesn’t have the ability to go in all areas due to being on a skateboard so I have been going into canyon areas where he cannot go,” Willis said. “Rudy is very well known in La Jolla and I just know that the community can help find Bud.”

If you see Bud, contact Rudy at (951) 901-5273 or Stacey at (480) 213-5703.