"Pigs are fun," Buddy Dumont said. "Chickens I like, too. They give me something to do."
This year, he's only raising two pigs. In the past, he has raised three or four.
"I get the piglets in May and they grow big, and I take them to be butchered in the fall," he said. "I love pork. I also like beef, which I get from the neighbors for helping with their cows. It's lots of good meat."
Frances ‘Buddy’ Dumont
(Photo — Yvona Fast)
Frances "Buddy" Dumont was born in Saranac Lake on June 29, 1943. He moved to his current home when he was only five years old with his parents and sister. After his parents passed away, he stayed. (His sister now lives in Saranac Lake).
He now shares his home with his cat, Christmas.
"He is good company," Dumont said. "I don't get lonely because Christmas keeps me company. He's five years old; I've had him since he was a tiny kitten." Because the old house is leaning and sagging, it has irreparable damage and it will be torn down next year. Dumont is the proud owner of a new two-bedroom house trailer that is now on his property.
He has been raising pigs at least 10 years, and raising chickens prior to that for 15 years or longer. The chickens used to run loose, so some neighbors helped him build a fence and a shed for them. He has another shed for the pigs.
"I painted them the same color as the house," he said.
He has always loved animals, and helps his neighbors across the road with their cows and horse, Katy. "Every morning I go over to feed them and take care of them," he said. "In the winter, I also help shovel. In the summer, they're out on the pasture."
In addition to the animals, Buddy has a vegetable garden and several apple trees. "I don't eat these apples - they're too sour," he said. "I give them to the pigs - but too many at once makes them sick."
In back of the house is a large stand of bright yellow Jerusalem artichokes.
"I feed those to the pigs, too," he said. "They like them."
In his garden, he grows corn, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, onions, beets and lettuce "for me and for the animals."
In the evenings, Dumont enjoys watching television. Because he doesn't have a car, he relies on his sister to help with shopping. He goes to St. John in the Wilderness church with his neighbors. He enjoys the dinners at the Saranac Lake Adult Center, which he attends with another neighbor.
His life shows that we're all independent, but also interdependent. He helps his neighbors, and they help him. He raises his own meat, but needs rides to buy the things he's unable to grow for himself.