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My dog Bo


Bo is another of Brownie's puppies and was born on the night of June 8, 1986. There were six in Bo's litter and they were born underneath the steps of a house I owned next to where I lived. I think that Brownie was getting to know that I would care for them better than my neighbors.

There were six puppies in his litter, but three of them died fairly soon after their birth. I am not really too certain as to what happened to them, because June 8 is the day that my best friend, Danny, left prior to his death. Obviously, the next week or two were taken up entirely with dealing with the death of Danny.

Of the three remaining, there was Bo, another puppy that looked like he had a lot of English Springer Spaniel in him and another that I cannot even describe now. Since I had had Springers when I was younger, I was partial to the Springer looking puppy, but felt that if I ended up with one of them, it would be Bo.

The neighbors came and got the puppies, but it was several days after they were born. The one that I cannot remember was taken first and the Springer mix was taken later. I must admit that I was a little sorry about that even though I had many dogs.

As time went on, no one took Bo and he got to be almost an adult dog. Then one day an animal control officer came through the neighborhood – apparently, someone had made a general complaint about there being dogs running loose in the neighborhood.

Brownie ran home barking when the officer approached. Bo, being the big friendly guy that he was went right up to him and was captured and put in the dog paddy wagon. Apparently, the animal control officer went back to the neighbor's house and would have given Bo back to them, if they would accept a ticket for Bo. The mother accepted a ticket for Brownie, but not for Bo and off he went to the animal shelter.

Kansas City's procedure at that time was to keep an animal for seven days waiting for the owner to claim their animal. On the seventh day they were put up for adoption and, if not claimed or adopted on that day, they were destroyed that day. They would not allow an animal to be adopted into the same neighborhood. At the time, I already had 12 dogs and no money, but was lucky to have a friend who was willing to help me retrieve Bo. Since he lived in a different neighborhood, he could adopt the dog, which he did. He, also, paid the adoption fee.

Being over limit, I took Bo from the shelter to my veterinarian for boarding, vaccinations and observations. Then came the bad news; Bo was not eating. I took his regular food there and still he did not eat. Then, I took some food to him personally and he ate just fine. I reasoned that he was just homesick and brought him home and he was fine.

My friend found a home for Bo temporarily with his brother, but they had small children and he was a bit too big for them and I took him back. Still being over limit, my neighbor who had taken Tasha let me keep him in her dog pen, so every morning I would take him over there and bring him back to my house at night. Eventually, I just got to rotating the dogs, so they could all get out and everything was just fine.

Of course, Bo was not really named Bo until I had him. The kids had started to call him Duke, but I already had a Duke. For months, I had been calling him "little boy dog", so "little boy dog" was shortened to Bo Dog, and for calling him, simply Bo.

The trip to the animal shelter is not one that I enjoyed. I pains me to go into a shelter and know that most of them will not find homes and shortly will be dead. When I went back to identify and get Bo, he was with a female dog who was so excited that I had come to her cage. When the attendant opened the cage door, she came forward so happily. Bo, on the other hand was cowering back. I will never forget the way the attendant pushed her back and that she was probably "put to sleep" that night. I wish I could have taken her too, but I was already responsible for 12 dogs and had little money.

When I moved to a place with more land, Bo and the other dogs could be outside more and he lived a fairly happy existence. He had a rather big and really petable head; although he was blond, he had kind of a Rotteweiler face. Basically, he was a great big, energetic, friendly and happy dog.

Of course, all of my dogs came in the house frequently, but Bo stayed outside quite abit in a large (100' X 100' enclosure that has a really good doghouse in it. Perhaps, I let some of the older dogs inside more than him, but I would tell him that his time would come when he would move up the ladder. Well, now, I regret not letting him in more often.

In the Spring of 1994, Bo would not come out of the dog house when I called him. When I brought him in, he was shaking. I had not noticed it before, but he looked like he had lost some weight. I took him to the veterinarian. He had symptoms like kidney failure. There is not much you can do for that, but I did start him on a low protein diet. He did not get better and on his last visit to the veterinarian, we noticed some lumps in areas where his lymph glands were. The diagnosis was that he had melanoma.

I do not know the exact date, but it was a really nice day in June a few days after his eighth birthday. I had left my back door open all night so the dogs could go in and out. Bo had gone outside and was lying on the ground when I woke up. I went to him and knelt down and petted him, kissed him and told him what a great dog he was. Suddenly, he scooted back onto my lap and died.

Big dogs do not live as long as little dogs, but I still have some problems getting over the fact that he got only 8 years out of life. I am at peace that I think I did about as much for him as possible.

Last revised on September 1, 2023.