Bo – passed away February 14, 2023

I offered to take on Bo as a foster dog knowing he was at least 9 years old and had some health issues including muscle issues that would not get better. Within a month or so of his arrival, we discovered he had cancer, and not the curable kind. I decided that he was a sweetie and another move for him would be more anxiety for him, and he was beginning to open up. We found out his name was Bodacious Cleveland – but I had another name that my family loved: Bo Hooper and he seemed to respond to it.

On arrival, Bo was bony and was always hungry, and this would never change for him. If food was left out, there was no relaxing for you or him! He had the counter reach that would be equivalent to a 7-foot-tall basketball player. He had no sense of personal space, and at first when we left the house, he would go in search … and learned how to squeeze between closed closet doors to access all leather shoes, which were eaten, not just chewed. His voracity was impressive BUT we learned to keep our shoes out of reach and in (6 months?) he learned we would be home soon and the shoe obsession subsided.

We eventually learned him, and he us. I learned how to give meds without food because he had that genius talent of somehow separating pill from food and brazenly spitting it back in my face. He learned to sit before treats and meals. He learned that the cat was in charge. Staying home to work, I heard him barking outside… I went downstairs to find him barking at the cat in the doorway to let him back in. It wasn’t threatening – it was like a little brother asking big brother. He learned that the earliest I could wake was 5:30 am. He knew or learned Lay Down. He kept our hyper GSP/terrier mix from barking too much. Bo was his blocker when he didn’t want to be seen by other dogs on walks – they would position themselves, Bo being bigger, and I swear he knew it.

By the time he left us, he had charmed everyone we met. Had he not been “terminal” he would have been adopted in the first month of being with us. He would lean into people and quietly hang around for petting and love. He couldn’t sit still for very long and would bark to announce that he was done and it was time to move on, or I would have taken him to work with me daily.

He was part of a welcome home team each day. He was a regular at Alston Park, acting as a liaison to other GSP lovers and an advocate for the rescue. Thank you so much for letting me foster Bo. We definitely saw the 3 weeks, 3 months, 6 months (or whatever) rule where the familiarity made him into a vital part of our house. We will miss his energy and sweetness every day.

–Michelle Ballard

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