Bo’s Story

November 29, 2011

Bo and Mark

W hile out walking our two rescued dogs, Buddy and Holly, I first met Bo Diddley. That wasn’t his name then, almost four years ago. A yellow nylon cord tethered the Black Lab/Australian Shepherd mix to a pole in a concrete backyard down the alley from our home in Chicago. I later found out that he was left there up to fourteen hours a day. He was very nervous and anxious, not unusual for an imprisoned three-month-old pup. It took almost twenty minutes that first visit to get him to come close enough to the fence so that I could pet him. I started to visit him every day with Buddy and Holly, rubbing his neck and talking to him. This became our routine. Over time he seemed to look forward to our visits as much as I did.

One morning a few months later, after Bo bounded to the fence that separated us, a little man jumped out from behind the garage where he was working. “YOU LIKE HIM! YOU WANT HIM! HE TOO BIG!!!” he exclaimed. I told him that I certainly did want him, but that I wanted to run it by my wife first. My wife knew of Bo and thought he would be a terrific addition to our family. With all systems go, I tried in vain to contact the little man again, but he didn’t respond to the notes I left on his door. Talking with neighbors, I found out that he had been abusing the dog—hitting him with a stick and screaming at him—and that they were going to alert Animal Cruelty. The little man was hard to find. He ran three businesses and was never home.

Through neighbors, I located one of his business addresses and was going to talk with him there when my wife called me on my cell phone. She was

Hard-working Bo Diddley

pulling up in front of our home when she saw the little man’s car pulling out of the alley to bring Bo to the pound, where dogs were being euthanized after only three days. Mary ran down the street, stopped his car, and took the dog. I came home immediately to find Bo frolicking in my backyard fish pond.

I took him on his first walk that morning. He had never been out of the little man’s concrete backyard before. With steady training and a lot of patience and love, Bo soon became the dog he was always meant to be. We gave him his new name and Bo gives us love, loyalty, and a whole lot of joy.

— Mark Edward Taylor