I’ve been thinking a lot about my childhood. Things that made me happy, sad, and comfortable in my own skin. I was born two days after my oldest sisters graduation. My Mom and Dad came home with me from the hospital and my middle sister wanted a baby brother. My Dad did the next best thing and got her a dog. He was a black Labrador Retriever and he was named Bo. What an amazing dog he was by far the best pet I ever had theprivilege to love. We didn’t own him he owned our hearts. I don’t even have a picture of him, and if one exists it’s living on a slide. I was born in the day when film was developed into slides. And I’ve acquired quite a collection from my Dad. My long term goal is to convert them to digital and make copies on CD.
Bo was a truly amazing dog, I grew up with him as he
was just a puppy when my Dad brought him home. He would let my sister and I dress him up in my brother’s t-shirts, hats, and he even let us put a cigar in his mouth! He loved is and was our other brother with fur. When my parents marriage ended and my Mom, sister, and I went to live somewhere else Bo came with us. My Dad didn’t want to split us up and really that was the kindest thing he could do as I was only four and my heart was broken. Bo was my best friend and allowed me to cry and hug him so tight. His fur would be soaked with my tears and yet there he would stay. He got me through many heartaches in my life breakups, arguments with my family, and feeling lonely. We spent so much time together over the years, and Bo would walk my sister and I to and from the bus stop every day. He was our neighbourhood dog and everyone loved him. He would get us home from school, play, and then go off to do his visiting rounds. He would end up at our neighbours down the road, hanging out with their little dog. Across from our home was a field all the kids in the neighbourhood would get together and play baseball and football down there. It was so much fun to see Bo getting excited and chasing the baseball when it would get hit. And since I was an excited child is always throw my bat, and he’d chase after it and bring it back to the next batter up. I still have that wonder bat, my Lousiville Slugger. As I got older Bo slowed down a lot more. He got more grey
on his whiskers and the tuft of white fur became grayer as well. He’d still come to to meet us at the bus stop, but he’d sleep in longer in the mornings. I remember the day I could see him out the bus window as I was coming home. All of us kids would knock on the window and wave at him. Suddenly an image flashed in my head and it was dog’s face with fear in his eyes. When I snapped out of it, I opened up my window and yelled at Bo to go home. He couldn’t hear me and I saw his fear filled face and he disappeared under the wheels. I was just sick and ran to the front and demanded my bus driver let out. He did immediately when he saw the tears starting to form in my eyes.
I ran to see Bo laying there on the front of our neighbours lawn. His fur was matted with blood and when I hugged him he yelped. I continue to pat his head and pray that he was going to be okay. Soon I was surrounded by a crowd of my friends and my sister and our Mom were there beside me. I listened to Bo’s panting and nuzzled my face into his and felt his soft breath on my cheek. I didn’t want to leave him but my Mom was guiding me away and our neighbour was coming to help attend to our dog brother.
It was two days before my twelfth birthday and I had to say goodbye to my best friend. This happened thirty years ago and I’ve never forgotten it, not wrote about it till now. A piece of my heart went away with my beloved Bo that day. An amazing dog, brother, and best friend. He was very friendly, socially inept, a great temperament and best family pet I could ever ask for. I haven’t wanted to own a pet since that day. But if I ever do it will be a black Labrador Retriever. My oldest son asked me when he was four, if he could have a puppy or a baby brother. I came through on my end of the bargain, so for now we enjoy our visits with our neighbours dog. It makes me smile when I see my youngest son running up and down the yard with Frankie the daschund. I close my eyes and I can see my beloved Bo running on the rainbow bridge.
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