Getting my bearings again after the passing of Bo. I reread my blog telling about his passing and it really doesn’t show much emotion. I find that odd. I have been torn up by his passing. Below is his memorial video. It is rather long…almost 6 minutes.
For those interested, I hope you enjoy.
All for now. I will return to blogging my journey soon.
Thanks for caring.
The following is text from a post I sent to an Incredimail list that I co-own. It tells a bit about Bo, his life and so on.
This email is long, but I wanted to share some things about the Bo Man for those interested.
As some of you may know, the trainer I took Daisy to this past winter, “just happened” to recognize my description of Bo when we first met…she had helped a friend place some wolfdogs into new situations when they were about four years old. From my description of Bo (and his name), and what I had already learned about his history, Kathy was able to know with certainty that he was the same as one of those woldogs she helped place. She put me in touch with the daughter of the person who bred Bo’s mom and dad (she owned both). Dad was a wolf (had papers, if you can believe that…from Canada) with some malamute and his Mom was a shepherd/wolf cross. She was the one who had confiscated the dogs from her own mother, an irreponsible breeder who left Bo and the other littermates to grow up untouched by humans (for the most part) for their first almost four years. The males and females were separated only to avoid pregnancies, but Bo was chosen of the 12 because he was considered most likely to succeed in life after such a rough beginning. In fact, the daughter kept him as her own for a while, and hoped it would be permanent. She even took Bo to Kathy’s (Daisy’s trainer) “Family Pet” class (the same one I took Daisy to). But Bo never trusted her husband…and when she had a baby, she felt it unwise to keep Bo and placed him.
Bo and one sibling were taken by the daughter of the irresponsible breeder and Kathy (Daisy’s trainer) to Never Cry Wolf in Sacramento, a wolf rescue. According to the owner of the rescue, Bo was taken on outreach programs with other residents of the rescue, before someone adopted him. It baffles me that he never acclimated to a leash given his experience with the rescue and his experience with the daughter of the breeder.
But before the new adopted owner got Bo in the front door of her home in Rocklin (where we lived at the time), he escaped.
In October of 2001, Bo began to visit our home through an opening in the fence we had because of landscaping the backyard. Our property adjoined a huge undeveloped area (oaks, creeks, coyotes, turkeys, rabbits…you get the gist!) where Bo had been living off the land, I guess, for a couple of months. He was drawn to us by his desire to bond with Samson and my earliest memories of Bo include him sitting outside our door howling…he wanted his new friend. In fact, some of the most warm memories I have him are of him howling in his sleep…as if he was running with a pack somewhere. Sometimes, that sound would awaken me during the night and I would check on Bo, to find he was howling in his sleep!
Back to my story. So in 2001, I began to use Samson on a leash as my “bait” to try to win Bo’s confidence. I even drew Bo into the house by having Samson on a leash attached to the furniture! I will never forget the day I won Bo’s heart. I had read on the internet that a sign of acceptance into the pack was if the alpha offered a submissive posture and bit the new pack member on the leg…so, being a science-minded person and having taught about nature extensively for years at a science and nature center, I figured it made sense for me to at least try the experiment…and it worked! I believe some of you may remember my posting about it before…I laid on my back, belly exposed, he came close and I bit him on the leg and smiled and popped back up on all fours. At that moment, he rolled onto *his* back, offering me his belly…and the rest was history. You would have thought I had shot Cupid’s arrow into his heart because everything changed. It was amazing!
At that time we called him “Bear” as we didn’t know his name. We phoned tons of places (shelters, rescues) looking for a lead about his owner, put up signs…we called the Shepherd rescue in Sacramento who, upon one look at Bo’s photographs, had me email Never Cry Wolf. I will never forget the day I got a phone call (after emailing the man in charge of the rescue with photographs of Bo and descriptions of him) saying “I know your dog and I can tell you about him.”
The rescue owner then planned to try to find a permanent home for Bo with the word to us that, since Bo had chosen us, perhaps we could consider being his forever home.
I guess I should confess to you now that I never really *asked* my husband if this was ok…I just sort of let Bo take over our hearts…which he did, Samson’s included, of course! Bob couldn’t argue with that…well he could have, but he didn’t. Bless him. Given that it wasn’t until FIVE YEARS LATER that Bo began to accept Bob and allow Bob to even touch him…that is huge! LOL!
As many of you who knew us then may remember, there were times when it was REALLY rough, as Bo had to learn we were not a literal wolf pack and his status would have to stay omega–last on the list. He had to learn *not* to do what wolves do to one another in a pack situation (and neither would we!). Remember, that was all he knew…attack or be attacked. From what I was told so much later, he hadn’t fared well with his male siblings, and had scars on his face to prove it. That was what he knew when he came to us and he had to be shown another way. He was smart and “took to his learnin’ well.”
I will never forget the day that I was wrestling 8 year old Daniel on the carpet so soon after Bo even began to be willing to wander inside the house (the door was always kept open for him)…I didn’t have a clue then the message I was sending to Bo…that Daniel’s status was up for grabs and the alpha female (me) was rebuking one of the pack…From his wolfish perspective, this was his opportunity. He joined in. It could have been a horrible accident. We were fortunate. Daniel was shaken up, as was I. That day, I made sure I learned how to speak “wolf” to Bo and fast…researching and learning…The kids were taught some things, too…and our homeschool focus changed to studying wolves. Our literature unit was “Julie of the Wolves” and we learned a LOT during that time.
When we lifted up the 6 foot section of fencing that we had down for landscaping, we were surprised to discover that Bo had been using that section of fencing as the roof on an elaborate multi-roomed wolf den. It was astonishing! When we closed up the fence, in essence ending Bo’s freedom, part of our homeschooling was to try to replicate his den. HA! Three humans couldn’t manage what Bo had done with his own four paws!
Bo’s last fresh meal was Kitty–the only cat I ever loved, a sweet stray who came into our lives a couple of weeks before Bo did. He killed her quickly about a month after Bo began to come around…that was hard as Daniel had announced that Kitty was his best friend just the day before. I think it is a testimony to the character of my son that he not only forgave Bo, but adored Bo so very much.
When we moved from Rocklin, I had to find a way to move Bo. He didn’t like Bob at that time and freaked at the sight of a leash. He was terrified of being on a leash. I had vets come to the house if we needed one…and one suggested I use dramamine to get him drowsy enough to leash and put in the car for our move to Cool.
I managed to move he and Samson one early morning on my own and he loved Cool. The yard we fenced for the dogs provided lots of room, lots of shelter, hiding places and a steep hill for romping up and down on…not to mention a nice back porch to lounge on if they chose. We put a wading pool there for them to splash in during the summer. Samson and Bo played recklessly on that hillside together, sometimes falling head over heals in their play! It was such fun to watch! In so many ways, I think Samson’s life was extended because of Bo–he had to be “younger” just to keep up with Bo, who we often referred to as “Tigger.” They were actually the same age, but you would never know it.
While Samson was alive, Bo never seemed to age. He was so playful and squeezed every bit of life out of each moment. WHile his suspicion of humans generally was still unsettling for many people who knew us (extended family), we knew Bo as a much different “person.” He was definitely a family (and pack) member for good. He loved my kids and me tremendously. No, he wasn’t typical…but he was immeasurably special. During this past year, he came to trust Bob…the breakfast cereal helped! LOL! (I can laugh about that now!)
As you know, when Samson died, a part of Bo died. I thought he would die then, too. Daisy rescued the day there…a month after Samson died, we brought her home and Bo could NOT believe we were going to allow such a tyrant to take over! He moved into the house in a way he NEVER had before, sleeping inside each night and wandering through all the time, if not snoozing inside during the day. He and Daisy spent most of the days inside, in fact, rough housing and playing a lot in the living room. She definitely breathed new life into him for a time.
So many things I would love to tell you all about…about how he and Samson did tours of Rocklin *together*…and my heart ached that they might never return…and then when they got out in Cool…gosh, they came home again…Bo knew where the grub was free!
The kids and I just ate lunch together and laughed as we remembered Bo always peeking his wolfish bandit eyes over the top of the dining table from the other side, looking at us…he was just so cute. That, of course, was only if he wasn’t nudging our elbows with his nose! We often said that he was the cutest 10 year old dog on the planet. He always looked like a puppy…he really did. He grinned so happily all the time.
I miss him terribly.