Sunday, March 19, 2006


This is Bosco. No, that's not his real name I'm sure, but that was his adopted name. About two months ago, on our way back from the store, we see Big Bad Bosco trotting down our street, alone without a leash, without a collar. Being that we live close to two major streets, I tell my lovely wife to stop so I could hop out and see if I could capture him. I jump out and the chase ensues and I'll be damned if this dog is not the fastest dog I've ever seen. Dude just flew!

I chase him up the next block and call my wife using my cellular telephone and tell her to bring treats and we'll try and trick him into our captivity. Well, he fell for it, I snagged him, threw his big ass over my shoulder like a wounded soldier and hauled him back to the house. We threw him in the backyard, gave him water, gave him food just to buy us some time to devise a plan. Obviously, we thought, he's pretty well taken care of. He had no obvious signs of abuse, he was fairly clean even though his coat was quite oily, his teeth and mouth seemed pretty healthy. Above all that, he was hung like an elephant. We had to find his owner because someone was missing him.

I started around the block to see if anyone knew seemed to be out looking for him. No one. I called out to she shelters to see if anyone had called looking for a lost basset. No one. We decided to hang signs around the neighborhood, about 15 of them, advertising that we found a basset and I put my cellular telephone number on it. And we were going to wait. After we would wait three days, we decided we would take him to a no-kill facility in town. We got him a collar--one step closer to ownership. The collar was just so we had something to grab at in the case he got out.

Well, those three days came and went because I had a lead on a basset rescue group in Denver which my cousin Maria could possibly get Bosco into. Perfect, I'd rather he'd go to basset lovers than just any other dog lover. I was even willing to drive him 8 hours to Denver. So we waited a little longer.

A week after finding him, I was working in the garage and opened the window to the backyard so Jax and Boss could jump in and out as they wanted. Well, I had destroyed a window frame as the early process of the garage renovation. And, as I was opening the door to throw out some of the wood scraps from the window and, in the blink of an eye, Bosco barrels through the door and, in a full sprint, he took off. I, in sandals, began pursuit then decided against it thinking there's no way I'm gonna catch that dog in sandals. I run back to the driveway, hop in my wife's automobile and start driving down the block where I find Boss walking around a yard. I pull up to the curb. I call him by his adopted name and he reacts. He begins to inch toward me. This might be easier than I originally thought. I grab at his collar hesitantly and he lunged away from me, again disappearing quickly, but this time into an impassable alleyway. He was gone.

I searched for maybe two hours after that. Asking people in their yards if they saw a basset. Nothing. I went back home and my lovely wife said, "All we can hope is that he went back to his house." I thought, "Yeah, the house that has no clue that he's even gone." There was no sign of him. I didn't want to go out driving on the major streets for fear of seeing him lying lifelessly in the middle of traffic. Bosco was gone.

A week later, my mother's in town and I'm recounting the story to her over lunch. My mother wants to go antique shopping so my mother, her friend, my lovely wife and I leave the restaurant as the story of Bosco continues in the car. On the way to the antique stores, I tell my mother to turn into the neighborhood so I can show her one of the signs I put up with my number on it. Not sure why, maybe so I could show proof that I tried to find his owner. My wife thought from the beginning that I was trying to keep him. I wouldn't have been completely opposed to it, I guess. We turn into the neighborhood and I show off a few of my numerous signs. We turn up my block and start heading toward the antique stores and as we approach the end of the block and I say, "And that's the story of Bosco," all of the sudden I spot Bosco shooting out of the alley and almost disappearing under my bumper. I slam on my breaks, pull over and give chase. My mother happened to be carrying the worst coconut cookies in the world and I ask her for some crumbs to see if I can, once again, lure in Bosco. He leaps into a backyard through the alley so I walk to the front of the house at which he is occupying the backyard. A young kid answers the door and I ask him if he has a basset hound. He tells me he doesn't so I then ask if I can go into the backyard to get Bosco. He tells me, "sure."

As I'm walking to the rear of the house, the parents drive up. Obviously, they're wondering what the hell I'm doing so I explain the situation. They go on to tell me that Bosco, as I know him, is always out wandering around. He's usually getting into trash and then the owners come out, pick him up, beat the crap out of him and throw him back in the backyard. They point out the house and I tell them, if I see him again, I'm picking him up again and taking care of him if his owners can't. If they want him back they'll have to deal with me.

We proceed to antique shopping, all the while, I'm preoccupied with Bosco--glad he's alive, but fear again that he'll get hit just like I almost did. I patiently wait for everyone to finish their purchases and then we scurry home. As we get home, I tell everyone that I'm going to look for Bosco and I'm taking Jax with me to see if Bosco chases Jax. I walk towards his home and, sure enough, there he stood on the sidewalk. He approaches cautiously and I begin walking Jax back toward our house and, as easy as cheese, Bosco sniffed Jax's tail all the way into our front door.

Once again, Bosco was in our house and the same plan applied this time--see if we can get him into a basset rescue facility or, at the very least, a no-kill facility. Another week passes. My wife has grown impatient. Jax as well. We bathed him, loved him, let him sleep in the bedroom and he did so very well. But my lovely wife was right, this was a one-dog household and, as painful as it was for me to grasp that, I knew it was true.

The next Saturday, a week later once again, I woke up early as I normally do. It was a foggy morning. I grabbed the leash, hooked up Bosco and we went for a walk. Incredibly, he walked like a pro--just to my left, no pulling, no lagging. We walked almost an entire mile and as we approached the house, I felt Bosco begin to pull viciously--almost like a full-blown panic attack. It was like trying to wrangle a bronco and, before you knew it, he stood up on his hind legs moving away from me, the collar slipped right over his head and he took off around the corner in the direction of his house. This time, I didn't bother chasing. He wanted to be there, for whatever reason. And, as much as I wanted him or believed that he was happy at our house and I rescued him from a terrible home, it seemed that, in the end, he knew where home was.

I went back inside, told my wife the story and, relieved, she said, "That's his home." A few days later, I walked by the house and there stood Bosco behind a newly reinforced fence. He looked a little miserable to me, but then again, what do I know? Here's my point (despite just wanting to tell the story of Bosco), if you have a dog and you love your dog, first start with a collar, preferably with tags. Secondly, have a fence that is escape-proof or else you're gonna have a mess on your hands when you find him/her cheatin' death in the middle of a major street. Thirdly, in the case he/she does get out and someone puts up signs surrounding your house, feel free to call. You might wanna see if you can find any information on your lost dog. If you're dog's gone for two weeks and you have made no attempt to locate it, you don't deserve a dog. Lastly, I know it's a pain in the ass to bathe dogs, but it's part of ownership. Bosco was lucky he was fairly clean and had no evidence of ticks or fleas, but his coat was a disaster.

Love your dog. Take care of your dog. And if you can't, let someone else do it.

Bosco does shakeface

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