Just about everyone who knows me and my wife has either heard about, seen a picture of, or even met our chocolate lab, Bogart. I have to apologize to my Instagram followers because it seems like I post more and more photos of him the deeper we get into autumn.
As soon as you meet Bogart it’s clear that he LOVES people. I don’t think we’ve come across any type of person that he doesn’t like. He really wears his heart on his….tail? That thing wags and wags and has been known to knock items off of tables. What a lot of people likely don’t know is how we adopted Bogart. I could talk about this for at least an hour, but I’ll do my best to keep it short.
Back in 2010, a close friend of ours introduced us to 4 Paws for Ability, a nonprofit that trains and provides services dogs to children with disabilities. Our friend was fostering a dog and encouraged us to do the same. We were given three four-month old pups to choose from, and we chose Bogart. Over the next six months our mission was to socialize him, train him in basic obedience, and introduce him to many different environments and situations. It was easy to socialize a puppy that LOVES people. Obedience training was quite easy because he seemed advanced. And we both took him to various meetings and events, shopping, restaurants, etc. The only part about the fostering that I hated was that we had to give him back. I lied to myself when I said it’d be easy. No, Allison and I were crushed.
Fast forward six more months and I was given a reason to believe in miracles. Due to Bogart having mild hip dysplasia (common in labs), we were given the first option to adopt him! He was unable to be a service dog because he wasn’t 100% healthy. We officially adopted him three days after we received notice that he was available.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Bogart would have been an excellent service dog. He’s the most loyal dog I’ve ever seen. Unless you have Pup-peroni. You’ll win if you have Pup-peroni. You can tell by looking into his eyes that there is no limit to his love and companionship. His only flaw MIGHT be that his snoring can compete with the local freight trains, but hey, I’ve been told that I’m a snorer, too. Like father, like son!
If you’re a dog person, I’m sure you can relate to the bond we have with Bogart. I want to leave you with a heartwarming story about a man who actually had his dog act as his best man during his wedding. This wasn’t just any dog, but it was his service dog. Justin Lansford is a U.S. Army veteran who was paired with golden retriever, Gabe, after being injured in Afghanistan by and IED back in 2012.
Thanks for reading!