This section is devoted to our beloved dogs who are waiting at the Rainbow Bridge. If you would like to include a tribute to your B.O.N.E.S. beagle(s) that crossed to Rainbow Bridge, please send your story and/or photo(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read all of the tributes by paging through them below or click on a name to go to a specific article.
Sixteen months ago, Bo came into our lives through the B.O.N.E.S. foster program. It had been eight months since we had lost our beloved English Springer Spaniel, Brownie of nearly 14 years. We were broken-hearted and needed healing.
When I first contacted my adoption counselor, Anne, with my interest in adopting a beagle in need, I told her that I would ideally like a petite, two-to-four-year-old female. She told me there would be a wait so I decided to volunteer for the foster program in the meantime. So on a snowy day in January 2014, Sharon brought Bo to us. I remember spending that first afternoon on the couch with him, giving him his space and freedom to retreat to the comfort of his familiar wicker crate and blankets. After just a few hours, this manly, seven-and-a-half-year-old, 38-pound, handsome tank of a beagle won my heart and I knew that we would join the ranks of "foster failures." Bo taught me that it wasn't age, size, or "personal plumbing" that would heal our broken hearts, but it was the sheer joy of providing a loving forever home and family to such a deserving, heaven-sent creature.
As the months passed, Bo became known as, "Bo Radley" to my son, "Boey" and "Bonut" to my daughters, "Bo-Buddy" to my husband, and "Bo-Bo" to me. Bo settled into our home so well, we decided what he really needed was a younger sibling to put a little spark into his life. So in July 2014, Tate came along, a one-and-a-half-year-old, spunky, lanky rascal from the B.O.N.E.S. foster program. He and Bo couldn't have been more different in temperament and appearance, but they bonded as brothers instantly. Tate revered Bo as his older and wiser leader, and Bo got a kick out of Tate's antics and rallied his then eight-year-old self to keep up with his younger brother's energy level. Last summer they shared lounge chairs by the pool and were known as the "Sniffers" while walking through downtown Chatham on weekends. When the weather cooled in the fall, they enjoyed one-to-two-hour leash walks, where Bo taught Tate how to lift his leg and pee like a man (squatting was simply unacceptable). Tate was always eager to race along on walks, but Bo preferred frequent stops to smell the flowers. Maybe it was his way of taking breaks in order to keep up with young Tate, but we all recognized that it was something we could all learn from Bo. He taught us to be mindfully present, to revel in the moment, to inhale all the glory of this good earth.
When I received Bo's devastating diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma two weeks ago, I cried, I ached, and I grieved for the time we weren't going to have together. I had so much more to give him and had expected to spend the next five years doing so. Although I just had sixteen months with Bo, I loved him a lifetime's worth, as though I had raised him from puppyhood. We had become his family and we were indebted to him for the comfort and healing he provided when we so desperately needed it. So during the brief period of hospice care, we made the most of the little time we had remaining with our dear Bo, thrilling to each morning he woke us up at the crack of dawn, happy and hungry, baying at the pantry in anticipation of his bowl of kibble and dental scrubbie treat, watching him frolic in the backyard with Tate, gentle strolls during beautiful crisp spring days and offering special bedtime privileges with a previously forbidden silk comforter.
Bo was such a blessing. We will forever miss his velvety ears, desire to please, gentlemanly manners, occasional conversations with the neighbors' dogs, his flying fur, classic hunter's frame with relatively diminutive paws, mellifluous snoring which lulled me to sleep each night, and his kind and expressive eyes, which spoke volumes of the love we shared. We will miss him terribly, but what we learned from Bo is that while no other dog will ever replace him, someday we will have room in our hearts for another beagle in need when we are ready.
With deepest gratitude to Ibby, Sharon, Anne, Victoria, and all the B.O.N.E.S. volunteers who helped us find our way to Bo,