Another end to a school year has arrived for me at the University of Denver. Unfortunately, this year, it is a bittersweet time for a friend of mine and fraternity brother, Robert, and his dog, Bo. The ending has already been decided upon—Bo was handed over to a friend of Robert’s family in Minnesota. The reason is twofold: Robert’s family is allergic to dogs, and Robert plans to travel abroad.
When Robert brought Bo into his life, I knew that he had made a life-altering decision. At first, he did not realize the burden he had taken on by being the parent of a puppy. More importantly, however, he did not see the attachment to the dog that would surely arrive before handing him over to a new family at the conclusion of the school year. The attachment has grown so strong that it is hard to fathom the separation and the inevitable grieving of Robert.
Robert acquired his companion during the school year along with several other friends. He took charge of most decisions regarding the dog, and provided ample care for a dog in need of a home. However, Robert did not expect the path he inevitably undertook when taking Bo in. He quickly became overwhelmed with all duties required to keep a dog happy, healthy, and, more importantly, safe in a fraternity house full of party-hungry brothers.
However, we soon became mutual caretakers of the young puppy, taking turns walking and caring for the dog. Bo immediately became a major hit on campus. For us, Bo’s presence created a unity among our fraternity, and he also brought pleasure and purpose.
The only question left was whether life in a fraternity for a dog was beneficial. Although Bo was a great companion to have around the house, I think the answer is fairly straightforward. The lifestyle of a typical fraternity was not a healthy fit for Bo. Pets, especially dogs, need stability and stable guardianship in their lives so they can learn right from wrong.
Now Bo is residing at his new home in Minnesota, where the parents of Robert’s friend hope to give him a more stable and secure life.
—Kevin Greenhill is an intern with Tails this summer. He studies journalism at the University of Denver and is enjoying his break back home in Chicago with his family’s Italian Greyhound, Giovanni, also known as Gio.