Bo, a very alive three-year-old Blue Heeler, is being called the Wyoming Wonder Dog. Here’s why. (Buckle up.)
A few months ago, Genevieve Gerber and her 18-year-old son, Wesley, returned home to find a dog in their chicken coop, according to the Los Angeles Times.
It was Bo. Wesley grabbed his rifle and shot the dog twice. Bo was hit on the cheek and in the back. Wesley and Genevieve walked up to Bo and determined he was dead. Wesley dragged the dog outside, then asked his father, Mike, what to do.
“Burn it,” his father told him.
Later, Mike Gerber was able to clarify his position on burning a neighbor’s dog that your son had just shot and killed, to the Casper Star-Tribune.
“I said, ‘Burn it,’ because we have had other predators come around — and even our chickens that the dog had killed — how we got rid of them was we just burned them,” he said.
Dutiful son Wesley dragged the dog to the family’s “burn barrel” in the front yard, put the dog inside, doused Bo with gasoline, and lit him on fire.
“The next thing you know, the dog comes popping up out of there in flames,” Mike said to the Casper Star-Tribune. Then he watched the flaming dog run in circles before bolting off.
“I wish it never happened,” Mike says today — after the talks with the police and the restraining order Bo’s family placed on him, and maybe due to the heavy weight of his conscience. “The decisions being made were made fast. Maybe if they would’ve been thought through more clearly, we would’ve done things differently.”
In any case, Bo had bolted home, to his loving family, who couldn’t believe their eyes.
“Something looked very wrong. It was this terrible smell,” Abby Redland said, according to the Times. “His hair was melted and falling out. He was still smoldering.”
“He was semi-comatose, in frantic pain, flailing,” she said to the Star-Tribune.
Abby rushed Bo to the vet. “Bo was in such shock, the vet didn’t think he’d make it,” she said. “I just sat there with him, touching his head, because I couldn’t touch any other part of his body.”
But Bo made it. Bo survived. The vet covered him in ice and stitched up his face. He couldn’t lie down on his own for a month and a half, and he cried, but he got better. His hair fell out, his damaged skin blistered and fell off. But after five laser treatments and many checkups, and a lot of pain medication, Bo slowly healed. The skin on his legs shrunk, so he limps now, but he’s still Bo.
“He’s still the same sweet dog,” said Abby. “If you don’t pet him, he nudges you. His hair is a lot shorter now.”
As a result of the Gerber family’s insanity, the Redlands took out a restraining order on them. And the Redlands are trying to make it harder under Wyoming law to shoot a domestic animal, and to introduce stipulations requiring shooters to contact the animal’s owners, according to the Times.
They’ve also set up a fund at the Tharp Veterinary Clinic in Worland, highlighting their efforts on their Facebook page, Bo’s Cause for Abused Paws. The fund will assist anyone whose pets are in serious need of medical attention.
“Bo’s alive because he came home,” Redland said. “He knew where home was.”
All photos via the Facebook page Bo’s Cause for Abused Paws.