At this point, animal rescue stories are a certified internet "thing" (for evidence, see Buzzfeed). The essential ingredients: an adorable cat or dog (or squirrel or raccoon) that's down on its luck and a benevolent rescuer who swoops in and scoops it up.
Enter Bo. Until last year, the three-year-old Azores Cattle Dog was living as a stray and was nine kilograms underweight. He spent most of his time hanging around industrial sites and a car wash in Toronto's west end, eventually showing up on the radar of Toronto's dog rescue community, the Toronto Star reports.
Toronto, like many large North American cities, has a loose network of canine guardian angels who keep an eye out for strays and runaways, and stay in touch via email mailing lists. One of those dog rescuers brought Bo to the attention of Dahlia Ayoub, a dog trainer who lived nearby and had been volunteering her time with dog rescues for a couple of years. The rest is YouTube history. (Warning: you may need a sizable tissue box to make it through the video.)
Ayoub sprang into action, tracking Bo for two weeks before organizing a rescue. "I slept in the kennel he was being boarded in for four hours as soon as he got [to the shelter]," she told Strombo.com. She soon realized something incredible about Bo: despite toughing it out by himself on the streets, the dog was almost totally blind.
After his rescue, Bo spent a couple of months with The Dog Rescuers, an Oakville, Ontario-based non-profit, which paid for him to receive a battery of veterinary tests. One of the techs at the veterinary clinic ended up adopting him. Ayoub, for her part, turned Bo's story into an animal rescue video that's received nearly 20,000 views.
Bo, along with other lucky rescued dogs, is now set to star in Furever Home, a new documentary series profiling dog rescues that's now in production by Independent filmmaker Judith Keenan. Expect more tears to follow.
As for Bo himself, life is very good. "He is doing very well, has gained about 20 lbs and he follows [his new owner] around like her shadow," Ayoub said. "Even though he is almost completely blind, you would never know!"
Via The Toronto Star