When loved ones pass on, we often cling to the things they left behind that were special to them, feeling close to them by holding the items they once treasured. For some, it’s a special piece of clothing or a favorite piece of art, but for Albert Boogaard it was an English bulldog named Quavo.
Though the brown and white dog has lost a little hair, he still brought 68-year-old Boogaard just as much comfort — especially after his owner, Boogaard’s wife, passed away.
“All of a sudden my mom passed away,” Andrea Naylor, Boogard’s stepdaughter, told KCPQ-TV. “She had a heart attack and we just had her wake on Saturday.”
Boogaard was not only grieving the recent loss of his wife but also dealing with progressive supranuclear palsy, a disease that presents like Parkinson’s, according to a Facebook post by KCPQ.
One way Boogaard fought the disease was to box and stay active. In August, he was out for a walk in the Seattle, Washington, neighborhood of Greenwood with Quavo and Naylor when they were approached by a strange vehicle.
Two women and a man, all looking to be in their 20s, stopped and attacked the group.
“The guy got out of the car, come over grabbed me in a bear hug from behind, I turned around and punched him a couple times right behind the ear,” Boogaard said, according to a KCPQ follow-up article. “I’m not strong like I used to be so they shoved me to the ground and grabbed my dog and took him.”
“I used to be a big, strong guy before I started losing my health,” he added. “Now, I am an old man. I don’t like it a bit.”
The attack and loss of Quavo added insult to injury, especially since Boogaard had lost his wife so recently.
“Happening so soon after the memorial really is shocking,” he said.
“He’s like a big teddy bear,” Naylor said of Quavo. “He looks really scary but he’s the total opposite. I mean, he’ll lick you to death maybe.”
“He’s your buddy and he was my mom’s therapy dog for the last three years,” she added, according to the Facebook post.
The area was soon on high alert, with helpful neighbors and friends sharing photos of the unique pup.
“One of our neighbors was attacked and had his dog stolen today around 11:30am at 90th and 6th Ave NW,” a woman named Elisabeth Louise posted to the group Lost Dogs of King County WA. “The dog is a white and tan English Bulldog named Quavo with a black collar and black leash.”
“The individuals got away and the police have been informed. The police officers suggested that I post here to see if anyone has seen the dog or has a house cam that might have recorded the incident. Please let me know if you see the dog or have any information. I have reported this information to the police.”
To everyone’s delight, Quavo was found by the Seattle Animal Shelter as a stray on Sept. 9. Somehow, he’d gotten away from his captors and was picked up and brought to the shelter, where someone recognized him as Boogaard’s stolen dog.
The family is grateful to have their beloved pet back, and no doubt Quavo is happy to be back with his family, too.
“We got our dog, I’m so excited, I’m happy,” Naylor said. “I don’t even know what I’m gonna go do right now, I’m gonna go buy him a bunch of toys.”
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