Hi, my name is Wendi. I was asked by the great folks at Extend™ to share the story about my dog Bo, and the simple miracle that gave her a new lease on life.
I don’t know what I would do without my best friend, Bo. My husband Jerry and I rescued her from a shelter when she was just a pup. Since that day, she has been my companion and best friend for the past decade, inciting playful jealousy from my husband on occasion. I’m pretty sure she’s mostly German Shepherd, but we don’t really care whether she’s a purebred or not.
Bo has helped us run an army surplus store nearly every day (we’re closed Sundays.) She would greet customers with a bark and wagging tail. Some regular customers would even enjoy her presence as they wandered the aisles of the store. She even had a bed near the front checkout counter.
A number of months ago, I began to notice a lethargy in Bo. Her gait began to slow, her tail wagged less, and her excitement for life seemed to diminish. We took her to the vet and barraged him with a thousand questions. The vet gave some advice, recommended some nutritional changes, but also reminded us that Bo wasn’t a spry puppy anymore, and that these were most likely the signs of age: arthritis, cognitive delays, sub-optimal organ function, etc.
It was heartbreaking to witness a change in our dear, sweet Bo. And we knew that our vet was correct; Bo wasn’t a puppy anymore. But she wasn’t THAT old, either. There had to be something we could do. So we tried a myriad of supplements, different diets, and exercise. We tried everything. One evening I even searched the Internet for a local “dog whisperer,” I was desperate. Nothing seemed to work.
After a while, we accepted her new state, assumed she just had an unlucky genetic disposition, and did what we could to make her comfortable. She spent most of the day resting in her bed by the checkout stand, and when she rose to greet only the regular customers, it looked like a painful ordeal.
On a Saturday morning just over one month ago, a gentleman walked into our store and asked if we carried anything that could act as a reusable drop cloth. He was repainting his house, and did not like the idea of discarding yards of cheap plastic after a single use. I pointed him in the right direction, and he thanked me then stooped to greet Bo in her bed. She painstakingly stood to show her approval of him scratching behind her ears.
Moments later, he returned to the counter with an armful of canvas cloth. But during the checkout process, his attention was on Bo. He asked her age and about the stiffness. After I handed him the receipt, he thanked me and headed out with his bundle of cloth. I thought that was the end of it.
Two minutes later the door opened, and that same man entered and approached me, this time with a small gray bottle in one hand. He explained how he was the head of product development for a nutritional company that focused on pet health and longevity. He must have seen a bit of confusion on my face, because he then retrieved his business card from his wallet and handed it to me.
He then explained that he was returning from a meeting with some potential distributors for a new product he had just finished developing, then handed me the bottle. It was a plain, gray bottle with a white lid. On the label was written “EX-37” in black marker. I looked up at him, skeptical.
He smiled and said, “Ignore the label. We haven’t thought of a name for it yet. But I think Bo could use this.”
“I’ve tried all the pet supplements. But thanks for the offer,” I said, handing back the bottle.
“Keep the bottle. It’s not like other pet supplements, trust me.” Then he turned and left.
By the time the door had closed behind the stranger, I had tossed both the bottle and the card in the waste basket and returned to the checkout counter. Hours later as I was emptying the trash, I saw the bottle and remembered the man. Then a distinct thought occurred to me. What do I have to lose? I believed the man was sincere and truthful. I just didn’t believe his new pills would help Bo any more than the rest of the junk on pet supply store shelves. But he was nice and Bo liked him…
So I popped open the bottle and tossed a pill to Bo. She gobbled it up.
For the next few days I kept the bottle on the counter and tossed her a pill in the morning, and another one at closing time. My husband teased me for feeding my dog a mystery pill from a stranger. But he teased me about everything, so, whatever.
One morning, Keith, a regular customer walked in and greeted me and Bo. Then he exclaimed, “Wendi, what have you done to Bo? She’s looking great! I’ll have what she’s having!”
Bo had hopped up and trotted to Keith, tail wagging furiously. She hadn’t done anything like that for months! Not only that, she continued on with Keith, escorting him through the store like she used to always do. At first I was dumbfounded, thinking it was a miracle of some sort. Then I looked at the gray bottle and remembered the stranger. I also quickly remembered what I had done with his business card.
I’m a law abiding citizen, so I’m not sure if what I did next broke any laws or not, but I still don’t regret doing it. I had to find the stranger for two reasons: First, to thank him. Second, to buy more gray bottles.
With his business card in a landfill and the gray bottle giving no clues except “EX-37,” all I knew was that he had purchased some canvas drop cloths. So I rummaged through past receipts and finally found his. He had paid with a credit card, and had therefore given me a signature. It was hard to read, but with my husband’s help, we came up with a few possible names.
With the help of my Internet-savvy nephew and a few Google searches, I found a few promising phone numbers. The first number I dialed was the right one.
His name was Kevin, and yes he remembered me and Bo. He was glad to hear that the pills worked, but he wasn’t acting overjoyed with surpise like me. He simply explained that product trials had proven extremely successful, hence his lack of surprise.
He went on to explain that it worked to increase mobility, strength, and nutritional efficiency for aging dogs, but that it also works as a preventive supplement for younger dogs, “In fact, I really recommend it be given to younger dogs to prevent the joint damage and nutritional deficiencies that are so common with aging.”
Oh, they also finally got around to naming the product, and I think it’s the perfect name based on how it helped my dog, Bo:
I thanked him at least fifty times during the call. At the end of the call, we exchanged information, and he arranged to send me a few more bottles of Extend™ for my sweet Bo.