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My dog's name is Carlo. The city shelter named him that and I just didn't have the heart to change it since he responded to it. It's perfect though. Carlo is the Italian form of Charles, which comes from the German word “karl,” meaning “free man.” He certainly is a free "man" now! My best friend pointed out that you can't spell my very Italian last name without spelling Carlo. I loved that. It was truly fate!

He is assumed to be four years old.

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Our first "Gotcha Day" is coming up on May 22!

I got Carlo from the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter for the cool price of $88. Backstory: I closed on my house in February 2017 and was undergoing significant renovations but applied through a regional Boston Terrier rescue as I knew these things take time. I was in the market for an older (and smaller) dog who needed a good home. One night in May, I was scrolling through Facebook in bed (don't judge me; we all do it) when Carlo's mug popped up in a random group. He looked like an overgrown Boston. My interest was piqued. But then I quickly thought, "Emily, you're crazy. You've got to finish this house. Move in. Establish some normalcy PLUS you are approved now through this rescue group and waiting for them to contact you when they have a dog available." A few days later, my boyfriend was at the Pierogi Festival (yep, that's a thing). He started sending me pictures of this "Boston Terrier on steroids." I quickly found the original post and, sure enough, it was the same dog. I immediately left what I was doing and went down to the festival to meet Carlo. I was wearing black and white. He is black and white. Like I said, fate! The next day, I brought my boyfriend's son to the shelter to meet him. One day later, I picked up Carlo from the vet - before having even moved a (human) bed into my house. A shelter volunteer told me, "You don't pick them. They pick you." I totally believe that now.

When Emily met Carlo.

When Emily met Carlo.


We joke that he is obedient but dumb. He's got this big, ole' head but we're not sure what's going on in there most of the time. He has no idea that he's not an actual lap dog. He's about 52 pounds, 20 of which is probably in his head. He's so happy and just loves everyone he meets. (He's a terrible guard dog.) It's really like he's grateful to be in a loving home. You can't help but let him sit on your lap and snuggle you - even if your leg goes numb. He's also got these crazy, googly eyes. Sometimes it's a little creepy and sometimes it's hysterical. The joke is that he really is my (fur) child because I have pretty terrible eyesight and we both lack depth perception, leading us to knock into things all the time. Or maybe we're both just clumsy, who knows!

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Nicknames: Ha! Sometimes we call him Booty Booty and I can't even remember how or why that started!

Favorite Toy: He LOVES tennis destroy. First, he pulls off the hair and then punctures a hole in it before ripping it to pieces. It's pretty calculated. Earlier this week, my boyfriend complained about tennis ball pieces being everywhere but I'll take that over chewed shoes or furniture any day!

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Favorite Treat: He LOVES his West Paw Zogoflex Toppl from Buffalo Barkery. We fill it with pumpkin puree and freeze it. I call it his "dessert" and often stick a (dog) cookie in there, too.

Likes: Snuggles, walks, carrots, and car rides.


Dislikes: Baths and rain. Okay, pretty much anything to do with water or cold.

Favorite Activity to do with his Parents: Probably sleep. He is so lazy! He does enjoy our daily walk(s) and weekly training classes as well as hanging out at my boyfriend's gym (Quarter Deck Athletics). I will say, he LOVES going to Buffalo Barkery because he is treated like a king! When we are downtown, he knows we are close. If he got loose, he'd find his way there before he found his way home.

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Sleep Spot: This dog must sleep while touching you - or rather me. If you move an inch, he moves two inches. He often sleeps with his head on the pillow like a human. I keep our bedroom door closed during the day, otherwise, I'm sure he'd just be in there all day long. Instead, he spends time in his crate, on the couch, or on the guest bed. He's spoiled, for sure.

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Adopt - don't shop! I never thought adopting a dog could be so rewarding. Sure, there is always the unknown variable of their pasts but all dogs require work. 

In December, we started going to weekly training classes with Dog Tags New York. We had to stay in a separate room because Carlo was too excited about all the other dogs. After two months, he earned his Canine Good Citizen (CGC) certificate. And, now, he is working towards the Advanced CGC. An example of his progress: I can do an off-leash stay while five or six other dogs around us are being released separately and he will not move until I give the command. It really is remarkable! Our ultimate goal is for him to become a therapy dog.

Drew Williams