Thursday, September 5, 2013

Pogo: A Highly Dubious History Of A Very Lovely Dog

Like a lot of dogs Pogo came to us without a history. Lost in Sunnyvale, he was wandering about when a good Samaritan found him and brought him to us. His owner never came to claim him. Upon arriving here he went through health and behavior evaluations. Our volunteers have spent dozen of hours with him. While we can never know exactly where Pogo came from or what his life was like before, we can extrapolate based on what we know about him.

Pogo at the Olympic training facility in Vaduz, Liechtenstein

What we know: Pogo is incredibly athletic. Have a ball? He'll chase it. Got a hyper dog? He'll play with it. Is that a stuffed toy? Let's play tuggies.

What we can extrapolate: Prior to arriving at Humane Society Silicon Valley, Pogo was born into a family of noble canine athletes. Trained from birth to be an Olympic runner and fetch competitor, he was cast aside by his trainers when it was discovered that not only did the Olympics not have a fetch medal, they didn't allow dogs to compete in the track events.  This didn't phase our noble Pogo who continued to push himself, training hard by chasing squirrels and attempting to compete in collegiate sports. He was unable to compete in collegiate sports when he was once again stymied by being a dog. Even still, the little guy trained like Rocky.

Pogo shaking off after a poolside fashion shoot in St. Lucia

What we know: Pogo loves water. He bee-lines to our doggy pool in the yard and loves to sit, lay, splash and play in it. 

What we can extrapolate: After Pogo's eviction from his Olympic trainers, he was recruited by the Navy Seals to be a high level operative. They were impressed by his athletic stamina and fearlessness. Unfortunately, his willingness to run up to everyone and ability to be distracted by tennis balls and squirrels worked against him. He was a flop on covert missions. He briefly entertained a career in the intelligence forces but was let go when other operatives discovered he would do anything for cheese. Left at loose ends, Pogo did a couple of shoots for elite fashion magazines but abandoned modeling after discovering he hated to be shoved into clothing.

Pogo demonstrating his coding skills with an imaginary keyboard.

What we know: Pogo is very, very smart and learns new tricks and skills quickly. He's graduated from an obedience class since he got here and knows numerous commands.

What we can extrapolate: After washing out of a life of public service and modeling, Pogo decided he'd do best with a life lived by his wits instead of his body. He decided to learn programming. After completing an advanced coding class he came to Silicon Valley to find a job with a cutting edge tech firm. While walking to an interview, he found himself lost. Flagging down a good Samaritan, he was suddenly overcome by the exhaustion of being a dog trying to make it on his own. Yes, the independent life had been fun but it wasn't fulfilling. He wanted a bed. He wanted a tennis ball. He wanted to be a good boy. He wanted to be a dog.

Pogo with a shelter friend.

What we know: Nothing we extrapolated is probably true.

What we can extrapolate. Or something like that: A lot of times the word 'stray' carries a stigma to it. It brings to mind images of feral dogs or dogs cast out for being bad. In reality, stray dogs are usually anything but either of these. While other places have issues with feral dogs, this area generally doesn't. Most stray dogs in shelters here were owned animals who got lost or had owners pass away. Good dogs. Smart dogs. Dogs like Pogo who love people and love to play.

While it's highly unlikely Pogo ever was an Olympic hopeful, a Navy Seal, a model or graduated from a programming and coding class, he IS a great dog looking for a great home. Come meet him today. 

(All captions are patently untrue. Except for the last one.)


  1. Wonderful story. I hope Pogo gets adopted by great folks.

  2. Excellent post! And I agree about strays being good dogs -- I adopted a stray from HSSV and he's been an absolute joy for the past two years.

  3. Great post! Go Pogo!!!

  4. I would love to adopt a great dog like Pogo but it is to bad they have the dogs only at the Milpitas