In my three and half years of volunteering at Austin Pets Alive!, I’ve never met a dog quite like Banjo. This 10-year- old, sausage-shaped hunk of a dog caught my attention on the first day we met, and he’s been my favorite shelter dog ever since.
It’s hard to articulate why—maybe it’s his incredible smarts, maybe it’s his goofy, carefree nature, or maybe it’s his love of long walks around the lake. I have a feeling it’s a combination of all the above.
A few weeks ago, Banjo was diagnosed with untreatable cancer. The first piece of good news is that Banjo doesn’t have a strict timeline of how much longer he has to live; it could be months or even years. The second piece of good news is that Banjo has absolutely no idea he’s sick, and he’s the same silly, active boy he’s always been. We are reaching out to help Banjo find his forever family or a foster home where he can live—for as long as he can—in a comfortable and loving home.
As I always tell people, Banjo is like a little boy living in an adult body. He’s got incredible stamina—both when walking on the trail and during his obedience training. Banjo also has a great sense of humor. He will make you laugh with his funny snorts, his fondness for splashing in the water, and his total inability to be dainty. In that sense, Banjo is a lot like what I imagine Will Ferrell would be in dog form. Banjo refuses to take himself too seriously, and he’s so spirited that he never, ever seems to be in a bad mood.
Like Buddy the Elf, Banjo has no problem telling you his favorite things: treats, walks, followed by more treats and more walks. He's not a very complicated guy. Until you get to know Banjo, though, you might not realize just how devoted he is to his friends. Banjo is very friendly with every person he meets, but he holds a special place in his heart for his regular visitors at the shelter (as they do for him). Whenever one of his best friends pays him a visit, Banjo’s face lights up, and he’ll wiggle his entire body in excitement as his eyes meet theirs and a grin takes up his whole, wide face. He also has the uncanny ability to sense your mood and energy. If you need a kiss on the face to cheer you up, Banjo’s got one for you. Whether you want to walk at a quick pace or just slowly mosey along, Banjo will match your speed. Part of what makes him a great companion is the incredible obedience training he’s received at the shelter, but most of it is just the goodness that lives within Banjo. Though he’s human-like in his intellect and facial expressions, Banjo is just the essence of what a plain, good ol’ dog is.
We hope you’ll share Banjo’s story and help him find a home where he can goof around for the rest of his days. Visit him any day of the week at 1156 W. Cesar Chavez Street between 11:30 am and 7:00 pm. You can read more about Banjo and watch his video here: www.austinpetsalive.org/adopt/available-dog-details/?ID=21562560.