Get To Know: PEOPLE Pets Member Bo Hoefinger, Dog Blogger
Just two years ago PEOPLE Pets member Bo Hoefinger (boknows) was a largely unknown golden retriever whose wit was only appreciated by his family. Now he's an Internet star. He writes one of the silliest dog blogs around called Bo Knows, He Just Doesn't Listen, he's got a book deal and he helped get his dad, Horst Hoefinger, a gig blogging for Dogster.com.
Horst Hoefinger, who has a day job working for a big corporation, first started writing in the voice of his dog Bo because he wanted to give a special gift to his wife, Lisa. So he put together a book of stories about Bo and gave it to her for Christmas in 2006. Not only did she love it but she spotted his talent for bringing Bo's personality to life, got him an agent and helped him start his hit blog. Now Bad to the Bone: A Doggie Memoir is due to hit shelves in October.
On his blog, Bo normally introduces a ridiculous story from the dog perspective and then excerpts the relevant parts. Hoefinger says Bo's specialty is "any wacky story with an animal angle. As long as the protagonist in the story can't speak a human language (parrots get a pass) and they've caused trouble or embarrassment for humans, Bo will cover them."
Horst says he sticks to the light stuff for Bo Knows, but last year he started writing For the Love of Dog Blog over at Dogster.com, where he tackles the heavier stuff: dogs who need homes, puppy mills, abuse, lack of legal protections of animals and the 4 million animals euthanized each year. He hopes to shed some light on the problems – and the people working to overcome them.
"It amazes and humbles me to know there are so many wonderful people out there doing selfless things to help animals, and expect nothing in return," Horst says. "I just try to support their efforts."
He works from home in Atlanta with Bo and two other rescues, Copper, a ridgeless Rhodesian ridgeback, and Logan, a Bernese mountain dog who is a puppy mill survivor. And he's a cat fan, too: "What's a household without a cat to snuggle up to...or chase? Bo has Moose, a geriatric calico."
Bo is a senior dog and, like many celebrities, won't let his handlers divulge his age. "Bo is clearly in bonus time," Horst says. "He's getting a little shy about telling folks how old he is (let's just say he's had some work done...and don't even think about bringing up the fact you suspect he may be coloring his hair). Let's just say he's in his mid-teens."
Bo is less shy about his effusive praise of his humans. In a sample chapter of his book online, Bo describes being in the shelter and meeting Lisa, who he describes as an angelic woman accompanied by "a very handsome young man."
As for his success, Hoefinger is modest: "It just goes to show anybody can do it. Even a dog."