Shady Dog Pet ID: 1003
My hang out: Las Vegas, NV

Mug shots …

Here’s my story …

In 2012, I was approaching my 40th birthday and my husband was brain storming night and day for the perfect gift. I told him I did not want a material possession, but rather an addition to our family. As a kid we always had a family pet, and it was always a German Shepard.I had three German Shepard growing up Smokey, Beauty and Abbey. I had such great memories with each of them and always wanted a pet as an adult, but due to our hectic travel schedule we never felt it was the right time. During this period in 2012, the HBO show Empire Boardwalk was one of our weekend addictions, and we loved how the character Al Capone was portrayed in the show. A tough little Italian guy, but secretly insecure. We often enjoyed a few bottles of wine during the show, which led to odd Google searches and enlightening conversations.

This is when we got the idea of a small Italian dog with a tough attitude but really very sweet. Since I am allergic to almost everything, I added to the list hypoallergenic. We started Googling small white Italian dog hypoallergenic, and the first result was a dog we had never heard of called a Bolognese. Yes, just like the Italian meat sauce. The Bolognese is a small rare breed dog originating in Italy, specifically from the city of Bologna. The Bolognese is an ancient breed of noble origins, and has its roots with Italian aristocracy.

The Bolognese were kept as companion dogs by Kings and Queens and Royalty throughout Europe. During the Renaissance they were highly favored companions that were presented as gifts to esteemed visitors of royal courts of Italy, Spain, Belgium, Russia and Austria. If you look closely they appear in Venetian paintings and artwork dating back to the 17th century. After World War II the number of Bolognese aka ‘Bolos’ declined to only 7 in Italy, and they almost went extinct. The history of this little dog intrigued me, so I started researching everything I could find about them.

During my research I came across a women who was involved in the preservation of the breed in the US. I contacted her and we talked for hours every weekend about their history and characteristics, and I asked her when she would have pups for me to see. She said that pups were going to be born in January and would be ready to join our family in March. Exactly the time of my birthday. I eagerly awaited the birth of these precious little babies, so I could watch their development and see if one of them would be our little Al Capone. Two girls and one boy were born, and each day I would wait for a photo or video to arrive via email, of these tiny little cuties. When I saw this little boy for the first time, so alert and protective of his sisters I knew he would be our Al Capone. A red string was tied around Capone’s little neck so I could identify him playing, and singing and stumble around in the videos, but I didn’t need that string to identify him and his confident little personality. (see photo)

I counted the days until we would meet. He flew to Las Vegas on 03/29/2013. I remember the day like it was yesterday, he looked at me and let out a tiny little cry, and I looked at him and said, “I am your new family and we will love each other from today on”. When Capone arrived he was just a little shy of 3 lbs. He fit in your hand like a little white ball of cotton candy at the Summer Fair. He smelled like blueberries and was so calm. 2013 turned out to be a very difficult time for me, and Capone was always there to comfort me or make me smile. It was like the universe knew I was going to need the love and support that only an animal can provide you. Everyone that meets him immediately falls in love, even those that say…”I really don’t care for dogs, or I have always been allergic to animals, or I am really a cat person”. He has a way to make you feel like you are the most important person in the room and you don’t have a care in the world when he is snuggled on your lap or by your side.

The older he gets the more I feel like he understands me and I understand him even though we speak two different languages. He has a comic personality and we are so honored that we could share him with the world via Shady Pets! We hope Capone has brought some joy to your day, just as he does us everyday.

Author — Lisa, Mike & Capone xo

Shady Pet Awards/Notes:

  • 1st place finish in the Shady Pets Kickstarter Contest (Oct. 2019).
  • On Shady Pets (Series 1) Red #3 Shady Dog Card.
  • Donated all prize money from Kickstarter contest to charity; CSNK2A1 Foundation:  CSNK2A1 Foundation is focused on finding a cure for Okur-Chung Neurodevelopmental Syndrome and ensuring affected individuals have the opportunities and supports necessary for happy and full lives. Learn more. 

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