Neighborhood holds service famed dog

After many years of roaming, Pointer mix Beau Blue became a fixture in his south Fort Worth, Texas, neighborhood. He paid visits to local small businesses, greeted people as they walked, and made friends wherever he went.

“The whole little area was his kingdom,” resident Marcus Newton tells the Star-Telegram. “He ruled the place.”

Blue even attended weekly services at an outdoor chapel erected for the area’s homeless population, putting smiles on the faces of everyone he met.

But Beau Blue didn’t have just one owner — this special dog belonged to the entire neighborhood. So when the old guy passed away June 26 of heart and kidney failure, it was his entire neighborhood of friends who organized a special memorial service for Beau Blue Wednesday evening, gathering together in remembrance of a sweet dog who touched so many hearts. Dozens of people filled the seats at the moving ceremony, each with their own memories of Blue.

“He didn’t walk with you. He was in front of you, always on point. He was a street dog on the lookout for trouble,” explains Jim Hardin, an area business owner grateful his store was always protected under the Pointer mix’s watchful eye. Hardin remembers how Blue would happily escort customers through his antique shop, or pay visits to Hardin and his wife as they worked late nights stocking their shop or warehouse. He says Blue had a magical quality to him, that he always seemed to show up at just the right moment.

Beau Blue earned his moniker because of the special relationship he’d developed with the police officers who patrolled his neighborhood, including Officer G.G. Hempstead, who was in attendance at Wednesday’s memorial service.

“This dog brought joy to everybody,” Officer Hempstead says of the late Beau Blue. “He guarded everybody. He would walk to down the street.”

“When I first met him, I thought he needed me; then later I realized I needed him,” she poignantly adds.

Law enforcement is one of the most difficult jobs out there, and Officer Hempstead often paid a visit to Blue after responding to the toughest calls.

“When it was really the hardest, I would come see Blue,” explains Officer Hempstead. “He would give me a lick on the face, a snuggle. He would calm me down. He would make me feel better. He just had that effect on people.”

Beau Blue was also known as the caretaker of the area’s homeless population, watching over them as they slept and providing a friendly presence to those who needed comfort.

Veterinarian Dehna Shaffer treated Blue in his last days, and noted the responsibility she felt to care for and honor this extraordinary dog before he passed.

“A lot of times we go, ‘He’s just a dog,” Dr. Shaffer explains. “But this ‘Just a dog’ carried the heart of a community on his brave little shoulders. He was really special to all of y’all.”

Though the neighborhood feels just a little bit less itself without its resident dog, the space Beau Blue leaves behind is not empty — it is a place filled with happy memories, kind deeds, and his surviving legend.

Sources: Star-Telegram, Tyler Morning Telegraph, Houston Chronicle