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All About Heather and Her Three-Legged Dog Bogart’s Emotional Story
Bogart the dog was nearly put to sleep before Heather came to the rescue in 2017.
Bogart is truly an underdog.
What is agility racing?
For the uninitiated, agility racing is a competition in which dogs are timed as they go through a preset obstacle course. Such obstacles can include tunnels, seesaws, and jumps.
Heather first met Bogart when she and her partner were volunteering at an animal shelter in 2017. Though Bogart was an adorable and healthy pup at the time, Heather said, "For some reason, he never got adopted and then we took him out one night and then we took him out the next night, and he was ours by the next Thursday. It was just meant to be."
However, Bogart had a bit of a learning curve when it came to leaving the shelter.
"He was just an explosion of wild puppy energy. He was a lot to handle, honestly. We realized that we needed help so we signed up for an obedience class," Heather recalled. "He excelled at training. It was so clear that he wanted to be there and we just had a blast learning how to communicate with him."
How did Bogart the dog lose his leg?
Heather and her partner had to take a break from Bogart's training when they noticed there was a bump on his leg, which ended up being cancer. "We were shocked," Heather said.
After the initial diagnosis, Heather said they made the difficult decision to amputate Bogart's leg as it "would give the best chance of life." He is now healthy and fully recovered.
But in the weeks following the surgery, Bogart struggled to adjust.
"He wouldn't eat. He was just not himself. I thought I was going to lose him," Heather said through tears.
Eventually, Bogart got up the strength to resume agility training. Heather remembered that one day, she went outside and found him sitting in an agility tunnel. "I took that as a sign of him telling me that he was ready to go back to training. So that night we went, and he just lit up and he started running again," she shared.
He has since competed in other agility races alongside other four-legged dogs, with Heather saying, "He's out there with the best of them."
Now, Heather and Bogart are competing on America's Got Talent with the hopes of showing America "dogs can go through anything and still go out and do what they love."
When Bogart finished his race, Judge Heidi Klum remarked, "I have to tell you, I totally forgot he was just on three legs. You really don't notice anymore because he moves like any other dog. It's incredible."
"I'm so happy because this is a place for people like you to come and show the world how you are," Vergara added.