Who Saved Who? The Unbreakable Bond Between an Arlington Fire Fighter and His K9, Bo
By Michelle Patchett, Arlington Animal Services
Posted on January 24, 2020, January 24, 2020

Bo is an explosive detection K9 trained in locating countless numbers of explosive odors.

"Who saved who?" It's a common theme amongst animal lovers who value their pets as loving members of their family.

Like in the case of Roman Alcantar, a fire investigator and bomb technician for the City of Arlington, and a special dog named Bo. Bo is an explosive detection K9 trained in locating countless numbers of explosive odors.

Through the course of six years working together these two formed an indescribable bond.

“If I went out on a fire call at 3 a.m., Bo was there,” Alcantar said. “Fire inspections, training sessions, all of it. Bo was there by my side. Then at the end of the day, Bo would change his roll from bomb dog to just a regular member of our family at home.”

While Bo’s role in the City of Arlington, educating and protecting the residents is extremely important, it almost didn’t come to be. Alcantar arrived at K9 school in Alabama and was assigned Bo as his partner. They had been training as a team for six weeks when Alcantar was informed by a veterinarian that there was an issue with Bo. At some point as a puppy, his jaw had been fractured and the K9 school was not comfortable letting Roman take Bo. This meant he would not be able to complete the certification test required to perform his job and Alcantar would have to be reassigned a new dog that he was not familiar with.

The bond that Alcantar and Bo had created in just six weeks was something that could not be brushed off so easy though.  Alcantar was able to get in contact with his supervisor and have Bo reevaluated, ultimately determining that his injury as a puppy would not affect his abilities as a bomb dog. The rest was history. Alcantar and Bo breezed through their certification tests and the two were partners.

Some of the highlights of Bo’s career as an explosive detection dog included performing K9 sweeps for events like Cowboys and Rangers games, concerts, NCAA Football games, WNBA Wings games and more. While working these events, Bo and Alcantar always found time to act as ambassadors for the city by interacting with the people excited to see the two in action and those who wanted to just stop and say hello or learn a little more about Bo!

Alcantar and Bo worked for six years together as K9 and handler before Bo retired. Bo happily accepted his transition from working dog to family dog and today lives at home withAlcantar, his wife and daughter.

Friday, Jan. 24th is National Change a Pet's Life Day. We think in the case of Alcantar and Bo, both lives changed for the better bringing up the question of “Who saved who?”

Let this day be a reminder of how truly special animals are and the joy and love they bring to our lives.

Related article: K9 Memorial Monument Planned for Arlington Police, Fire Service Dogs

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