'Our beautiful boy': Bosco (and his big stick) dies after surgery

Bosco and Bosco's stick

Bosco and Bosco's stick - Credit: @boscoandhisbigstick

A sausage dog that became famous on social media for carrying large sticks up Hampstead Heath, sweeping walkers from its path, has died following complications from surgery.

"Bosco and His Big Stick" has 1.3 million followers on TikTok and 35.2 million likes, as well as 190,000 Instagram followers.

It was announced last week that Bosco would be going into emergency surgery for a spinal disease, having lost the use of his back legs. 

An Instagram posts early on Thursday said: "We had to say goodbye to our beautiful boy Bosco, yesterday, June 5 at 5pm. He was surrounded by his people. We got to spend five hours with him relaxing on the grass outside the hospital. He slept in our arms, we cuddled, he kissed us and felt the warmth of his family and the sun on his face. His death, like his life, was majestic.

"I know this may come as such a shock to you all. It is for us too. Myelomalacia, a complication of IVDD (intervertebral disc disease) was never an option for us and yet it was the one thing that took him.

"This pain is all consuming. But we promised him in those last hours that we would survive for him, for Blaze and for each other.

"I don’t know if, perhaps, a life without freedom and true happiness was not worth it for you, my love. Even though I would carry you into the water myself, I know you would want to swim free. You are otherworldly my baby. A love like no other. A once in a million lifetimes kind of dog. The task of having to condense you, your essence, your beauty, into sentences is impossible.

"You touched and will continue to reach the lives of so many. Thank you for everything my angel."

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Owner Luccia Rodriguez got Bosco when she was 19 and a video on Parkland Walk went viral.

Will Smith dubbed over the video in September 2019, and before long, little Bosco was drawing "likes" and attention from names such as Jennifer Aniston and Elon Musk.

Bosco wasn’t trained to pick up big sticks, he just has a big personality, Luccia told the Ham&High last year.

“He’s the biggest show off,” she said. “He does it because he loves it, and I think he knows other people like it when they applaud him.

“I always thought it was funny, and for me, he became a sort-of TV or book character. Actually, writing a children’s book is something I really want to do next.

“Maybe he could be a voice for the environment and nature, too. We love animal activism and he loves being in nature, so I think that would be a good fit.

“I used to be quite anti-social media because the human side is not always good for self-esteem, but the dog version is just so wholesome.”

Bosco’s adventures are on Instagram and TikTok: @boscoandhisbigstick.

Bosco, ready to go find stick

Bosco, ready to go find stick - Credit: @boscoandhisbigstick