Chris Englund used to work at Ruff Love Dogs, a pet daycare center in northeast Minneapolis, and met Bozley—a smart, ridiculously photogenic dog with a pointy snout and perky, triangular ears—as a puppy.
Eventually, the dog’s family could no longer take care of him, and Chris and his wife, Jenny, stepped up. They’d been inseparable ever since.
On Saturday night, Chris and Jenny took Bozley to HeadFlyer Brewing in Northeast for “Pupper Pics” with Santa,and to raise money for charity. Around 6 p.m., Chris and Bozley headed out to their truck, which was parked on the other side of Hennepin Avenue. Englund remembers pressing the button on the crosswalk light, watching the posts start flashing, and checking for cars. There were none in sight, so he and Bozley stepped out into the street.
But as Chris looked to his right, he saw a pair of headlights quickly approaching. He tried to pull Bozley out of the way and jump out of range at the same time, but it was no use. The car caught his knee and sent him flipping onto his back. Bozley went flying about 20 feet and began to scream.
The car kept going.
The next few moments were chaos. Jenny ran over to help. Chris tried to pick up his dog only to have Bozley, overcome with pain, bite down on his hand. A nearby Metro Transit bus driver called the police and said she saw the whole thing, but the Engluds couldn’t stay. Both Chris and Bozley needed emergency assistance.
Chris says he got “lucky," surviving with a contusion to his left knee and the bite wounds on his hands. Bozley didn't. The dog had several broken limbs and severe internal bleeding. After days of blood transfusions, pain, and thousands of dollars in vet bills, Bozley went into sudden cardiac arrest and died. Chris has trouble talking about it.
“He was a good boy,” he says.
Days after the accident, the Ruff Love Dogs team is in mourning. Bozley used to come to work with Chris every day. He called him his “deputy.”
Nothing can bring the dog back, but Chris’ friends and co-workers are trying to get him the next best thing: justice. On Monday, Mia Como wrote a post about the hit-and-run on the I Love NE Minneapolis Facebook group.
“PLEASE,” she wrote, “If you were in the area that evening and think you might have seen ANYTHING, let me know.”
The post has garnered nearly 100 comments, mostly sentimental. But some contain clues. One commenter said they had witnessed the accident and thought the vehicle in question was “a rusty dark colored Chrysler minivan.” Another said they knew the bus driver who saw the accident.
HeadFlyer didn’t have any cameras facing the intersection, though one Facebook commenter thought Olson Sheet Metal Works, Inc.—a little further down Hennepin Avenue—just might.
Englund is working with police and hoping for the best. He doesn't know what to say to the person who hit him and his dog. It was an accident, he knows, and accidents happen. That’s not why he’s angry.
“They took my best friend from me, and they didn’t even check on him,” he said. “Let me get in your car and take me to the damn hospital.”
In the end, what he wants most is to “understand” why whoever did this did this. He wants to hear their reasons.
“Then I’ll decide how pissed I am,” he says.
If you’ve got any information about what might have happened on Saturday, you can get in touch with Mia Como.
To contribute to Bozley's vet bills, visit the Englunds' GoFundMe page.