The story of “A Dog Named Boo, The Underdog with a Heart of Gold,” very simply put, is about a dog in need, who then turns around to help others. Little Carlito’s story is about a dog whose need brings together some unlikely collaborators – a superstar cellist, a world renowned conductor, a Berkshire’s valedictorian just starting college, and 13,924 concert goes.
I know Carlito and his humans, Mary and David, from the training classes I teach. When they said they’d be missing class to go up to Tanglewood, I thought it was for a holiday. Little did I know David is a highly esteemed conductor who first led the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood in 1968 (shows what I know).
When the four-month-old Havanese puppy ran in fear from a smoke alarm that went off in the house where Mary and David were staying, everyone feared the worst. How could the twelve-pound Carlito avoid cars, coyotes, or getting hopelessly lost in the woods of Tanglewood?
Enter Yo-Yo Ma — for years a good friend and mentee of David Zinman (human of Carlito).
According to ‘The Berkshire Eagle,’ When Yo-Yo Ma appeared on stage after his concert, it was not for an encore, instead the famed cellist sought the help of the Tanglewood audience of 13,924 to find Little Carlito.
Leaflets were printed and stuck under windshield wipers, motorists stopped anyone they saw running, walking, or sitting on a front porch telling everyone to be on the lookout for Carlito.
Grace Ellrodt (the valedictorian) was one of those joggers who was tipped off by a passing driver. Just before dusk, she spotted the little puppy in a busy intersection on Cliffwood Street near Triangle Park in Lenox and returned him to Mary and David Zinman.
Carlito is a lucky little dog, who shared his luck with the Tanglewood community by bringing them together for a common cause.
While this all happened last August, it seemed like the story of a little puppy who brought so many people from so many different walks of life together is just the kind of sentiment for this time of year as we look to turn ourselves over to new hopes and ask ourselves, ‘how can we make 2018 a little better?’