A Home for Yo-Yo

A Home for Yo-Yo

Photo courtesy of Betty Allen Hullinger

The revered English professor Paul Bennett knew that he couldn’t have another dog. He had terminal cancer. He had also just lost Rudy, his beloved black-and-tan coonhound/ German shepherd mix. “Don’t let me get a dog,” he told his good friend Betty Allen Hullinger. “I can’t take care of it.” But he kept reading the classified ads, and when he saw puppies advertised at the same St. Louisville farm where he’d gotten Rudy, he couldn’t resist going, just for a look. He took Betty along for moral support. She recalls that as Paul leaned down for a closer look at the sprawling, squirming mound of pups, “this little dog had a smile on his face, looking up at Paul.”

Paul waited until Betty was out of town before he returned to take home that charming face, which he named Yo-Yo. For three years, the two were inseparable. On their frequent walks along the bike path, Yo-Yo would go galumphing gaily hither and thither, with Paul wearing the leash around his neck. But as Yo-Yo grew bigger and more energetic, Paul grew weaker.

Paul wanted somebody he knew to take Yo-Yo, but both of his boys had houses full of dogs already. When Paul checked into the hospital, knowing that he had very little time left, he asked Betty to place an ad in the local paper. The day it appeared, she ran into one of Paul’s former students, Dee Richards ‘49, and her husband, Dave ‘45. They hadn’t had a dog for 13 years, but when they heard about Yo-Yo, they didn’t hesitate. They visited Paul in the hospital, and he told them to go to his house and take Yo-Yo home with them.

The only problem was that when they arrived, the dog refused to leave. He was lying on the sofa, with Paul’s shoe under his chest. After Paul came home from the hospital, Yo- Yo stayed close beside him. When Paul died a few days later, Yo-Yo finally went home with Dave and Dee. Yo-Yo is six years old now, and happily settled with the Richards family at their new home at Kendalat- Granville. Dave calls him “a gentleman,” if one whose enthusiastic tail could clear a coffee table.

Published November 2020