Bolo made a bad start in his new home. He always started badly. As soon as he arrived he was taken into a spacious room and the muzzle and chain were taken off him. After a few minutes of liberty he was called, but refused to come. Offers of food did not appeal to him and when an effort was made to catch him he dodged. He seemed to suspect and hate everyone in human form, and it was more than an hour before he could be caught, when he was placed in a kennel. Some days later he was let loose out-of-doors, and again proved ill-tempered and refractory, and for two hours he eluded recapture.
Then something happened which changed the world for Bolo. His physical strength left him and he became seriously ill. No longer was he the rampant, self-sufficient Tartar of the past, but a quiet, helpless dependent, very near to death. During those days he was always gentle and responsive to kindness and as he was nursed back to strength by Lady Howe he became devoted to her. At last he seemed to have found someone whom he could trust; someone who understood him and was ready to accept him for what he was. When he recovered his health he was always at her side, and it seemed possible to hope that his life would henceforth be one of serene peace and unalloyed happiness.
Autumn had now come and the guns were out, so that his mistress took Bolo out with her one day in order to see how he shaped as a sporting dog. There were many things for which he had to tank his forbears. He had inherited a natural love of retrieving, an excellent nose, and a perfect mouth. Bolo had plenty of dash. If it had been a rabbit-shoot he would have been an immensely popular dog, but it was apparent that he needed no little education in the direction of field-work with birds. Hares and rabbits had for him an attraction which was magnetic and dismaying, and he did not seem to understand that his energy and enthusiasm in coursing them was misdirected zeal.
So that it was a question of applying all the arts of training to the making of Bolo. He had the right stuff in him, but a lot of wrong stuff mixed with it needed weeding out. How was it to be done? By beating him? A moment's reflection was enough to show that this was the wrong way, for there were signs that Bolo's nature had been turned sour by chastisement, and, apart from the obvious cruelty of it, there was a danger that he might revert to his former wildness if he were so mishandled. Therefore, the rod was spared and the dog not spoiled.
Everything was going well, he was taking to his training and then it happened on the evening before the field trials took place and caused Bolo to behave like a volcano in eruption. He was always haunted by the demon of fear, and now he was at its mercy. Not paralyzed into inaction but precipitated into reckless, unreasoning flight from the terror which had almost ruined his life.
The sudden breaking-back to this was caused by a stable-boy, who cracked a heavy whip close to Bolo. What recollections it aroused in the mind of this sensitive dog may well be imagined, for he lost all control over himself and made a lightning dash for the gateway. The gate was closed and was high, with iron spikes at the tip; but Bolo, under the impelling influence of fear, lost all caution and sprang up with a tremendous leap. In a panic he fled.
Countess Howe finished the story in her book.
Once again Bolo became Lady Howe's patient. He seemed to understand that he was safe from harm with her. Field trials were out of the question that year, but the following fall he took a prize in his very first event. Within the next few weeks he accomplished the impossible by winning two first places and becoming a champion. He fared equally well on the show bench and became the first Labrador to earn the title of Dual Champion.
In the Labrador Stud Book, C. Mackay Sanderson records that this line started forty years earlier with Malmesbury's Tramp and culminated in Banchory Bolo. But forty years is only the recorded period; unrecorded, the line goes back via Malmesbury at Heron Court for a little over a century on British soil. (End of Wolter's article)
As previously noted, Bolo tended to throw a trait of having white hairs on the bottom of the paws which became known as Bolo Pads. You can still find markings on today's Labradors which undoubtedly trace to Bolo. He also is a key dog in tracing the transmission of the recessive chocolate color gene to today's Labrador Retrievers. Bolo is not unique to just the chocolate Labrador. He was a very notable Lab of his time and much sought after as the first Lab to be both bench and field. Most Labs that can trace their ancestry back far enough are likely to find both Bolo as well as his ancestor Buccleuch Avon. Photos of the pads.