Therapy Dog Boone Signs ‘Paw-tographs’ at Airport

By Eric Heyl

Published May 22, 2023

Read Time: 2 mins


Boone is a wheelchair-bound dog known for his dapper collection of bow ties. He’s also the subject of a book that tells his remarkable tail—er, tale—featured at a pair of events Friday at Pittsburgh International Airport.

A member of the PIT PAWS therapy dog team, Boone “signed” copies of “Bow Tie Boone,” which was written by his owner and handler, Tanya Diable, at two Hudson Booksellers locations at the airport.

Oh, and don’t think about autographs here; think paw-tographs.

“I actually got his paw print inked and put onto a stamp,” Diable said. “I’ll stamp the book with the paw print and then I’ll sign it ‘Love, Boone’ or whatever.”

Boone is well-known around the airport for providing comfort and affection to travelers, as well as frequently posing for pictures with them. Posted on his Instagram page is a recent picture of the beagle-hound mix with Steelers first-round draft choice Broderick Jones taken when Jones first landed in Pittsburgh.

The Instagram account has more than 15,000 followers enthralled by his extraordinary story.

Abused by his former owner, Boone lost his back legs when he was just a puppy. He was rescued in 2018 by Diable; she and her husband Charlie also care for five other special needs dogs.

Diable got Boone the wheelchair that returned him to mobility and enabled him to pass his therapy dog training. Diable and Boone started visiting schools, children’s hospitals and the airport, and he became known for the array of bow ties he frequently wears in public.

Those appearances by the special needs canine have drawn national attention.

In 2021, Boone was honored as the American Humane Hero Dog as part of an annual, nationwide awards competition that recognizes exceptional canines.

His resiliency and friendliness last year also prompted a national television appearance, in a segment on NBC Nightly News for Kids.

Boone has certainly proved that his achievements are worthy of a book, but “Bow Tie Boone” is about far more than one adorable pup. All proceeds go to nonprofit organization Joey’s P.A.W., founded by the Diables, which helps to provide rescue and shelter dogs with wheelchairs and prosthetics to increase the canines’ adoption chances.

On Friday, airport staff and other PIT PAWS therapy dogs joined Boone and Diable at the signing events, and delighted passengers and children stopped by to meet him and take photos.

The pup’s popularity is undeniable: Diable sold every single book and plushy of Boone, which also help fund Joey’s P.A.W.

More than 1,400 dogs have received medical equipment from the organization since its inception in 2017. After Boone’s book signing event, that number likely will increase.

What’s next for Boone? Diable plans to collaborate with a teacher in Pittsburgh on a second book that can be used by students in conjunction with his school appearances.

“Boone can help teach kids about never giving up,” she said. “Even if you have disabilities, if you don’t give up, you can end up doing truly remarkable things.”

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