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Anyone who knows me knows I have a soft spot for animals, mostly dogs, and especially shelter dogs. So when Ed Lakom came into our office recently to share his story about his rescue dog and how they cruise the streets of Ahwatukee together, I just had to tell their story.

Lakom has lived in Ahwatukee for 15 years and has been retired for 10 of those years. When his last rescue dog (a pit bull mix) died, he decided to adopt a new best friend.

"I had rescued a pit bull before and when he died I went to the pound, looking for another companion," Lakom said. "When I rescued my other dog he was a fighting pit bull, but he just turned into a cupcake with our family, especially with my granddaughter."

This is where the story sparked my interest.

"I saw (the dog he has now) at the pound, but I wanted to think about it because I had just lost my other dog," Lakom said. "When I told the shelter workers I would come back tomorrow, they said he wouldn't be there. When I asked why, they told me he was going to be put down in two hours. So I adopted him then and there."

Lakom adopted the American Staffordshire when he was just a year old and named him Boomer, because "at first he was extremely shy, but after he got used to our house he would run all through it, hitting the tile floors, and then banging into the walls."

Boomer is now 4 years old and 92 pounds. He has become a popular figure in Ahwatukee as he drives around every morning with Lakom, and I don't mean just casually - they do it in style, in a 1984 Alfa Romeo Spider convertible that has been fully restored.

"I guess I rescue cars, too," Lakom laughed. "It really is funny to watch because when Boomer moves, the entire car moves, too. I have repainted that car, put a new engine in it, and now it's the ‘Boomer Mobile.' That really is his car because it has all of his toys and water bottles in there, and he hangs out of it because he is so big."

The duo's daily routine usually begins with a trip to the Pecos Dog Park at around 6:30 a.m. from their house at 48th Street and Elliot Road. From there, they stop in at Einstein Bros. Bagels at 48th Street and Ray Road from about 7:30 to 8 a.m., where they are often found sitting in what's been dubbed "Boomer's Corner," outside in front of the shop.

"The regulars there bring him dog treats and really have fun with him, and he loves them," Lakom said. "I have more people stopping to take pictures of us. It seems like all of Ahwatukee knows him.

"He's been a lot of fun and has more patience than any dog I know. He often has stickers on him from my 3-year-old granddaughter," Lakom continued. "I took a chance with him at the pound, but he really is a good companion, so it worked out well for all of us."

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