An underweight dog, who was scratched up and battling heartworms, came upon golf course superintendent Shawn Keller and his crew, who were repairing bunkers on the ninth hole at Indian Wells Golf Club in October 2014.
The dog, needing a lift in more ways than one, immediately hopped into a golf cart, a decision that proved to be fortuitous.
Keller, who already had two small dogs, was certain someone would claim the Labrador retriever. The staff at Indian Wells looked for the dog’s owner, even going as far as to have him scanned for a chip, but no one ever came forward to claim the friendly hound with perpetually sad eyes.
While nursing the dog back to health, Keller (pictured right) became increasingly attached to his new four-legged friend.When no one claimed the canine, Keller never considered getting rid of a dog that quickly became his constant companion. He named the yellow lab Blu, a nod to the eyes that make him appear a touch depressed.
But looks can be deceiving. Blu became a constant presence at Indian Wells, following Keller from every tee to green, riding on carts, mowers and sprayers.
He chased geese off the property, following them into the water – Blu loves to swim – and greeted people with a wagging tale. Blu has never been particularly concerned with golfers, though a group of women always kept treats in their bag for him, cementing his status as a ladies man.
In February of 2019, Keller took over as the course superintendent at Tradition Club and Blu came with him, quickly endearing himself to a new staff.
“He comes to work every single day,” Keller said. “He is up watching me get ready, and by the time I get the coffee made, he is standing up ready to go. He runs straight into the building (at Tradition) and a couple guys usually have treats in their pocket.”
After saying his good mornings, Blu, who never calls in sick or complains, hops on a cart with Keller and rides the course, assessing the work that needs to be done.
An ideal day for Blu typically means Keller is staying in one spot for a while, allowing the 7-year-old (estimated age) to make himself comfortable laying in the sun and rolling in the grass.
Blu, like most of us, is tired at the end of each day and spends his weekends catching up on lost sleep, but it’s a good dog’s life he leads.