Thursday, August 27, 2009

BOO 5/17/2002-8/26/2009

Tuesday night I made the difficult decision to have our dog, Boo, euthanized.

Although she was only 7 years old, for the past half a year or more, a tumor was growing in her abdomen. It caused her no pain and did not slow her noticeably until Sunday morning. Gourdo and I took the dogs for a walk, and she started out running ahead of us with her usual zest, nosing into every groundhog hole and checking every tree for squirrels. The return was a different story. She lagged behind us for the first time ever. Monday she seemed fine, but by Tuesday night she was in misery. It was a sorry night for both of us. Wednesday morning I brought her to the vet. She was completely absorbed in her pain by then, and I was completely absorbed in her. It was horrible.

I'll spare you the details of all this, and instead, I'll share with you a few of the good things about my dear Boo.

Boo was a miserable puppy, born in a barn to people who didn't coddle or interact with the litter. She was peppered with fleas, had runny eyes and nose, and a wispy, brittle coat. Her tail was bald and bent where a steer stepped on it. It was her pathetic-ness rather than her white coat that earned her the name Boo-boo. She was wary of humans in general, and men in particular. She was terrified of the broom and of the vacuum cleaner.

Oddly, though, she loved fireworks. Everything from bottle rockets to smoke bombs were cause for delight. Even sparks from a fire circle excited Boo. Once she broke free of our hold and snatched up a lit roman candle. She ran all around the yard with it, firing colorful balls of fire at anyone who tried to get it away from her.

As she matured, she finally mellowed a little in her attitude toward men, but she always remained a vigilant guard dog whose bark would deter any but the most intrepid individuals. She loved my dad, though. When he came for Sunday visits, she greeted him with cries of joy and she stayed near him till he left to return home.

She loved to visit grandma in Hocking County. As soon as we'd turn off Route 33 and onto the road my mother-in-law lived on, Boo would sit up in the van and stick her nose out the window, deeply inhaling the scent of the forest.

She slept beside my bed, and every night she'd give a long, exaggerated sigh as she settled. It was so comical! Don't dogs sleep almost all day? Why the big sigh as if to say, "Man, I am SO ready for bed!" It always made me smile.

If anyone left a dirty dish sitting in the kitchen sink she'd pull it out and clean it off, breaking the dish more often than not. She shedded prolifically. Although she was not permitted on the furniture, and we never caught her there, patches of white fur indicated exactly where she spent the day while we were at work.

She figured out how to open the cabinet to get into the trash. She ate garbage. She tangled with skunks. She chased cars. She growled at men. She growled at children.

But she loved her family, and we loved her. We'll miss her. And I believe, as many animal lovers do, that we'll see our pets in heaven. Until then, Boo.

PSALM 36:6 Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your judgments are like the great deep; you save humans and animals alike, O LORD. (NRS)

1CORINTHIANS 15:38 But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. 39 All flesh is not the same: Men have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. 41 The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor. 42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.


  1. How sad to lose a beloved pet. You and your family will remember Boo fondly for all your lives as I still remember Sandy from my teen years.Its worse when they have to be put down in the prime of their lives, our dog was in pain from ear canker that would not respond to treatment. A piece of the family gone.

  2. Oh my. I am so sorry. Boo became a beautiful dog living with all of you.