This Is the Story of a Dog

I was looking through some old photos a while back, and I came across Boomer’s puppy pictures.

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Boomer in 2008

And when I looked at him today, I realized how old he’s getting. Gone is the solid brown spot in the middle of his head and the distinct brown mask around his eyes. Seems like he gets whiter and whiter every time I look at him, and it makes me so sad because his fading colors mean that time is getting shorter.

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Boomer in 2016

Boomer is the first dog I’ve had as an adult. We always had dogs when I was a kid; however, after I graduated from college, I knew that a dog wouldn’t fit my busy lifestyle, so I got a cat–the first and only cat I’ve ever owned (and “owned” isn’t the right word because anyone who’s had a cat knows that the cat owns you and allows you to be in its life, but I digress).  Kali hated everything, and she barely tolerated me. When I bought my home and life settled down, I thought it was time to get a dog, but I knew Kali wouldn’t be happy about it. So I started volunteering at DFW Humane Society in Irving to get my dog fix. The experience allowed me to play with all of the dogs I wanted while keeping peace at home with the cat. It also connected me to other rescue groups, and that’s how Boomer came along.

I discovered that Ruby, a good friend of mine, worked with a Doberman rescue group and helped others rehome pets they could no longer keep. One day, she went to meet a pug that a family didn’t have time for, and she saw that they also had a basset hound puppy. The skinny little guy was locked in a very small crate, and Ruby knew that she couldn’t leave him behind. She took him to her rescue group for a check up and then brought him home to fatten him up and help him get healthy.

What follows is Boomer’s original “gotcha day” story.

At risk of becoming a foster failure, Ruby convinced me that I needed this puppy in my life. When she brought him to the park to meet me on a sunny Sunday afternoon in October, he was still so skinny you could see his floating rib poking out on his left side. He tripped over his ears as he walked toward me and flopped in my lap. I fell in love in an instant, but there was no way I was calling him “Preston.”

“He looks like a Boomer,” I said.

“Boomer Sooner?”

“Nope, just Boomer.” We do live in Texas after all.

I arranged to pick up Boomer the next Wednesday after work. After we went to dinner, we went back to her house and gathered up all of Boomer’s toys—a knotted rope, a stuffed sheep, and a blanket. I snapped on his new collar and leash, and he followed me out the door, carrying the sheep in his mouth. I helped him into the back seat, but he didn’t stay there long. He climbed over the console and made himself comfortable in the passenger seat, but that didn’t last long either. Soon he was pushing my arm out of the way so he could flop into my lap again. And that’s how we drove the rest of the way home.

Boomer and Kali never got along. I put up a gate to divide the house so Kali would have her own place safe from him. Eventually, Baxter joined the family (that’s a whole other post), and Kali couldn’t take any more and crossed over the Rainbow Bridge (that’s a pet lover’s way of saying “she died”).

Making that decision for Kali was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, and I dread the day I have to do it again. Until then, I’ll enjoy every chance I get to sit with Boo in my lap.

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