Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Bye bye Boomer

It is with a very heavy heart that I make this entry tonight. It's the end of an era so to speak at my home as today at about 5:45 pm my beloved boy left us to be with Gidget.

It was just six short weeks ago that I had to make the same decision for my other "kid"... this one, however, was so much harder. With Gidget there was an actual physical presence, you could SEE she was outwardly sick. Boomer's illness (lung cancer) is an inner "thing".

Boomer was purchased as a gift from a couple in Bedford, Texas. He was Bob's and my first "kid". We used to laugh because he was jsut this roly poly little puppy that loved anything that squeaked and any kind of ball. Bob would roll him over onto his back and tickle his chest when he was a puppy and slide him back and forth calling him a "piggy piggy piggy"... and Boomer would get so worked up he'd give that little puppy bark that would be so big, it's scare him.

We had some good times...

Josh's dad was in the Air Force so he had lots of military gear... I recall one day when he came home in BDUs (camoflauge) and was cleaning out his bag of gear and found a gas mask. He put it on and went after Boomer who then went running as fast and as far away as he could. Unfortunatley for him, he ran into the walk-in closet. I know that Boomer just thought it was a monster about to eat him so he raised one leg and rolled over in fear and peed all over himself. He was a funny little dog.

At that same apartment, we discovered this little chunk's liking for food. I made a pizza... was cutting it up and had an extra pepperoni or something so I gave a nibble to him. We made our plates and went to sit on the couch. He went to hide under the coffee table (he wasn't allowed to just stare at us when we ate -- huge pet peeve of mine -- no pun intended) and when I looked down at Boomer, he had a FOUNTAIN of drool from his jaw to the floor. He was our pizza Pavlovian pooch!

Boomer also loved to hold grudges... 2 weeks after we got married and I moved onto base because Bob had been sent to Columbia. Boomer used to drag one of Bob's old shirts around to sleep on. And the day that Bob got back home, he walked into the front door. I greeted him at the door, he dropped his big bag of gear and Boomer ran up like he was so excited to see him.. then he sniffed the bag and hiked a leg and peed all over it.. yeah buddy, welcome home!

He'd get lonely during the day too... He even chewed a hole in the plastic blinds that were hanging in the living room so that he could stick his head through and watch the kids as they got off the school bus in front of our house. I know he jsut wanted to play... Most pets are so excited when you come home and walk in the door, they just want kisses, attention, to be let outside, food, etc. Boomer was like... "good youre home... throw the ball"... he lived to play ball. He'd go to the door or wherever he was so that he could wiggle his butt (he had a corkscrew tail that was just a nub with a little bald spot -- so funny) and then he'd just take off running to find a toy... any toy to bring it to you.

Boomer was so gentle... he loved to rough house with Bob... Bob taught him how to play so well. He sounded like he was about to eat your arm off but he'd just stop and kiss you... then run off and get a toy. If things got too rough and he did hurt someone just even a little bit, if you would say "ouch" he would immediately stop, raise one paw and look away.... He was the most gentle dog I've ever known.

Boomer was a survivor.... he'd had cancer on his toe before... and I had his toe removed... he survived it like a trooper. Brave dog... then a year and a half later... he had a cancerous growth on his gumline/mouth removed... nearly died because he aspirated under anestesia. It was a very scary Halloween for me that year... again, no pun intended. But he's the trooper of the bunch and he pulled through. It took a good week for him to get back to normal.

The vet in Colorado called him "aaahnold" because he was just so darn big... I called him Boomie and Boo Boo... and my "baby boomer"

Boomer was a friend... he's gotten me through the worst of times... just knowing that his presence and a kiss on the cheek was enough to make me feel better.

IN his old age he had become deaf so I had to develop a sort of sign language for him. You know when you holler "cookie" across the room and he doesn't wake up from a dead sleep where before you could open a slice of cheese and he was at your feet drooling, the hearing has gone. He'd become somewhat of a crotchety old fart. If he didn't want to get his fat butt up and waller outside well by Golly, he just weren't gonna move and you can't make him. Many a morning I'd walk into my closet (that's where he slept on the floor in a slew of afgans)... he was wrapped up all in this big blue blanket so much so that he didn't even notice that you'd ocme in, turned on the light, gotten dressed, turned the light off... he'd just be snoring away... and OH YES... he was a snorer! He could give the best man a run for his money. Which is why he slept away from me (I need QUIET!)

When Josh's dad and I divorced, I did let Boomer sleep in the bed with me... just so that if he started snoring, I could whack him with a pillow and he'd stop. He wasn't the cuddler like Gidget was... he wanted to lay with his face towards your feet...and then rip some stinky farts that would then be directed at your FACE! Oh he could clear a room all right.

As he's gotten older, and after losing the toe... his arthritis acted up which prevented him from jumping as much...and with the lung cancer and him hacking like an old emphesema patient... he really had no quality of life anymore. After his last appointment, they x-rayed his lungs and did find a mass... lung cancer.

Today he got to lie outside in the green grass and enjoy the sun... yesterday he had his last rain storm... thank goodness he's deaf now becasue thunder really used to scare him and he'd just stand up barking... Last night he enjoyed an extra half-scoop of food and I poured bacon grease all over his food with a couple of extra pieces of bacon that was left over from dinner.

Today was such a hard day for me... I really think animals DO know... he was following me around most of the day ... panting, really struggling to breathe. I wonder if he wanted me to do something about it sooner than I did... we went to the laundry room and I got the little sun yellow leash and put it around his neck adn then walked into my room where Josh was watching TV and asked Josh through tears if he'd like to say goodbye. He immediately crawled off the bed and just hugged on Boomer. When he'd finished... I walked outside and put Boomer in my car -- made sure the boys were okay and I drove away. As soon as I hit the street, I lost it. Boomemr was nose to vent with the A/C so I know that helped his little lungs a bit. We got there (it's pretty much about a minute from my house)... I let him out of the car and let him walk around a little bit... sniff... pee on trees to feel like he was leaving his mark. He really wasn't that interested so we walked toward the front door of the vet's office. I put my hand out to reach for the doorknob and literally lost it. I had to sit down on a little bench they have out front -- I'm sure it's just for situations such as that. I walked in and they knew immediately who I was and what I was there for and a nice lady whose face is a total blur took me to a room right away so that I idn'd thave to stand in the lobby with tears streaming down my face.

We were in there what seemed like an eternity... hard, cold concrete floor... two red wooden chairs and the examining table with a nice fresh baby blue towel on it. A vet tech came in to get me to sign some paperwork.... I went in and out of feelings that I'm either okay now or I'm losing it again. I wept and thought and struggled with my own guilt and wondered if he knew any of what was going on around him. He sniffed around and then turned and faced the door. He did not want to be in that room. I had to pull him toward me with the leash to get him to be near me because he just wanted to get out of that room. I wonder if those on death row feel that way when they've been led to the death chamber... is there a stench of death in there that only dogs can smell? I wonder. The vet tech left and then the vet came in and explained the process again and asked if I wanted him to be put under a bit so that he wasn't aware of what was going on before they gave him the lethal injection. I said no... She left the room and then came back in just a few minutes later with a syringe with a pink liquid in it. I picked boomer up and he lay on the little table with his back to me, legs facing them. The doctor found a vein...and I had my left arm wrapped around him and under his head with my hand on his right shoulder and my right arm over top of him petting him. My face was buried in his... and she said that she found a vein... and started the injection. THey told me that it would be fast.... I could feel his head get heavier instantly... and then he stuck out his tongue to lick his lips perhaps... and his head sunk, with hit little pink tongue sticking out... I just melted onto him telling him how sorry I was... and that I loved him.... and to say "hi" to Gidget for me. The vet tech left, the doctor listened for his heart and told me he was gone. She said I could stay as long as I needed just to let them know when I was ready. When the left the room, I jsut wept and wept and pet him... I have no idea why I continued to pet him... just to make myself feel like it made a difference... I opened his mouth and put his little tongue back inside...and right here right now while I"m recalling this entire episode... I remember thinking to myself before I went in there that if he went, I hope he gives me kiss before he does.... I think that him sticking out his tongue was his attempt to give me a kiss on the forhead to let me know that God heard my prayer but the medicine was too strong and too fast for him to finish. He passed in my arms... and I wouldn't have had it any other way.

I stuck my head out after I'd had my moment with the shell of my friend.... the vet tech came back in and I gave her some paper and an ink pad that I'd wanted her to take his little paw prints for me of his front two feet. It's something I wish I'd done with Gidget... and I just had to with Boomer. With Gidget I have pictures.... with Boomer... I'll have the prints... and a big empty space in my heart.

I know it's just the timing of all this but when things that are so near and dear to you start to die off like this... it makes you scared to love anything or anyone for fear that they're going to die on you too. Life does go on... I drove home... the boys were here waiting for me... Drew said when I walke din the door "Boomer bye bye".... so I know he knows Boomer is gone. I know it hasn't sank in yet... I'm sad that I don't have the pictures... but the memories I have I hope to capture in journaling to put in his memory album.... I took his and Gidget's food bowls and put them in the recycle bin. I know it's silly but I just don't want any other animal to eat out of them. I'd rather the plastic be recycled for something else.

My heart is empty right now... the two friends that got me through some of the worst times in my life have both moved on without me... and I'm missing them tonight.

Things I think are going to be so sad for me... pulling out their stocking at Christmastime. It's silly, I know but I loved shopping for them... If boomer ever caught me stuffing the stockings... he'd sit at it up on his fanny as if he were begging me to open it b/c he knew the smell of whatever was in there was something FOR HIM! He loved thigns with a squeaker and Gidget loved to chew the squeakers out...Boomer also loved anything "plush" that was for dogs.. he'd take them and lick lick lkick lick lick lick... it was INSANE... he lived for "hot" food... he loved when I'd take his ordinary dog food and put hot water on it... and make it soft with a gravy... they sure thought they were special when they got that.

I'm going to miss him so much... he was a licker.. he loved to lick lick lick... lick the coffee table if his toy was stuck underneath it ... lick lick lick it until you'd come get his toy... he'd lick lick lick the furniture or wherever he was laying before he went to sleep... if you went to pet him, he'd lick lick lcik your leg. He just loved to give affection... and the minute you'd start petting him, he'd turn around wanting you to scratch his butt. it was so funny. Having someone "love on" him gave him power... he'd growl and bark and try to get ornery with Thor (Rotweiller)... like.. yeah, look who's scratching me..wanna piece of this big dog?

Boomer was just THE best dog I've ever had... sweet, loving, gentle, playful, and cute as a button.


I already took and washed all his blankets so that his smell wouldn't be on there for Sadie to be sad about... she's going to be crate trained now because she doesn't have a sleeping buddy to keep her company.

My constant companion.. my favorite four legged friend... my little Boomie is my little angel now...

my heart is heavy, my eyes are puffy... I'm writing simply in a stream-of-consciousness but I wnat these memories out on "paper" so that they're not cluttering up my head in hopes that I don't forget them.

If I were in a mood to drink right now... I'd toast my dog Boomer... the best friend a girl could have.

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