Friday, January 10, 2014

Why Don't I Do This?

Seriously, I know no one reads my blog, but I like the idea of it, having never been one to keep a journal or diary, but just a place to remember and look at pictures and maybe see how far I have come... It seems like I take a fair amount of pictures of my sewing and knitting and, of course, the dogs that I would be able to blog all the time, yet I don't make the time. So here it is, another January and I feel like writing...

I have to say that I am glad that 2013 is over! I am not a superstitious person, but since the fall of 2012, this family has just been hammered. MJ was injured, then Art, my mom, AG was ill,  I broke my arm and all the while Boomer was fighting cancer.

Oh,  Boomer, we miss you. I miss you, Dad misses you and Dancer, well, I think he misses you most of all. But he is going to be ok. We've been keeping him busy, taking him lots of places with us and he has an open invitation to stay at Grandma's anytime.

So Boomer, here's to you!

On July 7, 2007, while reading the Evergreen Golden Retriever Rescue report, I learned about a young adult male Golden coming from Wenatchee via  volunteers on the coming Monday. EGRR had sent out a priority request for a foster home to take the dog. Something told me to say yes, despite knowing that we had too much going on and the timing wasn't convenient, I had to say yes, which I did, then called Art to inform him of our new resident. He agreed, after reiterating all the reasons why we should not, but something spoke to his heart, too and we did it. This would be our second foster for EGRR. Hank had been a great foster dog, easy and laid back, could we be so lucky a second time?
Monday night as planned, the volunteers transporting Boomer arrived at my dog class to make the exchange. Eighty pounds of exuberant joy in a Halti head collar greets me and proceeds to drag me across the training room. (In front of a class full of new students whom I am supposed to teach them how to NOT let their dogs drag them across the room!) He just put his head down and powered through! He had only three speeds we found out later, asleep, bored and GO! Thankfully, I had a Dolan's Wonder Walker with me, which immediately gave me some control. Boomer, I am told grew up on an apple orchard in East Wenatchee where it seemed he ran away frequently in order to find companionship. The local shelter had contacted EGRR after picking Boomer up several times, apparently the previous guardian was tired of bailing his best buddy out of doggie impound. Art arrives at class to meet him and we both agree that we really like the dog. Boomer is overweight but very active, full of joy. We still have to get Amber, by then our 12 year old Samoyed/Golden to agree to let Boomer in.
Arriving home, we quickly realize that Boomer must not have ever been let into a house before. He certainly didn't know what to do with himself, and at first just stood in the doorway with a look of "Really? You sure about this? I can go in?" on his face. Well, house trained or not, he figured it out pretty quick, standing in front of us and panting excitedly until we took the hint. He loved to sit on the back deck and stalk the neighborhood feral cats. He caught a kitten once, trapped it along the fence, holding it gently in his mouth. After a moment, in which he had to figure out what to do, he released it, backing up a step so the kitten could escape over the fence.
We took him fishing at Flowing Lake, in our bass boat and discovered that he was indeed a hunter. Floating amidst some old pilings and docks was a flock of ducks. To our surprise, Boomer took a flying leap off the platform of our bass boat, landed on a dock a few yards away, raced down the dock, along the shoreline to the third dock, down the dock and with a great leap landed in the midst of a dozen squawking ducks. He was in paradise.
His bravery was evident and he always carried himself with the grace and nobility due a proud member of the Golden Retriever breed. He was gentle with Amber, protecting her the more she aged. Amber said that she found him very entertaining, except for the one time, after getting a new orange Cuz, he squeaked it non stop for over an hour. He politely stopped after her first "request." She walked right up and got in his face and barked, sharply, once. Only once. He stood frozen for a few seconds, looked at me, I am pretty sure I had the exact same expression on my face, and then gently set the toy down. After that, he was a little afraid to play with that Cuz.
Boomer loved going to the dog park and the swimming pool at BowWow Fun Towne. He liked to retrieve two or three balls each time and patiently waited while Dancer learned how to swim. Which at first meant trying to keep his head above water while pounding the surface with his paws as close to or on top of Boomer as he could get. He was gentle with his new little brother, teaching him all the most important things in life. But next to home,  Boomer's favorite destination was to Grandma's house for sleepovers and cookies, special scrambled eggs and lots of love.
He looked forward to his annual vacations at Aunt Ann Marie's where he could play with the little doxies, Apollo, Tess, Daisy, and brother Dancer. Ann Marie loved and cared for him as her own, especially during his last visit while a tumor was rapidly growing out his leg.
After more than a year of fighting what was suspected to be osteosarcoma in his right rear leg, a mast cell tumor rapidly grew in, erupting through the skin of his inner thigh. After several brave weeks, this proud, handsome, abundantly joyous boy has gone on to join the rest of our pack, awaiting us in the ever after. Thank you, Boomer, you walked into our lives and forever changed our hearts. We miss you, and look forward to holding you again soon. Have fun up there, you can't get hurt sliding into a big white fluffy cloud.