Sunday, August 22, 2010

We Lost A Good One

People would always tell me “We want a dog like Boomer” or, after they brought home their new puppy, “I hope he grows up to be like Boomer.  He’s always so sweet and obedient…”.  The problem is they never saw me running all over the neighborhood chasing Boomer through their backyard.  They never saw Boomer randomly pick out a girl in the crowd of sledders on the hill, and pee on her snow suit.  They never saw Boomer eat his way through our chain link kennel.  They never saw Boomer pluck a fish off the end of my line and swallow it whole.  But then, they never saw Boomer bust his way through cat tails, briars, and dense oak in search of pheasants.  They never saw him bust through ice in below zero weather to retrieve a bird and they never saw him hold the FedEx man at bay because the kids opened the door when Mom was out back.  They just saw Boomer sitting on the front porch and heeling at my side when we went for walks. 

After 13 years of hunting his tail off, protecting the family, and giving Boomer hugs to everyone who smiled at him, it was time to say goodbye to my friend.  I thought about the number of friends and family Boomer had retrieved birds for and the list kept growing and growing.  He brought back Ricardo and Ryno’s first ducks and geese.  He hunted in Utah, Idaho, California, Wyoming, and Canada.  I rescued him from ice holes he fell through and ran him down in the boat when he swam halfway across the lake refusing to give up on a crippled goose.  Even after getting him back in the boat and together we chased the goose down, Boomer still bailed out of the boat to make the retrieve.  Below are some of these hunts.  Each one tells a story I will live over and over. 

Will Rogers is credited with saying “If dogs don’t go to Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where dogs go”.  But how could dogs not go to Heaven, they bring so much happiness to those around them?  The week my father passed away from cancer, he called me and said “Do you know what I’ve been thinking about all day?”  “What’s that Dad?” I said.  “I’ve been thinking about that day a few years ago when we went duck hunting in Logan and that damn dog of yours brought all of those birds back in that freezing cold weather”.  Boomer did.  He always did.  He never once refused to make a retrieve.  I don’t know everything about Heaven, but I do know it is a place full of happiness and joy.  I know Boomer loved to retrieve.  I know Dad loved to hunt.  Perhaps they are sharing a duck blind right now, and that damn dog is still bringing back birds.  Thanks for being you Boomer.  Goodbye my friend.