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A Dog’s Life

Corky Cummings


My name is Boomer and I was rescued by my owners from the Orange, CA animal shelter in 2008 when I was about 4 years old. My new dad saw me on his lunch hour and came back to get me after work. I soon found out that I was a replacement for a Miniature Schnauzer named Gunner who had recently passed away. There was another dog in their home named Shooter and since both my parents worked at the time, they thought that he needed another companion. Shooter and I didn’t hit it off right away, me being new to the home and him having been there for 7 years, plus he was a pure bred Shih Tzu and he had a little attitude. However, we soon developed a solid friendship and spent many days playing and wrestling with each other. Shooter was much smaller than me but I always let him think he was winning our matches by lying on my back and letting him be the aggressor. 

One day about 3 years after I was adopted, I got a terrible pain in my back and could hardly move. My owners took me in for X-rays, and the vet saw a herniated disc that was imbedded in my spinal cord. The only remedy was surgery that would need to be performed by a specialist. The cost was $7,500 but my owners never hesitated to have it done. The surgery was a success and I was soon pain-free again. After the surgery, life returned to normal and my brother and I resumed our usual activities. 

We loved going on walks or to a nearby park and running leash free. There must have been a million smells and we sniffed every one of them. After all, that is part of a dog’s job description. Even though we enjoyed each other we were always very happy when our parents came home at the end of the day. You can only sleep so many hours, and a little human company was welcome. Plus, we knew it wouldn’t be long before we enjoyed our dinner that we preferred be prepared by our dad. He always added extra things that we really shouldn’t have been eating, like leftover steak or roast beef. Every time we went to the vet we became concerned because we knew he wasn’t going to like our diet and advise our owners that we should only eat dry dog food.  Luckily, however, our dad ignored his warnings and continued to add some type of treat, though usually in moderation.  

Everything was going wonderful for both Shooter and me until about 2 years ago. Shooter was getting older and became deaf. Not long after that he started falling and had trouble getting back up. He was losing his appetite and becoming very listless. His health continued to go downhill so one day my parents put him in the car and left me behind. This wasn’t something I was accustomed to so naturally it made me pretty sad. About 2 hours later my parents came home and Shooter wasn’t with them. For the next two or three days I noticed that they were crying quite a bit. I was also lonely because my companion was no longer around. It is very difficult when someone has been a big part of your life and then suddenly they are no longer there.

Time is a good healer and my owners and I eventually moved on from the passing of Shooter. However, time can also work against you and I now find that I am in my twilight years. I no longer move like I used to and like Shooter toward the end of his life, I am having difficulty getting up and walking. I know I’m not supposed to understand what my owners are saying, but I have heard them talk about when my time comes they hope it happens naturally and they don’t have to make another trip to the vet. That was a heartbreaking day that they never want to repeat.

I have been very fortunate to have had owners who took me in, cared for me and made me a part of their family. I have never felt alone after my last day at the animal shelter. I have had a great life and whatever time I have left will be spent with people who I love and most important, people who love me. A dog really couldn’t ask for much more.