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Goodbye to Boomer

Corky Cummings


A few months ago I wrote an essay for oldartguy.com titled “A Dog’s Life.” It was about our dog Boomer, and it was written from his perspective as I thought he might think or see things. I closed the essay with Boomer saying that he was in the twilight of his life and wasn’t sure how much more time he might have. Unfortunately, the end for him came on December 28. 

Boomer had been in failing health for some time and his mobility was limited at best. He became restless and disoriented and could not get comfortable without the assistance of medication. We had him for 11 1/2 years and we were told he was about 4 or 5 when we rescued him so he had lived a long life. Patti and I decided that postponing the inevitable might be good for us but not what was best for him. 

Three years ago we had to say goodbye to another dog named Shooter. Both of us were in the veterinarian’s office when the procedure was done and it was very emotional. I knew that I would not be able to repeat doing that so Patti took Boomer in that morning.  One of the toughest things I have ever experienced was seeing him in the car for the last time before they drove away. 

Our days have been filled with sadness since his passing. I know he is no longer in pain but I cannot say the same for Patti and me. He was a big part of our family and our house seems so empty without him. The friendly greeting at the door letting us know how important we were to him is tremendously missed. It usually meant that he was ready to eat, but more importantly it meant that we were home and he was thrilled to see us.

I have lived my whole life having a dog, sometimes two at once, but Patti wants to wait awhile before we decide whether to start over. There was a movie out a few years ago called I’ll See You In My Dreams. It started with the lead character, Blythe Danner, in a veterinarian's office while her long time dog companion was being euthanized. She was a widow and suddenly totally alone so she decided to make the best of her life by experiencing things she had missed because of her commitment to the dog. It was a very good movie and generated many laughs because she did try many different things that were not always successful. However, the movie ended with her visiting the animal shelter and driving home with a new partner and a big smile on her face.  I’m not sure if Patti and I will follow that same path but there’s something about having a dog that makes you feel needed and loved. I don’t know many things in life that are better than that.