baby Bosc with a stick
My pet store refugee, four months crammed in a small cage with another dog. Stinky but beautiful, I knew you were the one. They had become concerned about you, you'd been there so long. Don't worry, handsome boy, you're coming home with me.

It was obvious you'd never had space before. At first, your gait was clumsy and unsure, but within a couple of days, your herding instincts kicked in and you were running my other two dogs around the yard like a champ. (They weren't thrilled about being "sheep" though!) 

You were a handful, chewing things, peeing in the house for weeks, scared of the dishwasher. One particularly difficult night, I gathered you up and told you, "I know you are very special, little boy. I don't know how, or how I know, but I know it's true." 

Captain Handsome
Not long after that, you seemed to catch hold in life. You began to shine. So much energy! So much joy! And so tireless! You were a brat, too, dropping your toy just out of my reach, again and again, or standing exactly far enough away that a turn of your head put the plaything out of my reach as you grinned impishly, squeaking it, egging me on to keep trying. (My hallway walls are still streaked green, red, and blue from all the toys that caromed off of them for you to chase.)

You only loved me, and no one else, though you grew to like my son late in your life. When guests visited, you silently placed yourself between us. No one else could even touch you. Only your mom. At bed time, you'd bring your toys for me to throw. Why sleep when we could be playing?!? You learned early on that begging didn't fly, but that turning your cheery smile up to Warp Factor 11 worked like a charm. And you had a trick of coming up on the couch, pretending to want a scritch-scratch, and then plopping your large self on me and turning both your winning smile and your Aussie Shepherd stare on me, for a cookie. You always got one.

Whatcha doin', Mom?
When you were 8 years old, you were diagnosed with diabetes. You lost your sight shortly after that, but you knew your home and your yard so well, a stranger wouldn't even have known you were blind. I had to give you insulin shots twice a day for the last 3 years of your life. I never minded. I'd have done anything for you.  Your toenails used to get caught in your curls sometimes, and you would patiently wait for me to notice and come carefully free them. Every day, I always came straight home from work to see you and take care of my sweet boy. You were my whole heart, you know? One day, I had a breakdown on the way home, and was two hours late. You were panicked and beside yourself, and I was too. Didn't you know I would always come home to you, no matter what? 

Bosco the Brave vs. the Snowstorm
All you had to do was walk up to me and you were sure of a happy greeting. You always believed that I could fix anything, make any situation right for you, and I always did. But as you got frailer and more unsteady, I worried about you. As winter approached and I remembered how you struggled the year before despite my best efforts to clear your way from the door to the yard, I knew i couldn't ask you to go through it again. You were 11 years old and more dear to me than I can possibly say. I held you and told you that I didn't want you to go, but if you needed to, you had my blessing. I cried. In less than a week, your back leg failed due to the diabetes and you could no longer stand or walk. The next day we said goodbye. I was there with you, and so was my son, who you had decided was the one other person on planet Earth that you would allow to pet you. 

My son Joe holding his doggy brother at the vet
Bye, baby. I love you so much. I still feel you close by. One day, when my own time comes, I will see you again, my bright-hearted boy. Until then...tears from missing you, smiles at remembering our time together, and your paw print forever on my heart.


Sherry Blue Sky said…
Oh my goodness, Shay, your bright-hearted boy. I remember when he was diagnosed and the day you discovered he was blind. I smiled at how he sister's new puppy, that i am puppy sitting right now is an Aussie bright and beautiful, so smart and full of energy, and i see some of her antics in what you have written here......this moved me to tears, which are so close now i am old, for all the dear four leggeds, those we loved and hope to see again, those here with us right now. If i could have one wish for the dogs on this planet, it would be that all dogs could be loved like Bosco and Skittles, and Zacky Peanut, Pup and Sundance are. Thanks so much for sharing this. It means a lot to me.
tonispencer said…
Of this made me cry and cry. Your bright hearted boy. Such a previous love between the two of you. These animal tributes are breaking my heary.
Anonymous said…
Sorry - no words ... too busy crying for the beauty, the love and the loss. Oh my.
Sarah Russell said…
Oh darn it, now I’m crying. What a great story.
Lynn said…
A beautiful tribute to Bosco. So sorry he's gone. Hugs!
Rommy said…
This was very touching. I thought of my Faye. I was actually terrified of dogs before her. My husband was the one who convinced me we could have a little one at least. When I saw her shivering in a cage with a big St. Bernard, I was moved. We both stopped being scared the moment they brought her out to sit on my lap. She was a brave little girl after that, right to the end. I miss her so. Thank you for letting us see a piece of your heart.
hedgewitch said…
Tears for all the beloved four-legs who were so much kinder and more loving in our lives than any human...I will miss my Chinook and my dear Rollo and all their quirks and boundless love til the day I die, as I know you will miss Bosco. You do him proud here.
brudberg said…
This is heartbreaking, and I don't think I could bear to let a friend like that go... There's a reason for me not to keep a pet... but one day I will...
Kerry O'Connor said…
Ah, the blessed Bosco, a prince among hounds. We all loved him!
A soul dog, who takes a part with them when they go. I like to think that, eventually, those parts will be rejoined - somewhere, somehow.
grapeling said…
dogs are better than people ~
Sioux Roslawski said…
Just about any dog is better than whatever person you name. Bosco was quite a boy. Thanks for telling another part of his story.

(My son and his wife got a pug recently. A pug. It wasn't Ian's idea or #1 choice.)

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