We’d keep him in the shed so that we didn’t get that attached to him being around. We hunted around for a home for him. All the while I was wishing that he could stay. His brown eyes had melted my heart, along with his floppy ears and puppy fur. A few weeks into the process into finding him a home, we finally found a home. That is, until the infamous words came from my Dad’s mouth: “I thought we’d keep him.” It was Dad that had become attached to Bogey.
From then on, our lives were never the same.
Bogey living in the house also presented some problems. Dad had a tendency to love him too much with the treats and he gained some weight, way too much weight. At six, he started going lame in his hindquarters. He’d yelp in pain and couldn’t get up. We rushed him to the vet and they referred us to another vet who referred us on to Iowa State University Veterinary Hospital. We took him over immediately and they had to do a very delicate surgery to fix a ruptured disk in his back.
I still think to this day that a good number of people might have given up on Bogey in his condition and not gone through the expense and stress of the surgery. The surgeons and staff at Iowa State were tremendous. They called us while Bogey was over there and updated us every day.
He finally got to come home after a week. He still had a lot of healing to do. We had to improvise a sling for his back legs because he still wasn’t strong enough to use them. There would be no more steps, jumping, or treats for Bogey. For the rest of his life, he didn’t jump much, if at all, and was limited to the few steps into the house. We’d have to carry him up and down if there were more than three or four steps.
Life continued and things were good until Bogey was eight. Then Mom developed a bad infection in her left leg and almost lost it. She was in the hospital over a month before coming home in a cast, using a wheelchair, and hooked up to powerful antibiotics. Bogey was “the nurse” and helped Mom’s spirits. Those were rough times. Mom was down and Dad was working a huge number of hours and taking care of Mom. We never knew what was going on inside of Dad and how it would change our lives again. All the while when Dad was taking care of Mom, he kept getting more and more tired, but who wouldn’t with all the stress and hours that he was working?
However, we started to see that something more was wrong when he didn’t have the energy one day to make it up the steps from the basement to the main level of the house. After doing tests, the doctors found that he had leukemia. He developed an infection and died four days later after seeing the first doctor.
The impact on everyone was tremendous. I never expected to lose my Dad when I was twenty-five, let alone so quickly. Bogey was a lost boy without his best buddy. He didn’t understand why his Dad wasn’t there. He’d look for him. Every day at five, he’d start pacing, thinking that Dad should be home soon from work.
For me, Bogey was my rock. Hugging him and crying into his fur was the best therapy I ever could imagine, although Bo’s hugs last only about 3.56 seconds as he didn’t like to be held close. A month after Dad died, we had another scare. Bogey developed a doggy cold/flu and scared us half to death. After dealing with all that we had, I couldn’t imagine losing him. I NEEDED Bogey!
To our relief, he got better.
The next seven years Bogey slowed down, but he was still the boy we always knew. He still liked to play argue, his version of fetch which involved getting the stick and playing keep away, and ball. He sneezed whenever things didn’t go his way. He also still got his every Sunday truck ride to get the newspapers. Bogey’s last months were painful for all of us. I knew that he would go soon. He lost control of his functions, but he still knew us and loved us. His last Christmas was great. He seemed to have more energy and opened his presents with zeal.
After Christmas, Bogey started the downward fall. It was a matter of Mom accepting that he needed to join Dad in heaven. I was dealing with double the stress because my then-boyfriend was fighting for his life after having a severe attack of acute pancreatitis. There were times where we weren’t sure if he was going to make it through. Then also realizing that Bogey wasn’t doing well made me feel like my world was collapsing around me.
After a lot of talking and crying, we decided it was time that Bogey join Dad in heaven. Bogey couldn’t get up under his own power and would scoot around and couldn’t control his bodily functions. His quality of life wasn’t what it should be.
Bogey went over the rainbow bridge in March of 2009 and joined Dad. It was a rough thing and still brings tears to my eyes.
I love and miss Bogey to this day. Every time I walk past his grave, I tell him I love him and that he’s such a good boy. Bogey was put in our lives for a reason, I believe. As small as he was when he was a puppy, that little bundle of energy and fur truly changed our lives. Without him, we wouldn’t be where we are today and I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
I truly believe that I have two angels watching over me.
One is Dad, and the other is Bogey.
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Thanks so much for sharing Bogey’s story with The Daily Corgi, Heather.
Our losses fade with time, but love like that lasts forever and always.