Tuesday , 12 December 2017

Dr. Amanda Glew: Boomer’s Contributions

Boomer’s Contributions – by Dr. Amanda Glew 

When you look at a dog’s life, you think about what joy they give to you as an owner. But more often than not, if you look at the bigger picture, you realize what contribution they have made to you and others in your life. Boomer was one of those dogs who made a big contribution to all those around him.

boomer1Boomer was a Bernese/Dane cross who came to Rosie Animal Adoption 11 years ago. Of course, the usual story accompanied him – cute puppy, grew too big, unruly- relinquished. He started with Tammy (the owner of Keeper – the rescue border collie who made it to the worlds in agility), went to her sister Tracy, then ended up at my place to foster because of his size and energy level, he needed a larger property. Within a few weeks he was much calmer, but required a “special home”- one that was ready for his energy level.

I love to foster dogs, but don’t like going to adoption clinics. So Tracy took him that day, when 2 people had shown interest, filled out the application, and were pre-approved for adoption. One of the couples showed up, and immediately fell in love, but the first couple had first right of refusal, so we had to wait. However, a few hours went by, they never arrived, so Tracy used common sense and let Jacquie walk him down the road to see if they had a connection. Fortunately for us, they did, and soon Jane and Jacquie were buying dog food, a crate, a leash and collar, and attempted to pack this 100-pound dog into the back of a Mini! It wasn’t going to work, so Tracy offered to follow them home with the purchases. It is always a little sad when one of your fosters gets adopted, but I remember Tracy telling me how she watched these two ladies driving in this awfully small car with Boomer’s big body in the middle, and his head drooping over them. That picture remained in my head, and I hoped he did not drool too much! As a result, Tracy become close friends with them.

Well, Boomer’s first contribution was to get Jane and Jacquie a larger car. His next contribution was to have them drive all the way to the Hudson Hospital where I was practicing. Although he loved me, he was never an easy patient to treat – having this Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde kind of personality. So I was privileged to get to know his new people- a physio and a doctor- which is a great connection to have. When we moved to the Timberlea Veterinary Clinic, I used to joke it was because of Boomer – he now lived around the corner from us!

We soon developed a network of new acquaintances – and shared some lovely moments and dinners – all because of Boomer.

Boomer developed some aggression issues early on- if you did something he didn’t want you to, he would react. A large dog like this is not easy to correct. However, his owners persevered, got training, and learned how to deal with it. So he contributed – to their knowledge of dog behaviour.

Boomer’s big personality would bring all kind of people to them. Being a doctor with a home practice, his overall welcome made the visit to the doctor more personable. He contributed to the well being of strangers.

Of course, Boomer required a minimal of 2 forty-five minute walks a day – rain or shine, winter or summer. So he contributed to the health and well being of his people. boomer2When his people adopted another rescue, a funny Bassett hound, Boomer contributed to this new dog’s well being, and they could be seen tearing around the garden playing- one big one small.  Everything looked small compared to Boo.

Unfortunately, Boomer tore his ACL this past March. His difficult personality with the vets was going to make treatment and rehabilitation a challenge – despite his being 11 years of age, he still required sedation anytime we manipulated him. Last year we had to sedate him twice for shaving and treatment of a hot spot! However, we were going to do it, but then he broke the 2nd one before he had his surgery, and the decision was made – he could not stand, was in terrible pain, and the prognosis went from bad to worse.

It is never easy to let a friend go. Boomer was no exception. But when I think of all his contributions to a wide range of people, I can’t help but smile. It is all we as humans strive to do. Some dogs do it without trying…

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