Eleven months ago we welcomed a sweet old Labrador into our family that we found on PetFinder.com, my very favorite website.
His name was Bogart and he’d been a “throw away dog” that someone abandoned and someone else had rescued. He couldn’t wag his tail. His spine had been pelted with buckshot. And he had very severe arthritis everywhere, so a lumbering walk was all he could muster – forget about a trot or run.
Despite his tough history, Bogie was the sweetest gentleman with soulful brown eyes, perfect manners, and a sense of humor that began to shine as we treated his arthritis and loved him up. Even our cats tolerated him (because he ignored them). He started to run after squirrels two months after we adopted him, and at Christmas he lifted and wagged his tail for the first time.
Sadly, Bogie passed away unexpectedly in his sleep last week while we were out-of-town for the weekend and he was being cared for by a very nice and caring pet sitter in our home. My heart is very heavy, even though I know his passing was peaceful. We didn’t get to say goodbye.
The memories of his brown eyes looking up at me, asking for dinner, or his strong snout lifting my arm, wanting some petting while I tried to type are all I have (that, and some dog hair on the couch). Although we didn’t have an autopsy performed, most likely he died of a tumor common in older, large breed dogs. The tumor is called a hemangiosarcoma; it hides quietly on the liver or spleen until it decides to hemorrhage internally and there’s nothing that can be done.
Losing a beloved family pet is never easy, but the love they give us is always greater than the pain of their loss, even when our hearts are broken, as mine is. Thank you, Bogie, for giving us your best, even when your bones hurt and you had every reason to distrust humans. I’m missing you, old boy.