|| Deceased, twelve years old |
|| Retriever, Australian Shepherd, Chow Chow mix|
|| Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA|
Boss, our beloved dog, died June 7. When we adopted him from the Safe Harbor Humane Society in Kenosha, Wis., we were told he was 1 and 1/2-years-old. Phil, my life partner of 23 years, and I thought it was most appropriate to celebrate his second birthday on the Fourth of July because it represented his freedom from life in a shelter. Boss died less than a month short of his 13th birthday.
He was an absolute joy and a fantastic companion to Phil, who was paralyzed from the waist down in a February accident ten years ago. When Phil would return from his monthly check-ups at the VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, Boss would hop off Phil's hospital bed in our sunroom and bark loudly as he looked out the window. I'd let Boss out so he could welcome Phil home.
A favorite memory is after Phil had been transferred to the VA's Spinal Cord Injury Unit. Boss hadn't seen Phil for several weeks. A staff member obtained clearance from security to allow Boss to visit Phil. Boss was so excited over seeing my partner that he scrambled across the floor, jumped on the bed and sprawled across Phil. Despite being in intense pain, Phil smiled and petted our "son."
Although Boss was a big dog, he took food gently and never tipped over the trash can in our kitchen. I never had to worry about picking up his poop on walks because he'd only go in our back yard. He loved riding everywhere with us, and I especially enjoyed taking him with me to the Kenosha Y. We'd take a short walk outside before my early morning workouts inside.
Phil loved teasing Boss. When other dogs would walk by the house, Phil would yell "Babies" and Boss would respond by looking out the window at barking at the "babies."
Like many dogs, Boss had a favorite Frisbee that I'd throw to him just about every day. However, he wouldn't return it because it was HIS Frisbee. He'd just prance around the yard as if he were saying, "It's mine! All mine!"
Boss died about five weeks after being diagnosed with cancer. He didn't whine or whimper. He'd ride with us in the car or the wheelchair conversion van. He'd get on the bed with Phil. He'd chase his faded pink Frisbee.
Boss was a mix of retriever, Australian shepherd and chow. We thought he was beautiful -- inside and out. The assistant at the vet's office told me after I'd brought in his body, "You were a great family." We miss you, Boss, our best friend and loving son. -- Your loving parents, Bill and Phil
In loving memory of Boss:
"And when we die and float away
Into the night, the Milky Way
You'll hear me call, as we ascend
I'll see you there, then once again
Thank you for being a friend." -- Andrew Gold