Date: Mon, 14 Sep 2015
From: Jennifer Branham >
Hello Fredricka and Lucy-
It's been a rough couple of weeks since I had sent my last email. However, on Monday, August 31st, Bozley lost his battle to cancer with the help of our vets office. He passed so peacefully wrapped up in my arms as tight as possible until his last breath was taken. This was the last act of love and kindness that I could have ever given him as I took away his pain and suffering. However, mine started that day.
Some people say that a pets death is as difficult as a close family member and others say it's more painful. For me, in many ways it's definitely more painful. People are independent at the end of the day, or at least for the most part. Our dogs live for us, and love us unconditionally, they are dependent upon us for everything- as was the case for me, Bozley was my child essentially, as I have never had children. Every minute of every day, Bozley was a part of my routine, often times falling asleep together with him in my lap, hearing and feeling him breath on me, and with his paw in my hand.
I've had pets thru the years, but there is always that "ONE" that touches you like no other- Bozley was my "ONE", my "SOUL DOG". I loved him, adored him and cherished him, even to this day. After sharing my life with this amazing fella for 10.5 years, I now need to find a new normal. I am still dealing with what I call the dreaded "firsts", the first time waking up and realizing he is not here beside me, the first time walking thru the door and not getting bombarded with puppy kisses and tail thumps on the wall, the first road trip without him battling Winston for space in the back seat, the first trip to the store to buy puppy snacks, its so different doing for one than it is two. Bozley is every where in my home, because he was a huge part of my home for so long, and every day, there is something that "triggers" me to start crying and missing him more. I literally miss him more every day!!
Bozley was a special soul. From the moment I saw him, it was love at first sight and I knew he was the one I was bringing home. He was my furry soul mate and immediately bonded with me, following me around, never leaving my side for a second. He was a strong willed fella, stoic, regal and dignified. Just his presence alone, always commanded attention.
Bozley was an absolute sweetheart with a strong presence and was stunningly handsome both inside and out. Everywhere we went people would stop and say how gorgeous he was. He had quite a following, as he loved to frequent the local pet supply store and the patio's of coffee houses. He loved holiday parades and fireworks as well as festivals, picnics, cookouts and private walks in the park with me. He loved getting groomed and pranced around when I put his puppy cologne on. He knew he handsome he was. In fact, I called him HANDSOME so much, when I did call him Bozley, he didn't recognize his given name.
Bozley was very photogenic and never missed a chance to have his picture taken, always ready to perform. Everywhere we went people were always asking to take pictures of him. He has had more scrapbooks, photo albums and professional pictures taken of him than any other pup I know. I would tell Bozley he was so handsome he oughta be in pictures. Bozley was spirited and loved the snow, as you can see in his pictures.
Bozley was wickedly smart and definitely knew how to get what he wanted. Even though he went thru obedience training and learned very quickly, I never thought of him as being obedient, then that would be he would have to "listen and obey" me. It wasn't the case with us, we lived in a harmonious fashion. I would talk to him and he just knew what I was saying. I never had to raise my voice, or yell, but I would often times have to do a lot of bribing on days he didn't feel like getting up. But he was a happy and joyful soul, never wanting to let me down.
Bozley would go to work with me when I was able to take him, and when I was downsized and forced to switch jobs, he would then go to doggie day care to maintain his socialization. Being in sales, all of my accounts knew Bozley and would associate me and my products with him. He could of been my company's mascot as his popularity grew as fast he did.
Bozley was a therpay dog, and loved to meet all people, young and old. He would often be invited to grade schools, where he just laid on the floor and children would read to him. He visited homes for disabled individuals, and they really looked forward to his visits, sending thank you cards etc. He loved to perform his tricks for everyone. I used to say he was smarter than most kids, as he could add and subtract anything that ended in the number 5. If I said, whats 2 plus 2 he would bark 4 times, what's 3 minus 2 he would bark 1 time. It took alot of work, but we had a covert secret that would tell him how many times to bark, and people thought he was amazing, never knowing the signal. It was great. Once while getting pictures taken with Santa, a family approached us with a little boy that they had just adopted. The little boy had never spoken to his new parents. While waiting in line, the little boy laid down next to Bozley and was petting him, for quite a long time. When it was time to leave, he said, "doggie go home to"- the parents broke down crying as that was their first verbal communication with their son. Bozley just had that calm, nurturing and loving characteristic.
Bozley had a strong will to live and was a fighter. In June of 2013, Bozley won his battle with a Mast Cell Tumor. The week following his surgery, he had myself, and 4 teenagers, who spent the night with us, waiting on him hand and foot. His recovery was perfect, and smooth and he was back to normal within days it seemed. He was the epitome of a strong and healthy pup.
Then this year, late June of 2015, Bozley had started limping. We immediately went to the vet, was treated and we were sent home with meds. He showed improvement within hours, and within a day or two, there were no signs of a limp. Then in early August
The limp was back and much worse. That was when I noticed, a large mass on his left shoulder. Back to the vet we went for additional testing and found out that it was cancer. We were referred to a Cancer Center, and quickly made an appointment. Thats when he was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, and it had spread to his lungs. At that point he was not a candidate for chemo.
Once I learned of his cancer, I never once heard him cry or whimper- he was a super tough pup with an incredible will to live. I am not certain how much longer he could have lived, however his qualty of life had diminished so quickly in a month, it was numbing to watch. I could not bare to sit by and watch him loe his dignity since he had always been such a proud and noble pup.
The story dictates to let them cross over peacefully and with dignity, rather than one day too late when they are suffering in pain, and with no dignity.
On his last few days with me, we experienced a rough night or two. That Friday was tough. I was laying behind him, rubbing his belly and he was just uncomfortable, and couldn't settle in. His breathing was labored and hard, and I could hear him start to groan a lttle. I laid there telling him that it was ok, he could go if he needed to, all while the praying to God to give me one more good day with him. I had so much more I wanted to tell him. I promised God, that if I had one more good day with him, I would let him take over from there. On Saturday when we woke up, he was quite lethargic and would not even go out to the back yard. He did get up later that evening for the first time, when my brother came to visit as he loved Uncle Jeff. Saturday night was quite peaceful and breathing was much more calm. Sunday we woke up and he was a new pup. He went out three times that day on his own, without assistance from me. He ate like a beast, and was shaking hands. I thought great, he was rallying and was ready to fight and new fight. So everything was great, as far as the situation could have been, and we went to bed. We woke up Monday, and I immediately knew something was wrong, he just looked at me as if to say, "Mom, I'm ready." He went outside with a struggle, and really didn't feel like eating. I called the vet to see if I could get in for the afternoon. I was hoping he just needed a med check because of the fact that he had done so well just the day before. Well prior to leaving for our appointment, Bozley could barely stand on his own to get up stairs. Once he got to a flat surface, his gait was better, but still significantly impaired. He had also thrown up a pretty large blood clot, which indicated to me that the meds that I was giving him to help save his life, was tearing up his belly. We made it to the vets office, and she said that despite the fact he was still drinking so much water he was dehydrated, and that at this point he was more sick than he let on to be. I laid right behind Bozley, holding him in my arms and talking to him the entire time. He had tears welling up in his eyes that I gently wiped away. I kept telling him how much I loved him, how much he meant to me, how perfect he was and how much I was going to miss him. I continued to lay there and just held him in my arms as tight as I could until he took his last breath.
I cry everyday for him, as there is a huge void in my heart. I know you guys hear a ton of feedback from people who adopt your pups. But I feel that you would have been so proud of the gentle giant that Bozley grew up to be. He was perfect in everyway!!!
I have attached some pictures of us. Please feel free to post them if you would like....
@note from; Fredericka;
Our hearts go out to Jen in the loss of her precious Bosley; Bosley and Jen dearly loved each other; Bosley had a wonderful life with Jen; Jen asked God to give her one more good day with Bosley and God answered her prayer.
He granted Jen that "one more good day." This often happens with our beloved pets and with our loved ones as well. That special "day" is what my mother called a "brightening." It is sent from a loving God that understands our grief.
It is one of the many ways God comforts us and let us know He is there. He is always there.