It was an early June morning. The sunlight peeking through the window, after a restful night. The knock on my door wasn’t startling, even in the 5am hour. Bogie wasn’t doing so good and it was time to go see him. We had a little time, so jumped in the shower to wake myself up. Also, giving me time to collect my thoughts. The time had arrived to say goodbye. We knew it was coming, as Bogie was beginning to lose his battle with cancer. He had been admitted to an animal hospital the prior afternoon. Thinking it was going to be the end, my mom had called for us to gather with him. But, they had one more idea to try helping Bogie through, and he might improve overnight. Now, at five in the morning, the overnight effort wasn’t accepted by his body. Bogie was done with his fight and it was time to say goodbye. It doesn’t seem to matter how many times you go over a moment like this in your head. There isn’t anything that prepares you for saying goodbye to someone you truly love. All I truly wanted him to know was how thankful I was for the time we had with him. Bogie gave more love in fourteen years, than could have ever been imagined.
They didn’t know how much longer Bogie would be able to hang on. But, felt like we had a little time to get there for him. In all, it took us about an hour to arrive at the animal hospital. It had been some time since a morning had been that crystal clear. So, we met at my mom’s house, loaded into a car together, and drove to say goodbye. Tears filled my eyes at the sight of Bogie hooked up to monitors. He was resting in the middle of this large room, without other animals in sight. It felt eerily quiet, except for the vets and nurses calmly moving around. We all huddled around, as he tried keeping his eyes open. The personality hadn’t left him. Bogie wanted us all in sight and as someone moved, he would follow with his eyes, willing them not to travel too far. That was like him though, making sure he knew where you were, and that everyone was okay. However, you could feel in that moment, that he needed his family. And like he had been there for us, we were there for him. My hope was in that moment Bogie felt safe, free to let go, and move on to a better place. One void of the cancerous pain filling his body. I couldn’t find the words through the tears to thank him, but hopefully in those moments, he felt how loved he was, and will always be.
As we left the hospital, the crystal-clear morning was still encompassing. We headed back to the house and began the grieving process. In times like these, as has been explained to me, it’s best to focus on good memories. With Bogie, there wasn’t much that didn’t bring a smile. The next few days were spent reminiscing over many of the funny moments. Some of them were new for me, which made me chuckle even harder. Mom would sweep the floors in her home every few days. The hardwood covers much of the main floor, stretching through the kitchen, nook, dining room, and entry. Besides Bogie, mom has a cat named Hollie living with her, so the floors could become covered in animal hair. Her sweeping would take mom through the kitchen, collecting any food that may have dropped from previous days. Once mom had gathered her pile from sweeping, Bogie would inspect the pile. If he found any food in the pile, Bogie would lick it up. He had to recover the items he must have missed from the previous days. I can see Bogie being scolded for this process, mainly because the crumbs had been sitting on the floor for a few days. Of course, he would probably look up at mom, lacking an understanding of what the big deal was, and go back to picking through the pile.
It might be that characteristic I miss most about Bogie. We all probably fell prey to his ability in reading the tone of your voice. As he got older, Bogie developed a sense for things he could get away with. He could sense how serious the request was by how your request was made. Sometimes simply standing there for a moment looking at you. It felt like he was debating inside his mind, “how serious is this particular request.” The look always brought a smile to my face. Sometimes knowing whatever I was asking, truly wasn’t that big of a deal. Like yeah, you can stay outside longer if you want, but other times he knew, it was important to come back inside. Bogie surely was a dog full of personality. He was nurturing and protective, but also challenging, as any best friend would be. Bogie made me a better person, providing a better understanding of what it means to love.
For me, his presence was truly missed just a month after saying goodbye. In July, we spent time working in my mom’s yard. We received bark for the front yard. Then, came some gravel to redo paths throughout the backyard of her home. It would have been Bogie’s favorite time of the year. He loved being outside with so much action going on around him. With all of us doing something different, helping complete the process. Bogie, would be in the middle of everything. Sometime climbing on the pile of bark, or walking just in front of the moving wheel barrel. It always planted that little seed of doubt, because I certainly did not want to run into Bogie’s backside. However, inevitably he always managed to stay just far enough in front, not to get hit. It was almost like he wanted to help by leading the way. Other times, he would lay down on bark or dirt that you had just spread out. Probably just checking for the right thickness or depth. He was so much fun, always keeping everyone on their toes. It was fun to imagine the things Bogie might be thinking and what he would say if he could speak our language.
There continue to be moments that hit me, where the loss can become overwhelming. It becomes easier as time moves on when arriving at my mom’s house. Bogie was often there to greet me when pulling into her driveway. He would be parked inside the front door, sometimes letting out a bark to announce my arrival. Bogie wasn’t always there waiting for me to arrive, but was always waiting for mom to get home. The other evening, I picked mom up at the airport following her weekend away. When we drove up the driveway, Bogie wasn’t there peeking through the front door, waiting for mom to get home. It was a moment that hit us both, as we spoke about it a few days later. The reality continues to sink in that he has gone, but Bogie left us with so much. Our funny stories with him will always be shared. We could not have asked for a better dog, Bogie will be loved and missed always.