Rusty, Bogie and Captain

Throughout grade school and high school I had a much loved English Setter, Rusty. When I graduated from high school and went to work in DC, my mother gave my dog to my sister (without my permission). At first it worked out, because my sister lived in Maryland and I stayed with her. When I moved into DC, though, my devoted companion went looking for me. We never found him, and after 50+ years I still cry over him. I’ve had many dogs and cats since, but I’ve never forgotten how special Rusty was. Two years ago, when my little tripod mutt, Sparkle, died at age 18, I decided I needed to find another English Setter. I’m a senior citizen, and don’t want my animals to outlive me because I worry about their fate (I have no kids to take them). For that reason, I decided to adopt an older dog, thinking it might be like making it up to Rusty for not being able to care for him as he grew old. I searched the net and found my beautiful English Setter, Bogie, at a distant shelter. His owner disposed of him because he didn’t get around very well any more and could no longer hunt. He didn’t even have a name; his owner simply called him “Boy.” Shortly after I adopted him, he reached the point where he couldn’t walk at all. When my tax refund arrived, Bogie and I flipped a coin…a new computer for me or a doggie wheelchair for him. He won!!! His wheelchair enabled us to go for long walks again. Bogie seemed to know he was totally dependent on me, and hated it when I walked out the door, no matter how briefly. He would voice his objections with his hoarse “Oof, oof” (he never said Woof) until I came back in. He was such a gentle soul. He loved me, and he was so wonderful to my other two dogs (also adopted). He never objected when my sassy white Boxer would take over his bed, pushing him onto the floor. In early September, Bogie fell and seriously damaged his neck. He lost control of his bowels and bladder. After a week of treatment with no improvement, I very reluctantly had to have him euthanized early in September this year. I miss that dear little soul so much, and it kills me to think that had I been able to afford to have him treated a veterinary school he may have recovered. My resources are limited; I spent a lot of money several years ago at the vet school, and knew there was no way I could afford to take my beloved Bogie there. I only had him two years, but he became such a little soul mate that I had him cremated, and he will be buried with me someday. I always promised I wouldn’t abandon him as his former owner did, and I won’t…ever. I then told myself I would never adopt another dog…but I missed him so much I got back on the net several weeks later and found another old English Setter, Captain. Captain is thought to be ten, but certainly doesn’t act his age! He prances around with his squeaky toys, behaves like a pesky big brother with my Boxer, and often strikes that splayed-leg puppy pose. He has such a zest for life, it’s impossible to be sad around him. He was on death row, and all the shelter would reveal was that he was an “owner relinquish.” It breaks my heart to think that this adorable, funny, loving little dog might have been killed for no good reason. I tell him that he contributes good “vibes” to the world, and that the world needs all it can get. I love my pets, and I grieve forever when they die, but I’ve found that adopting another soon after helps. Captain needed me and I needed him. I urge people to consider adopting old dogs, too…because like Bogie and Captain, they have so much to offer, and they are often the first to be killed. If I can, I will post picture of Rusty, Bogie, and Captain. I may not be able to label them, but Rusty is the black and white photo taken with a cat. Bogie is the handsome fellow in the wheelchair, and Captain is the one with the “polka dot” ears!!!

Carol from Missouri




One Response

  1. Connie Chauvel-Gomez Says:

    I agree re: adopting older dogs; problem, they leave much too soon. But, it would NEVER be long enough, no matter how long they stay with us!