Snuggles on the couch.
I had the opportunity to head to Rogers, AR with my motorcycle family last week to introduce that region to Klock Werks parts. I've told myself to always take opportunities as you never know if you will ever have them again.
Of course part of my preparation is to find someone to care for my pets while I'm gone. Now that my son is old enough to drive, he is a great help to let them out, feed them and make sure they have fresh water and clean litter boxes. That last one is not his favorite. I decided to see if another foster family or volunteer from SEPR could take Boomer in for the week. He could get some exposure to different people and quite possibly other dogs.
I took him to his vacation spot and got his crate set up and everything in order to his liking. I gave him a hug and a couple of kisses and told him I'd see him next week.
The very next afternoon, somewhere in Oklahoma, I get a call that he has been growling and bearing his teeth towards the caregiver. My heart sunk. I knew right then and there it was over. Aggression towards people is not acceptable when you are trying to rehome a dog.
A million excuses came to my head. He's scared, unsure, isn't familiar with the caregiver, her other animals, her house, the unfamiliar surroundings, and so on. I knew in my heart, however, that no excuse in the world was going to prevent this from happening again. I blamed myself, I blamed others, I blamed his previous owner(s) for not properly socializing him so he could learn to trust, but it was no ones fault, not even Boomers. The scars in his mind ran deep and he did the only thing he knew to protect himself and to alert his caretaker he was not comfortable, growl.
He was humanely euthanized.
Boomer will live on however. I honestly believe he was brought to me to be a tool helping me to educate others. Not just about pit bulls, not just about breed specific legislation, or what it's like to be a foster parent to a fearful dog. Boomer helped to educate people about compassion, forgiveness, about second chances, and finally about making very tough decisions. He has taught me how to watch body language, how to let loose and run circles in the yard, to wallow in the mud of the river, and how to learn to trust others in time.
This blog will not stop just because Boomer is gone, it will take on a whole new life. Boomer's Voice will continue to be heard. He has much to tell. I hope you will listen.