This big guy with a big heart gave a lifetime of love
By Bridget Albert
I remember the first time I saw Bogart; it was love at first sight.
His beautiful high black face mask and deep golden color were spectacular. His feet were absolutely huge and his puppy breath was intoxicating. But I wasn’t sure he was the right great Dane for me. Driving down the road leaving the kennel I turned to my friend Mary and said something like "I want him." She looked at me and said "I know. Call the kennel."
And the rest was history.
Bogey soon after became the most wonderful companion one could ever ask for.
He immediately took over the futon in the den calling it home. That mattress has been replaced several times during his tenure on it.
He always kept me on track with feeding times, getting up and marching into the kitchen reminding us it was dinnertime.
And when he realized it was time to go for a ‘car ride’ he would squeal with delight. In his younger days he would leap into the air.
And he had his best girls. When Pat would stop by, Bogey would forget about everyone else in the room and lay at her feet. Of course that was only after she showered him with love. Lorraine was the same way. They would go out into his playpen (a 20 x 20 6-foot high fenced enclosure with pea size gravel) and have ‘personal time."
I was never allowed to know what those conversations were about.
When Bogey was about 5 years old we took a vacation and he went to the kennel. As soon as we returned and brought him home he had to go back for a few more days because of a family emergency. When I brought him home again I had to go right back to work. Something inside me urged me to check on him at lunchtime.
Thankfully I did.
Bogey had bloated due to the stress he had been under. Bloat is a very serious lethal canine condition.
Following a week of surgery, cardiac consultations and medical melee I was faced with the difficult decision. They said there was nothing else they could do for him, implying his time had come. I just couldn’t give up on him. There was a look in his eye that told me he was counting on me.
I brought him home and syringed food into him all weekend. Friends came by, looked at him and just shook their heads at me not wanting to say those terrible words.
That following Monday I was on my veterinarian's front steps when she opened.
Dr. Kim, who had been on vacation during this ordeal, kept him all day. When I picked him up he was able to walk out to me and he took a biscuit from her. A true breakthrough. We all cried with relief and happiness.
He was finally on the mend.
The next several years were challenging with Bogey. He had to have a very specific diet, If he ate too much it would come back up. If he did not eat enough other problems would develop.
There weren’t many vacations those years. His care was too all consuming.
And then we found the most extraordinary boarding kennel, Larkin’s Run in Durham. Bogey thrived there and they showered him with love, catering to his many special needs. They gave us peace of mind.
Last Thanksgiving we had a very special vacation in Provincetown thanks to property owners who allowed Boo to stay with us.
Bogey loved having a beach and ocean water right outside his door. He absolutely loved going up to the fence and saying hello to all the people strolling the beach. Lesley too loved the property because she was able to visit with the dogs strolling. It was truly a wonderful weekend.
This past November Bogey took another turn for the worse. He was having significant problems with his rear. Losing his balance. He was also in severe pain.
With the assistance of Dr. Kim we sought out acupuncture treatments for him and found a truly compassionate veterinarian in Dr. Greg in Northford. He gave Bogey considerable relief to the point he was able to get off pain medication.
Bogey spent Christmas at Larkin’s Run one last time.
In January Bogey went down hill quickly. Unable to move and in severe pain we had to make the most difficult decision one can possibly make.
Bogey crossed the Rainbow Bridge to be with his buds Prudence, Lady Jane and Sophie.
This story first appeared in the Milford-Orange Bulletin. Tesla's Love reprints it here with gratitude to its author.
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