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Boogie was the son of a sweet pit bull/ rottweiler/ bull mastiff who got noticed by a happy Labrador. He was named Rodman, due to the bright orange hair on his head, like Dennis Rodman. I brought him home for my girlfriend, who kindly let me know that despite my wonderful Valentine's Day gift, Rodman had chosen me—not her.
It took only a few minutes to rename my new boy. His Labrador tail had grown so out of proportion to his small frame that he bent his body 90 degrees to the left and right due to the weight of his tail. He danced with pure happiness and abandon ... Boogie!
We grew together and learned from the best. He was taught dog manners by a half-wolf/ half-Lab and by many other dogs and friends. There was nowhere we couldn't travel, and we befriended many.
Boogie had both the Labrador tennis ball and swimming genes—thank god for that to wear out a most energetic young pup. He also understood English. It only took two tries to convince him to jump off the dock to fetch his ball; he leapt off at a full run and cleared 10 feet! Then his head and tail poked out, steering right to the ball.
Another favorite treat was playing Frisbee golf. It took one short lesson to let him know that the Frisbee was mine and the ball was his. Boogie would woof and run the course three or four times over. He always ran to my Frisbee and gave it a small U-shaped lick mark. One day I lost my disk and asked him, "Where's my Frisbee?" Sure enough, he wagged his Boogie tail and led me to my disk hidden under some leaves in the woods. We looked at each other with delight and amazement. I got a big bag to hold disks and many tennis balls.
On such good days, I would play music and dance and make up new song lyrics while we boogied. On sad days, he would greet me with his waggly tail and brighten my day.
We were a team. We shared many years of play and exercise together, and as we both grew older we both slowed down. Boogie's favorite place was looking out in the front yard by the garden, and that's become my favorite place as well. In his memory I still woof at the deer.
A number of our friends passed away recently, and Boogie's time just came too. I had to make the difficult choice, but I wanted him to go out if not on top, not on the bottom either. Boogie taught me to dance, live life and be thankful for those we love. Rest in peace, our friends, and rest in peace, Boogie. I'll continue to learn from you as I watch the land.
Kirk Schmidt, White Cross