At two years old, Boone is the baby of the family. At 110 pounds, and several inches taller than Bear, he is also our biggest baby. We could have never guessed the joy and laughter he would bring into our lives when I first saw his picture on a local rescue site.
While he is the baby, he has matured a lot in the past year especially. He now bounds up to people at the dog park happily, and accepts their attention and praise so easily—something that has been a struggle at times. He is still reluctant with other dogs, he gets skittish when excited pups run up to him to play. But every time we go, he is a little braver, a little more curious. I never tire watching the magic of rescue and love that work together to make a dog’s life so much better, every day.
Someone recently commented on a picture of Boone that I posted on Facebook: He is such a lucky boy. My immediate thought and response was, WE are the lucky ones. Boone is so loving, so sweet, just a perfect dog. I have never seen an animal so happy all the time. Boone is rarely without a smile, and he bounds through the house, absolutely grateful for every treat, every bit of attention, every time we come home from a trip to the grocery store, every snuggle with his brother Bear—just every single moment.
He also loves to watch television. Bear at times has watched a particular commercial, or might see something that caught his attention for a few seconds at most. In comparison, Boone is a couch potato. He especially loves anything animated—and if there are dogs on TV, whether in a commercial or on a show, he freezes and his attention is completely diverted to the screen. At times, he will cry out and run to the screen with such sweetness—wanting to play with the dog on the screen- that I have to get up and hug him right on the spot.
Boone’s only challenge is spacial awareness—as we like to call it. When Boone runs up to one of us, that usually means running into us. He tears through the house, taking a flying leap to land on our king sized bed, without any consideration that there are bodies under the blankets. He will flop down right on my chest and lick my face happily, while I laugh and groan with the weight of him at the same time. It is impossible to be upset with him, his smile is so constant.
Since he was a puppy, Boone has swatted at us with his paws, usually trying to grab on to us in one way or another. It is a way of showing affection for him, although his huge paws are a little more painful than his puppy paws were. Shea and Boone share the sweetest little ritual. Boone will sit in front of Shea, and Shea will say, I love you and hold out his arms. Boone will respond by sitting on his back legs and putting his paws in Shea’s arms. I like to think Boone is trying to hug us.
I often call Boone our “sunshine boy” because he is a burst of happiness every morning. He sleeps on the bed with us sometimes, but most of the time he sleeps on his doggie bed next to Shea’s side of the bed on the floor. Once a little bit of light comes through the window, I know that Boone’s head will pop up as he stands on his hind legs and starts swatting at Shea, covering him in kisses before he is fully awake. I am not a morning person in the least, but Boone’s happy morning greeting makes me smile every single day, and definitely starts my day on a good note.
He is also the most sensitive of all of our animals. When he dissects stuffed animals at lightning speed, and we hear him chewing on a squeaker he just removed, we rush to get it to keep him from choking or ingesting plastic pieces. Even though we talk sweetly to him while we take it, after returning from the trash can, Boone will inevitably be pouting, his ears back, and his head down. It only takes a few seconds to get him smiling again, but his feelings are easily hurt. I love that sweetness about him, though. There is a certain baby-ness about him in that respect that I hope he never loses.
Boone has learned so much from his big brother Bear, and it has been so good for both of them to have a sibling and a co-conspirator in backyard chases, and barking at squirrels on the roof. Whether he learned it from Bear, or just had a stubborn streak of his own, Boone can hold his ground at times to an exhausting level. His favorite stubborn moments are demanding to go outside (when he just came in five minutes ago). Although we may protest and get him to lay down for a few seconds, he is up, barking and stomping his front paws—and smiling—until we give in. He knows we will cave.
His other hilarious show of stubbornness involves coming in from outside (a little less hilarious at 2:00am). Both dogs will go outside and Bear comes back fairly quickly, barking to be let in immediately. The up and down of opening the back door to our fenced in back yard can be a little tiresome, so we try to get Boone in at the same time. He will stand or sit in the yard and stare at us as we call his name. But, if we say the word “treat”, he dashes in. He has us trained very well.
Bear and Boone have always been so sweet with each other. They have their moments of struggling to share toys and they worry if they are getting an equal number of treats (they are), but Boone has been good for Bear, and Bear has been so, so good for Boone.
I say all the time that Boone is the biggest love on four legs. He is. He is also funny, sweet, emotional, and just pure joy. He makes us laugh on days when it seems impossible to smile. He and Bear both share nursing duties when I am fighting one of my frequent migraines. He is an absolute ham, and knows how to work his cute face to get just about anything he wants. He is another love of our lives, a furry, smart, endearing, adorable creature that has a huge part of our hearts.
As he snores next to us tonight after two days of celebrating two years with us, I am so thankful for chance, fate, coincidence—whatever it is that brought Boone into our lives. I am so thankful that we were a part of rescuing him, that we are the ones who get to love and spoil him.
Happy 2nd birthday sweet Boone--we are the lucky ones.