His AKC registered name was “Hogan’s High Dollar Boomerang” but we knew him as “Boomer”. His sire was an award winning Welsh Pembroke Corgi, so he came from good stock. Sadly, he succumbed to lymphoma at the age of 9.
When we adopted Boomer at the tender age of 8 weeks we were not looking for a show dog, just a family dog from a breed we had enjoyed before. He was our second Corgi, little short-legged dogs with big dog attitudes, best known as the preferred dog of the Queen of England. High energy, herding instincts, loyalty, curiosity (some would say “nosey”) are all characteristics of this breed. Boomer had them all.
He spent countless hours looking out the front window of our home, watching over the neighborhood, alerting us if something was slightly different. He had his nemesis’ – the squirrels that ran the fence tops of the back lawn, chucking at him with derision as he stood sentry, barking from below; and (for some reason) a certain greyhound who’s owner walked him past daily (never figured out what he took offense to there – maybe it was the long legs?). He faithfully chased rabbits away, nearly catching one or two young ones in the past, but uncertain what to do with them when he had them cornered.
He loved it when the grandsons were over. He took up his faithful post under their booster seats waiting for food to drop. One of Elliott’s first words was “Boom Boom”. And Oliver was a regular helper with lawn clean up. I think there was some mutual affection.
He also respected his elders. He enjoyed his three-month Covid companion, Grandma K., as she unapologetically shared her food with him. When my Mom would visit he would sit at her feet, as she remarked “He’s a funny little dog.”
But his “besties” were by far our three children. He was overjoyed when one of the older kids came home, and a bit uncertain when they brought their own dogs into the mix (grand Corgis each, of course). His daily companion and friend was Lucy, our youngest daughter. They grew up together and shared a special bond.
The sound of the garage door going up, the ringing of the doorbell, opening of a cereal box – these were all things that brought him running, ready to investigate. He took seriously the role of home alert. He wanted to know where his people were at all times and worried if they were too scattered, the herding instinct being strong in those times.
Daily walks, so long as it wasn’t too hot – he did not care for hot weather – taken at a leisurely pace so as to examine the neighborhood were part of the routine. Overcast cool days were Boomer’s preference – must have been his Welsh heritage. Nights (and days) spent sleeping in our walk-in closet, under my clothes (thanks for the hair buddy) were also regularities. He was a fixture in our lives for nearly a decade, living a pretty spoiled existence but earning his keep with loyalty.
Don’t get me wrong, he wasn’t perfect. A bit standoffish at times, this Corgi had some personal boundaries. He tolerated the neighborhood children who insisted on petting him, and he wasn’t too fond of repair men of any type who visited the house. He mostly ignored other dogs when out on a walk. He had his daily routines and didn’t like it when they were disrupted. (He was a lot like some people I’ve known). But he was our imperfect, unique, stubborn, stately Corgi.
His two month decline was gradual and slowed by some palliative medication, but the day came when we could no longer watch him suffer with labored breathing, loss of energy and failing mobility. So it was time – time to say good-bye and thank you furry friend for being part of our family. “Thank you for making a brave choice” the vet said. How we needed to hear those words.
So, not quite 10 years from the last time I was in that spot, companioned this time by another daughter, equal in compassion to her older sister’s and determined to be present as we said good-bye, we prayed, watched, petted and let him go. Today is the morning after – the next day.
Grief’s triggers come from all kinds of places. Silence where there had been noise, absence where there had been a presence, loss of routine – no more rising to let the dog out and feed him, no more greeting at the door when you come home. It’s quiet this morning. He was my early morning pal, while at the same time being the late night companion to the night owls in the family.
A boomerang is something that comes back to you. I know in the days, weeks, and years to come a lot of memories and stories will come back to us from our days with Boomer. Meanwhile there are still two granddogs to visit when I need a Corgi fix.