Bye to the Boo

I have avoided saying those words, because it means giving up, and I am really not one who has ever been good at throwing in the towel. But, it is almost three weeks since my dog, Boo, disappeared and there has been no sign of him since. It is as if he simply…vanished.

Last year, on February 7th, I lost my cat, Flea, to kidney failure, and it was really tough. I’d had her since I was 19, in college, single and unmarried. Flea had seen me through eight moves, three fiances, a college education, a career in sales, and had even been there when I lost everything and decided to become a writer. Those were dark days in that I was very ill with pneumonia (I had a misdiagnosis of epilepsy and the meds weakened my immune system). I remember being so sick, up all night coughing until I thought I would break, and there was Flea. She would sleep on my pillow and stroke my hair with her paw. I had her for almost 16 years and life still seems so wrong without her.

And back to the Boo.

Poor Boo. Boo was not a dog for most people. I used to  joke that he was my Grace Child, because I had to give a lot of grace to love him, and I did love him…a lot.  I found Boo on September 19, 2005. I was walking my Chihuahua mix Ladybird (a.k.a. Birdie) at the park, when the male mini-pin mix showed up. I had never seen a dog so ghastly thin and his eyes were milky. It was clear he wasn’t well. Ah, but he was in love with Birdie even though he wouldn’t come anywhere near me. I have no idea what puppyhood was like for Boo, but it clearly wasn’t pleasant. He was a happy dog with a sweet nature, but he was terrified of everything and everyone…so I named him Boo.

Anyway, I used Birdie as bait and lured Boo into my car then took him to the vet. $635 later he was mine. No such thing as a FREE DOG, right? Boo had every worm and parasite in the book. The vet said he wouldn’t have lasted but a couple more days. They even offered to put him down instead of treating him. In their opinion, he was not “adoptable.” I felt he just needed an owner who could be patient, so I okayed the high bill of treatment.

Boo was an emotional mess. I had to put a 12 foot lead on him because he would hide. At first, I didn’t dare let him off his lead before I got in the house because he would take off running in a wild panic.

A month after I got him, I had to go to Maryland, and I asked some people from church to watch him. I told them to never ever leash him and leave him outside, that his nickname was “Boo-dini.” Anyway, you guys can guess what they did. Took me two weeks of handing out flyers and searching. Lots of “Boo sightings” but no one could get a hold of him. I remember the moment I fianlly found him, curled in a small brown ball that blended in with the winter-deadened grass. I had never seen a dog so happy to see me.

After that, Boo never took off. He didn’t improve all that rapidly, but he stayed close to home. It took almost a year before Boo would untuck his tail. He never would let anyone pet him or hold him but me.

Boo was the best dog, though. He never barked except when someone came to the door (and that took 4 years). He was perfectly housetrained and I didn’t even have to use a leash with him when I’d take him out to the ranch. Boo came to hand signals. I could work in my front garden and Boo would find a patch of sun close to me…always close to me….and sleep.

Anyway, in early April, I had to go to L.A. on business and I didn’t want to kennel Boo. The last time I tried to, it cost me $100 to treat his badly sprained paw. He tried to pull a Boo-dini and got his paw stuck in the cage and no one found it until morning. He nealy lost the paw.

My mom has Ladybird and so he has stayed with my mother in the past very successfully. This time Boo was doing great and having loads of fun with his other doggie pals at my mom’s house. My mom had hired new landscapers and didn’t realize they had been over to mow, and had left the gate standing open. 

Boo hasn’t been seen since.

It has been a weird three weeks. Boo was a big part of my life for almost 6 years. I drop food when I’m cooking and expect him to be there. I wake up in the morning and, out of habit, go to his crate to let him outside. This morning I wanted to go for a walk, and, found myself looking for the leash.

I don’t know which has been harder. Flea passed away in my arms. I got a chance to tell her I loved her and to thank her for being my friend. With Boo? I feel like a sentence left unfinished. I don’t want to put away his bed, because it means I have given up. But, at the same time, I can’t bear looking at the blanket with his bone…just as he left it.

No one has seen him, dead or alive. No shelters have found him and no one has called to report a wandering pooch. My mom and I have combed the neighborhoods and nothing. He has disappeared just as he appeared…unexpectedly. And life feels so wrong without him.

Here is hoping that he one day comes home, but for now I must say bye to the Boo. I loved him dearly and he is very, very dearly missed.

What do you guys think about the relationship we have with our animals? I believe the hurt can be far deeper when we lose them because there is only love. There aren’t the scruples of human relationships. Have you guys had an animal that changed your life? Was your lifeline in a time of need?  What about loss?  What are your pet stories?

I love hearing from you! And to prove it and show my love, for the month of May, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.

I will pick a winner every week for a critique of your first five pages. At the end of May I will pick a winner for the grand prize. A free critique from me on the first 15 pages of your novel. Good luck!

Note: I am keeping all the names for a final GRAND, GRAND PRIZE of 30 Pages (To be announced) OR a blog diagnostic. I look at your blog and give feedback to improve it. For now, I will draw weekly for 5 page edit, monthly for 15 page edit.

Important Announcements

Winner’s Circle!

Winner of 5 page critique for last week in April Michelle Massaro. Please send a Word doc (1250 words) to kristen @ Kristen lamb dot org

Winner for 15 page critique for month of April is Tracy Green. Please send a Word doc (3750 words).

Winner of 5 page edit for first week in May Sharon Hamilton. Please send a Word doc (1250 words).

May 9-13, 2011, I will be teaching an on-line Building Your Author Brand with Social Media Class for only $15 to support the wonderful Long Island Romance Writers.

My new book, “Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer” will be out soon! Stay tuned.


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  1. Soooo, sorry, Kristen. (((hugs)))

    • literarylunchbox on May 6, 2011 at 3:04 pm
    • Reply

    I’m so sorry! Letting go of Boo… and not knowing what has become of him… so difficult. A sad story. The landscaper aspect really resonates with me. Our next door neighbors were having their gutters replaced, the workers opened our backyard gate in order to put their ladder in our yard (very close quarters, urban setting). Left the gate open, of course. My husband opened the back door to let the dogs out into our fenced yard, dogs heard the workers, eight little pug legs ran at 60 miles an hour out the gate and directly into the street. Workers stood around, looking stupid and confused. My husband was able to round the dogs up, no tragedy, thank heavens. But geez, people! Close the freaking gates!

    • Melissa on May 6, 2011 at 3:05 pm
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    You brought tears to my eyes reading this…I hope and pray Boo returns to you someday.

    5 years ago I lost my angel kitty Sashi. I adopted her when she was 9, she passed away at almost 17. During many of those years she wasn’t well, but I think I kept her happy and comfortable until she developed stomach cancer. I should’ve let her go sooner than I did, but I just could not make the decision to put her to sleep. To this day I feel guilt for putting her through unnecessary days of pain. Not a day goes by I still don’t think of her, even though I have another wonderful kitty in my life now.

    About a week before she died I woke up sicker than I have ever been in my life. I was “out of it” for the whole day, just couldn’t stop sleeping, waking only to be sick again. The next day I was fine. I really think that day I just crashed…could not take it anymore.

    Our pets are to be cherished…take care *hugs*

  2. I really hope he does find his way home. He looks so much like our dog, Pepper. She’s a jack russell/dachshund cross. My wife and I would be lost without her curled up on the couch between us every night.

  3. Ah, such a sad post. Animals quickly become family and reward us with unconditional love. I lost my 16 yr old cat Delilah last year to kidney failure and still expect her to jump on my desk to watch me at the keyboard. I never had pets as a child, but I can’t imagine life without one now. I hope, wherever he is, Boo has found a good home.

  4. I’m so sorry to hear about Boo. I wish I could write something here that offers some comfort. I’ve almost lost my dog, Annie, a couple of times, but thankfully she returned or a kind neighbor found her. I understand the loss. My kitties were with me for 16 and 18 years, moved from PA to NYC to MO with me and I lost them both to kidney disease. They still visit me when I dream though.

    My heart goes out to you.

  5. I’m so sorry to hear about Boo. He may come back when you least expect it. While it’s important to move on, it’s also important to retain some hope. I have two wonderful pooches (both over 50lbs) that bring me smiles and love every morning before I even get out of bed. A couple of years ago I was diagnosed as being allergic to dogs, cats, and birds…apparently my body doesn’t like other species! The doctor recommended I re-house my dogs because they could cause a deathly allergy attack. Whether it was smart or not, I couldn’t give up my babies. So, they still sleep with me and stay in the house. I just take allegra religiously! It may come to the point where I don’t have a choice, but they bring so much happiness into my life that I want them to stay with me for as long as they can.

  6. Oh, Kristen, I am so sorry to hear about your Boo. That is really hard. He sounds like one special dog. How’s your little boy handling it? Does he miss him?

    Hang in there.

    If I get a chance, I’ll check back and tell you about a very special ferret, Frodo, who was part of our lives once.

    Take care, and big {{hug}}

  7. Love and hugs to you – I’m so sorry you’re going through this! Maybe Boo was only lent to you for a time, for a special reason, and now someone else needs him?

  8. I am so sorry. We had a dog run away when I was in high school and I still think about her everyday. Right now I am watching my youngest dog slowly whither away and it is killing me. It is amazing how much we love these dogs. How much they become a part of the family. My heart goes out to you.

    • Gemma Sidney on May 6, 2011 at 3:19 pm
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    I really feel for you. Our animal companions truly are members of the family and when they’re no longer there (for whatever reason), we must go through the grieving process.

    As a kid, I had a scaredy-dog named Abbey. We were probably her fifth lot of owners and she had been terribly traumatised and beaten as a puppy, which made her very fearful of men. Eventually she became accustomed to my dad and let him pet her without cowering away. She was the sweetest dog. She had a great life and I missed her terribly since her passing.

    I love being surrounded by animals… at the moment I have two pet rats, Jules and Vincent. If I’ve had a bad or stressful day I can play with them (or even just watch them) and I’ll feel so much better. Animals are better than chocolate, although I hate to admit it!

    My thoughts are with you, Kristen.

    • Darke Conteur on May 6, 2011 at 3:21 pm
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    I know so well what you’re going through. Two years ago this month, my Sara walked away from our home, and we haven’t seen her since. She was old, and sick and it was most likely her time to go, but it was the hardest thing. We’d had her since before my son was born, and she was the best dog around him. Heck, she knew I was pregnant before I did. I cried for three days (am crying now), but I know she’s in a better place. Besides, she’s come back to visit me a couple times, and that does help with the pain.

  9. I feel for you. I can’t sleep unless I know everyone is tucked in, that includes our new puppy, our huge outside tortoise, cat ….oh, and my daughters.

    I wish you some peace. Susette

  10. Aw, Kristen, I’m all teary-eyed. I’m so sorry to hear about Boo. We love our animals like children and losing them is awful. I have 3 dogs, and I’m always paranoid when anyone comes to the house for work. Two years go, we had a guy to install a new back door, and after he’d left, my husband and I were sitting on the couch when we see a beautiful Golden Retriever following a woman and another dog down the street. Took me about 5 seconds to realize that was MY beautiful Golden Retriever. Gate had been left open. I don’t know how people can be so careless, especially when you’re employing them.

    I’ve also had the experience of losing my cats. After battling my allergies to them for years, my doc finally told me I had to get rid of them or I would be constantly sick. It was devastating, and I’ll never get over the guilt, but I did find them good homes. I can’t imagine not knowing what happened to them.

    I hope things get better for you, and again so sorry you’re going through this.

    On a happier note, I have to say that I’m very jealous of Tracy Green – one letter off and that critique would have been mine, lol!

    Take care,

  11. That’s so heartbreaking and unfortunate, hugs to you. I haven’t had Sandy long, but would be very upset if she went missing.

    • Dean Lampman on May 6, 2011 at 3:31 pm
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    My wife and I had a cat named Dodsworth that we loved for many years. Our story is similar to that involving your cat (because we had ours for many years, through thick and thin) and your dog (because our cat one day just disappeared and we troubling letting go). I pray you find peace as you move forward. Maybe should get another pet. That said, as you know, no new pet really replaces one loved and lost … you just start the love cycle up again.

  12. Kristen, maybe someone has taken Boo in and hasn’t thought to broadcast their find. He may be being loved, somewhere. Hold that thought.

    Over the past 20 years, I have adopted many, many ‘leftover’ dogs, and a cat…many lost, abused, ex-breeders, old, disabled . . . you name it! (I currently have 5 small dogs and a cat.) My daughter works at a vet clinic, so they have the advantage, now, of the best medical care and a loving home.

    The one I miss most was a happy-go-lucky beagle, blind from birth and epileptic, who was a ton of trouble and expense (ask his neurologist — no, I’m not kidding) and trailed me everywhere I went. I got him as a pup, rescued from a breeder who had no use for a defective dog. Only once did anyone ever notice that he was blind, he was so adept at managing curbs, etc, and he had an uncanny ability to open sliding doors and latches. He had no desire to bolt, but he didn’t hesitate to let the other dogs out! All food had to be kept well out of his reach, as he was voracious. He once snacked on a leather belt, leaving only the buckle to tell the tale.

    He died unexpectedly, at the age of six, about 12 years ago, and I will never stop missing him.

  13. So sorry about Boo, Kristen. This post made me cry, good healthy tears.

    I can’t imagine what I would do if I lost my K.K. He’s the first dog that is genuinely mine. I had dogs growing up, but they were pets. They slept outside, rarely came in, and they smelled (lol). When we lost one, I was sad, because death is just sad, but I moved on from it. But, I’ve had K.K. since he was a puppy, and he has slept between me and my husband since we first had him. He naps in my lap or at my feet when I’m working, and he rests his head on my knees when I’m eating. I can’t imagine being without him. He’s with me every moment of the day (except when he’s being lazy and doesn’t get out of bed).

    When I was visiting my in-laws, he ran off one night when I took him out to potty. For that brief moment, me in my PJs, no shoes, and no glasses, I thought I had lost him forever. My in-laws live in the middle of nowhere, and they’ve had problems with coyotes and rampaging deer. That was the worst feeling in the world. Luckily, he came back after a sore throat on my part, and he got a good spanking for it. But, ever since, I’ve constrained him to a leash if there’s a chance he might see a squirrel and run off. I couldn’t bear to lose him. He’s the closest thing to a child I have, and as melodramatic as it sounds, I wouldn’t know how to live without him.

    I hope that Boo shows up missing you terribly, but I can understand the heartache of hoping and never seeing him again. Good luck with moving on, Kristen. I wish you the best. <3

  14. I’m very sorry! It made me feel all warm in fuzzy inside to read how you took Boo in and loved him when it sounds like even the vet would have thrown him away. I’m glad he found you, and I’m sorry he’s gone. I will hope that he returns to you. And yes, my animals have changed my life over the years. They’ve broken my heart in their old age and illness, but have repaired it a million times over when a human stomps on it : ).

  15. Four years ago, our daughter’s boyfriend returned from Iraq with severe head wounds from an IED explosion. (I won’t use their names to protect their privacy) They’d been together for seven years, and she believed when his tour was complete they’d take the next step. Bride’s magazines appeared, we watched “Say Yes to the Dress” together and scouted venues. Upon his discharge, this changed young man told her he no longer loved her and didn’t want to continue seeing her. Devastated, she slipped into a depression and even began having heart issues. The doctors treated her, we consoled her, but nothing seemed to help. One day she called while I was on a business trip and told me she was about to give up. She told me the only thing that gave her joy was when she’d see a dog in the park or being walked along the street. Our pet Cairn terrier had passed away a year earlier, and we had no plans to replace her. But our daughter’s instinct to reach out and nurture something that could return her yearning to be loved and accepted unconditionally became more important than our desire to pet-free (after fifteen years of vet bills and her long illness). While I was still away, she found a six-week-old miniature pincher, much like Boo, and visited her several times. Short on funds because she had also lost her job due to the economy, she wasn’t able to come up with the money to buy the dog for herself. When I returned from my business trip we went to see her, and when the owner handed over the wiggling, squirming puppy, licking and squealing my daughter’s smiling face, I sobbed, grateful to see our once depressed daughter, who was about to give up on life, laughing and hugging this tiny bundle of heart-salvation.

    Needless to say, we took the puppy home that night, and our daughter slowly healed, found a better job, and is now seeing a new young man who loves her deeply. But first he had to pass the, “you’re a dog person, right?” test.

    Yes, Kathy, our pets are a lifeline to our soul when we are drowning in pain and sorrow. God bless our Mighty God who knew our need to connect on such an innocent, pure, emotional level through His precious creatures. And God bless and protect Boo and Flea until you’re all together again in Heaven.

  16. Kristen, my heart broke for you as I read your words. I will keep the faith for you and Boo a bit longer. I know what it is like, and for me, it was almost unbearable. I have so many pet stories to share and am now inspired to do a series of them on my blog. Thank you and cyberhugs.

  17. Kristen,
    I’m so sorry and sad to hear about Boo. I’m still praying that he’ll return to you. I hate losing a pet no matter how you lose them. Hang in there!

    Happy Friday!

  18. Oh, Kristen, I’m sniffling and have tears in my eyes now. I’m so sorry this happened, and I wish I could fix things. *hugs*

  19. {{hugs}} I think your statement of feeling like an unfinished sentence is spot on. I hope you find some sort of closure.

    I had a Flea as well, Arianna named after a heroine in some book I can’t remember now, she was a stray at work that I had to sneak into my apartment. She was a little like your Boo in that I have no idea what kind of life she’d had but the BB pellet the vet removed and the one he couldn’t gave a sad picture. I’d never known a cat who’d meet someone at the door like Arianna did. She knew when I was coming home and would wait at the door. Sadly, we only had three years together but I hope I gave her something she’d been missing, I know she filled a huge hole for me.


  20. Well girlie, you’ve made me cry. Boo was a fantastic dog, who sniffed my shoes and then bolted the moment I tried to stroke him. Don’t give up hope. He loved you, Shawn and Crazy Baby, and I know he is just ‘finding his way’ home.

    When I was a young kid, my sister and I found a stray dog. We named him Lucky, and begged my Dad to let us keep him. He was a cross between and Alsation and a Collie, but my Dad was concerned his owner would be looking for him. One night, my Dad took Lucky for a ride in the car. When Lucky began to cry, my Dad thought the dog recognised the area and let him out. Lucky shot off down the road, and after waiting for ten minutes, my Dad returned home. He was just sitting in the armchair when he heard Lucky bark outside. Lucky had returned to our house and that night, Lucky became part of our family. This dog was well trained, hated the adult male race (we think he was beaten by his male owner on a regular basis), and very protective over both myself, my mum and my sister. A day after we ‘took him in’, my Dad returned home late one night and Lucky would not allow him to enter the house. My Dad had to call for my mum. Needless to say, we soon turned Lucky into a slob, who knicked food from our plates when we wasn’t looking, and who commandered the bed if you were too slow getting in it.

    Our cat, Tramp, was not amused at Lucky’s arrival. Tramp was like the Jason Statham of cats. He was a tabby and as hard as nails. We didn’t have a ‘Beware of the Dog’ sign, we had a ‘Beware – the Cat Bites’ sign. Tramp chased Lucky around the garden on a regular basis, catching him with a right jab and a left hook. I swear I caught him doing a round house kick once. When it was clear Lucky was ill, we had to arrange for him to be put to rest. He’d reached a ripe old age, and his last night on this earth was spent at his favorite place – A forest nearby. My Dad crafted a coffin and we held our own funeral, burying Lucky in the back garden. The top of the opening was too small, and we had to jump on the box to get it down the hole. In our grief we laughed…and even Tramp sat by the graveside. He knew his sparring partner was not coming back.

    Tramp was a different matter. Tramp finally met his match when he took on a car. He limped home, worse for wear and we just knew. We raced him to the vets, where an uncompassionate vet told us to say goodbye. Tramp had broken everything – jaw, ribs, bones. As the vet neared Tramp with a syringe, we warned that Tramp would attack. The vet looked at us and said, “don’t be stupid. This cat has a broken jaw, he cannot bite.” We waited and sure enough Tramp opened wide and sunk his teeth in. It would have done proud any Stephen King horror. Tramp went out with a bang.

    I often think how I would have felt had Tramp not made it home that night. How would I have continued on, not knowing what had become of him. I don’t know if I ever could and Kristen, I am so sorry you have to go through this. Only animal lovers understand how pets are not just animals, but an extension of our family. I wish I was in Texas right now. I would be by your side, holding your hand, and having a bloody good cry with you.

    I am so sorry I’ve rambled on. I’m actually crying as I type this; for your pain and sorrow, and for remembering a little of mine. And I apologise if there were typo’s, but I cannot bring myself to re-read and edit. My thoughts and prayers are with all four of you guys. xxxxx

    • Elaina Woods on May 6, 2011 at 3:51 pm
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    I am so sorry to hear about Boo. This post brought me to tears. Not being around anyone but my family weeks at a time makes me really appreciate our animals when I need comfort my parents are unwilling to give because I keep bugging them and they don’t know what to do.

    I’ve had many different animals and the thought of losing any of them terrifies me. Then again, someone always seems to die when one of them does and so I’ve become a bit superstitious about it. My grandparents moved on after my birds, my loving, wonderful mentor and friend right before my mouse, and my friend’s dad the same day as my hamster. We’ve decided not to get anymore caged animals.

    I’ve lost three dogs, two just last year. One of my cats ran away when I was little and a neighbour told us they found him and took him to Houston only to have him run away from them. And as a child, I first grasped what death truly was when my other neighbor’s cat died while I was caring for her.

    However, one thing I’ve learned is that we can’t give up on our animal friends. They can do amazing things and their bonds are unbreakable. Hope will always be there, so do your best not to lose it.

    • Miranda on May 6, 2011 at 3:51 pm
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    Hi Kristen –

    The loss of a pet is a sad, sad thing indeed. I had to put my sweet Jojo Bean down nearly two years ago and it still makes me sad. She was old and became suddenly ill from liver failure. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, but I had four great years with her (got her from a rescue). Wherever Boo may be, he goes with the knowledge that he is cared about and loved.


  21. Oh Kristen, I’m so sorry. Pets are true members of our family and losing them is so hard. To not have the chance to say goodbye makes it even harder. *hugs*

    • Tamara LeBlanc on May 6, 2011 at 4:01 pm
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    As I can see by most of the comments, human beings need pets. They give us so much, and like you said, “there is only love.”
    I’ve never owned a dog, Kristen, but hope to one day. My husband did in college and he loved his mixed breed mutt dearly.
    We are a cat family (mostly because of me. I grew up with them and cried when they passed away) Now we have 4. One of them was given to us by a man outside a shopping center. He had a basket full of free kittens and I took the female, my sister has both of her brothers. Two years later she’s still a tiny little thing, petite, but the best hunter I’ve ever seen. Her name is Roxanne. A week after we got her a friend of ours found he was allergic to cats and gave us his young cat. I promptly named him Cyrano. He loves Roxanne and when she was a baby (I think she was weaned too early) he would cradle her in his arms and let her suck the little toe cats have at the top of their paw. She did that for about 6 months, and this much larger male cat happily let her do it. I actually have movies of it. (I should put them on Youtube)
    I would have been fine with 2 cats, but a year ago a neighbor visited some lake property and accidently came back with a kitty in her truck bed (the little guy traveled nearly 30 miles in that truck bed) He then promptly adopted us. He has reddish fur so I named him Dexter after the crime fighting serial killer on Showtime:) And then another cat adopted us…Cookie. He’s very skittish, but very sweet and loves Cyrano to death. He’s never more than a few feet away from him.
    So that’s my pet family. And that’s exactly what they are, family. To so many people pets are as important and as loved as their own children. So I see why Boo’s dissapearance is so devastating to you. He was you little sweet heart, and you loved him as unconditionally as he loved you.
    I’m so sorry for you Kristen. I hope Boo comes back.
    Best wishes to you and you search, and thank you for sharing this heart felt post.

  22. Kristen, I’m so sorry. It’s so hard to lose our animal friends. Maybe Boo had to help someone else. You helped him and made someone else out there needed the healing he could give.

    1. That “made” was supposed to be a “maybe” *blush*

    • Linda on May 6, 2011 at 4:08 pm
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    I am so sorry, Kristin! I hope Boo will remember to return home or someone will contact you.

    Our furry babies are so precious to us.

  23. Oh Kristin, I’m so sorry about Boo.

    With animals, more than people, we take them on in the high likelihood we will outlive them. My parents are so attached to our dog Rupert that they say they will never have another dog again… but then if they’d said that in the past, they would never have had all the joy and love that Rupert has bought them. For me, I think you make a deal when you take a new animal: the cost of having them is that one day you won’t any more, but that time in between – there’s no price you can put on that.

    The circumstances in which you’ve lost Boo are heartbreaking though. I hope he does come back. I think it says a lot about you that you took him in the first place, and used every patience at your disposal to gain his trust.


  24. I’m so sorry, Kristen, that you’ve lost poor Boo. Nearly three years ago one of my dogs took off after a deer. I searched for her for days. I put an ad in the paper and a kind woman called to say the highway department had picked a dog up off the side of the road that matched her description. There’s no way to tell if it was my dog, but it very likely was her. To this day I hope to find her, that maybe she was picked up by a family and they took her in, and not, in fact, hit by a semi-truck.

    Not being able to say goodbye, that you loved them, is so very hard. Knowing that they’re out there alone and unsafe is traumatic. The worry can be excruciating. I think perhaps that I am fortunate to have had the call that told me she was gone for good; that knowing she isn’t coming back is better than the hope that one day she will. Even after I got the call I still looked for her, and then one day, many months later, I decided to believe it was her that had been picked up by the highway department. To this day, though, I wish I could find her. I guess it never ends. I wish I could assure you that it does. I’m sorry.

    Meanwhile, her brother and I live a happy life together. He is about the only friend I have in the world. He loves me, he encourages me, he keeps me going, he gives me a reason to get up in the morning. In fact, he’s waiting now for his morning walk. So I leave you with my deepest condolences and every wish for you that either Boo returns or that you find peace with his loss. He had a good life with you, and for that you can be thankful.

  25. Oh Kristen, I’m so sorry. My heart goes out to you. Growing up our dogs were outdoor dogs and I never felt a connection, but about 5 yrs ago I adopted a black labrador from a shelter. Her name was River. This dog had been so abused she was afraid to even eat. She would was crate trained and she would spend the day on her crate. When she first came home, I would sit with her in the floor trying to get her to eat. After five days she finally started nibbling into the little pieces that I placed in the floor for her until she trusted me enough to eat out of her bowl. I bought her every toy, every treat and she was not interested. We would go to the dog park in the afternoons and while all the dogs would play, River was in a corner curled up in a bowl.

    Some of the regulars had been intersted in her progress. As she came out of her shell and started interacting with others it was like a family celebration for all at the park. At that time I had a blog with all her accomplishments.

    To make a long story short, someone else was walking her and she ran away. I was going crazy. I placed ads everywhere. Friends from the park helped in a search throughout the neighborhood. As I was searching for River, someone had left a puppy abandoned at the park. She was black just like River just little. I think God just gave me another chance. It has been 3 yrs since River left. I’m not searching the streets, but I still have he online ads looking for her. I know I may never see her again. Now I have Kary, my new spoiled brat child who keeps me very busy.

    I hope you find Boo soon (Big Hugs)

    • Kristin N. on May 6, 2011 at 4:13 pm
    • Reply

    I’m so sorry, Kristen. Our pets become our family, loving us unconditionally, and it’s difficult when they aren’t there anymore. It’s amazing how we can become so deeply attached, and they go through all the trials of life with us, without judgement or complaint.

    We had a wonderful cat adopt us almost 4 years ago after the Hurricane Ike storms moved through OK. He was a bedraggled mess; we thought he was brown until we washed him and he became a beautiful cream Balinese cat. He sat quietly as a statue on my front porch. I sat down on the porch step, said ‘Hello, Kitty’, and he walked up to me and curled up in my lap. I christened him ‘Mister Kit T. Smith’ and our love affair began.

    He was very laid back and loving, and the mystery of his origins deepened when we found he had a microchip, but no info on it. It was from an animal shelter in ALASKA. If he could have told us the story of how he got from Alaska to Tulsa, OK, I’m sure it would have been a great adventure. He even won over my hubby who disliked animals as much as I liked them; Mister would snuggle in his armpit each evening. Mister always had a ‘delicate digestion’ and never really gained weight, after a couple years the vet decided to do some tests and he was diagnosed with feline leukemia, probably wasn’t properly vaccinated against it as a kitten. He was a fighter and hung around for almost another two years.

    Last Friday our wonderful compassionate veterinarian helped my husband and I said goodbye to him and free him from his pain and suffering. I find myself trying to go through the routines we had developed together – feeding, getting his pillow straightened that he laid on at bedtime, looking for him in his favorite window sill, and I miss him terribly. But I am happy we shared the four years he might otherwise not have had.

    I hope you will be able to focus on all the happy, fun and funny memories you and Boo made together. But give yourself permission to grieve your loss. I’m so sorry.

  26. So sorry Boo has not returned. I have loved and lost many pets in my lifetime.

    My German Shepard (Hollis) and Doberman (J.R.) were loving and kind dogs, they were my first dogs. I was 3 and 4 when my family got them. Sadly, when I was only 6 years of age a hunter was trespassing on our property after dark since we lived in the country there was never a need for a leash. My parents let our dogs out and moments later two shots rang out. They were the best of friends and the consolation was that death was instant and they went together. A very kind and compassionate state trooper helped my father find and bring home their bodies. I was young and devastated.

    My parents took me to the pound the next morning to get another dog. As I walked along the rows of cages none of the waggy tails or barks appealed to me until I got nearly to the end. Sat cowering calmly in his cage was a black dog with a white belly, he had kind eyes. My mother said she thought he looked ill. I was adamant we get him. He came to life in the car wiggling and wagging his tail. When we got home he bounced all the way to the front door. I named him Beachball. He was my best friend for thirteen years until arthritis and old age made it cruel to keep him alive. I still miss him every day.

    Since then I have eight other dogs (three I adopted in their golden years so they would not have to die in a shelter) and numerous cats. Each one has had unique personality traits and each one was hard to let go of.

    I will continue to hope that Boo will return to you and find it wonderful that you so lovingly gave him a home and life it sounds like he may have never had if it had not been for you.

    1. By the way I had a kitty called Flea as well! Mine was named after the musician.

  27. Oh, Kristen, I’m so sorry. This is such a devastating and yet uplifting story all at the same time. My heart (and tears, so thanks a lot) go out to you, and I’ll keep my fingers crossed for Boo. And can I just say that you are an incredible person? I work with a shelter as time permits, and I can only say i wish there were more people out there like you.



  28. Oh, Kristen. I am so sorry about Boo. I grow so very attached to my animals that I tear up just thinking about your story and how I would feel if it happened to me. I’ve had a tough departure with three animals in my lifetime, and I have three more today that if anything happened to them it would crush me.

    Raider was my first dog, a beautiful Brittany Spaniel puppy that I had the pleasure of naming. He would sleep on my pillow at night, and play all day with me…until he outgrew me. Then my dad put him outside where he started to dig. We lived out in the country so my dad installed an electric fence that somehow managed to shock me more than Raider. He was a very smart dog, afterall. We moved into the city, and didn’t have much of a backyard anymore…so we had to give him away. I was crushed!

    So, then we saved a Greyhound from the race track in Juarez, Mexico. He rname was PasoLemon (or Paso Lime in English) and she only understood Spanish commands. What a fabOoolous pet! So much so, that someone kicked in two planks to our yard and stole her. We never found her.

    And lastly, there’s Red. (Notice how I named one animal Red, and another Raider – I told you that I loved Texas Tech!) I had my Red kittie for over 10 years until he got sick. He had spent a week at the vet while they tried to figure out what was wrong, and I finally demanded they release him to me one day when I visited and he cried and purred the entire time I was there. A few days later, I came home from work, and my parents had removed the litter box. I said, “where’s the litter box?” and that’s how they told me…I cried for hours. But at least he was happy….

    Can you tell I’m a huge sap when it comes to animals. Your post made me remember all of them today. No way is better than another to lose a pet.

    • Terrell Mims on May 6, 2011 at 4:27 pm
    • Reply

    I am so sorry. I know Boo personally. He is a funny little guy. I think it’s natural to be connected to the lives (human or animal) that we care for. I pray for the best.

  29. Kristen – Almost everyone I know has a pet story. Myself included. I won’t get into it, but we lost a dog too (stolen) that was headed for the National Finals in border collie sheep herding competition last year. That dog was part of our family.

    The time and effort you put into Boo makes him that much more precious to you. You saw the results of your love come back. The monetary portion means nothing. How can we place a value on reciprocated love?

    It’s been nearly a year since Dan went missing and I still find myself looking for him. The hope that other pet owners have found their missing animals months, even years, later give us hope.

    Warm hugs sent your way~

  30. I’m sorry Kristen 🙁 *hugs* I really hope you will find him, or that he comes back to you…

    We have a cat over at my mom’s that I absolutely love. He’s 11 years old, and my baby. I couldn’t take him with me, because my boyfriend is very allergic to cats (and dogs and horses and basically any pet with hair).
    Lately though, Sylvester – the cat – has started to continually spray inside the house (yes, he is neutered)… Nothing’s safe 🙁 It’s really, really bad, and it’s driving my mom totally nuts. She and my brother constantly talk about wanting to put him down or bring him to a farm where he can live outside. They both never cared as much about him (somehow Sylvester is very aloof to everyone but me) as I do. While I understand that they hate that the cat does what he does, to me it’s quite painful that they talk about it so harshly. Meh.
    Pets.. They’re special. Somehow you can love them unconditionally, and they can love you unconditionally. It’s a very special relationship.

    1. Manon: Cats spray urine for lots of reasons, some behavioral, some medical. There are a lot of different ways of managing the problem once a diagnosis is made. Would your mom consider taking him to the vet to try and get a handle on the underlying cause? You don’t need to answer back; I just thought I’d make the suggestion. 🙂

      1. Hi Sarah, thanks for your reply! 🙂 My mom took the cat to multiple vets, they all say nothing is wrong with him, so most likely it’s stress. Perhaps because last year we got a second cat in the house. Or because of the many other cats in the area that he can’t handle… I have no idea. Thanks for the suggestion, though!

    2. You need to talk to Amy Shojai. She is one of your peeps on #MyWANA and is a pet behavioralist. She has multiple cat books out and writes articles for major pet magazines. She can help. Amy ROCKS!

      1. hat is great and I’ll shoot her a dm or some such. Thanks so much for the suggestion!

  31. I’d really hoped Boo would turn up. Sorry to hear he’s not turned up. I’ve unfortunately been on the ‘pet ran out the door’ situation more times than I care to recall. We’ve gotten lucky a few times and others not. 🙁
    There are so many furry friends that I’ve had since childhood who’ve impacted my life. Pupup was the first time I saw a mother dog have puppies and she was so very loving. My cat Serina totally disproved the notion that cats and babies can’t get along or could be dangerous. The things my daughter did to her and that she just put up with (never once hissing or scratching) totally amazed me!
    My husband lost so many cats to Beltline in his youth he didn’t want to care about pets anymore, but for me, he dragged me to a pet store on Valentine’s Day many years ago and that’s where I found the love of my life – Lestat. (Long canines, semi aristrocatic (half siamese), and loved the night. Couldn’t help myself!)
    In a cage full of kittens, I stuck one finger in and he homed in on me like a missile, and instantly purred – love at first sight.
    As a kitten he would climb me like a pole and sit on my shoulder when I rode the exercise bike. He was the king of the castle.
    He died of kidney failure after having kept going for years after being diagnosed with kitty aids. (Long story.) I still think I feel him in the house occassionally.
    His grandaughter, Keiko, who assumed the throne on his diparture, left us over a year ago. Queen Bee extraordinaire. Miss her terribly.
    I won’t even get into the other cats, ferrets, and dogs now long gone.
    I feel your pain. Just hang in there.

    • Linda on May 6, 2011 at 5:07 pm
    • Reply

    I’ve been reading all the latest comments and wow, shows how we’re all critter people.

    Barney, my white mini schnauzer came into my life almost two years ago when he showed up in my front yard. Collar, no tags. He fit into the household like he’d always been here and my 17 yr old Chihuahua/Yorkie, Bogie, got along fine. I named him Barney and he answered to the name immediately. Posters and a call to the shelter didn’t bring any calls. He was with us three weeks when I saw a lost dog poster. It was him. He lived down the street and had gotten out the front door. Taking him back was heartbreaking especially when the owner had a full sized schnauzer who bullied ‘my’ baby. Three days later the owner called me, said she knew I loved him and did I want him back. Absolutely! My fans said he was sent to me to make it easier when Bogie was gone. Bogie left this world five months later and Barney was my angel puppy. Still is and stayed Barney since his original name of Simon totally didn’t fit his personality.

    They make our lives better.

  32. I’m so sorry Kristin, I have three rescues sleeping about my study as I write. I believe Terrell is right – it’s natural to connect with our pets. And it’s very painful to lose them. My sympathies.

  33. My heart breaks for you, Kristen. I am quite new to this community but this touches my heart. I had a cat from the time I was in college till I was 35 and pregnant with my first child. It was a difficult pregnancy and about to become much worse when my poor cat finally lost his battle with liver cancer and died in my arms. I thought I was going to die, too. On a happier note, when I was a girl, our family cat disappeared one day. Never came home. How is this happy? He turned up in our back yard ten years later, mooching out of our dog’s food bowl. Clearly, the dog knew him because she was letting him mooch. Apparently, he’d been around the whole time because our dog wouldn’t have remembered him after ten years, right? The cat had a new family two blocks away — and he spent the rest of his life alternating between our houses. When he was with us, he would ignore them. When he was with them, he would ignore us. Cats!

    I also adopted an unwanted dog when my sons were small. This dog had all the brain-power of cotton fluff but was the most loving critter ever. He was also a runner. He disappeared once in a thunderstorm when my son left the gate open and we eventually found him (thanks to his tags and some nice people who spotted him looting their garbage cans) nearly a month later. In the next county. Was this a big, strong dog? Nope. He was a schipperke-terrier mix and weighed fewer than twenty pounds.

    Pets are not just extra bits of the household. They are four-footed family members. They give us the love and acceptance we wish we could have from humans and only sometimes receive. I know it’s hard to put Boo’s things away and harder to look at them when he’s not there. It seems that you have an entire internet filled with people who have walked in those painful shoes.

  34. Kristen:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. In many ways, not knowing what has happened to Boo is worse than if you had solid evidence that he is no longer alive. The not knowing is what worries at us, that wakes us in the middle of the night with a different scenario each time.

    I suspect you might get more responses to this post than some of your others, simply because so many people can point to an animal in their lives who offered companionship, comfort, or protection and they can relate to your situation.

    I also had a cat like Flea ,which I adopted when I was 18 and had for 18 years. I brought Casey home as a freshman in college, and had to teach him to hide in a beer cooler whenever anyone knocked at the door until I could move out of the dorms and into a pet-friendly apartment. 🙂

    There was Jessie, nicknamed Miss Congeniality, who was so gentle and friendly with everyone she met–until the one night a stranger in the hallway sent her into a snarling frenzy. The stranger was arrested three weeks later for disabling the lights and hiding in the corridor to attack the woman who lived in the apartment beneath me.

    Cats that would pile on the dog to sleep. Dogs that would carefully wash the pet rats with their tongues. Waking in the middle of the night to a heavy weight on your chest and purring beneath your chin. Tripping over the dog in the dark and breaking your nose. Having same dog place his head in your lap with a heavy sigh the next morning as you sat at the computer and tweeted about it.

    I could go on, both from a personal level and a professional one as well. I know I cried harder at the death of my grandfather’s dog, Sam, than I did at the death of my grandfather two years earlier. It is because animals are a safe receptacle for our love. They may break our hearts through illness, loss, or death, but it is an honest kind of heartbreak–they never do it deliberately. I think animals come into our lives for a certain purpose at a specific time: to teach us about love, or patience, or trust.

    I hope someday you have some sort of resolution to Boo’s story. If not, then you should know that you gave Boo six years when no one else would have done so–and that is six years he wouldn’t have otherwise had.


  35. Awe, I am so sorry about Boo. I want to hug you!!! And about Flea, too. I also have a 19 year old tortoiseshell kitty, the Dowager Feline Clancy. She’s been with me through so much and is hanging on despite her renal failure diagnosis. I haven’t done anything other than pamper her, no intrusive treatments for my Duchess, but I just can’t believe I will have to say goodbye to her. Our pets are our best friends. Many hugs to you and I’ll say a prayer that Boo is somewhere safe, loved, and that maybe, one day, you’ll find him again.

  36. I’m so sorry Boo’s gone missing. I do hope he is able to find his way home again, and I will keep you both in my thoughts. I’m glad you had such wonderful animals with you in your life like Flea (which is a wonderful name), Birdie, and Boo. My mother never allowed pets in the house, so the dearest animal to me was a stray cat named Tommy that came around my parent’s restaurant for scraps. We built a little bed for him and filled it with straw. He was pretty skittish at first and looked so scrappy with bite marks in his ears. But over time, I could get him to sit in my lap and he’d just purr. He was the first thing I knew as a pet.

  37. I am so sorry to hear about your Boo. I hope somehow, he makes his way back to you, but I understand why you’ve given up hoping. Very touching story, thank you for sharing it with us. Adorable photo as well, so sorry you’ve lost him 🙁

  38. Just getting to read this–so very sorry. Have you tried the lady in DFW who has a dog tracking service for lost pets? A search and rescue dog–let me know, it might be a chance. I pray that Boo is in somebody’s home safe and sound. {{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}

  39. When our beloved pets are no longer with us, our hearts ache for their joyful bark or soft purr. Their loyalty and friendship is like no other. I’ve lost many pet friends in my life. I will never forget them. I was given a gift from each one. My heart goes out to you, Kristen. May you concentrate on the positive that Boo left with you.

    • Denise Wolf on May 6, 2011 at 6:47 pm
    • Reply

    I really hate to spend the morning crying but I have to say your story brought me to tears. Thinking of poor Boo being alone and afraid after everything he’s been through breaks my heart. I am going to picture Boo in a new loving home that took him in just as you did if he does not find his way back to you.

  40. I’m so so sorry..It breaks my heart…

  41. It’s heartbreaking to lose a four legged friend and worse when you don’t have closure because you don’t know what happened. We lost a couple of cats that way, they just disappeared. Cats who stayed in our yard or wandered in and out all day. It’s been nearly ten years now and I still wonder about them. In our case I think it was a malicious neighbor but we’ll never know. My deepest sympathies.

  42. Kristen, thank you for sharing your story about Boo. Being a dog lover, I could really feel your pain. Snowball (my dog) got an extra hug today for Boo. My thoughts and prayers are with you now. Miriam

    • Alice Trego on May 6, 2011 at 8:37 pm
    • Reply

    Kristen, what a heart-wrenching and tearful story about your Boo. Tears welled in my eyes as I read your words because they reminded me of our Chauncey, a Bischon who was with us for 14 years. He was the best and best-loved dog we had, seemed to understand everything we said to him and he knew what our intentions were before we did. Our loss was as great as you describe yours here. Sounds like you have a big heart, room enough for more animals, and room enough to memorialize those precious pets who have left you. I offer my deepest sympathies to you…


  43. -hugs- Losing a furry friend is one of the hardest things, with or without the closure. We lost one of ours back in October… The decision to put her down was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do and there are still times when I feel guilty over it. Did we make the right choice? Would it have ever gotten better? Even with the closure, sometimes it’s still not easy to move on. Boo sounds like an amazing dog, I hope he finds his way home.

  44. Oh Kristin, what a heartbreak! We thought we’d lost our dog for a whole day back in October, but he came back after being gone for 18 hours. So I can’t even imagine what you must feel like after 3 weeks, but you are brave to write this post.

    I’m sure this is of little comfort to you now, but think of how many good years you gave Boo, who otherwise would have died. He lived knowing what it was like to love and be loved. I’m sure you learned a lot from each other.

    I will continue to hope that he finds his way back to you. Either way, I’m sending many, many hugs down the wire (or cloud or whatever it is anymore). <3

  45. 🙁 This is always incredibly difficult. What a sweet little doggie. You gave him life and showed him love. I like to think we are reunited with loved pets in heaven. However, I had a kitty that ran off. I tell myself he found a new home. So, who knows, as sweet as little Boo sounds, he may have gotten lost and been found by a family who is absolutely adoring him!

  46. Maybe he’ll come back, Kristen. Stay strong!

  47. Kristen, I’ve never commented on your blog before but my heart went out to you when I heard about Boo and saw his picture. What a dear little soul! I’ve had dogs most of my life, and they were all special but one in particular, a beagle called Hans, was with me during the saddest times of my life and was such a faithful loving little dog, it broke my heart when I had to put him to sleep at 14 and a half years old, due to kidney failure and heart problems. He died in my arms and I’m glad I was with him at the end. I now have a rescued Jack Russell Terrier, Bouncer, who was ill treated in the past and on permanent medication due to past injuries, but is the sweetest, nicest natured little dog onr could ever wish for. Dogs are so forgiving and I really wish more people would adopt a dog from a shelter instead of purchasing an expensive pedigree. A rescue repays your kindness every day a thousand times over.

    I can only imagine the loss you must feel at the moment – it’s terrible not knowing what ‘s happened to Boo – I hope and pray you’ll find him again. Only a fellow animal lover can know how close we are to our beloved companion animals – their unconditional love is like no other. At the very least know you gave Boo a home and love and affection that he would not otherwise have had, and you in fact saved his life. Nothing can take that away.

    • Tom Wisk on May 7, 2011 at 1:37 am
    • Reply

    At one time four cats shared my living space. They were led by Maggie the Cat from Hell, a self-assured tabby who ran the other three mercilessly. Her second in command was Calpurnia, because she was a Calpunia. The foot soldiers were Fred and Bill. I lost Maggie to cancer. Billy went next,then Fred. Callie left me after twenty years. Iloved them all but Magggie was my cat, protecting me from anything she thought would harm me. Three are buried by the fence that borders the organic farm. Maggie is in a tin which is watching the apartment. Today I have Sophie and my roommate has Calpurnia. That’s another story. Boo is part of your soul. Hold him close and he’ll watch over you.

    • Nigel Blackwell on May 7, 2011 at 1:38 am
    • Reply

    You never know. I had a cat come back after a month once. He was 40 miles away and thins old lady found him. Back home a week. Feed him up. Let him out. Gone. What? Same old lady phones back. Discovered he was sleeping in the engine compartment of this guys truck and he worked in a mine 40 miles away. He had to check engine compartment every morning and kick the cat out!
    Hang on.

    • Kerry Meacham on May 7, 2011 at 2:01 am
    • Reply

    Wow. What a heartfelt and moving post. My wife and I have you in our prayers, and our little guys, Annie and Clooney, are keeping their paws crossed hoping for a happy ending.

  48. I am so sorry for your loss. Your story really touched me because we found my parent’s dog (in my heart he is really MY dog) Moses in the same way, only he was about 2 days old when we found him. The vet didn’t want to let us take him home but we did anyway. We had to put little premie baby diapers on him for the first week or so and bottle feed him this special formula they make. He wouldn’t eat for anyone but me so my Mom just let me skip school for two weeks to take care of him. He’s going to be 10 in October and I can’t imagine losing him without any closer the way you lost Boo. I hope he comes back home soon.

  49. Oh Kristen, I am so sorry to hear what has happened to Boo, and my heart goes out to you. It’s obvious your bond with him is very strong and hopefully, that will help him find a way to find his way back to you; it happens – we hear it often in the news how a pet has found it’s way back home when it’s been missing for a long time. So there is still hope, and I wouldn’t give up yet.
    Our pets really get under our skin and can stir up emotions in us that we sometimes can’t show to people, but we can with our pet!
    We have had many dogs and one cat over the years, and I remember each and every one of them. The last one we lost through sickness was Penny, a Lhasa Apso; she was 12 and had cancer. Losing her devastated me, and I still cry over her even though we have her sister Poppy still with us. I wrote an article about Penny in my blog – all about losing her and what I did to cope with the loss.
    They are our family just like our kids, and we love them as much.
    I hope and pray that Boo returns to you, or at least that he is safe and being looked after by a loving family somewhere. It’s the not knowing that is hard to bear. Thinking of you . . .

    • Theresa Ramseyer on May 7, 2011 at 2:45 am
    • Reply

    I’m so sorry, Kristen. I’ve been loved by 3 barky furballs, and my current girl, and letting go is hard; I have trouble leaving them at the vet on the very rare occasions they have to stay there.

    I hope Boo comes home soon. No matter where he is or what’s happened, he knows you love him.

    I thoroughly believe in the Rainbow Bridge, should worst come to worst. If there’s not a place for pets in Heaven, I don’t want to be there.

    Prayers and thoughts,

  50. Kristin… I’m so sorry about your Boo… 🙁 I hope and pray that your Boo returns to you. Our relationships with our pets are so different compared to our friends and relatives.. Our pets do not judge us and love us unconditionally. My cat is never in bad mood – I love that about him.

    You and your Boo are in my thoughts…..


  51. Dogs are such good friends, never asking for more than love, a meal and walkies. I do hope you find him or he finds his way back home.

  52. I’m so sorry about Boo. I felt so special and proud when he finally let me pet him.

    I had a cat once named Tobermory. Tobermory was a one-woman cat. One day, a kitten adopted me in my parking lot. It was starving. What could I do? When I brought it in and fed me, Tobermory took it as a deep, personal insult. She didn’t go after the kitten. She went after me, something she had never done before. Three months later, she disappeared.

    It’s always hard to lose a pet, but I think it’s hardest when they disappear. It forever leaves that questions in the back of your mind. God bless Boo.

  53. So sorry to hear about Boo. I hope he finds his way back to you.

  54. I’ve shared my life with many animals, have loved them all and been loved in return. During unhappy times I’ve wept into their coats andand held them close and they’ve given me comfort. Please don’t give up hope altogether. Boo may still come back.

  55. I’m so sorry, Kristen, that your dog went missing. The part of the landscapers reminded me of a similar experience I had with my dogs.

    The power pole behind my house had fallen over and electricians came over to put up a new one. I had my two dogs (part-boxer, part-huskey) on their chains so they would leave the men alone while they worked. When it seemed like the dogs had calmed down enough, I took them off their chains and went inside to read a book. An hour later, I went outside and realized not only that the dogs were gone but one of the electricians had left a side gate open, which I had not noticed.

    My dogs, when they get out, they go full tilt. No such thing as them getting out and wandering lazily down the road for thirty minutes. They have things to do, apparently. I tried to find them but they never answered my call. I combed the area, yelling my head off. When I came home, I laid on my bed and cried. I was already under a lot of stress because my husband had just left for basic training. I love my dogs and having them around kept the loneliness at bay. So, it was with great joy when I saw them coming into the yard late that evening.

    What I want to know, though, is what is it about workers and repairmen letting animals out? Your story is not the first I’ve heard.

  56. Very sorry that you were unable to find Boo. My wife and I were hopeful that you would the day he went missing. All our *hugs* for you and our hope that you will find another special companion in the future.

  57. I feel like a sentence left unfinished – THAT’S great writing.

    As to lost pets – when we lived in a wooded area of California we lost a big yellow tabby that my husband had long before I’d come into his life. One of the saddest things I’ve ever seen was my big strong man walking through the neighborhood with big tears rolling down his face while he shook the treat jar and called the cat’s name. For weeks, he kept the treat jar in the car and as he drove slowly through the neighborhood he’d roll down the window and shake the jar, scanning the horizon for the cat’s sillouette.

  58. This post, and it’s many comments, left me teary. I’ve loved animals- and they’ve loved me back- since I was an infant. My childhood playmates were a massive black lab named Midnight and a brindle pitbull named Brutus. My mother would put infant me on a blanket in the grass while she worked in the greenhouse or garden, and tell Midnight, “Watch the baby.” I never once managed to crawl off that blanket…Midnight would use her snout to roll me back into the center every time. I learned to stand and then to walk clinging to her fur…and she’d indulgently let me climb up for a ride when I got tired. Brutus was my chariot driver. As a toddler my bigwheel tricycle had a rope tied to the front, with a loop on the end. I’d hold that rope out, loop dangling down, and call “Brutus, come play!” and from where ever he was he’d come tearing toward me, ring his head through that loop, and take me for a flying ride around the yard. If I turned over, which I usually did, he’d hit the brakes, stopping so fast sand would fly up around him. He’d wait for me to turn the bigwheel back upright and get settled, then off we’d go again.

    When I left the states for Costa Rica last year, the hardest thing I had to do was leave my baby behind. Sera was a pound rescue dog who came into my life my last semester of college and has been with me ever since. She loves car rides and has gone with me on many a long road trip across the U.S. but it just wouldn’t have been fair to crate her up and put her in the belly of a plane alone. She’d have been stuck in that crate for 12 hours or more if I’d brought her with me, and I just couldn’t do it. My mother and grandfather, however, love her to pieces and were happy to take her. My always-skinny girl is now fat and blissfully happy staying with them, but leaving her behind nearly broke my heart. I cried for days.

    Now, I have a few stray cats that I can’t help but feed- they come onto my porch at will- and one silly Monday kitty who I hope is not so furious with me that she doesn’t come home. I got her “fixed” this week and she didn’t appreciate that at all. By the wee hours of this morning she was climbing the walls and yowling to get outside. She’s always been an indoor/outdoor kitty and not too fond of being closed up inside. I let her out and haven’t seen her since. I’m sure she’ll be back when she gets hungry, but I’m still worried.

    I hope you are reunited with your Boo. It’s as heartbreaking to worry about your four-legged children as it is your two-legged ones. And they are our children, aren’t they?

  59. I am so sorry. I am the biggest animal lover with three dogs and two cats of my own and can empathize wih you completely. I hope he comes home to you safe and sound. Some dogs do find their way back.

  60. I’m so sorry to hear this, it must be so awful. I’ve never had a pet of my own but I was very close to my mother’s penultimate dog, Barney. He was this enormous German Shepherd and because my parents were very busy when they got him as a puppy, the only time he got proper walks was with me. We were so close that my stepdad suggested I not go with them to pick up the new puppy so that he didn’t bond with me more than them!

    Barney passed away less than two weeks after my grandmother died, just around the middle of February this year. There’ll never be another dog like him, he was a great big bundle of soppy-ness. I’m terribly sorry that you’re having to go through this and I have to admit, I hold out hope that he will turn up. Otherwise, you’ll see him again, a very long time from now. Apparently all the pets you ever had wait for you on the other side and come racing towards you across a sun-drenched green lawn the moment you arrive.

  61. Trying to write with tears in my eyes. 🙁 I used to think people who treated their dogs like children were loonies. Until 13 years ago. That’s when my little terrier Killarney joined my life. Now, after surviving several brushes with cancer and even a bite from a deadly eastern brown snake, she is old and cloudy-eyed and creaky and can’t remember where she put anything – but still full of optimism and tail wags. I love her to bits and dread to think about what is coming. But we can’t live in the shadow of the future, huh?

    Hoping and praying that Boo may yet turn up. Fantastic story in my state of Australia a couple of years ago about a dog that somehow survived a fall from a yacht at sea, and came home four months later! I found this story about it in a UK newspaper.

  62. Ugh. I feel loads of suckage for you right now. Seriously. I can certainly relate and I know the empty feeling you are talking about. Strangest of all is this: My best animal ever was a cat named Flea. Seriously. My flea was a boy and the most loyal cat I’ve ever even heard of. He died in my arms one night too. Loss is hard but no closure is really tough also. I hope you get a surprise return from Boo.

  63. Kristen,
    Thank your for your very sad yet poignant story about your dog, Boo. But cheer up! Just when you least expect it, he might show up. This happened to my mother with her little dog about 11 years ago. He too disappeared, much in the same way Boo has only to be discovered more than eight months later, and 10 miles away. How he survived no one knew. But she got him back, and perhaps so will you.

  64. That is awful Kristen. My condolences and hopes that you will find him still. I am just happy that you are showing the strength in moving forward with it all and it really hasn’t halted your writing.
    I remember when I was 8, we had lost Kitty (such a unique name, I know), Kitty had disappeared one day, but that is not what bothers me to this day. We were not the best owners, being kids really, and I remember how Kitty got treated sometimes. In the end it was me who had stopped with the meanness. Then when he disappeared; well, all I can do is think about those terrible things since. Sometimes I will repeatedly say sorry to myself when the images play back in my head. You were a great owner Kristen, you treated Boo right. Just think about the good times and things will be ok. Without showing up again, it is possible that he has been picked up.

    Have a great day.

    P.S. You can leave my name out of the hat. Thanks anyway though.

  65. My condolences. Sorry to hear that you weren’t able to find Boo.


  66. So very sorry that you can’t find Boo. I hope that he comes back to you this week.

    Although I had several dogs growing up, none of them lasted as long as our current half-chihuahua half Italian greyhound Tango. We rescued him from the pound as a pup. He’s now fully gorwn and a little beyond midlife.

    His coat has turned white under his chin as if he has a white beard. I think we will have him for another 5 years ago and I already am starting to dread the day that we lose our precious little boy.

    Hope that this story has a happy ending for you and boo.

  67. Hey Kristen!

    Soooo sorry to hear about Boo. There’s little that’s worse than saying goodbye to a pet. It took me 10 months to write my 10 Life Lessons I Learned From My Dog because i just COULDN’T officially say goodbye to my Hoshi.

    I think not knowing and not getting to say goodbye sucks worse because you just can’t lay that hope aside and it hurts. Here’s hoping that Boo was just so awesome that someone else decided to feed him snacks – the guilt will eventually get that puppy back to you.

  68. I’m sorry, Kristen. This one makes me sad and I’m not a dog lover to begin with. 🙁 I hope Boo comes back home soon. I pray that he’d come back.

  69. So sorry, Kristin. I hope you find him.

  70. I was doing fine, feeling sympathy for the situation, knowing how bad it sucks. Then I got to your line about having gotten to say goodbye to Flea, and how Boo leaving is like a sentence unfinished, and I nearly lost it. That is the exact way that feels. I’ve had many a cat disappear on me, and it never gets any easier, and you never know when to call it quits.

    Deepest and most sincere condolences.

    • Jennifer on May 11, 2011 at 9:28 am
    • Reply

    This made me cry. Only real animal lovers know the joy that a pet brings to our lives. I sure hope he gets home.

  71. My heart goes out to you.

  72. NO! Boo! **cries**

  73. Kristen, I’m only now reading this and I’m in tears. The picture of Boo reminds me so much of our shelter dog. I’d never had a pet before him and couldn’t even imagine how my heart could open to this small dog. Knowing what a huge part of my life he’s become, it’s breaking my heart to think of you having to say goodbye to Boo. I’ll be praying that through some miracle, he finds his way home.

    1. Thanks. We still haven’t found him and I still miss him…. a lot. I hope he comes home too. Thanks for taking the time to comment, and the community wouldn’t be anything without you guys. Thanks for blessing me with your time and friendship.

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