This is my dog, Boone. My husbean and I have two dogs, Boone and Grendel. When I met my husbean-to-be he already had Grendel, and she was just a puppy. For two years Grendel fulfilled most of my dog wishes but I knew that eventually I would need to get my own puppy. I still love Grendel very very very much but there is something special about Booney, because he is mine and we chose each other and we love each other so much. During spring term of my last year of college I browsed Craigslist incessantly and went to shelters a lot and saw a lot of dogs that could have been perfect for me. Husbean sent me an ad over facebook one day, though, with a blurry picture of an Australian Shepherd puppy. The picture was blurry because the dog was wiggling. He looked scrawny and sweet and we went to meet him.
We drove to one of the sketchier neighborhoods in town and pulled up to a duplex with a very small yard and the puppy from the ad was tied to the front porch. He was eating–brace yourselves–a dirty diaper. When we got out of the car he jumped up and did a dance for us. His owner-lady came out and talked to us. Turns out that she was actually his third home (even though he was only 6 months old). He was bred on a farm and then a guy bought him and named him DEMON. He bought a puppy even though he and his wife had a very tiny infant at home. And then a few weeks later he and his wife split up. They both went to live with family members and he could not take the puppy with him. So instead he asked his friends to watch the puppy, and promised he would come over twice a day to feed it and walk it. He did not come back for three months. They tried and tried to get him to take care of the puppy but he ignored them, so finally she listed the dog on Craigslist. She had to, because she lived in a very small duplex with no less than FOUR children and FOUR full-grown pit bull dogs. She said that he had been living outside because he had too much energy to be inside the very small duplex with the four children and the four full-grown pit bull dogs. She said they had called him DEAN because they thought DEMON was a horrible name. (I was inclined to agree with her.)
We knew right then and there that we needed to take that dog home with us. In the car on the way home, I knew I wanted to call him Boone (because Dean is someone’s uncle or a driver’s ed teacher or something, not a dog). I chose this name because of the definition of the word “boon”:
boon: benefit, favor, especially : one that is given in answer to a request. a long-awaited gift.
His owner-lady had to decide if she wanted to give him to us or not, and it took her two days to decide that yes, we could have him. When I got him he had an eye infection, fleas, worms, a skin allergy, and an infected tooth. He had none of his shots and was not neutered. On the first night I brought him home, I turned on Meerkat Manor and realized that he had never seen a television before. (Don’t worry, he’s seen enough television to last a lifetime now. His favorites are Dogtown and anything about wolves.) For the first 1.5 years of his life with me, he piddled on the floor whenever anyone walked into my house. He has behavior troubles and is usually pretty anxious.
Boone is my best friend. I think it inspires confidence to whisper things in his ear, things like “I love you” or “You’re the best dog in the world” or “I will love you for your whole entire life”. Boone’s favorite song is the theme to Winnie the Pooh and if I sing it, he will howl loudly. Boone is a really good co-pilot on road trips (except he can’t read maps or hold my cheeseburgers for me, but I take what I can get). Boone sleeps on the floor right next to my side of the bed every night, and in the morning he crawls in bed and flaps his tail and smiles at me. Even though he weighs 50+ pounds he likes to curl up in a yoga pose known as “jellybean” and sit on my lap. Boone’s ears are comically tiny. His eyes are the color of ice and some of my friends are scared that he will use them to steal their souls. Boone is exceedingly handsome and strangers stop me to tell me that all the time. Boone likes to come to Home Depot with me, although if I try to make him ride in the cart, he is guaranteed to jump out in front of traffic before we even make it inside. Boone can sit, lay down, shake, high-five, roll over, and touch things with his nose if I tell him to and if he feels like it. He goes hiking with us without his leash sometimes because he will walk behind me like a gentleman. He is a really good swimmer and likes to play fetch. He is also a champion at stealing toys from other dogs or small children or whatever. He is sitting below my feet as a type this. He is my favorite thing.
I call him: Boone, Booney, Bonnaroo, Booty, Boots, Buddy, Butt, Butts, Bean, Bah-roo, Boondoggle, Bodega, Crazy-eyes, and so on.
Boone has an incredibly voluminous tail.
This is what Boone looked like when he was a young pup. Note the thin, scrawny tail! It improved with age.
This is the photo my mother sent out with my college graduation announcements. Boone has never looked better.