P.O. BOX 294168
Phone: 760 868 5008
Fax:  760 868 0368

Kareen Carruthers

Dogs I have loved .... Dogs I have lost

"Big Boo", Bouvier extraordinaire!  He wasn't my dog, but he was my dog in my heart.  He
was a large fawn with a heart as big as my house.  He spent a lot of time with me and was
everything a Bouvier should be.  I could take him anywhere and he would lay quietly at my
side.  If someone tried to touch my car or hurt me in any way, he would turn into 95 lbs. of
teeth in about 3 seconds.  Someone once tried to climb a fence at my house in the city.  He
was repelled by a flying bundle of teeth who had been sleeping just seconds earlier.  I would
walk him in the city and every child in the neighborhood who knew him would come
running out to give him a hug, squealing his name in delight, "BooBoo, BooBoo!".  He would
stand patiently, allowing hugs, kisses and being a generally all around sweetheart.  I took
him to parties where more than 50 people were in attendance -- he would quietly lay by my
side, observing the festivities.  He was adorable with other dogs, unless challenged.  He was
my friend, my protector, my heart.  BooBoo came to stay with me while his daughter was in
season.  He had slept on my bed the previous night.  He was out running with his children
and grandchildren when he suddenly collapsed.  He waited for me to hold his head and then
the light went out of his eyes.  BooBoo is the reason that I bought my first Bouvier, one of
his sons, Bear.

Retro, my little "whippilab", my first dog as an adult.  I found her running the streets of
Sylmar when she was about 6 weeks of age.  She ruled the roost and was the queen of all
who followed.  I remember her introduction to Bear when I brought him home.  She thought
he was great, until she realized he was staying, after which she firmly taught him who was
the boss.  They went on to be best friends for the rest of her life.  She dominated all the
other Bouviers who followed and they were all very respectful and terrified of her until the
day she died, despite the fact she weighed about 30 lbs.  Retro slept on the bed and was my
constant companion until I lost her to lymphoma, when she was only 8.

Cowboy, one of my first Bouviers, nicknamed "Goofy Maloofy" because of his silliness.  He
loved ice cream and would sit at my feet, waiting for his spoonful and his chance to get to
lick the bowl clean.  I first saw him when he was a few days of age.  He had a little stumpy
that never stopped wiggling.  He was diagnosed to have autoimmune hemolytic anemia
when he was 8.  Despite wonderful vet care, including a blood transfusion, he succumbed
to the disease the day after Thanksgiving in 2005.  He came into my office and breathed his
last breath laying beside me.

Lehua, a girl who was dropped off at my gate as a matted, nasty mess.  She had a forceful
personality and wasn't very social, having been a backyard dog.  Over the next few months,
I learned her hot buttons were squeaky balls.  We played a game -- I will throw the ball, but
you have to let me touch you before I throw it again.  Slowly, over a period of 8 months, she
came to trust me.  Finally, she became gentle enough to allow a grooming -- a naked do!  
She was so proud of finally being a pretty girl, she pranced for hours.  She was finally
brought into the house and became a member of my crew.  My friend, Margret, found her a
forever home.  I  had saved a special ball, which she had been eyeing for weeks, which she
was given as she left my house in a van.  I cried my eyes out.  She looked at me like, what
did I do wrong?  Nothing, but she had a perfect home waiting, where she was the only dog
for a wonderful man, which was going to be a better life for her than being just one of a
large crew.  Her new owner who was mortally injured in an accident only a few months later
when he had been riding his bicycle with Lehua on a leash.  Margret saw her being brought
into AC, recognized her and took her back immediately.  Over the next few months, while
her owner lay dying, she was frequently taken to the hospital to visit him.  He didn't make it
and she was placed in another great home; however, she showed her propensity for jumping
over 6 foot fences to go and kill the neighbor's cats.  Margret again got her back and this
time, had also fallen in love with her and kept her.  She went on to earn a therapy dog
certification and became a beloved pet.  She died laying next to Margret on her couch at the
age of 15.  We both cried when she was gone.

Buster, a son of BooBoo's who looked so much like his grandfather, Donald, that Norma
cried when she first saw him.  Donald had been her boy, who lived to the age of 15.  A
terrific boy with lots of temperament and a dog who could open gates in an instant.  He
came to us when he was already 5.  He died at the age of 12.  He went for his morning
constitutional, was given his breakfast and simply went to sleep without waking.

Chantewa, one of the girls from De La Bai kennels.  At the age of 6, she was diagnosed with
cancer.  My vet thought that she still had time, but the next morning, she was gone.

Zues -- the wonderful boy who did EVERYTHING!  Another BooBoo son.  I successfully
showed him to an AKC Championship, a Mexican Championship, he obtained a TT, he
obtained a Therapy Dog International certification, he passed his NAWBA courage test at
the age of 10 and he obtained a BH at the age of 10.  He came to us when he was 5.  He
succumbed to an aggressive form of abdominal cancer when he was 11.  He was also not
owned by me, but I spent a lot of time with him and he lived in my house.

Mimi, my Bonnie's sister, who I took in from her elderly owner when she had to move into an
assisted living facility and she had to give up both of her pets.  Mimi was dreadfully
overweight (about double her normal body weight), but a loving, happy girl who got along
well with my other house crew.  She developed DCM (dilated cardiomyopathy) at the age of 9
and it took her.  She was well loved by her owner and by me for all of the years of her life.  
Her pal, KC, Bear's brother, was also about double his body weight when he came to me
with Mimi.  We lost him a year earlier, also because his heart gave out.  He was at the vet's
office waiting to have an EKG when he collapsed and died.

Fibo, one of my Bouv Brothers.  I bred him, raised him and loved him.  He and his brother
Mibo were best friends.  I brought them in later than expected one night and he had been
banging on my sliding doors, like usual, reminding me that it was time for his treats!  I called
the dogs and realized as they came in that one was missing.  I went out to search for Mibo.  
He was dead, having dropped over in mid stride.  The necropsy revealed that he had DCM.  
He never showed any physical symptoms and had a very full, active life.  He was a few
months short of his 4th birthday.

Jackie, a girl out of my first litter.  She always lived with her sister, Fritzie and they were the
"dynamic duo", little terrors.  She succumbed to cancer in the fall of 2006.  I lost JR, her
littermate, in the early fall of 2007, due to complications from a broken jaw.  Pearl died in
the early spring of 2008.
 I lost Fritzie in the summer of 2008.

Piggy, Cowboy's littermate.  She was a happy little girl with a full life.  I found some
mammary tumors late in 2006.  When the vet and I discussed having them removed, her
heart was enlarged and the surgery couldn't be done.  I thought her heart would kill her
before the tumors, but the cancer spread and I lost her in April of 2007.

I lost Shadow at the age of 11 to mammary tumor cancer that turned into osteosarcoma in
the fall of 2007.  Marvel had a stroke and left me in the fall of 2007.  Schwartz died in his
sleep at the age of 11 early in  May of 2008.

Tino left me due to a brain aneurysm in the summer of 2008.  I also lost Sumi, BP, Bonnie,
Nahla and most recently, Bear, in 2008.

Dogs have been the focus of my life over the past 13 years.  I have learned to live with loss,
as well as new life.  They've made my life full, and significantly changed.  I wouldn't have
missed out on spending my life with any of them!