Boomer Sanchez

Trigger warning: This post contains details about the loss of a pet. Please read at your own discretion.

On March 21, 2023, at about 10:45 in the morning, I had to say goodbye to my best friend. It was eight-and-a-half years ago that I met and adopted this silly little beagle. While I wasn’t sure of his age, he seemed to be about five years old. I named him Boomer after Tom DeLonge’s character from Blink-182’s “First Date” music video, and we went on to have just a little over eight awesome years as a pair.

Unfortunately, Boomer was diagnosed with cancer in January 2023. The cancer was found in his hind right leg, and the veterinarian immediately recommended amputation. It was surreal to think about, but I knew it was the right call if it meant extending Boomer’s time and, above all else, improving his quality of life.

The surgeon explained to me that if we didn’t go through with the surgery, Boomer was looking at about three months of life left, tops. Performing the surgery, and banking on the hope that the cancer hadn’t spread, would potentially extend his life anywhere from six months to a year or more. Sadly, due to the nature of bone cancer, it was difficult to tell if it had spread or if it would surface elsewhere in his body. But there was no question about it: Amputation was his best bet.

Boomer was about 13 years old at this point, and he suffered from a heart murmur which had, thankfully, never progressed too much. Still, with him being an older dog and having said pre-existing heart condition, the risk was always there that he wouldn’t make it through the surgery. Well, beagles are known for being stubborn, so Boomer didn’t give up and made it through the surgery with no complications whatsoever. He was officially a tripawd.

I took Boomer home after his surgery, and though there was a bit of acclimating to do at first, he did pretty well on three legs. Before I knew it, he had adjusted to life as a tripawd and was enjoying daily walks again.

The good times, unfortunately, didn’t last much longer, as just a little over two months after his surgery, Boomer’s health declined almost instantly. He suffered from a seizure shortly after we got home from a walk one day. He’d had seizures before, but this one looked very different from the ones he’d experienced in the past. He wasn’t the same after that. He was drained all the time, didn’t want to eat, and could barely get out of his bed.

When the morning of March 21 came, I knew it was time. Boomer is the best thing to ever happen to me, and it was difficult to say goodbye, but it would be selfish to keep him around just because I wanted him with me. I made what I believed was the right call.

I’m still mourning the loss of my dog, but I’ve been trying to honor his memory by remembering the good times and appreciating the fact that I got to have eight-and-a-half amazing years with him. Before going to bed on the day I had him put down, I sat back on my recliner and put on Knights of Badassdom. It’s a dumb horror-comedy, but I love that movie because it was the first film I ever watched with Boomer, so I reminisced while watching it and thinking of him.

Red Dead Online American Foxhound

Aside from that, I also added a new companion to my camp in Red Dead Online. Now, Boomer was a beagle, which isn’t an option in RDO, but they do have American foxhounds, which look like taller, thinner beagles, so I went with that. Not to mention, Boomer was never a very pudgy beagle and was actually pretty lean for his breed.

Of course, money in Red Dead Online comes in at a super slow trickle, and I had already spent a bunch on who-knows-what-else. But as soon as I earned the required $275 doing Story quests and Stranger Missions, I made sure to adopt a foxhound. Naturally, I named the little guy Boomer, and I immediately hit the “pat” button a bunch of times to give the little guy the same affection I gave my real-life companion.

I may have had to say goodbye to Boomer, but that doesn’t mean I can’t continue to remember and honor him. Being able to do so in Red Dead Online was therapeutic, and it helped bring me a bit more peace.

Miss ya, Boomer. I’ll see you in RDO!

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