October 30th, 2007 - July 14th, 2017
In April of 2008 Andrea and I rescued a Great Pyrenees named Bosco. He was big for being only 6 months old and full of energy. As a pup he destroyed countless books and newspapers and approx. 15 DVDs and three entire seasons of Everybody Loves Raymond. Despite all of this, I told him daily that he was the best dog in the world. I suspect he felt this gave him permission to eat our books and DVDs at will. Eventually he learned what was expected of him and discovered his strong instinctive desire to guard our backyard.
Bosco slept on an orthopedic bed on the floor right next to my side of the bed. Thru the night he would alternate on and off of the bed onto the hardwood floor. Each morning between 5:30am and 6:30am he would wake me by standing on his bed and either licking my face or snorting on it. I preferred the licks. I used to joke that he liked to "punch in" and go to work in the back yard and let all the potential evildoers know that he was officially on duty. Ironically, all the many birds, squirrels, and chipmunks that also came onto the deck with Bosco, never took any issue with him and would walk and eat seed right next to him. I guess they also knew he was a big sweetheart.
Bosco underwent two TPLO surgeries in 2009/2010. It was after his first surgery and during his recovery time that he and I became the very, very best of friends. We stayed side by side for 24 hours a day for almost a month. He was such a trooper. I remember watching a lot of crappy late night TV with him, but we didn't mind because we were together.
We live on a hill and the house next to us, or "up the hill" is Andrea's parents. They have an in ground pool and Bosco loved to go up there, get his expected treats from Andrea's dad and then guard both properties from the improved vantage of being higher on the hill. He was always happy to be there, running along the inside of the pool fence, barking and acting like a tuffy - we knew better.
Like most dogs, Bosco was a HUGE fan of car rides. In 2013 we (BGD) attended the Bernese National Specialty in Loveland, Colorado as a vendor and took Bosco with us. This was his longest car ride ever (Vermont to Colorado and back) and he loved it, especially when he saw the golden arches of McDonalds. He enjoyed most everything on their menu. The show was a week long and a sea of Berner’s surrounded him. Being almost the only white dog there, he received about as much attention as Elvis would have. The day we left for home, there was severe weather forecasted for Iowa, but it appeared we could stay just ahead of it. That is exactly what we did, stay just ahead of a tornado! When we got to our hotel in West Des Moines, the hotel was in a full tornado warning and the manager was telling everyone to stay away from the windows. It was pitch black out and the wind was howling like a wolf. During all this time, Bosco acted as though it was no big deal and decided it was time to go back outside and poop during the tornado warning. Andrea took him out the front of the hotel and Bosco pooped just outside the front entrance of the hotel while a tornado passed by our general area. We never saw the tornado, but one was spotted within a mile of our hotel. Bosco stayed so calm during all of this that Andrea and I did as well. He was leading the way as usual.
Bosco has a little brother named Diesel, a Siberian husky that belongs to Andrea's son Garrett. Diesel was like the Tasmanian devil when he was a puppy and used to try to bite Bosco's legs all the time. Especially when we were all around the pool. Diesel was so small that he could quickly run right underneath Bosco two or three times before Bosco could position himself to make him stop. Eventually, Bosco would reach his limit with this little annoying husky and chase him until he could sit on top of him and make it all stop. Inevitably this helped to form a bond between the two of them and as Diesel got older, calmer, grayer, a little slower and slightly plumper, he and Bosco enjoyed sitting on our deck together whenever we watched Diesel for Garrett. They were good friends.
One particular event, which stands out, is when both Diesel and Bosco were in our house early in their relationship. Diesel desperately wanted Bosco's rawhide chew and there was a slight tussle. Knowing Diesel had no interest in stairs, Bosco picked up the rawhide, walked to the top of the basement stairs and like Pedro Martinez thru a perfect pitch right down the stairs. He then looked at Diesel as if to say "there you go buddy, go get it". It stayed at the bottom of the stairs until I picked it up and told Bosco he was a good boy.
Bosco also loved Garrett very much and would go crazy whenever he saw him come over to our house. Pounding on our sliding glass door to get inside and give him a BIG hello/hug.
In 2014 we attended the Leonberger National Specialty in Burlington, Vermont. Since Burlington is only an hour away from our home, I went ahead alone and set up our booth. Andrea came up the following day with Bosco. He had a great time and had many photos taken and enjoyed the hotels room service. I must admit that I loved showing him off, as he was such a good boy.
We live in a ranch style home with a basement walkout to the backyard. The entire basement is comprised of our BGD warehouse, a shipping area where I pack orders and a nice office with an attached TV room. This was ALL Bosco’s domain, but he primarily enjoyed being in my office, right in front of my desk. He would listen to me on phone calls and periodically lift his head to see if I was about to go back out into the warehouse. It sounds crazy, but I miss stepping over him and I got really good at it. He never flinched even if I was carrying something really big and heavy because he knew I would never hurt him. I miss my warehouse buddy.
Bosco was the pickiest eater on the planet. Don’t get me wrong, he enjoyed most treats, but even those had to be frequently rotated with new and different ones or he would say talk to the paw and not eat them. As for his actual meals, he ate like a king. I am certain that I have cooked more meals for him than I have for Andrea and I. I frequently cooked him chicken. His favorite was boneless thighs. He was also very partial to hamburger, all types of steaks, bacon, sunny side up eggs, all varieties of toast – white, oatmeal, wheat, 7 grain, didn’t matter as long as it was toasted, cut in pieces and placed appropriately on the top of his food. He liked rice and all types of cheeses, especially the imported expensive Parmesan which we sprinkled on the top of his food. I often ate some of what he was eating, because it was so damn good. I would do it all over again. On the rare occasion when we attempted to give him straight up kibble and some moist food, he would look at it look at us and walk away. He had us trained, as we would then scramble to add toast, cheese, etc… He deserved it.
Every person, animal or critter that ever encountered Bosco knew that he was wise, calm and sweet and I could not agree more.
I will miss him forever.