We love you Boaz!
As far back as I can remember, I’ve wanted to have a dog of my own. As early as 1992 or so, while I was still a single adult, I started thinking through where my life would have to be for me to responsibly care for a dog, including the right place to live and enough stability so that the dog wouldn’t feel left behind often.
Fast forward to 2006. I’m married, have three kids, and a great home with a great backyard. In talking to my wife about the possibility of getting a dog, she had two requests: It needed to be hypoallergenic and it needed to be shed-free. No heavy shedding dogs here! With those requirements, I got to work. While several breeds came up in my search, one breed stood out: The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier (SCWT). So it was set… We were ready to have a dog, and we picked out the breed…. Doing an online search, we found a SCWT breeder in neighboring Nebraska, and they had puppies coming available. We only had one problem… The puppies were quite expensive, and being in non-profit work, we didn’t have a lot of disposable income available. A couple of days after our initial contact, the breeder contacted me to tell me that they had two puppies left and one was a runt of the litter, and the other one was also a bit smaller. The breeder was highly motivated to sell these last two puppies, he’d give us a smokin’ deal on the non-runt that was left, to which we heartily agreed.
The next job was what were we going to name the new pup? Being a Bible geek, I always loved the story of Boaz in the Bible. For those that aren’t familiar with Boaz’s story in the Bible, it’s found in the book of Ruth, in the Old Testament. I’d recommend that you read it sometime, if you haven’t recently, because it’s a really good story. Boaz was a Jewish landowner, who showed generosity and compassion for two widows that show up on his land, partially because one of them, Naomi has a family relationship with Boaz. Boaz kept and cared for these widows and told his field workers to leave plenty of grain for them. Long story short, Boaz ends up marrying the other widow, a woman named Ruth. I always thought very highly of Boaz, and thought, ‘What a great name to give a dog someday.’ I thought about using it to name a son but thought that the poor boy may be teased too much with such an unusual name, but it was a great name for a dog.
It was then in January 2007, my then 4-year-old Anna (now nearly 19) and I made a day trip to Nebraska to pick up the new puppy. I’ll never forget the day that we brought him home and how excited my young children were to have this new puppy in the house. It turned out that my kids really grew up as Boaz was growing up too! What a great dog he has been, and we have so many wonderful memories of him… The crazy zooming around the yard that this breed is known for… The crazy amount of snow he’d get on his face after diving into snowdrifts after a heavy snow… The time my son Isaac and I took him to the dog swim event at the end of the summer only to find out he was a terrible swimmer… All the walks and times he went in the car with me wherever it was that I was going. He was always happiest being together with us. And because I travel some for my job, one of the best parts of coming home is knowing that Boaz would be there to welcome me home.
Today we say goodbye to Boaz. The medical problems have gotten to be too many, and we want to do our best to honor him by not allowing them to complete overtake him. So at 2:30pm today, Anna and I will take him for one more walk, then drive him to the last vet appointment he’ll ever have. We’ve really struggled with when was the right time this to happen, and at recently as last night, we had half of us staying we should wait and half of us saying that we could make the appointment.
Boaz, you held up to your name well. You were a great friend, who was kind and sweet to all and were a great companion for us and I know that my kids are better because you were here for them. You were just a great ‘first dog’ for me and Sherie, and we’ll miss you dearly. Thank you again for your faithfulness to us. To the ‘runts brother,’ we all say how much we love you and how much we’re going to miss you.