24 December 2005

Bosun - le chien pêcheur de Monaco

Bosun and Toffee

Bosun was a black Labrador who, over the years, has spent a lot of time at Pension Milou. One shouldn't have favourite dogs but Bosun, despite all his problems, was one of mine.

Bosun ended up at Battersea Dogs' Home, 18 months old, unwanted, chucked out because his owners had split up. Poor Bosun had a damaged soul. Maybe I loved him so much because I identified. Divorce affects dogs as well as children.

But life was to look up for our hero. He was adopted by Nick, Victoria and their little daughter, Daisy. They discovered he was scared of men and terrified of noise. He didn't know how to climb stairs. He didn't understand that the comfortable bed in front of the fire was his: he wanted to sleep outside, which is where he'd slept all his life.

Bosun and Bill

Eventually his new family moved to Monaco. When they went skiing, he loved the snow but more than anything he loved to swim in the sea. He dived for stones and was known by the locals as 'le chien cheur' - the Fishing Dog.

Bosun with his all-time best buddy, Alfie, the Jack Russell

But all his life Bosun had a screw loose. He, like many dogs, was scared of thunder and fireworks, but Bosun was scared of the sounds of the autoroute and later, as he got older, he spent more time being scared than being happy. It got so bad, he'd be afraid to enter a room, even scared of his food bowl yet at no time did his beautiful temperament change. He never ever showed aggression. He still had good moments when he'd play ball, swim, roll on his back, climb all over the people he loved. But the good times got shorter and the bad times got longer. He'd dig into bookshelves, he'd try and hide behind the loo - he wanted to be in the dark, hidden - and of course he did a lot of damage trying to get there.

Quiet times on the terrace with Ziggy

He underwent all sorts of tests which showed he had thyroid problems. Medication helped for a while, as did tranquillizers but not for long and a few days ago it was obvious he was one very scared and depressed doggy who was even refusing his food. Life was in the too hard basket for Bosun. En route to the vet's office, Victoria stopped off at his favourite beach - perhaps the sea would do its magic? - but le chien cheur wasn't interested any more.

And so yesterday, aged eleven years, sweet Bosun was put to sleep.

'Hey Bosun! - here's a ball I'm throwing for you - here it comes............good boy! - I knew you'd catch it.'


Anonymous said...

That was beautiful but it made me cry. Your really captured Bosun completely. He was a very special dog and I know he will be sorely missed but he has left behind a host of wonderful memories

Anonymous said...

Ziggy the white poodle, and chum of Bosun when 'en famille'chez Jilly,will always have happy memories of the lovable Bosun.Thank you Jilly for including my pic.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, Bosun always seemed to be there when we were. He was a lovely dog - so sad to hear he couldn't cope anymore. What wonderful parents he had!
Sheba will miss him, and so will we (haven't stopped blubbering yet).
How we love our rescue dogs, and how they love and trust us! Even the cat's beginning to have a soft spot for Sheba...

Anonymous said...

Poor Bosun - I never even met him and yet I feel as though I have lost a friend. My heart goes out to his brave and wonderful family.

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