Submitted to OnFocus – This week’s column was going to be about things that I have done with processing my venison; that topic will be tabled, though. Instead, it’s going to be about Boone.
This week the Thankful Outdoors family lost their best friend. Boone was born on February 27th, 2019, and passed away on February 3rd, 2021. Boone lived every day following the Thankful Outdoors tagline, “Celebrate the Experience.”
Boone never found a person that he didn’t love. He didn’t understand what personal space meant. If you were around him, he was going to make sure you were loved. Many of you fell in love with him as I shared stories and pictures with you over time.
There was never a vehicle with an open door that was safe with Boone around. He would take any opportunity he had to go for a ride. In his short time with us, he traveled to many parts of the state. His love for rides all started with his long drive from Williamsburg, MI to Spencer, WI. April 27th, 2019, is when Boone changed life for the guys living in the bachelor pad.
Just this fall, he overcame his fear of water. He was on his way to be a great duck hunter. The bathtub moments were even getting better where I no longer had to lift him into the water. He would jump in the tub on command. He would still give me a look though of, “Dad, why are you doing this to me? I worked hard to smell this way!”
If he had a longer and broader tail, he would have been adopted by a beaver family. He loved to chew sticks. He thought bringing the sticks into the house was his responsibility to pick up the yard so that the lawnmower wouldn’t run them over.
A dog that loved fishing just as much as he did running the woods for birds. He would celebrate every catch by giving the fish a big Boone kiss; then it was okay to release them back to the water or bring them home in the live well.
Boone was a morning dog; he would start his day around 5:00 am. After making sure that I made the coffee right, his first order of business was to head outside and smell the yard to see what animals had come through during the evening. Once his nose was filled with all the new scent, it was time for him to head in for morning feeding.
He would lay outside the shower and listen to my terrible singing skills; as I finished getting ready for the day, he would run upstairs to see if the boys were ready to wake up. He would make sure that a nudge from his wet cold nose would be pressed onto them if they were not getting up. Boone knew that it was okay to sneak in a few minutes of snuggle time as he bounded from Jared, Bryce, and Connor. He would give me that look of don’t worry, Dad, they will be ready on time, let me get my ears scratched a little, and then they can get ready.
One of Boone’s hidden enjoyments was dancing, his skills were not the best, and he had two left paws as he would hop all over your feet, jumping with excitement. He enjoyed listening to all kinds of music; he was looking for a beat that moved him.
Outside of Boone being a hunting and fishing guide, he was a part-time walking instructor. His walking program did more than just let this middle age guy drop a few pounds, but his plan also was good for the soul.
He played hard, and he loved just as hard. When it would get to be about 9:30 at night, it was time to snuggle on the couch and then soon off to bed. His nights would be spent jumping from bed to bed, sharing his snuggles with everyone.
Boone was not just a dog; he was the first thing that I have ever found in life that matched my love for the outdoors. Outside of work, there were not many times that you would find me without Boone along.
The slang BFF stands for best friends forever, and I will now look at that slang a bit differently now and drop the second F; from now on, BF will now mean Boone Forever to me.
The number of people who have reached out this week has been somewhat overwhelming; the stories and memories still bring tears. I had to take a moment to breathe and think about how unreal that Boone reached so many lives in the way he did. He indeed met the definition of a “One of a kind!”
RIP BF (Boone Forever)
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