The truth is: all good things must come to an end.
The truth is: I’m in the final stages with my best friend.
I’m writing this now, because I don’t think I can then.
In the midst of great grief, I’ve grasped at every last bit of gratitude I have. Something. Anything to ease the blow my heart is about to take. So here goes.
I’m grateful for 12 frustratingly beautiful years with Bosco. He’s the sort or dog that makes or breaks you as a trainer. Maybe even as a human. He’s built me, my career...who I am. He’s that One Dog. The heart dog. While many more will come and go, there will never, ever be another Bosco. I’m grateful for the lessons he’s taught me and all the things a million books, research or seminars never could. I’m grateful for the experience of a difficult dog, made into a great dog. The kind that creates this kind of recognition - of the immensity of what you’re about to lose. Knowing, without a single doubt, that you’ve spent a great amount of time with the thing legends are made of. A legacy...he’s left a huge one.
Bosco has given me the opportunity to not only become an exceptional dog trainer, he’s also helped me meet some pretty incredible people. Though many have come and gone over the years, I’ve a deep gratitude for all of them. They’ve all played a pivotal role in the person I am today and who I will continue to strive to become. As challenging as young Bosco’s behaviours were, many people stepped up to help in countless ways. The people who allowed me to introduce him to their dogs, slowly. Those who watched him when a conventional kennel couldn’t. And the ones who shared their homes and lives with us. Never wavering in their belief that we would make something great of ourselves. And boy did we.
I’m grateful that through Bosco, I learned how to become flexible. To train with an open mind and an open heart. To train the dog in front of me. To never think for even a moment that you know how the training session is going to go! To keep horses in line, and let cats get away with playing with your tail. To be firm, but fair. To be tough, yet kind. And to never let ANYONE push you around. To stand your ground, always remaining beyond loyal to your tribe. Allowing others into your circle, even when it’s hard. Pushing through the stuff that made you so...rigid, and being willing to learn a new way. Never giving up. And loving your besties-fiercely.
Thank you Boss Dog-for the moments that became days, the days that became years, the years that became a lifetime. And a lifetime that is full of my most precious memories. Thank you for being That One Dog. The One that made me.
I don’t know what life is going to look like without you, but thankfully, I have a great tribe behind me that will ease that transition. I’ll learn new things in your absence, like how to adjust to life without you. Because all the things you have taught me, have prepared me for the rest of my life. You’ve set me up, given me the skills, the tools, the knowledge...to keep calm, and train on.
I’m grateful for Corey and Courtney of Ward Woodwork Ltd for so many things. The love and support, the carpet that spans my home from doorway to dog beds, the ramp and second ramp to get the old guy onto my bed...the urn that is to come. All of it. Duke brought you into my life, and I couldn’t be more thankful.
I’m grateful for Stone Willow Veterinary in Lacombe for properly diagnosing my boy and giving him many more months with me. For always doing what is right by Bosco, and for being as kind as they were honest. True compassion shown in our worst moments.
I’m grateful for Lacey and Foxy’s for always letting my big, dirty farm dog use their beautiful facility and aqua walk. They always had his favourite cookies ready after a therapy session.
I’m grateful for The Complete K9 for nourishing Bosco’s body and providing exceptional raw food at an affordable price that allowed me to continue to feed him a great diet for most of his life.
I’m grateful for Squeaky Clean Paws for becoming a very important part of my life at a critical time. They are donating the Boss mans last groom, so that he can have one last day of luxury. Danna has been an exceptional human on top of an absolute professional.
I’m grateful for Open Road Photography. Lisa has given me some of the most amazing pictures of Bosco’s last Fall, our favourite time of the year. Her work is incredible and they are images I will cherish for a long time.
I’m grateful for Julee Willow. My word, the portrait she was commissioned for took my breath away. She captured his spirit perfectly. It’s something I will forever hold near and dear to me.
And to my dog club. Without you, I am not me. You’ve been nothing short of supportive, and you’re by far the best people on the planet. How lucky am I? For you, I couldn’t be more grateful. You’ve been my support, my rock, my foundation and my love. All of it when I couldn’t find it for myself. You’ve changed my life. Given me a purpose. And never let me stop following my heart, my passion, my dreams. Where we go from here, is something I look forward to with all my heart. The Boscarelli School For Dogs Who Don’t Learn Good 🙃