Bogart by Shawn Carver / Shawn, Michelle & Kids

Bogart was a special puppy from the start. When he was picked from the litter, he was either the runt or he was predestined to have health problems because his eyes were still blue. All his brothers and sisters already had the common rotti brown eyes. He just stood out though, so he was the chosen one. With those blue eyes he was quickly named Bogart, Bogie for short.

It was not soon after he was brought home though that we saw he wasn’t eating right. As time went on he seemed to be having a hard time keeping food down and he wasn’t putting on any weight. When he started getting weak we knew something was wrong so he was taken to the vet right away. Come to find out he had a hole in his diaphragm and his intestines had pushed up through that hole into his chest cavity. He needed emergency surgery to repair it. In his weakened state it was a good possibility that he wouldn’t make it through the operation. We gave the go ahead and had a very sleepless night.

He came through the surgery but his prognosis wasn’t very good, he was very weak and having a hard time coming out from under the anesthesia. By the grace of God though, that little puppy pulled through and we took him home to what we thought were the end of his serious health problems.

Little did we expect that he would be back at the vet in a few months fighting parvo. Since he had been so sick and weak as a young puppy, his shots had to be suspended until we could get his immune system built back up. This trip to the vet was just as serious and just as risky. The only chance he had was to be left at the vet where he could be watched, given antibiotics and kept on an IV to try and keep him from losing too much fluid. Of course with parvo he had to be kept quarantined from the other dogs and housed in a cage that could be disinfected regularly, so that meant a steel cage with a concrete floor.

It was heartbreaking to say the least. Somehow once again he fought against the odds and made it through that horrible ordeal. We brought him home cautious but happy to finally have him back with us.

He was an absolutely wonderful dog. Rottis have a reputation as being vicious dogs who will kill anything smaller than them and turn on you at a moments notice. Bogart was nothing of the sort. He loved the kids and when let indoors, which was often, he never even growled or barked at our cats let alone tried to attack any of them. He was put in the backyard with our 4 older chows and as long as we had him he never mistreated any of them. He loved to chase sticks, eat an Oreo cookie on occasion and most of all he loved to get in his little wading pool and bubble bubble as we liked to call it.

In Texas the summers can be really hard on dogs, especially a big black one, so we got him a small pool we kept water in so he could climb in and lay down to cool off. He would put his nose in the water and blow bubbles while he splashed around. Eventually we got him trained enough so when we’d tell him to “bubble bubble”, he’d climb in and do just that.

We had 3 good years with Bogart. We kept him up to date on his shots with all he’d been through, but there was one thing we didn’t give much thought to. Our oldest chow is 10 years old and the other 3 are a few years apart. They’ve lived in the back yard all their lives and never had any serious health problems, so we figured we shouldn’t worry too much about mosquitoes. However they also didn’t get in the water like Bogart did. We kept Bogie’s pool water changed regularly but maybe it wasn’t often enough, we’ll never know for sure. I went out to feed the dogs a couple of days ago, they all seemed fine.

Bogart woke me up from a sound sleep Saturday morning because he was barking at the next door neighbors. When we went out Saturday night to tie our noisy puppy out closer to the back of the yard, we noticed Bogart was real slow to get up and that his breathing was very labored. He had a wild look in his eyes and his tongue was a dark color. We watched him for a few moments then decided we should get him to a vet. He was having a hard time moving,
and he seemed weak.

We got him to the vet, they put oxygen on him and drew some blood. It didn’t take long for a diagnosis…Heartworm positive. The fact that he was weak, and struggling to breathe meant that it was a likely possibility that he wouldn’t
survive this time around.

The vet drew up a treatment plan, but it was her opinion that his chances were close to zero. We knew Bogart was a fighter but we also knew that he was suffocating and to prolong that on the small chance that he might pull through wasn’t fair to him. We requested he be put down and
through our tears told him goodbye.

We apologized for letting him down after all he’d been through and waited outside to get his body so we could take him him to bury him. He was buried in front of a rose bush that so many times he had been scolded for running over the top of it while it was just getting established. Just like Bogart though it was a survivor, not dying even when it seemed that it had no chance of making it.

We have having a hard time adjusting to not hearing his deep “WOOF” and the backyard seems empty without his presence. Our hearts are heavy with the “what ifs” and “should haves”. After everything Bogie went through, he deserved a longer life and a better end than what he had. He was a wonderful dog and we’ll always cherish the short time we had with such an extraordinary and special animal.


We'll Miss You Boy,
16, Oct 2005
Shawn Carver