Name: Boo Epstein, or 'Boozie'.
Date of birth: November, 1990 (we don't know what day for certain, but traditionally it's 1st of November).
Age: at time of writing 12 and a half (that's 88 in dog years).
Weight: 18 kgs.
Obsessions: Tennis balls, walks and bones.
Known for: Being very stupid and absolutely adorable.
Plans for the future: Keep chasing tennis balls.
Favourite pastime: Wrecking the garden.
Motto: If it's green and round, I'll chase it.
In 1993, Boo was a young, vibrant 2½ year old. He was living on a farm in Wyong, and had for all his life. As a puppy he spent all day chasing his tail around, and as a fully-grown dog he ran freely down the many acres of fields that made up his home.
However, the couple who owned him were having a divorce. The Wife, Linda Moxom, loved Boo dearly and wanted to be with him all his life. This was made impossible when they divorced and she was forced to live in a flat, while Boo had to stay on the farm with her husband.
For 6 months, Boo was locked in a shed and fed only occasionally. He stunk himself out with the smell of his deposits in the shed with him, and as his conditions grew worse, so too did he. Some of us say it was a narrow escape fom death for poor Boo.
Luckily for Boo though, Linda Moxom had a friend (also my mum's friend) called Pam Sachar, who is one of Australia's most passionate dog-lovers and dog-rescuers. She lives with 15-20 dogs in her house, so it seemed no big deal to take in one extra dog. She organised a rescue team, and when Linda's husband was out the team infiltrated the farm and set Boo free after his long, bitter isolation. He was then taken to Pam's to be washed and fed.
Now Boo had nowhere to live and needed a loving family to take care of him. My family, we all wanted a dog (Dad didn't at the time), so Pam let us keep Boo. In a few weeks he was back to normal health and normal weight. It didn't take long either for my previously anti-dog Dad to become attached to Boo as much as he is attached to me and my Mum.
So, since then Boo has lived happily ever after, and is still as fit as a fiddle!
Since we're moving out of our house at the end of this year (2003), and my parents are going to live in units, we've had to send Boo to a new home. Just a few weeks ago, he went to live with a family in Toronto (near Newcastle). We couldn't bear to have him put down, or to send him anywhere unpleasant. His new family are taking good care of him, and we've heard he's still in perfect health and chasing tennis balls as much as ever!
Rest in peace, Boo
Sadly, Boo passed away towards the end of 2003, shortly after he moved to his new home. We were not with Boo at the beginning, and we were not with him at the end; but we were with him for most of the stuff in between. Boo was bitten by a poisonous creature — a snake or a spider, probably, but we're not sure — and he didn't survive the poison.
We were told that he was healthy and active, and chasing tennis balls, until the day he died. His passing was short and swift, which was no doubt the way he wanted to go.
Boo was loving, beautiful, and irreplaceable. He will be in our hearts forever.