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Kathy Bohannon Columnist

Published Sunday, July 29, 2012

A little friend gone

Many of you have read about our little dog, Dyson The Terrible Puppy. It’s been three short years since he became a part of our family, and sadly, on July 23, he succumbed to a mysterious illness.

Dyson leaves behind his beloved half brother Hoover and his adopted mom Kerby, along with a grand assortment of Delta first class passenger blankets that he carefully fashioned into capes by chewing a head-sized hole in them. Watching him stick his head through the hole and race through the house - red cape flying – was one of our favorite pastimes.

Dyson became known as “The Terrible” because of his innate ability to get into as much mischief as he could possibly find. He really should have been known as “The Adorable” but “Terrible” fit him to a tee.

The thing about Dyson is that he was easy to love. His big black eyes (part of his Boston Terrier bloodline) and his waggly tail (part of his sneaky-neighbor-dog bloodline) were the most expressive parts of his personality.

Dyson did something no other dog has done. Dyson captured the heart of my husband, Ninja Man.

In 36 years of marriage and in 38 years of knowing him, Ninja Man has never fallen so hard for one of our family dogs. Hearing that a friend had Boston Terrier puppies, Ninja Man selected Dyson as “the one” though he resembled only some of the breed of dog we were actually looking for.

We brought Dyson home, a little snip of a dog, and cuddled him as much as we could. He was just adorable. He fit in our hands and would snuggle against our necks, his sweet little puppy breath filling the air.

I realized the special connection when Ninja Man baby-talked to him. Dyson absorbed the love by looking deep into his benefactor’s eyes. I would take note from my prospective in the lounge chair adjacent to my husband’s that both pup and owner were smitten with one another.

And that is the way it went. For three years. Dyson, when he was not chewing electronics or barking at the top of his lungs, wagged his way into our hearts, deeper and deeper. So deep that the pain of his loss is beyond words.

We were out of town for a week and left him with our daughter and her family. A phone call from her describing his “itchy ears” was not alarming and we all agreed that he would be fine. This was about four days before we were to return on Sunday.

“I need to take him to the vet,” she said on the phone the night before our flight. Of course, we said, and she did. By the time we arrived in Atlanta, Dyson was critical. Within hours we were on our way to Auburn University where the veterinary specialists would be sure to know what was happening to him.

They didn’t know. Their colleagues didn’t know. This sudden mystery illness became a horrible infection that affected his organs swiftly and angrily.

Fluids, drugs, oxygen and a team of specialists couldn’t help him. In a matter of 24 hours he progressed from simple itchy ears to septic, and we were losing our beloved pet. After consulting with his vet at Auburn and our regular vet in Savannah, the decision was made to end his suffering.

I posted on Facebook to ask for prayer, then shared that he didn’t survive the brief illness. The number of friends offering love and support was unbelievable. I am so grateful for that.

Dyson The Terrible Puppy was only three years old. He was precious in so many ways and we will miss him forever. We were truly blessed to share his short life.

Dyson was more that just a dog, he was part of our family. He will be missed.

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