I read, through teary eyes, Amy Rowling’s farewell to her family friend Bandit in the recent pet issue of your publication [“A Family Farewell: Saying Goodbye to Bandit,” Commentary, Jan. 23].
It was almost a perfect reenactment of my farewell to our family friend “Boss” (named after columnist Mike Royko’s biography, Boss, a book about Mayor Richard J. Daley of Chicago).
That was almost 10 years ago, when Boss was about 13 years old and hemorrhaging to death, [and] I was forced to euthanize him.
Boss was just a mongrel puppy with an oversized head, given to us by a friend who removed him from a home where he was mistreated. He was primarily golden retriever, with splashes of Border collie and German shepherd. He looked like a red-coated golden retriever.
He was fiercely protective of family and property and once attacked a huge raccoon from Lincoln Park that had the audacity to raid our garbage can on our second-floor back porch. Boss had the raccoon on its back—with his four paws holding down the raccoon’s—biting the devil out of him. When I finally pulled him off, he had not a scratch on him. And the poor raccoon was so scared he relieved himself on the porch and took 20 minutes to recover before scampering home.
True to my word, after Boss, I have never been able to bring another dog into my life. I regret that decision because of the pleasure I have missed by the company of such a companion, especially at my age and following the death of my wife. Having a dog would help make my life much easier.
— Harry William Jell Jr.