OPINION

The Legend of Booty the Boxer

Ed Rood

A person comes across few legends in a lifetime. I actually owned one. Well, maybe legend is a bit of a stretch. Perhaps “most unforgettable character” would better describe him.

It all began many years ago. I had always admired Boxer dogs and decided it was time to have one for my very own. I was young and foolish at the time. How foolish would soon become a reality.

I really didn’t know what to look for in a good Boxer. I figured when the right one came along, I would recognize it immediately.

My search for a Boxer puppy ranged near and far. I watched the want ads and traveled to several promising kennels, only to be disappointed each time. Finally, I noticed an ad proudly proclaiming “Perfect Boxer Puppies!” The address was Killduff, Iowa.

It was in the spring, during Pella’s Tulip Festival, so we decided to travel there and make a side trip to Killduff.

Upon our arrival, I immediately took a shine to an over-grown, long-legged bulk of a canine who clearly possessed more energy than any other dogs on the premises combined. As soon as the owner turned him loose, I knew he was the dog I was looking for because he hit my 200 pound cousin with a perfect body tackle, knocking him to the ground.

I named him Booty for his four white feet, but Menace would have been a much more appropriate name.

Don’t get me wrong - Booty had many good habits. Unfortunately, his bad habits always seemed to outweigh his good ones. He could be so loving one minute and a holy terror the next.

One of his major shortcomings was his love of the opposite sex. He was the Romeo of the dog world. No female pooch within a one-mile radius was safe from his affections

He would charge through open car windows, closed screen doors and most other barriers for a little love.

Not only was he a lover. He was also a jealous one. No other male dog could get within a city block of Booty and his intended. The only cure for his love-fever was to chain him securely and then be prepared for hours of whining.

Another of Booty’s bad habits was his desire to be a lap dog. He had been blessed with the body of a buffalo and the mind of a Chihuahua. Whenever an open lap would appear, Booty would make a mad dash for it. It didn’t matter if he knew the open lap’s owner or not. All 100 pounds of bulging muscle would pounce on the open territory.

He made it difficult to have company – especially weak-hearted ones. Booty loved to a be part of the group and didn’t understand that some folks don’t like big hugs and wet kisses.

But Booty’s most annoying bad habit was his ability to clear a room. He did this innocently enough, but that didn’t make up for the deed.

It would usually happen shortly after he had eaten his favorite dog food. The family would be sitting around watching TV or reading when suddenly the atmosphere would change, as a strange foul odor would creep into the air.

It was so powerful that one might actually expect to see it. If the Germans would have had it in their arsenal, they might have won a war or two.

After the foul deed, Booty would just sit there with a quizzical look on his face as everyone in the room quickly fled.

Many, many years have passed since Booty left us for that big kennel in the sky, but I still think of him now and then.

I can’t see a damaged screen door or an unsuspecting person with an exposed open lap without having Booty come to mind. Most of all, I can’t walk through a supermarket without checking to see if Booty’s favorite brand of dog food is still on the shelves.

(Ed Rood is former publisher of the Tri-County Times. He and his wife Sharon live near Cambridge.)