The dog behind the fence: his last years


In 2016, we published the story of a puppy from Crete who was rescued from a neglectful owner who left him outside behind a fence all day long. Now, Boomer’s saviour and owner tells how his life went…

At the age of 13 he suddenly stops eating and drinking one day. He clearly isn’t feeling well. The vet diagnoses bladder and kidney stones and Boomer is operated on successfully. He’s soon back to his old self.

Boomer is a great dog. He also has a special hobby: tracking! Since 2014 I have been taking tracking lessons with him where he has to track down a person who is hiding in the forest. It’s amazing how well he always manages to find the person he’s looking for without hesitation!

When Boomer is almost 17 years old, he starts to show signs of age: his hearing is getting worse, his hind legs occasionally droop, he sometimes stands dazed and stares into space, develops warts that make him itch and more minor age-related ailments. Strangely enough, he sometimes still runs, but then like a headless chicken.

According to the vet, he behaves this way because he doesn’t want to show weakness; doesn’t want to be the weakest of the pack. Although his lungs and heart are still working well, Boomer runs out…

On June 8, 2023, he lies down willingly in his dog bed at the invitation of the vet. He knows what is about to happen and is clearly at peace with it. Boomer turned 17 years and two months old.

There is a great void for us and we will miss him terribly for a long time to come. I don’t think too often about what his life would have been like in Crete, but our Greek Boomer had a wonderful life with us and enriched our lives enormously.

This is a guest post by Marianne Miltenburg. Want to submit your own writing? Visit or email


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