10 January 2014

The Legend of Bootypants, Part II

As seen in The Legend of Bootypants, Part I, Booty had already lived a legendary dog life by 2005, but she'd only lived about half of her life by that time.  The second half of her life is documented below.

Although Bootypants was never into swimming, she enjoyed having her feet in the water, especially on a hot summer day.  Photograph by Bryn Scriver/John Nondorf (2006).
For Booty's 10th birthday in February 2006, she had a smaller gathering join Scott and Lindsay at their house in South Bend to celebrate.  This party lacked the surprise of her 9th birthday party, but it didn't lack a delicious homemade birthday cake with raspberry filling. 

The cake made by Susan for Booty's 10th birthday (2006).
Bootypants had always wanted to revisit her home town of Van Buren, Missouri, and in July 2006 she had that opportunity when Scott and Lindsay were traveling there for Justin and Dana Thomas' five year wedding anniversary gathering.  Booty stayed in a cabin with the rest of the group and enjoyed hikes and bonfires the entire weekend.  It had been years since she had seen those Ozark woods and some of the loving people who initially took her in at Peck Ranch in the summer of 1998, but she seemed to remember them all... Justin Thomas, Brad Russell, Mike Williams, Bryn Scriver, and Matt Proett.  In addition to learning from Mike how to best cook bratwurst on a charcoal grill, she scored a vanilla ice cream cone from everyone's favorite Van Buren hangout, Jolly Cone.

On a camping trip in Van Buren, Missouri in 2006, Booty let Scott know that she wanted to learn plants.  Photograph by Bryn Scriver/John Nondorf.
In April 2007, Scott and Lindsay moved from South Bend to North Liberty, Indiana, and with a new (old) house came 11 acres on which Bootypants could roam and explore. Soon after moving in, Scott cut trails throughout the property, and Booty made good use of those trails nearly every day of her life.  Bootypants always had been a happy dog, but with this move it felt to Scott and Lindsay as though she was finally at home. 

By 2007, Booty had her own hand lens and was identifying grasses such as this Elymus canadensis (Canada wild rye) specimen.
The average dog lives just over 11 years.  Bootypants turned 11 in 2007, and it seemed she was really hitting the peak of her life at that time.  Clearly, Booty was not an average dog.

Christmas 2007 in North Liberty, Indiana.
Each spring, Bootypants enjoyed the annual Easter tradition of having both Scott's and Lindsay's families come to her house to visit her.  In addition to picking up dropped food from the floor, convincing Scott and Lindsay's niece Lily to hand over an entire Reese's Peanut Butter Egg, and getting the occasional bite of sweet potato casserole from Scott, she also enjoyed helping Chloe and Lily search for Easter eggs in the yard.

Booty always seemed more happy outside than inside, and she enjoyed Easter egg hunts like this one in 2009.
Unlike her mom, Booty was not a fair-weather hiker.  In fact, Booty might have preferred winter over the other three seasons.  She always insisted on going for walks on the trails on her property, regardless of how much snow was on the ground or the temperature.

On her winter walks, Bootypants loved to bury her face in the snow, as seen here in 2010.
That's not to say that Bootypants didn't also enjoy the spring, and a walk in the woods on a beautiful May afternoon was a pleasure for Scott and Lindsay as well.

More smiles!  Booty with Lindsay in a St. Joseph County mesic upland forest in spring 2010.
After a snowstorm in the winter of 2011 to 2012, Lindsay, understanding Booty's love of snow, decided to get creative and build a snow fort.  Booty invited her friend Lassie for an afternoon Pup-peroni snack.  After some coaxing, Lindsay was able to convince Booty to pose for a now infamous photo.

Bootypants and Lassie in their snow fort in 2011.  It appears that they had too much fun while Scott was at work.
In October 2011, Scott and Lindsay finally began to acknowledge that Bootypants had entered her "senior" years. Although she had been to the emergency vet on several occasions (for the cut on her eye and her encounter with another dog that were mentioned in the previous post, and also for falling down a flight of steps while visiting the Walczaks in Illinois), her first serious medical issue arose when Scott and Lindsay returned from a trip to Costa Rica.  Booty was sick, so Scott and Lindsay took her to the trusted Dr. Meyer and his wonderful crew at Meyer Veterinary Hospital in Walkerton, Indiana.  Sadly, Booty's diagnosis was liver failure.  Bootypants spent the night at Dr. Meyer's office, where she received IV fluids, antibiotics, and meds to help begin to reverse the liver failure. 

Back at home in North Liberty, Indiana after receiving fluids via IV following her liver failure diagnosis in October 2011.
Scott was scheduled to be in Madison, Wisconsin for work the day that Bootypants went to the vet.  Dr. Meyer explained that dogs in liver failure are unpredictable, and that he had seen dogs in Booty's shape pass right away, while others lived for several years after diagnosis.  It was a difficult decision, but Scott had to head to Wisconsin.  The following day, Lindsay picked up Bootypants and brought her home.  Booty vomited and slept, and was very weak.  Lindsay really wasn't sure if Booty was going to survive until Scott returned home, but being the trooper that she was, she eventually pulled through.  Scott returned a couple of days later, and he and Lindsay ordered Chinese food for dinner.  Booty hadn't eaten anything in several days, but she seemed interested in Lindsay's garlic chicken.  Lindsay jokingly asked Booty if she was going to eat the garlic chicken, then held a piece out on a fork.  To Scott and Lindsay's astonishment, she rapidly gobbled it up.  Lindsay then gave her several more pieces of garlic chicken.  For the next couple of weeks, Booty ate better than Scott and Lindsay, having fresh-cooked chicken and rice twice each day.  Eventually, she started eating her dog food again, but she had to take two different liver pills daily for the rest of her life.

In February 2012, Bootypants celebrated her 16th birthday by having lots of her friends over to her property in North Liberty, Indiana. And yes, those are pink Bootypants shirts.  Photograph by Sam Lima.
Booty's health scare made Scott and Lindsay realize that she needed another birthday party, so in February 2012 they held her 16th birthday party as a bonfire event.

A content Booty celebrates her sweet 16th.  Photograph by Sam Lima (2012).
Although Bootypants wasn't as energetic at her 16th birthday party as she was at her 9th and 10th, she definitely enjoyed the attention... and the cake. 

Birthday cake!  Photograph by Sam Lima (2012).
As at her other parties, there was a pretty good turnout for Booty's 16th birthday party. Video from Booty's surprise 9th birthday party was shown on the television, and Scott and Lindsay planned a couple of games and a "Booty Quiz" for party participants. Prizes for the game winners included Bootypants playing cards, Bootypants coasters, and an "I 'heart' Booty" mug.

Booty with some of her friends at her 16th birthday party.  Photograph by Sam Lima (2012).
As Booty aged, she developed arthritis in her back hips.  She slowed down more and more but still would go for walks and enjoyed spending time with Scott, Lindsay, and their friends and family.  Daily aspirin and Tramadol were added to the daily liver pills.  Booty despised taking pills, and eventually got to the point of knowing there was a pill in the middle of the cheese or lunch meat snack.  She would sniff out the pill, take it out of the cheese or lunch meat, and spit it out (but still eat the cheese or lunch meat).  She was opinionated, unique, and hilarious, and grew more so as she aged.

Over the years, Bootypants learned to open presents, as seen here at Christmas 2012.
Scott and Lindsay are grateful for the time they were able to spend with Bootypants over the years.  Booty was an amazing dog who lived a long, happy life.  The legend of Bootypants will never be forgotten.

Booty enjoyed a mid-day nap in August 2013.