This old story is here as a break from the serious stuff. It’s a dog story. You’ve been warned. The photo is Gretchen with Bowser.
By Karl Groszkruger
Bowser was our first dog. Since we got her before I was born, she was our dog in my early childhood. My brother is 15. He and Bowser were born on the same day. She lived to be 12 years old. I can remember some things she did while she lived with us. I remember she always used to go away from the house to go to the bathroom. One day when we were processing pigs, my sister Gretchen, was carrying little baby pigs to mom so she could castrate them, cut off their tails and teeth, and give them a shot of iron. The pigs were screaming and the mother pig was very protective and she knocked Gretchen down on the pavement and was literally on top of her. All of us stood there dumbfounded except for Bowser. She jumped over a four-foot high fence and jumped up on top of the 400 pound sow and sunk her teeth into the back of the sow’s neck. The sow screamed in pain and retreated.
Then one day, at the beginning of winter, she became short of breath and she would not lie down. We took her to the vet and he found cancer. Attached to her spleen was a softball sized tumor. We decided to have it removed. Mom was there when they opened her up and found the tumor. She told them to take it out. As the vet was removing it, she went into shock. She lost a lot of blood. When she went into shock, the vet told my mom to leave because she wasn’t going to make it. Mom insisted on staying there to the end. She went to Bowser’s head and started petting her and talking to her. “Come on girl, hang on.” She made it through. But the cancer was too bad and she died on the morning of December 5, 1992, a year after her surgery.
The day she died, I woke up to go to the bathroom where Bowser slept. It was about 7:00 in the morning. I went back to bed and woke up about 8:30 and dad found her dead about 7:30. I had been the last one to see her alive. We buried her south of the house under the elm and ash trees. Her grave is marked with a cross we made. I loved her very much.