Sweet Dreams Bowie

July 15, 1998 11:45 am

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Serious.jpg (34257 bytes) I found him at the Peninsula Humane Society on January 28, 1984 when he was between 6 and 9 months old. His name was Bud. His chances of getting adopted were pretty slim but my girlfriend Sally liked him the most so we took him to the "Get Acquainted" room to see how we all would get along. I could not believe how exuberant he was. The PHS volunteer thought that we might not want him if he didn’t calm down. He was just what I wanted. Sally and I went home to ask my sister if it was OK to bring home a new family member. We then got a lecture on the responsibility of owning a dog. There was no question in my mind that I would take care of him. We then went back to get him and show him to his new home.
Bowie Hopi Prayer 1.jpg (151207 bytes) Bowie Hopi Prayer 2.jpg (131544 bytes) The first place we took him was Washington Park in Burlingame. We let him run and play and found that the energy we had seen in the "Get acquainted" room was not a temporary act. He ALWAYS had much more energy than he could contain

He and I became best friends, I was very strict with him and he was so excited every time I told him what to do as if to say he was grateful for having another chance at life.

When I moved in with John & Gretchen he got along with Ursa very well but at first he was afraid to go down the stairs to our room. He quickly got over that and was running up at full speed and literally hitting every 5th or 6th stair on the way down.Bowie Sitting B.jpg (35725 bytes)

Bowie looking.jpg (25317 bytes)  

I took him everywhere with me. He would wait outside when I went to work at first. Then I changed jobs where he was allowed to come in and run around all day. Everybody liked him. He immediately stole the hearts of all.

Later we started working at Surface Science Instruments. We decided to buy a truck and made a deal that the front was for me and the back (with a camper shell) was for him. However, we did a lot of sharing. When we started working at the laboratory division he would come to work with me every day and I would leave the tailgate down with water and food. He would come and go as he pleased, running around and chasing the rabbits in the Christmas tree farm behind our building. He would always come when I called.

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That's one COOL dude!

Sometimes I would get home to a message that someone had found my dog. I would call and let them know that all was well.

He had more friends from different companies in that business park than was reasonable. He would always greet people walking to work, from work, or just out at lunch. He would often walk with them for quite a distance and then return to his truck when he was done.

Often he would come back smelling awful from rolling in something dead. This was the time he had the biggest smile on his face and was most proud. We went to a party in Mountain View and he wasn’t around at the end of the party. I called and whistled for a couple of hours. Finally he returned as happy as I has ever seen him. I learned that light travels faster than sound, and sound travels fast than smell, but there are no such rules for intensity. He smelled so bad I had to take the top off of my car, roll down the windows, put him on the opposite side of the car, and hang my head out into the wind while I drove fast enough to keep the stench away. It took three baths with lots of scrubbing to return him to his normal color and smell.

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Bowie's Birthday Party

Robin, Sharon, and Charlotte would watch him, and would sometimes sneak him into their office and give him treats, which he gracefully accepted. To this day they still ask about him first and then me.

He was with me through Kevex and then back to Surface Science Instruments. This time he was given opportunity for advancement. Our Customer Service group was annexed to the back of Kemco, the machine shop next door, where Bowie was (unofficially) employed among other things as a computer network. We would give him a disk and he would carry it to whomever should receive it. It may have been the world’s first DoggieNet.


Once back in Burlingame I had, by chance, left him home with my Grammie when I went away for a couple of days. It was very rare that I would not take him with me, especially for a long trip. Upon my return I was told that someone had tried to break into my Grammie’s house. Grammy was the only person at home when she awoke to the sound of someone trying to force open the front door. She was scared until the feeling changed to question as she heard the vicious snarling and growling at the front door she did not recognize. She realized it was a part of Bowie that she had never seen. She said he was like a different dog for a few minutes that day. She always felt very safe while he was around. You can imagine how proud of him I was when I heard my Grammy tell the story. Bowie happy in action.jpg (39207 bytes) Some of you may remember our Halloween party in 1987(?) at our home in Redwood City where my Grammy was a witch. Somebody slipped Bowie a Mickey and I never have seen him feel as bad as he did that night. By late the following day he was getting back to normal.

Bowie Happily Running

Off to Idaho. Bowie, Wendy, and I packed up and drove north-northeast. Bowie wasn’t too impressed with the heat, the cold, or the social climate but he really loved the outdoors. HP put us up in a condo/apartment while we found a house. Wendy would walk Bowie a lot because they were both pretty bored while I was at work. Bowie & Wendy got along well but there was no question that he was jealous whenever my attention was pointed in her direction. In spite of his personal feelings Bowie came through again. Wendy was taking him for a walk to the park, which was beyond a secluded area of trees ripe for a mugging or worse. Bowie always ran off to the perimeter of ear-shot distance to sniff around and paid minimal attention to Wendy’s requests until this time. There was a questionable man loitering in this area that made Wendy VERY nervous. She apprehensively called to Bowie. He immediately ran to her and walked with her in tight formation until they were well passed the fearful situation then ran off, returning to his sniffing. I almost quit HP because they told me that I could not keep Bowie in my truck while I was at work.

Rory.jpg (45802 bytes) We moved back to San Mateo where Bowie would hang out on the porch. As many dogs will attest the US Postal Service has its share of unreasonable, unthinking,, bureaucratic carriers that refuse to try to improve the dog-postal carrier relationship, but instead choose to perpetuate the problem. Well our carrier refused to deliver our mail as long as Bowie (the world’s sweetest dog who has been loved by many postmen previously) was outside. So after phone calls and letters to the post master general I would place bowie’s leash on him at the time the postman would come around. Sometimes I would try to time it such that Bowie would be playing in the front yard with his Great Dane friend Rory from next door. It wasn’t much longer before we moved again. SleepyBoy.jpg (71596 bytes)


Sleepy Boy

We moved to a cute little place in Palo Alto. Bowie loved to walk to town. We did that often. This is where we got in an argument with Palo Alto Humane Officer Nottoobright. We were just walking from our house to our truck and the humane officer started yelling at us about Bowie not being on a leash. We exchanged some words. I retrieved Bowie’s leash as requested but only used it as a projectile to throw at the PAHS truck as it drove away

. For a few months we lived in a loft with our friend Crane where I would carry Bowie up a 10 foot ladder every night for bed then down again in the morning.

Then we drove to Florida. He seemed to really like traveling in the truck. After all it has really been his home wherever we lived. Stopping and sniffing at different places all of the time. I guess it is a little like a doggie heaven. A few months later we drove it again. Back to California where we stayed with Molly, our friend from Michigan whom we met when we were staying in San Mateo, while we looked for a place to settle down. We found a wonderful woman who would give us a room in her house for the rest of Bowie’s life. Bowie and Andrea became great friends. Sometimes he would even listen to her.

Bowie Lying down.jpg (42630 bytes) Bowie and I would often go to a place on the coast where dogs can run off leash called Fort Funston, one of Bowie’s favorite places, where he could run, sniff, chase birds, and play in the water. I would always hide from him and see if he could find me. He would search and search frantically until he found me. Then he would wag and wag while he proceeded to drench me Bowie spit as he licked me. I never knew whether he was rewarding himself for having found me or if he was punishing me for running off. I enjoyed when we would wrestle and I would try to toss him down a steep hill where he would slide away before he could regain his footing, which gave me time to run. He would always catch up and try to knock me down.

We had GREAT times together!

One day while at Fort Funston with me and Andrea bowie was playing near the cliff. He went to check something out near the edge. He hadn’t thought that he might not be able to get back up but the sand just keeps moving under your feet as you try to climb up. He started slipping. I best remember the look of worry on his face of "Can’t you save me Dad?" as he slipped away down the sandy cliff. I dove for him but he had slipped too far by the time I reached where he was. I was worried only because he had just learned that I can’t always save him. I ran down the hill as fast as possible and reached the beach at about the same time Bowie did. He came over and licked me a lot there too.

One morning at Surface Science Laboratories, while Bowie was roaming around, our friend Brian drove up and parked, he removed his briefcase and lunch from the car and set them down on the ground as he proceeded to cover his car. As he and Maria watched, Bowie came over and snatched Brian’s lunch bag. Brian and Maria could not believe that Bowie would steal his lunch, but there it was. Bowie continued to walk away toward the door to Surface Science Labs. When he reached the door he dropped the lunch and stood there waiting for his friends to catch up. No harm became of Brian’s lunch other than a few small spots and teeth marks. Bowie loved to carry things for people he liked.

Bowie lived out the rest of his days playing with the neighborhood dogs and kids, taking walks along the bay, and most of all having a place, other than the truck, to call home. As he got older his hearing seemed to get more selective. He became a stubborn old man who would do what he wanted, when he wanted. He would listen to whomever he pleased, whenever he pleased. Sometime I would have to go pick him up and carry him home because he wouldn’t come when I called. He reminded me a lot of Grammy.

Bowie Card from Lisa Dzyban.jpg (165155 bytes) Bowie Words on Card from Lisa Dzyban.jpg (21891 bytes) Bowie note on Card from Lisa Dzyban.jpg (38793 bytes)
Today he died of a drug overdose injected by Dr. Lisa Dzyban of Companion Animal Hospital, at my request, as he lay with his head on my lap in good comfort and very content.

Goodbye my wonderful friend.

Sweet Dreams Bowie.