Boomer: my name
How I got the name Boomer The Dog
A little background
I've always liked Dog characters in movies and books, from the time mom read the Jungle Book to me when I was a younger pup and seeing movies like 101 Dalmatians, The Shaggy DA, C.H.O.M.P.S., Benji and others.
In particular, it was the movie 'The Shaggy DA' that got me started on the possibilities of being a Dog myself, and it's still my favorite movie ever! In it, a dad becomes a Dog through a curse on an antique ring that he had come in contact with. When an inscription on the ring is read, dad changes fully into a large shaggy Old English Sheepdog! What is this inscription you ask? I'd rather not bark what it is, lest I turn into a 100 percent Canine right now and not be able to finish writing this.. :)
That's the thing about The Shaggy DA, it's a crazy, fast moving movie, and seeing it may have been what gave me the idea of anthropomorphics, seeing a character who is part Dog, part Human.
If you think of what Furries are defined as today, The Shaggy DA might not seem to be a very anthropomorphic movie, but I think it is! In every scene where dad is the Dog on four legs, he's talking, driving, skating, singing or trying to break out of the pound! He might look like a complete Sheepdog, but his personality is intact, and he thinks like the dad he is, only his body has been changed.
A few years after The Shaggy DA had finished its run in theaters, I was looking through a TV Guide magazine at my aunt's house and saw that a new TV series was coming out and it starred a shaggy Dog named Boomer, tramping across the country and looking for a home. There was his big face on the page and he looked cute, with fur around his eyes and tongue hanging out, and I thought, oh, perfect, I have to see this show! I asked my aunt to save the TV guide for me, and I got the picture from it.
Here's Boomer ran for two seasons on NBC in prime time, and since we didn't have a video recorder then, I recorded the TV sound on a cassette recorder, so I'd have something from the show to keep and listen back to.
I'd been seeing other Dog movies for years, and using other Dog names from them, like Pongo, but there was something special about Here's Boomer that I liked at the time, a combination of things.
For one thing, he was shaggy and scruffy, and I tended to like that kind of look. He was also a smart Dog character and did lots of fun things that you might not see Dogs do every day, but of course he needed to have lots of interesting scenes since he was the star of the show.
I connected with his situation too, he was a tramp, a hobo, a traveling Dog, yet also helpful to those he met along the way. After he did a good deed or helped out a person or another Dog with their problems, and maybe got a good meal out of it, he'd move on to the next town.
That idea fit me in high school times, since the other Dogs I had liked were family Dogs, like The Shaggy DA, man or Sheepdog, he still had a wife and kid. Pongo was with Perdita and all those pups, his was a superfamily! It was the same with Lady and the Tramp, happily ever after, with their pups.
I liked Boomer's sense of adventure, seeing new towns and meeting different people every week, and helping them with their problems. Here's Boomer was was an open ended story, and I liked that, I mean, I was already living in a family, and was looking beyond it for meaning. I even planned to go tramping when I got out of school, and live with other street Dogs and go adventuring with them.
I looked up to Here's Boomer and picked up some of his personality and behaviors. When I bark, what you hear is the result of listening to my TV tapes and learning Boomer's voice from the soundtrack. Things like that have combined with my personality to make me a better Dog.
People ask, 'Why are you a Dog?' which is one of the hardest questions, and it's something I've been trying to figure out myself. If you're a Human, think about how hard to answer if you were asked 'Why are you a Human?' The question is just too big if you think deeply about it.
Maybe I was a Dog in a 'past life' and have some memories of it, or maybe I was meant to come into this world as a Dog, but was born in the wrong body. Lots of 'maybe' in there, and it does seem odd at times, even to me when I think about it, not in a bad way, but sometimes I feel like a storybook character.. It's just that somehow the Dog is me, and I am the Dog.
That's how I live, and I enjoy it. Would I want to change it? Never! I had trouble with my school and parents over it, (some really trying times at one point), which made me wonder what direction I should go, but I've always thought it's a good thing that I've wanted to share with others.
Part of that is the name Boomer The Dog. I started to use that in my senior year of high school, switching over from Pongo. I had to get my friends used to it too, and even my gym teacher heard someone calling me that when were shooting baskets, and he asked, "Is your new name Boom?"
I loved to be called Boomer, and got a nice feeling when people would call me by my hero Dog's name. Here's Boomer had gone off the air and I felt sad, so I wanted to keep a little of his spirit alive in me.
I used Boomer in school, and on my AM radio broadcast called the 'Dog Station', where Boomer The Dog worked as a good DJ name. I got to be known by that name, then met other friends who would call me Boomer, and it went from there, until most everyone knew me as Boomer The Dog.
I've thought about changing my name for a long while now, something that my dad had done way back, to Americanize his Italian family name, to make it easier to pronounce, and so that he could be a better fit in the workplace.
I heard the stories of my dad doing it, and thought well, I could change to my Dog name, hmmm.. I thought about it for a long time, and finally I just had to put my feet down and do it!
The county court denied my petition to change my name to Boomer The Dog, but I plan to petition again, this time with more evidence. I'm committed to do it, because this is who I am!
TV Guide NBC Here's Boomer promo
Original Post-Gazette article on Boomer's name change effort