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March 31, 2006


Note From Louise

This is the story of “Boomer”, who died saving the life of his owner’s girlfriend.  Because his heroism so moved me, I began collecting stories about extraordinary mastiffs; and it is in his memory "A Good Look at Mastiffs" is dedicated.  Boomer, this one's for you.


Lawraleigh's Boomer of Briarcliff

(Pallone's Road to Glory CGC x Jim's Especial Lee)

September, 1998 - November, 2000

From Ken, Boomer's Owner

Boomer stepped right in with the sensitivity and understanding unique to this magnificent breed of dog.  Our mutual respect and love for each other grew deeper every day.  Boomer was there for me every moment of the next two years on a day-in and day-out basis.  I've NEVER had a better friend than Boomer.  His untimely death from smoke inhalation, when he was saving the life of my lady friend, Marie, when my home caught fire, devastated me and left me feeling empty.

Boomer, I know you are in a good place, and I think about you every day, and I miss you terribly.

Your buddy, Ken

From Marie, the woman whose life Boomer saved

I was dog sitting with Boomer while Ken was away and I slept upstairs, while Boomer slept downstairs in the dining room. Occasionally, he would come up to the top of the stairs in the morning and wait, not disturbing anyone, unless they overslept.

This morning, I got out of bed and headed for the shower. I had the water running and one foot in the shower, when Boomer came into the bathroom. He whined and whined at me, not leaving me alone until I followed him.

When I got to the head of the stairs, I heard a "crinkly" noise, and as I looked up, I saw the whole ceiling erupt into a shower of sparks and flames. Everything was filling up with smoke, and Boomer headed downstairs, I think to lead me to safety. But it was too smoky for me to find my way to the door.

I dove back into the bathroom where I had a cordless phone, and dialed 911. I stuffed a robe under the door and a wet rag over my face, and it seemed like they were there almost instantly. The last thing I remember before I passed out was hearing the fire department saying that they were there.

I spent two months in the hospital with smoke inhalation injuries, followed by pneumonia and other complications that involved 5 surgeries.

I'm on the road to recovery now, but I do know that without Boomer, I wouldn't be here, able to write this letter. I don't know how dogs sense danger, but I do know that Boomer gave his life to save mine because if he hadn't gotten me out of the shower, I wouldn't be here either.

Boomer, you will always be my "Guardian Angel".


Boomer1_2From James and Alison Gerken, Boomer's breeders

I have no right to add to what they have said, but I wanted to because Jim and I have produced champions, and have ranked our dogs nationally. But the truly bright star on our tree is Boomer, and what he accomplished.

So for those people who think that being a Champion of Record is the best thing their pups can do, personally we feel Boomer wins hands down. We miss him too.... Please hug your mastiffs in his memory.

Sincerely, James and Alison Gerken, Lawraleigh Mastiffs


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