Monday, April 30, 2012

Sweet Rocky Road

Let me tell you about my precious dog, Rocky. When Doodle was about a 15 months old, we decided it was time to bring a new dog into the mix. We had a Golden Retriever that had only lived 5 years and passed away when Doodle was 6 months old. We were not ready to replace him  right away for many reasons. But when the time came to fill our home with another pet, we were a little more picky this time. One of Matt's patients told him they had one chocolate lab left in a litter. This one was suppose to go to a family member but it fell through. He was older, 11 weeks, so he was cheaper. kind of puppy! :) So, we all went to meet this puppy and we fell in love right away. How could you not...look at that face! 
 Rocky has been through baby after baby laying on him, toddlers pulling his whiskers, tail and ears, poking his nose and various other spots and never has he ever nipped at any of them. All the cousins have lovingly attached themselves to Rock at one point or another. He quickly became a favorite play toy at our house.

Wherever our girls would find Rock not far behind! That dog would sit on the floor cuddling, help with homework and get in the lake to swim with his girls. 

 Recently, we had to make the toughest choice a pet owner has to make. After many months of watching him go downhill quickly, we knew it was time to say our good byes. So we made the call to have the vet come out to our house. Once the call was made, we told the girls, who knew it was coming. They spoiled that dog endlessly that day. He had more peanut butter sandwiches that day than he had in his entire life! It was sweet. They decided we all should sleep in the living room together that evening. So we set up camp but not before  the girls and Matt dug a hole in our backyard to bury our cherished friend. The entire time they were out there, he sat on the deck watching as if to say to them, I like that spot. It was killing me.
 That same night, he found no comfort and stayed up all night. The only time he didn't pace or whine from being in pain was when I would pet him. So that meant, I was up all night as well, petting my sweet furry boy. As I got teary-eyed, he would "kiss" my tears away. That made things worse and yet sweeter. I knew by morning that we had no choice and it was so time.
 The girls were told what would happen and asked what they wanted to do since they were old enough to make that decision. Both of my girls wanted to be there when their sweet pet left them. And so, just as we do all things around here....we all four circled around him, prayed and said our good byes.
 The vet came to our home which was easier for us for sure. It didn't take long to go through the process and there were points that I feared we made the wrong choice in letting the girls be in there. I was thankful Matt's sister was there to help with the girls when needed. However, any fears I had were totally subsided as I watched my strong girls carry their puppy with their daddy back to the hole they dug the previous night.
 Some would say that is odd, but I will tell you the grieving process stinks and if you can make it easier by going through it together..head on...well, I have to tell you, sweet Rocky knew he was loved right to the end and I have never been more proud of my girls. They handled all of it like champs. They have not tried to mask their sad days, but we cry and move on. We do not pretend that he never was...we talk about him. I often find myself calling him to come get a mess I have made on the floor only to realize...he is not there. Those moments will pass, but it still brings a tear to my eye. I think we have taught our girls how to grieve together and that loving does not come without loss at times. But those losses do not stop us from loving.

As for me, I miss my dog. I miss getting up every night to let him out, sometimes several times a night. I miss comforting him and being comforted when having a bad day. I miss hearing his toenails on our wood floors. I miss hearing him making the rounds at night to check on all of us. I miss letting him out and seeing walk around the fence line every morning as if marking his territory. I miss his sweet kisses...cuddles and "smile". Most of all, I miss seeing my girls cuddled up on the floor doing school with their buddy sitting by them or sitting on the deck with them on either side. Miller's Rocky will be missed and you were so loved.
 Rocky on his last day with sweet. :(

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