Farewell, Rocky

It has been a while since I have been able to look at this website as a personal blog. It is one of the losses that came with the growth I had hoped for. Still, I trust you will allow me this indulgence. I owe it to my friend, Rocky. PE

[quote]Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.~ Mark Twain[/quote]

11 years.

That is how long Rocky was in my life. I met him shortly after my partner brought him home from a rescue organization dedicated to Lhasa Apsos. And did he ever need to be rescued. There was no way to fully put together the events that led him to our home, but it was obvious that it was a very hard road. He was dangerously malnourished. Whatever had happened, whether it was abandonment, the death of his owner or some other kind of neglect I am certainly better off not knowing, it left him emaciated and sick; practically on death’s door.

His physical problems were taken care of easily enough. Plenty of good food, medical care and a loving home did the trick. The scars, if I can call them that, lasted. He remained, for the entirety of his life, completely fixated on food. He ate as though every meal was his first in ages, and as though it would be his last. It even provided for some comical relief in our home. Rocky at dinner time, the several times a day he had treats, was like watching a kid at Christmas rip through paper to get to presents. He devoured everything with abandon. And he begged incessantly, even with a belly full of dinner and one of his beloved snacks.

But of course that was not near all he did. Like so many other faithful dogs, he was the epitome of love and friendship to the less deserving humans that cared for him. He was a constant source of companionship and approval. He was the wagging tail every morning, delighting in any attention paid to him; the faithful friend that often slept at my feet as I worked. He was the clean spot in my days, always available to me; an especially great gift when so many of those days meant dealing with the dirt that a life like mine can throw at you.

His excited, impatient barking was the first thing I heard every time I got out of my car in the garage. He greeted me there at the door every day for years, as though I had been gone for ages, even after a trip to the corner store. He often stayed on the patio, even in the brutal heat of Houston summers, refusing to come back inside till I returned.  He never failed, until the arthritis crippled him to the point that he could not come out to welcome me home any more.

I know there are mountains of problems in this world, so many of them far worse than my grief and loss. But Rocky was my friend, and he proved it each day of his life more truly and with more heart than any human I have ever known. He was certainly more faithful and kind than I have ever learned to be.

I consider myself fortunate. I have a very fine veterinarian, a man of compassion and sensitivity that gently ended Rocky’s pain yesterday as I cradled his head in my hands and said good-bye through my tears. But I am luckier still for the company of my happy, hungry companion, who never let a single day pass without reminding me that I was loved.

R.I.P. Rocky 04/01/2013

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