I struggle with how to begin this entry. It is one I feel most compelled to write, but one that brings me to tears still to do so. Our new year however has been marked by loss for Bill and I. Our precious boy, Rocky, who filled our hearts, and home, with unimaginable amounts of love, kindness, and kisses passed away unexpectedly on the night of December 30th. I won’t go into too many details here, because now the only fact that seems important is that he is no longer with us. After taking him to the hospital on December 26th with what seemed to be an upset stomach and dehydration, his health quickly declined, and by the next morning, our big strong boy could no longer walk. I felt broken myself seeing him laying in the hospital attached to tubes and IVs, knowing that only two days before we were running through fresh snow together. We were given hope, we needed hope, because his eyes and his spirit were still so present, loving, and healthy. The vets too gave us hope for recovery, and we clung to that hope ferociously for four days. On the last day he contracted pneumonia, which weakened his already tired lungs. By the end of that night it was just too much. We got to lay with him as we kissed him good-bye, thanking him for his companionship and for always being the best good boy.
I do not have the words to explain how much Rocky meant to me; what he did for me, and for Bill, or what he taught us. The importance of our relationship with our boy is one that will only ever be understood by Bill and I. Together we find comfort in remembering how he changed us, and the joy he gave us selflessly on a daily basis. But to anybody who has ever lost a pet (and the word pet seems trivial and inappropriate to me at times because aren’t they so much more than that) can understand that these bonds we form with the animals we love, and who return that love 10 fold, are priceless. Rocky came into our lives as a pet, and left as our son, our baby, the one who showed me further how to give and receive without complaint or expectation, and how to live each day full of appreciation and genuine enthusiasm. He taught me to better love myself. He taught Bill and I how to better love each other, to be patient with each other, and to forgive each other with genuine gentleness and sincerity. In the five years that Bill and I have been together our boy Rocky was always by our side. We felt happiest when we were all cuddled in bed together, or out on our morning walk. It was the simple, calm moments that I felt brought all three of us shared peace, joy, and gratitude. I’m going to miss those moments most.
He hated when either of us cried, whether from pain, or disappointment, or frustration, or the tear jerking movie we were watching. It was his kisses, and the worry in his eyes, that always were able to snap us out of tears and find us laughter again quickly. I’ve felt the need for his warmth and kisses more then ever, but I’ve tried to keep my face dry and my spirits high because I know thats all the big guy wanted for us: Happiness.
It’ll be a long time before that hole and quietness at home begins to feel less gaping. But he still seems so present, and that is how I know he really will always be with us, it will be impossible for Bill and I to lose him in our hearts and mind. And it makes me only want to hold Bill closer and love him more. Rocky served a grand purpose in our lives, for those closer to bill and I, you may know he helped save us, just as much as we helped save each other. Life works in unexplainable ways, and the older I get the more I learn to keep those things loved ever so close. I have no regrets for my love for Rocky, he made it impossible not to show him everyday how much he meant to us. I still find myself saying “I love you big guy” in my heart in head every time we leave the house, because for the past five years it was the last thing a I always made sure to tell him before walking out the door. I want him to know I still do and always will, and I know he does.
My big boy, my baby boy, my Rock Dog, my baby bear, Rocklobsta, your dad and I loved you more than we could have known and love you still. Thank-you for giving us our lives back and giving us a future together. Thank-you for just being our good boy, everyday and every second. We carry every moment with you with us. They are the most beautiful moments we can remember.