This is for Rosie, the sweet golden girl that showed me how to love with all my heart and how loyal a dog can really be.
I met you one spring afternoon when I went to visit J at his mom's while we were just starting to date. You came over to me and instantly we connected. You put out your paw and we held hands all through dinner. Everyone trued to shoo you away from me to be polite but I didn't mind. You made me feel special, wanted and accepted and I looked forward to visiting because of you.
Visiting the future in-laws is nervewracking you know but knowing you would be there to break the ice and literally lend a paw broke the awkwardness as well as the silence. Everyone commented on how you lit up when I came in, you'd jump, bark and your tail would wag wag wag. Of course, I love Sophie (your sister the same) but you were so special to me.
Over the years, I have watched to you run, jump, play and enjoy life. You sure have a special mom that gives you the best, down to cooking chicken and rice for you for dinner even night. Lucky girl!
Your dad, J, and I got married and we adopted a golden retriever just like you. Heck, if I could've I would have adopted you! But by some twist of fate, we adopted Ladybug who all can agree is just like you. I was so nervous to adopt a dog, I never grew up with dogs and I was afraid. You showed me that I could love a dog. How they become like family, heck you are family. You are loyal, loving and protective. You are a terrific companion and a source of comfort.
We love our Ladybug and now Liam and like you they have had health issues. Man, those times are scary. We just want to know what is wrong and help heal you. Its a helpless feeling and its gut wrenching.
Your mom has been saying that you have been not acting yourself. Even at 12 years old, you still greet me and Isabel at the window when we come by wagon and Isabel would watch you through the window of the door as you played outside. Sometimes you'd bark to her, she'd squeal with glee.
We did keep Isabel and you and Sophie at a distance because we didn't want her to bother you. But I know you wouldn't have minded a pat or a squeeze.
Today, we came to visit you. With heavy hearts because we know that your time on this earth is not going to be as long as we had hoped for. You have a cancerous tumor and having trouble breathing.
To be honest, I wanted to visit you but I was nervous for the first time. What if Isabel wasn't gentle or you didn't want to see us.
All that was relieved when I walked in the door. You lifted your head like you had for J but then your tail just thump thump thumped like usual.
*relief* but a swell of sadness welled up in me.
'Its Rosie girl' I said as I always did.
For the last hour I sat with you, talked to you rubbed your side and stroked your nose. I felt the pads of your paws and the soft fur on your ears. I told you were a brave girl, that I love you and that you should just rest. You were calm and yet with me at the same time.
I didn't want to leave you but Isabel was getting tired so I am here thinking of you and hoping that you are still resting. It comforted me that you raised your sweet head again as if to say goodbye.
I don't want to say goodbye because even though you will go to heaven, I know I will see you again.
Its a comfort to know that but at the same time I know I will miss you terribly. Some people can't understand how we can love our pets so much. To them I say you must not have a heart because these dogs are loyal, loving companions that are family. If you can't understand it then you don't know the love of a pet.
Losing you reminds me how fragile life is and how much I love our Ladybug and Liam. They both suffered a lot last summer with surgeries and Ladybug's cancer. They are young but its hard to contemplate them not being here with us.
I love you Rosie girl. You taught me to love without reservation and fear of getting too attached. You have been a loyal and faithful girl. Be brave sweet girl and rest. I will see you again someday.