For the past couple of days, I’ve had a heavy heart. After finding out that my family’s dog was really sick with a mass that was obstructing his bowel movements, he had to be put to sleep this morning.
I grew up with Rosco. I remember the day we got him nearly 14 years ago.
When I came home to an empty house one day, my mom, infamous for leaving notes around for everyone, had left me one that read, “There’s a cute puppy in the laundry room!”
I found an adorable, excited, stinky black lab in our laundry room. Turns out that this puppy, along with the others in his litter, had been found in a drain pipe, and my parents decided to adopt him on a whim.
Rosco was quite a rambunctious pup.
For awhile he had a food complex where he would scarf down his eats as fast as he could, only to throw it up about half of the time – perhaps because he had spent the first few months of his life in an environment where food was scarce.
He loved to escape from our backyard and run around like a maniac in the neighborhood. One time animal control came to the house, and I remember them opening the back door of their van and Rosco jumped out, looking completely oblivious and happy as ever. Even in his old age, he still was finding ways to get out of my parents’ yard and into someone else’s.
He was petrified of thunderstorms. There were so many times when Rosco would pace around the house for hours on end in the middle of the night while it rained, or when he would bust into one of our bedrooms, probably thinking that hanging out near people was more safe than being downstairs alone.
A lot of the time he had a guilty look on his face when we’d come home, either because he had been sleeping on the couch where he wasn’t allowed, or because he had predictably eaten all of the cat food when no one was around.
In his older years, he would drive my mom crazy by peeing on the palm trees my parents kept indoors during colder months.
Yes, Rosco had plenty of quirky behaviors and nutty antics… but as you do with any family member, we loved him unconditionally. Rocky completed our household, he was one in the family…
One of my last memories of Rosco is from this past February. I was staying with my parents in Jersey so I could be with my grandma, who had been diagnosed with cancer and wasn’t doing well. I came back from the hospital feeling deflated and heartbroken at the thought of losing my grandma then. I spent hours that night laying in front of the fire cuddling with Rosco, who in true Labrador form, would hang out with anyone as long as they pet him. There’s something about snuggling with your dog that just makes you feel better when life is sad.
They say all dogs go to heaven. I’m not sure that I’m sold on the idea of heaven & hell, but I like to picture Rosco up there now, in a place where he’s getting pet for hours on end, where it never storms, the cat food is plentiful and there’s lots of room to run around looking for trouble.