Our family has been reduced by one. On July 13 we had to say goodbye to Roscoe P. Coltrane, one of the most neurotic and wonderful dogs we’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. He took ill suddenly so he didn’t suffer long. We refused to put him through exploratory surgery, a multitude of tests, or feed him any more drugs to maybe, possibly find the cause of his sickness which more than likely wouldn’t have had a cure – or at least he would have gone through hell before the inevitable end. He deserved better than that.
Whether or not we could see it, Roscoe was an older dog. 10 1/2 years is a hell of a run for a dog his size (larger breeds have a tendency to live shorter lives) and who was not supposed to live long beyond puppyhood anyway, at least according to a DICKHEAD vet at Gasow Veterinary Hospital.
We found this little pup at the “Find Your Best Friend at the Zoo” event in April 2005. He was 7-8 weeks old and sicker than he looked. When we took him to the vet the next day for a check-up, the doc said we shouldn’t bother wasting any money on him because he was too ill. So naturally we said “fuck THAT guy” and spent the next 10+ years spoiling our new dog rotten. He got to spend some time with our other dogs, Buster and Logan (the latter really taking a shine to the little guy), before they had to take their own journeys across the Rainbow Bridge.
I’m sure you can forgive me my overtly emotional tone here.
Roscoe got the whole house to himself for about a year before we decided he needed a buddy. Not sure he was all that enthusiastic about Dozer’s arrival but after a couple of months, he finally warmed up to his new house mate. He was never a cuddler with D but he did worry when Dozer was out of the house without him. And he let Dozer use him as a pillow from time to time.
I know Roscoe had his issues: trouble with the stairs (he did finally learn to go up and down the basement steps a few months ago, though!); food stealing; garbage digging; poop eating; heralding a guest’s arrival and departure with great hullabaloo; barking at anyone who DARED come within 100 feet of his house/yard. But as Robert and I returned from the vet, holding an empty collar and a slack leash, I realized how much I loved his noise, his powerhouse barking, and his absolute unadulterated enthusiasm at our mere presence.
I don’t like the quiet now. It’s going to take some time getting used to.
As any pet owner will tell you, we all know these fur babies are temporary pack members. We are only allowed to borrow them for a short time to remind us of how beautiful life can be with them by our sides. And though it hurts like hell to say goodbye, I don’t even want to imagine what our lives would have been without Roscoe’s love and light.
Roscoe, I hope you find Buster and Logan on the other side. I hope you are happy and healthy and at peace. I hope you are in a place where it’s naked time all the time, a bounty of treats is never more than a paw’s length away, and you can announce the new arrivals with all the gusto you can muster as they pad across the bridge. I will love and miss you until we meet again.