|| Deceased, fourteen and a half years old|
|| Cocker Spaniel/Poodle mix|
|| New York, New York, USA|
I was in her arms when I took my last breath. Although SHE was very, very sad, I was her Rose and I bloomed and blossomed for many years. Here is my story.
HE said "No more dogs!" SHE said, "Okay." They were out for a stroll when a little dog walked by. "Cute," HE said. A short time later, there was that little dog again. He said, "What is that?" "A Cockapoo, you know a cross between a cocker spaniel and a poodle. I went with a friend into a pet shop and this little guy was sitting in his cage and he looked at me as if to say, ‘I am going home with you.' He was right. He stole my heart!"
That night, HE and SHE went to the world wide web and looked up cockapoos. What fun! The websites were many and varied with one thing in common, adorableness. The music, the dancing animated pups, the precious babies available for adoption. They were smitten and the search for ME began, only they did not know it was going to be ME. One stormy Saturday in January, SHE entered "white, female, immediately available, tail cropped, dew claws removed." SHE likes to be specific. A few responses came through, one from a breeder in Macon, Georgia. They called me little brown nose. You would think I was an Indian. I would have preferred Georgia or Peaches. Whatever, arrangements were made to meet in the Atlanta airport the next morning; SHE with hopes that I would be all that the picture indicated, ( I was only 4 pounds, what do you expect?) The farmer with me put me in a small box with a piece of a blanket that smelled like my mother. That Sunday morning HE and SHE woke at 5AM to a blizzard, but they had a mission. ME! A slow drive, a delayed flight. Come on, you can make it. SHE and the farmer met, I was examined, approved of, and SHE with ME raced back to the gate to fly home.
This is where the story gets going. HE was there and there were 3 big children, adults really. Everyone held me and cuddled me and loved me. They had a competition for my name and everyone agreed on Rose. I loved the name. "Rose." Perfect. Because the children were grown, one married, one in college and one son off to boarding school, we became a trio. HE, SHE and ME. Forget being socialized with other dogs and people, HE and SHE were enough for ME.
HE loved to take me to Central Park, not to run, but to sit in the sun on our bench. Any day, any season. SHE loved me beside her or in her lap as she worked at home. I slept between them every night, HE on my right. SHE on my left. I loved to wake up with the sun and lick the sleep from their eyes or nestle into a back and fall asleep again. They stroked my belly and returned my love.
Often we would go to the country where I ran like a maniac round and round on the lawn or chased rabbits or rolled in deer poop. Great sport! They never gave me a bath, we always showered together. SHE lathering and conditioning. HE drying my hair. What a life.
But things got so much better. We started to go to the Bahamas many times a year. I did not even mind that I had to get a vet check up with a muzzle on, (dog may bite warning on my chart,) before travelling because once there, I was with them all the time. HE would take me to the pool in the morning where I would recline on a lounge and watch him swim. Everyone would walk by, "Hey, Rose." Good morning, Rose." Then SHE would join us and we would walk on the white sand beach. Sometimes you couldn't see me because I was the same color as the sand. I'd run without a leash, with my ears blowing in the wind. Glorious. Once they took me out on a boat. I hated that almost as much as I hate thunder. Every dinner reservation was for three. Could life be any better than this? HE, SHE and ME.
There were a few friends and cousins who came into my life … Mabel, Penelope (may she rest in peace,) Clementine, Lula. Like HIM, though, I could not wait for them to leave. I did not like others in my space. Also, if one of those four-legged creatures had an accident I was always blamed. I often thought they purposely poo'd in a secret place because when it was discovered, I heard, "Look what Rose did?" Those devils. Of course, I did occasionally pee on HER pillow or HIS blanket, just to get attention, as if I did not get enough love.
Life went on for 13 blissful years and then for some crazy, crazy reason, SHE decided to get a puppy. What foolishness. Here I am in my old age and they adopt a rambunctious, hyperactive fluff ball that only wants to jump, run, steal my toys, sleep in my bed, eat my food, sleep in my place on the pillows. My life was turned upside down. The little thing was cute, I'll admit, but I did not like her, I did not want her and I certainly did not need her. SHE took special care of me of course. I got fed first, walked first, kissed first, bathed first. HE and SHE respected my age and feelings and even gave me alone time on the pillows.
When I was 14 and a half, in the summer time, we all knew I was feeling my age. I could hardly run or hear or see. My tummy was upset most of the time. Just as I came into their life on a Sunday afternoon, I left their house on a Sunday afternoon. I could barely breathe. SHE drove me to the hospital where they put me in oxygen and began to test and treat me for this and that. I could not eat or sleep or breathe. I know HE and SHE wanted to do everything possible to get me home, but I had nothing left to give.
SHE came to me and held me in her arms and kissed me. I kissed her. SHE told me how much they loved me. She thanked me for being in their lives. SHE told me to remember the beach and the sand and the rabbits and the walks and that I would always be their ROSE. Then it was goodbye.
But don't be sad. A Rose is a Rose is a Rose and I will always be in their hearts. It was a wonderful life!