Goodbye, Sweet Rosie
By Patrick F. Cannon
On Tuesday, we brought our darling miniature Poodle to the vet’s to bring an end to her beautiful life. She was 15, and her heart and other organs were failing. People who know and love dogs will know how we felt.
Jeanette and I have been married for nearly 35 years and have had to go through this three times. All of our dogs were Poodles, the greatest of breeds. Before we married, I had Mimi, a rescue my first wife Mary’s mother Lil got for us. When she was killed by a neighbor’s car after six years, we got a black miniature Poodle puppy, and named her Emma.
I had Emma, a black miniature, when Jeanette and I got married in 1986. When Emma died at 17, we got Rumpole, a Standard Poodle. We still had him when we inherited Rosie upon the death of my first wife. She left behind two sliver miniatures; we got the younger. She was then five, and made losing Rumpole nine months later a little more tolerable. When I add them all up, I find I have owned Poodles for 53 of my 82 years.
I will not rank them, except to say that most dogs will bond more with one member of the family, while loving all of them. I don’t know if science backs this up, but I do believe that male dogs bond more with men; and females, women. If Rumpole was a bit closer to me, then Rosie was Jeanette’s dog. She had lived with Mary for five years, and suddenly losing her must have been both confusing and terrible. It took a while, but she transferred her love to Jeanette.
An example: when we would come home, I would generally be the first one she would see. She would run and jump up on me briefly, then rush to find Jeanette. During the day, she would always be where Jeanette was. If she woke up from a nap – dogs sleep a lot! – and Jeanette wasn’t in sight, she would rush around the house until she found her.
She had known my children Patrick and Beth longer than us, and was always excited to see them. Patrick now lives in Florida and usually only visits once a year, but her excitement on seeing him never flagged. She was always shy with people she didn’t know; and frankly was not a fan of other dogs; but she was not aggressive with dogs or people.
As with most Poodles, she was a star athlete. If you threw a toy to her, she would invariably catch it in mid-air. Until just recently, she was also tireless; we would get tired of playing long before she did. And she was a Frisbee champ. When we had a large back yard, it was poetry in motion to see her catch the disk in full flight and in mid-air. She was just a little dog, but she was mighty. I wasn’t surprised to discover that miniature Poodles were consistent winners at dog agility trials.
Life has a certain rhythm when you have a dog. Rosie was an early riser, and Jeanette always did the first walk, I the second, and so on. Treats started early, and were repeated at regular intervals through the day. Until the last few days, her appetite was excellent. It was really when she stopped eating that we knew her heart was finally giving out.
I know that some people simply don’t understand why some others love dogs. That’s fine. Truthfully, they require a lot of care and attention. Like human babies, they have to be fed. They also have to be walked regularly, and you have to pick up their poop. If you’re going on a trip, you have to find someone to take them (either a kennel of a friend). But to a dog lover, it’s all worthwhile. As lousy as your day might have been, when you walk through the door, your dog is always glad to see you, and is happy to prove it.
Rosie is at rest now. But Jeanette and I aren’t there yet.
Copyright 2020, Patrick F. Cannon
8 thoughts on “Goodbye, Sweet Rosie”
Hi Jeanette and Uncle Pat, I’m so sorry to hear about Rosie, she was a sweet dog.
Dear Pat I’ve already expressed sympathies to Jeanette and I’m sure she’s passed them along to you but just in case I am so very sorry for your loss. Having lost Andre just a few months ago I know how you feel – he was such a gentleman and so good. Now I have Bullet named after you know who’s infamous dog, also a GSD. I’m not sure I agree with you about poodles, we (the family) had one when Danny (brother) moved to a place that didn’t allow pets. He was a Standard and black and smelly. He was nice enough but I never bonded with him. He was just OK. When I was born we had a red cocker spaniel (Chips) and he was the best. He taught Danny and I how to walk and swim – he didn’t mind when we were tiny tots grabbing a handful of hair to pull ourselves up so we could walk. Then when we went on vacation and back in the day it was always northern Wisconsin and stayed at some resort we would be in the water with Chips and he taught us the dog paddle – we were so excited when we could actually swim out to the raft, of course, Chips always won the race. Since I was born with asthma, I was allergic to all animals except dogs, When he died I became allergic to dogs – go figure! Anyway he was a great dog. When I moved out to California, I was lamenting to my friend and co-worker that I really wanted a dog but couldn’t because of allergies. The very next day she came in with her AKC book and earmarked 3 different breeds that I could have that were supposed to be hypoallergenic – the Basenji (Africa’s barkless dog – cute they don’t bark but they whine and cry a lot), the Whippet ( a little too big for the condo associations rules) and the Italian Greyhound (IG). If you have ever seen a bunch of IGs together in a group you would fall in love and that’s exactly what I did. I found Tina through IG rescue (long story) she was already 4-1/2 yrs but I figured since I didn’t know anything and she apparently didn’t know anything about being a dog that we would be pals and that we were. Talk about excitement when I got home from work – she was absolutely ecstatic! Didn’t seem to matter where I put her for the day as she always found a way out and greeted me at the door and then went zooming around the condo up and over the bed through the rooms and back to me. and then start all over again. She was my favorite of all my IG’s (4) Riley is the last and he came with his own baggage but now seems to be more of a velcro dog now. I wanted another dog so much for both Riley and me and I wanted a big dog, but as you know got rejected from every rescue & service group I applied to. So that left shelters. But I wasn’t driving so that was a problem. Now I have Bullet, poor thing I don’t think he’s ever had any training, picked him up last night from the vets – he had to be neutered – he’s 10 and he never was neutered – hard to believe. Anyway he was really groggy and couldn’t walk when we picked him up but this morning he seems fine currently sleeping or watching me from the living room.
BTW we all slept on the balcony last night since he seemed quite comfortable there, Riley and I slept on the couch (haha) – I should say attempted to sleep on the couch.
Anyway enough about me and mine – again so sorry about your loss – but it was the right and only thing to do. She wouldn’t have gotten better.
Love and condolences from
Judy, Riley, Bullet and Thora
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Thanks, Judy. We all think our dog’s breed is the best! That’s as it should be.
My sincere condolences on your loss. It’s been 30 years since Charlie the Yorkie passed, and I still think of him and his many, many quirks. Friends are friends forever.
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Thanks, Karen. I’ve had 8 dogs in my life, and loved six of them. The two I didn’t love were nuts, kinda like Trump.
So very sorry — my condolences. We dog owners feel your pain. I still talk to my Mr Monk once ina while even after a few years since he’s been gone. Only met Rosie once and she was a delight! Karen D
Sorry for your loss. Our Dusty (a snoodle?) passed away some 20 years ago. He was a fixture for our five kids. We still think of him. As he aged, it was like he disappeared and would sleep in a corner through almost any activity. He is one of the family members in our first Ebert family portrait.
We miss him and did tryout s few other foundlings that mu daughter brought home – one was a German Shepherd that would attack other people outside with no warning (lasted about a week). We then moved into that cat realm. Again, the same daughter brought home a male mostly black long haired attack cat (the victims were mostly myself and my youngest son). Daughter got marred and took the cat, TG.
Since we have become empty-nesters for the last 6 or 7 years, it is now just the two of us. I have thought about getting another dog but Mary Ellen, who along with the kids took care of the menagerie we had as I was traveling and working a lot at the time, said I would be the one to be the caretaker. At this point I can barely take care of myself, but I am still thinking about it.
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I think we’re done with dogs — couldn’t go through this again. Also, would like to be able to just go on a whim, without worrying what to do with a dog.