Those of you that have known me for a long time know that I process best by writing my way through the tough times that life throws at us. So, today is a tribute to our beautiful baby boy. I hope there are millions of Timberdoodles where you are today Rocky.
My first memories of Rocky were him trying in every way to come between Tom and I when we first started dating. He would get between us when I would come over to Tom’s and try to shove me off the sofa. In time he learned that daddy could love us both and that it was pretty cool to have a momma. In fact he learned to be quite a momma’s boy in many regards, although his first and greatest love would always be his daddy and hunting partner.
My next big Rocky memory is the first time that Tom left Rocky in my care while heading out to do some deer hunting with the boys. I was sitting in the living room, Rocky and Sydney were outside. I heard this god awful screaming. It almost sounded human. It definitely didn’t sound like a dog. So it took me a few seconds to react… There used to be one of those low picket style fences, like for around a flower bed – only a foot and a half or so high, in front of the house. I guess Rocky had tried to jump it and somehow got both back legs caught in the fence. One of the pickets poking him in the butt. What a sight! His legs were stuck in there good, but I was slowly able to ease them out. He came out without any damage, other than his dignity. The next morning I pulled out that picket fence and threw it away!
It was shortly after the fence incident that Rocky started accepting me as part of the pack. We were all more or less living together at that point, and well… I did most of the feeding :-). He even started doing his “happy dance” when he would see me. Rocky’s happy dance is one of the most life affirming things I have ever seen. It is a pure celebration of joy, and to have it directed at you, well, for me it made me feel whole and completely loved. It was awesome! I need to try and do the happy dance once in a while, for Rocky’s sake and my own.
He was such a big baby. He relied on our love and care so much. I think that is what hurts me the most. I feel like I failed him when he needed me the most. The weight of being a control freak. When things like this happen all I do is try to figure out what I could/should have done. The hardest thing for me is letting go of the guilt and accepting that this horrible tragedy is not my fault. As much as my anger wants to point out fault it needs to let go and just let it be. That is what Rocky would want.
Rocky wouldn’t understand my self blame and anger. He was one of the kindest most joyful dogs I have ever had the joy of loving. Anger and blame are not concepts Rocky would want me dwelling on. The closest he ever got to anger was when the birdies took to cover and started giving him the run around. He would show some agitation then. More frustration than anger. And wow did he love to hunt. The biggest baby you could imagine most of the time, especially when it came to pain. He would come back from a hunt cut up and bleeding, to the point of stitches a couple times, but it didn’t interfere or slow his hunt. He used that huntsman strength in the last days. I know he was in pain, I know he wanted it to feel better, but he stayed strong. I hate so much that our sweet boy had to suffer! We tried so hard to make him comfortable, to make him better, but we had no idea what to do. I am so sorry Rocky! You did not deserve one moment of pain!
I hope today you are running through woods full of timber doodles. I will miss you dearly. The coming winter will be a cold place without you jumping under the covers and sharing your warmth.
There is a place in my heart that will always be yours. It is breaking right now, but I know in time it will be a place filled with happy memories and a few joyous frustrations. I so hope that in some way I made your life better because you sure did change mine in the best possible ways. Your unconditional love shines a bright light in a very dark time. Rest sweet baby boy.