Rocky and Rambo

Their names were Rocky and Rambo; they were dashunds.

Rocky weighed 20 pounds. Rocky lived to eat and sleep. Rambo weighed 15 pounds. Rambo ate his dog food one kernel at a time. He chewed his food and did not “inhale” his food as Rocky appeared to do.

Rocky was the family dog. He knew he was a dog and he loved being a dog. Rocky loved to sleep. He would roll around on his back and within a couple of seconds would fall asleep. Rocky would fall asleep in the middle of the room with his chubby little legs pointing toward the ceiling with his head tilted backward as he snored softly. It was quite a sight to behold.

Rambo was the ultimate jumper. He had “hang time” when he jumped from the floor to the sofa. Rambo sat up as straight as a soldier so he could be fed one kernel of food at a time.

“The boys” loved to chase lizards on the patio. They were so fast that the lizards never stood a chance. To ensure that the screened in patio would no longer be a “lizard kill zone,” every potted plant had to be raised. Lids from vitamin bottles were placed under the huge potted plants. These Florida lizards quickly learned to find refuge in the above ground bunkers that the planters provided! “The boys” could never quite figure where the lizards went but never gave up trying to find them and “take them out.”

Rocky had to be put to sleep at age 14. It was right before Christmas on a Saturday. My husband, Tony, was out of town when I knew it was time for Rocky to leave us. While sitting on a white plastic chair in front of the veterinary office cradling Rocky in my arms and crying softly so as not to draw attention to myself, a lady walked up to me. She asked me if my dog was sick; I told her Rocky would NOT be going home with me that day.

This stranger told me that I was doing the right thing. She said that her husband – to that day – regretted keeping their dog alive for months longer than he should have. She told me that her husband realized that he had made a selfish decision. Her words gave me the strength to go into the veterinary’s office one last time with Rocky.

I could NOT stay there with Rocky; I had to leave immediately! Several hours later I got a call from the doctor. She told me that Rocky left this world a happy dog. They decided to put Rocky to sleep AFTER they ate lunch. Rocky shared lunch with them. She told me that he ate part of a peanut butter sandwich, potato chips, chocolate chip cookies, cake and a little bit of everyone’s lunch. Everyone knew about Rocky’s love for food! She assured me that Rocky was one happy content dashund when he left us.

When it was time to put Rambo to sleep, it nearly put me in a grave next to him. I could NOT say his name nor would I allow anyone else to say his name for over six months after he was gone. That little dog knew me inside and out. He knew my ups and my downs. He was a “Mamma’s boy” without being a sissy! I loved him, too much!

I stayed with Rambo when I had to put him to sleep. Once again, Tony was out of town when the “time” came for Rambo to leave us. I would NEVER have had Tony come with me any way. It is MUCH MUCH too painful an experience.

I cried like a baby; I was inconsolable. Even though Rambo was dead, I could NOT leave him on the table at the veterinary’s office for FEAR HE WOULD FALL OFF THE TABLE. My heart was broken.

Tears are running down my cheek as I relive this terrible loss.

“NEVER, NEVER, NEVER will we get another dog,” I told my husband. “NEVER!”

Never say never. We now have a 5 pound Yorkie named Moose. He is delightful. Once again, Moose is turning out to be a Mamma’s boy. Once again, I know that one day when Tony is out of town I will have to go to the veterinary’s office for the last time with this fluffy little dog in my arms. Oy vey!

But this time, Mark, I will focus ONLY on the joy and wonderful memories that Moose is bringing to this family at this time. He loves us and we will always love Moose as we loved Rocky and Rambo.

Rosemary from FL