Rocky, Tillie

Hi Dr. Levin!

I don’t have a photo to add at this time. I just finished reading your book and was so moved that I had to write. I love dogs and wanted one since the day I was born. When I was about 14 (around 1974) my parents finally broke down and bought me a beautiful little Keeshond puppy that I named Rocky. He was my joy. He went everywhere with me. He saw me through the death of my mother when I was 16. I stayed home to go to college so I wouldn’t be apart from him. Rocky endured 11 of the 13 years I was a Baltimore City police officer. He welcomed my new boyfriend, Jeff, and eventually my husband (now of 20 years) who was a Lt. with the Baltimore Police Department. He comforted me through the time in ’88 when my husband was shot in the line of duty and helped Jeff through his recovery. He even lived for a time with us in our new home.

In 1989, Rocky’s arthritis got so bad that he couldn’t sit, stand, or walk. He wasn’t eating and was so miserable that I finally made the decision to end his misery. I felt I was holding on to him for myself and not really thinking of his comfort. My guilt still sits with me, because at the time I didn’t know I had the option of cremation or whatever and let the vet dispose of his body. I regret that to this day. I try to take comfort in his memory and the good life he had.

Jeff and I and our 2 kids Walker (16) and Lizzie (14) now have an 11 year old fat little beagle named Tillie. She is the light of all our lives. Quite different than my Rocky. It is amazing how you can quickly love another dog so strongly, still missing the lost one, but feeling the void filled. Thank you for your book!

Ann from MD