Our 13 year old Black Lab Rocky was called back to the puppy park in the sky today. We were very blessed to have had such a wonderful friend in our lives. He had 13 1/2 great years and one bad day.
Last night he couldn't get outside and by 3pm today he couldn't raise his head. Turns out he had a large tumor in his stomach and he went into liver and kidney failure. He had been acting like a puppy for the last few days so I was hoping he had just pulled a muscle. Hearing that we couldn't do anything for him and seeing him deteriorate so fast helped to make the decision easy.
Still, I can't stop thinking about him.
We went swimming tonight and I all I could think of was Rocky swimming in a pond. It's funny because the two times he ended up in water over his head he made a beeline for the shore.
It's weird how the day keeps re-playing in my head and at 9am this morning I saw Rocky the puppy one last time. He hadn't moved for most of the night and I had called a vet by 8am. I thought I would leave him to rest and when I cracked the door open an hour later he actually raised his head, perked his ears and wagged his tail about 5 times. Bob came home from work at 10am and I was so sure Rocky was on the mend. Having Rocky not respond at all to Bob told him it was over. I was still waiting for a steroid shot that would perk him back up.
We are comforting ourselves imaging him galloping through a never ending park with a refreshing stream he can splash through and endless baseballs to chase.
I needed to write this out so I could deal with some of the thoughts crashing through my head. I keep remembering him at all ages and all the funny things he did. He wasn't the brightest dog in the world which made him even funnier.
The cutest thing that happened in the last few weeks was when Rocky caught a glimpse of himself in the bay window here at the new house. He had lived in a bungalow all his life and Bob and I never realized that our dogs had never seen themselves before. Rocky saw his reflection and stopped dead. At that moment I realized that Rocky would have been one vain puppy if he had had a mirror. I swear he was thinking 'Day-am, who is that handsome Sonofabitch. Is that me? I am hot! *cue the music* I'm too sexy for my fur, too sexy for my fur ...'
In the past few weeks many new people met him and were shocked when we told them how old he was. Even the vet said he looked so very healthy for a dog his age. He had a graying spot on his left flank and a few dapper grays sprinkling his muzzle.
Yep, he could have easily graced the cover of GQ Puppy Edition. Thing is, he could never stand still long enough to snap a picture. We have numerous pictures of the tip of his tail as he scampered out of the camera's range.
He was too busy enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of life and in the end, that is the gift he left with Bob and I.
Edited: Again with no pictures on Blogger. It's all right though. I can't find one that has his puppy look right now. There is a background in Windows XP of a black lab and it is on Bob's computer section. Every time I see that picture I think it is the splitting image of all that was Rocky. I would try and post it but there might be copyright issues and well, Blogger won't let me.