Rowdy, our beloved mutt, died unexpectedly today. He was 10. We almost did not get him. Our daughter, Lisa, loves animals and volunteered at the animal shelter. Lisa fell head over heels for this gangly hot dog on long toothpicks. He had kettle cough and quivered with fear. Lisa, in her own way, climbed into Rowdy's cage and played and played with him during Lisa's volunteer hours.
Rowdy was certainly not the handsomest of the canines at the shelter, nor was he the most cuddly. But, he sure could get excited, jump all over people, and run around. One Monday, Lisa asked her dad (my husband) if she could adopt Rowdy because the shelter was planning to extinguish the life of this active pup. Mike's answer was a resounding, "No!" At the time, we had another dog, Pepper, a border collie mix, an ornery cat, and a cockatiel. We had enough pets.
Lisa, as is typical of her driven nature, would not take no for an answer. She devised a plan- take Mom (me) to the shelter and bank on my powder puff nature and on my solitary ability to prevail on Dad to change his mind.
We drove to the shelter, with dozens of barks and tens of prospective adopters. However, no one gave Rowdy a second glance, even though his death was scheduled later that very day. And, as scheming Lisa predicted, her Mom was smitten with the gangly, ugly, auburn furred creature. We dashed home. I confronted Mike. "We have to get this dog! If we don't, he is dead by morning!"
"PLEASE!!!" Lisa and I exclaimed. Mike, a sucker to make his wife, and daughter happy, relented.
In the early years, Rowdy developed into the most handsome, muscled, athletic creature. When he dashed in circles along our back fence, he was poetry in motion. Rowdy adapted well to Alpha dog Pepper and after Pepper passed to pit bull Grimm. Lately, you would think that Grimm and Rowdy thought they were twins, anticipating my return from work with wagging tails and oodles of energy.
Last week, Rowdy, now 10 years old, was stricken with an undetermined ailment on Friday. By Monday, today, he was dead. We don't know why, but it probably involved a spinal column mishap. We did not see this coming. My last words to Rowdy were at the vet's office, me kneeling and caressing his beautiful auburn fur, telling him I loved him and that he was a good boy. And that he was. In the last ten years, Rowdy brought infinite joy to my family. He was almost a brother to my son Aaron.
Oh, Rowdy, how we will miss you! Rest in peace, my good boy!