Filed under: Nature & Wildlife, Taking Along the Family Pet
So Long Rocky, It Was Good To Have Known You
We began our cross-country, 9-month RV adventure on December 31st, 2009. Rocky proved himself to be a true “Road Dog;” quickly settling in and seeming to enjoy every segment of our trip. As usual, he was always at his happiest when he was with us.
Rocky had a “bad back event” in February, while we were still in Florida. The injury kept him in an animal hospital for 4 days and gained me a new scar on the back of my hand when I tried to pick him up while he was in terrific pain. The vet told us that Rocky had pinched nerves caused by several vertebras that were out of place. But, after a rest and a regimen of meds, he seemed like his old self again. The vet warned us, though, that although his displaced disks were back in place for the moment, we should ensure that he did no more jumping. We may as well have told him not to breathe.
His back went “out” again in May after we reached Kingman, Arizona. I walked the RV park with him for hours, deep into the early morning hours, trying to help him escape his pain. Every few steps were punctuated with a scream that must have told the entire park of his suffering. When I finally ran out of energy, I tied him up and sat nearby, watching him pace back and forth, back and forth, crying out and trying to bite the place on his back that was causing so much pain. Damn…
I sat there until daylight and, with no change in Rocky’s condition and, facing another 112 degree day, I made up my mind to end his suffering. I’ve had to do this 8 times during the past 45 years and have died a little each time as I held my beloved dogs and watched their lives quickly slide away as the vet injected an overdose of anesthetic. I cried like a baby every time, without embarrassment. I did this time, too. Maybe more then ever before…
My wife and I have decided that Rocky will be our last dog, a decision we have made several times in the past, but never kept. I think that we’ll keep the promise this time, though, since, as my wife reminded me that, at this time of our life, we’ve started saying our last goodbyes to family and friends and will soon enough have to face each other’s death… We’ve seen enough of death for now…
So for now, I’ll have to content myself with an affectionate hug and hello for every dog that I meet. Rocky, it was good to know you.
Till next time,
Postscript: We were wrong. The only cure for a pain that deep, for a loss that great, was to go right out and get another dog. In December, 2010 we rescued Merci (or, Mercy if you prefer) from a kind group in Franklin, Tennessee, where we’ve settled down, maybe for the last time. She’s another Australian Terrier; although they tried to convince us that she’s a Yorkie, but she’s too big and shaggy for that. Who knows? Maybe she’s my Rocky, back to spend some more time with us before heading over that Rainbow Bridge that I’ve been hearing about…
Last 5 posts by Traveler8343
- Henry Horton S.P., Tennessee - November 30th, 2012
- Mau-Mau, A Most Peculiar Cat - November 26th, 2012
- Put Tab A Into Slot B... - July 25th, 2012
- Part 3 - Big Trees State Park, Calaveras County, California - Exploitation of the Sequoias - June 30th, 2012
- Part 2 - Big Trees State Park, Calveras County, California - June 27th, 2012