Rosie joined our family in 2002, the day before Thanksgiving. My husband and I had had dogs growing up, but Rosie was our first dog together. We couldn’t wait to buy a house, because that meant we could finally get a dog. After a few months of settling in, we started looking at dog adoption events and making regular trips to several animal shelters. When we spotted Rosie, we knew it was fate. She was part Jack Russell, part something. We’re big Wishbone fans and in the Romeo and Juliet episode, Wishbone falls for a shelter dog–named Rosie. She was a bit scared and nervous at first, but who wouldn’t be after spending time in the shelter. I knew she’d be fine because as soon as she came into the house she jumped right up on the couch and made herself at home.
We couldn’t have asked for a better dog. She loved to go for walks in the neighborhood (five a day initially!) and play with her toys. She slept on our bed and enjoyed snuggling on the couch. Not that she didn’t have her quirks. She had some separation anxiety and chewed a few pairs of my husband’s shoes. The last straw was when she chewed one of my books–we got a dog walker right after that to break up the time she had to spend alone. She also got car sick, which meant adjusting our plans for lots of traveling with her. But she always came with us to visit family at the holidays because she was part of the family. She didn’t like other dogs much, either, but she liked people and was patient with kids.
Rosie mellowed a lot over the years. By the time my daughter was born, she didn’t play much any more but she still loved her walks. She adjusted to a little one joining the pack and learned to share some attention. She still got plenty of affection and we always had our evening snuggles on the couch.
The last year was hard for her. Sixteen years is a good, long life for a dog and she was so loved. A few weeks ago we knew it was time to finally say good-bye. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. My husband and I were with her until the end. I hope she knew how much we loved her and cared for her. I think she did. Now the house is empty and my heart is a bit empty. Someday, when we’re ready, we will make another trip to the animal shelter. But Rosie will always have a special place in my heart. She will always be my sweetie.