For those of you who read these ramblings of mine, you know from time to time I mention my two best friends, Rocky and Patch, respectively my Black Lab and English Setter. Last summer I wrote that my lab was getting a little older and needed assistance from time to time getting out of my truck. After a long hike in early summer, it was obvious that his hunting days were over and he was going to skip my annual bird hunting trip in Montana.
As fall became winter, he started having regular seizures and the more medication we gave him, the more frequent and severe they became. I consulted my local vet and had him thoroughly checked out at the University of Minnesota Vet School. As a young dog, he had contracted cancer and had a toe amputated by Carver Lake Animal Hospital in Woodbury. They always treated him with such love and care, so I took him back there and consulted them.
All the reports came back the same. Yes, it could be epilepsy but all blood tests were coming back clean, so odds were it was a brain tumor. Over the past month, I could not take him for short walks, much less long walks, because he would have a seizure. Once or twice a day I cleaned his kennel, but I was sure he was going to get better–I just had to let the meds take their course.
Well, this week I could not let him continue to go through this. He would get out of his kennel and stagger a bit and head outside. He looked good once he pulled himself together, but he kept giving me a mournful look. I knew it was time and on Tuesday, I dropped him off at the vet office. I have been asked if I stayed with him and I am embarrassed to say no. I had Patch to take care of and knew I could not bear to watch.
So goodbye dear old friend. I hope you have an afterlife where you can chase all the birds we chased. I hope you run into a couple dear friends, Nate and Hal. I trust they will scratch your ears for me. I hope you can keep Aunt Be a company like you did when you were a pup. (Yes, I had an Aunt Bea who actually gave Rocky to me before she passed at 103.)
You see folks, that is what makes me feel better. I remember the good times and the connections Rocky gave me with some great people, both here and gone. Rocky, you will surely be missed.