Rosie was a dog. Nothing spectacular, no purebred valuable show specimen or a priceless working hound. Yet, she was special. She was loved. She is missed.

We got her from a shelter in November 2007, our daughter was 3 months old and we had just moved into our new home. We wanted a medium size dog, no preference on breed but nothing too huge as our home and garden are fairly small. We decided to go and look around, but Rosie was the first and only dog we viewed. She came bounding out, and immediately rolled over with tongue lolling out, wanting belly rubs. She was given pieces of cocktail sausage as rewards for behaving during our meeting and she was superbly behaved on the little walk outside to see how she was on the lead. We were told she was found as a stray, and her temperament was excellent. She was a little skinny, but otherwise in fine health. She came home with us that day.

We were told she was roughly 18 months old, but a vet visit estimated closer to 9 so we just went with about 1 year old for an easier way to state her age. She was a cross breed, part Rottweiler, part something else. Many have tried to guess, most commonly German Shepherd or Collie suggested.

She was easily controlled, absolutely loved training sessions, and had a real ability to charm many who met her. Her best buddy in the whole world was our youngest cat Simba, who we brought home about 4-5 months after getting her. The intention was to liven up our older 2 boys, but it was Rosie he bonded with and she made herself his mother, guardian and best friend. He couldn’t come into the house without a cursory once over to make sure he was ok, see where he had been and that he was unhurt. He would share her bed, her food, and stand dutifully whilst he got the sniff check.

Rosie loved us dearly, and she would lay next to Kaylah on the floor, then shuffle until her head was in her lap, to ensure copious amounts of fuss and love from the little human of the house.

She was a little unpredictable around other dogs, so we had a muzzle handy to ensure there were no altercations that might occur unexpectedly. For her sake, as much as another dogs’ safety.

Once she’d fully grown she was a little bigger than we intended, but she was a part of the family so we just adapted. She often tried to interact with the older cats, but that remained occasional. One boy was aloof and the other was outright hostile. As she settled in, they realised she was staying but the hostile one at best tolerated her, as long as he didn’t have to have more than bare minimum contact.

Her health remained fairly good, albeit some minor visits. We discovered her allergy to sweet potato when she accidentally had a little from a Sunday roast scraps and developed hives, and her aversion to getting her nails trimmed.

The years seem to have flown by, since that day we brought her home sat in the foot-well of the car. Her facial muzzle grew grey and suddenly we were realizing she was becoming an older dog. She started to develop cataracts, she would be a little stiff in the hips when she first woke up, and no longer would jump to catch the bubbles she so loved to chase.

Then we found the lump. Small, only a pea, but it grew rapidly as well as her weight started to fall off her. She started to yelp when going to the bathroom, but the constipation she had briefly passed, yet she was still in pain. This Thursday just gone, we took her to the vets to find out what was going on, and it was not good. She had 3 mammary lumps, and another mass was felt during external examinations around her bowel area. Internally, nothing was found, but he was clear he wanted to see her urgently for a more thorough internal exam under anesthetic. He did say that IF it was a polyp causing the pain then we could have that removed and extend her life for a time. The next day she was taken back to the main vet practice. She never came home.

I do wonder if maybe we should of taken her sooner, but it’s not really something they can make go away once it takes hold. Cancer is a nasty, vile disease, and it takes its toll on man and beast with no mercy.

Rosie was with us for over 7 years, and has left a large void in our hearts. We are all hurting and missing her terribly. Kaylah took it better than expected, as she was told clearly that Rosie was in pain and not happy. I told her about Rainbow Bridge, that place where all animals go after they pass, where they run and play and are in no more pain. She was happy to hear about this, and tells me that Rosie is with Stitch, her beloved hamster who recently also passed away.

Pets are more than just animals, they are family. They are our companions and to some, our confidants. They show affection in their own ways, they are our furry, feathered or scaled little buddies. They are annoying, noisy, smelly and messy, but we wouldn’t be without them any more than we would be without our children who funnily enough have very similar traits!

Signing that permission form for her euthanasia was one of the most difficult things I’ve had to do. But I know it was the right thing to do. We loved her enough to take away her pain and let her go.

Goodbye our Rosie Rosie!

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