The Notorious ROC.

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Somewhere along the way, Rocco got old. My baby boy is not such a baby anymore. He sleeps most of the time, and when he is not sleeping, he is barking furiously at the interloper, Angie. I look at his face, and I see a different dog. His snout looks longer and skinnier, his eyes are cloudy. His body is covered with old man lumps and his belly sags. The truth is, I never really thought of Rocco as aging, mostly because he has always been so enthusiastic and lively. Rocco is still pretty obnoxious when people come over, but, sometimes he doesn’t even get up off the couch for treats. He stays under his blanket for hours at a time. He is moody. He is crotchety. He still gives hugs, though, and that’s good enough for me.
I have been down this road with 2 dogs of my own and countless family dogs. Watching an animal decline is one of the hardest things in life, but, as hard as it is, I guess it’s part of the deal.
I have never said that I wouldn’t get another dog after losing one. I think it’s because having had dogs my whole life, I know that the 10-15 years we have with them make our lives better. The heartbreak is so strong because we love them so much. I couldn’t imagine not allowing myself to love another dog. Angie has proven to me how worth it loving another dog is, how opening my heart to another personality, another life is worth it. I knew it before, but, watching her grow and change has proven it again.
So, back to Rocco. I don’t think he is going anywhere soon, and I pray that he stays strong and healthy for a few more good years. No matter what, he will always be my baby, my Santorini stinker, my punk Rocco, my rubber dog. Long live the Greek God Roccobella 🙂

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