Ten years ago, Catch and I moved into a tiny little triplex apartment with Twix. Twix was about a year old at the time, and she was used to living with our former roommate’s sweet boxer. They were buddies.
The first week after we moved in, we got an anonymous note from a neighbor informing us that our dog was barking all day while we were gone and we needed to do something about it ASAP. Our immediate neighbor was struggling to adjust to life in LA, and one day while she was outside crying on her back porch, she heard Twix crying too. She started talking to Twix and Twix ended up digging a hole under the fence to get to her. That was when we knew for sure that Twix was lonely.
We contacted the local basset hound rescue. Our application was approved, our home visit was conducted, and the next thing we knew, we were on our way to meet “Luke,” a two year old basset who was being housed in a kennel in a vet office.
I don’t think we could have left him there if we tried. Luke came home with us that day, and almost immediately, he was Rolo.
Rolo came to us with fur stained yellow from his own urine. He had staples lining his belly from a botched neuter surgery. He was a mess, but he was such a love.
The first week we had him, he ate the couch. Then he taught Twix that the trash was actually a delicious hound buffet. If there was trouble to be found those first few weeks, he found it. He taught Twix how to howl and the two of them performed a daily duet while we were gone. We wondered whether we made the wrong decision.
By week 3, Rolo had settled in to his new life, and we knew we could never let him go.
This dog… he’s just a big love.
One of our good friends says that Rolo’s eyes hold the secrets of the universe. I think she’s right.
Yesterday afternoon, we said goodbye to our sweet boy. I feel like I’m broken now. This is not the first time I’ve said goodbye to a beloved pet, but it was different this time. It was different with this dog… our Roly.
Last night, we clung to each other sobbing and begging to just have our boy back. We need him. We don’t feel whole without him. How can we have a Twix and not have a Rolo? They are a pair.
I am gutted. This loss is a physical pain. When I woke up this morning, all I wanted was to go back to sleep because it doesn’t hurt when I’m asleep. I keep trying to tell myself that the pain is love. It’s all just love. The pain means that we loved that little dog as much as we are humanly capable of loving.
We have no choice but to continue walking forward into this new normal. We told Charlotte that Roly died. That he isn’t coming home and he’s in our hearts, now. She immediately changed the subject and resumed playing with her chopsticks. I wish it could be that easy for us.