Rolo

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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.

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Enter Rolo.

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.

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Roly’s ride home with us after his adoption – 11/2007

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.

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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.

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One of our good friends says that Rolo’s eyes hold the secrets of the universe. I think she’s right.

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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.

Never Enough

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Yesterday’s school shooting in Florida shook me hard. My wife and my daughter both spend their days in schools while I sit on an upper floor of a secure professional building with restricted key card access and a panic button at reception. I don’t know how to make peace with that. I don’t know how to turn off the pictures of gunfire and their faces that flash inside my head sometimes. Zoloft is an incredible drug for anxiety, but my fears are rational and even Zoloft can’t create a false reality.

I wish I had the answers. The US is on a downward spiral, and it will continue until everyone can come together and say enough with the violence—enough with the death—enough with the guns. Sadly, I think it’s more likely that in the next 10 years our schools will have airport-level security and armed guards. I see a future of bulletproof classrooms, and a “president” who boasts on Twitter that the need for such measures will provide jobs and boost our economy, so yay, guns!

I’m tired of being at the mercy of these suits who are only capable of considering the best interests of 1% of the population.

I am tired of watching as our media exploits these tragedies for their own gain.

I’m tired of hearing the names of these mass murderers spoken over and over again until they are burned into our brains, while the names of their innocent victims are forgotten within weeks.

I’m tired of my country and its politics.

I’m just fucking tired.

Do better, America. Please. We need to do better.

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