The Story of Rosie

by Don Collar
(St. Clair, MI, USA)

My son, Chuck, brought Rosie home to us in the summer of 2000. I would guess her age at about 6 to 8 months. She was left abandoned in the back yard of a house that Chuck was putting a new roof on. Chuck loves animals and was always one to rescue them. At first, I was apprehensive, because she was a Pit Bull and I had heard all of the negative stereotypes about her breed. She was named Slow. Why that name, I will never know. She was anything but. We named her Rosie and I soon found out all I had to fear about her was falling totally in love with her. She totally wrapped herself around my heart and my wife, Sandi's.

We have had several dogs in our lives, but never have we been so attached. She was the most gentle and loving being we have ever known. She loved everybody and everything. She always welcomed people, as well as other animals, into our home. She loved children, I think sometimes more than adults.

Rosie had one defect, if you want to call it that. She was scared to death of thunderstorms. We tried everything we knew to try and help her with that. I think it came from being left in the back yard in as a puppy with no shelter and probably during storms. That just endeared her to us all the more.

My youngest son, Danny, used to take her to the park and let her run. Rosie could run like the wind. I have never seen a dog run so fast and she loved going to that park. She got to go there quite a bit. My cousin, Steve, and I used to walk her pretty often, and many times through the park.

Rosie grew up with my grandson, Andrew, and loved him dearly. She was very protective of him. When she would go to the park with Andrew, Sandi, and I, she would keep a very close eye on Andrew and not let him get far away. She actually liked to play on the slide with him. She would go up the stairs and then slide down on her own. I think she was a person in a dog's body.

Then there was the time she woke Sandi up in the middle of the night for what Sandi thought was to go outside. She didn't want out. She wanted a cookie from the cookie jar!

Rosie loved to sit on the porch. Many times I let her out the back door and would call her to come in a while later and when she didn't come, I wasn't worried because Rosie would never leave the yard. I would look out on the front porch, she would be sitting there just enjoying life.

Rosie loved for us to hold her front paw and just talk to her. From the time we first got Rosie, Sandi would tell her the story of how her Prince Charming (Chuck) rescued her and how she was a Princess. We really did treat her as a Princess. I'm sure there are people who would think it was silly how we would dote over her, but we got it all back and more from Rosie. She really helped us through many things and taught us much.

One example of something we learned from her came while on a vacation road trip. We just happened to notice how stressed she would become when we were in heavy traffic in a big city, when we were being negative (maybe a little cursing about the situation). It was really obvious! She would start panting and would be very restless. Once we realized that, we tried just saying things like "Isn't this a nice city!?" and she was very at ease. Imagine, being taught by a dog, how much our attitude influences those around us!

Rosie didn't do a lot of tricks like many dogs, but she sure did know how to communicate what she wanted. All she had to do was look at me and I would know if she wanted to go outside or on the porch or if she was hungry. Oh, she sure would let you know when she wanted to eat! She would wag her head in a very distinct way that she would only do when she wanted you to feed her. And of course, she was always ready for a ride in the car. It didn't matter if it was only a ride to the store, she wanted to go. Sandi and I would take her and Taco (our Chihuahua) for a ride just to make sure that they got to get away from the house for a while and have there "bye bye". That is how much we loved our Rosie.

I will forever miss having Rosie coming up between the front seats and laying her head on my shoulder and pressing her face hard against mine. She was so affectionate and loving.

Another very funny and peculiar thing was the way Rosie loved getting presents. Oh how she loved to open the presents at Christmas time! Sometimes it wasn't just hers that she opened. One year she went under the tree, got my daughter-in-law's presents, and opened them. She didn't do it just once, but twice! She didn't hurt anything, just removed the wrapping paper. And when Rosie got a new toy or bone, she took care of it. She still had the same bone that Sandi gave her not long after she came to us, as well as most of her squeaky toys.

Well, back in the winter of 2009/2010, Rosie's health started to deteriorate. It hurt terribly to see her getting old and having pain. We took her to the Vet many times and had her on different drugs to help her be more comfortable, but I knew the time was coming that we would have to end her pain, but I just hoped for a miracle, even though in the back of my mind, I knew our time with her was short.

That time came on August 2, 2010. It was maybe the worst day our lives. We said goodbye to our best friend, constant companion, our girl. Our love for Rosie is beyond words.

These few pages aren't nearly enough to tell the whole story of Rosie. No amount of writing can do that. You had to know Rosie to truly appreciate her, but I know that these words are enough to spark many warm memories. That is the reason for me writing this. The warm memories of her is what honors her and makes her live on.

As Rosie was being administered the drugs that would end her life, Sandi told her the story of how Prince Charming rescued her and how she was the Princess. Our hearts were shattered on that day. I know that, with time, we will heal, but for now, we both feel like we have lost a piece of ourselves. Rosie will forever live in our hearts.

Until we meet again,
Rest in Peace, my beautiful Rosie Girl.

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