Oct 10, 2013 Always in our hearts – Everything Rosie
February 14, 2010 – October 10, 2013
I’ve been trying to write this for days. Aside from the fact that I am unable to deal with Rosie’s passing there is also the issue that the posts on this page – the stories of Rosie’s life – were written with her in my lap or snuggled next to me. Sometimes I would re-read the posts, look at her and ask “…did I write that?” and she would affix her serene blue-eyed gaze on me as if to say “…WE wrote that…” Now she’s gone. My words are not inspired by her tiny little toes, or her huge paper thin ears, or the little satisfied noises she makes as she snuggles on my shoulder.
However, her FB family deserves to know what happened and to know at least as much as I know about why it happened. Finding the words without her to guide me is hard and I apologize if I ramble.
October 3 or 4, Rosie developed a bit of a cough and even though she was eating soft-boiled eggs and goats milk for breakfast along with her other favorite foods, she was not regaining the weight she’d lost before her salivary gland was removed. Up until Wednesday, October 9, I wasn’t worried, her recovery was great, not even a scar and she was active. Still, I made an appointment for her with Dr. Lupo for the following day. By the time we awoke on Thursday morning, her coughing was more frequent, she had no appetite, she looked dehydrated, and she was chilly.
When Dr. Lupo examined her, he thought pneumonia was a possibility but the bigger concern was how rapidly she was deteriorating. He gave me sub q fluids and antibiotics to take home and I left with the sick feeling this could be it for her. I put a heating pad in her stroller under one of her blankets, wrapped two more blankets around her, zipped it up, and then draped more blankets over the stroller to keep her warm and draft free. I gave her fluids and her medications. Rosie was tiny but she was stubborn and she made it very clear, weak as she was, she wanted to be on my lap and not in a stroller next to me. I could not deny her and put the heating pad on my lap to keep her warm.
Around 9:20 p.m. Thursday October 10, Rosie pushed herself up on those bent little legs to reach my shoulder. She pushed her face to mine, I held her close for a few minutes, and then she was gone. I managed to reach Eddie in India, and then reached out to her extended family. I never let go of her. At dawn, I dressed her in the little frog pajamas with her name on the back because she looked like she was sleeping. I wrapped her in her pink blanket with the kitten embroidery and then in her purple blanket that had the words “Loved and Cherished” on the hem.
Anna organized folks to meet us at Los Angeles Pet Cemetery when they opened at 8:30. I think some of you have seen the video Michelle took (I still haven’t been able to watch it) so you know Rosie and I were surrounded by love. I didn’t want to leave her with strangers – we stayed until she was ready to come home.
I spoke with Dr. Lupo on Friday evening and asked him if I had missed something or could have done something differently. He said no. In a nutshell, no amount of love, medical skill, or money could stop the ticking time bomb of her genetics. Rosie had gone as far as her little body could go and she switched off. Her xrays showed that her bones were becoming porous and it would have been impossible to reverse that. In a very short while, they would have been breaking and causing her pain. My Grandmother had osteoporosis and her little body had collapsed in on itself by the time she passed. I am haunted by those images of her and the idea that my Rosie was heading there was a knife in my already shredded heart. I suppose one could say her passing was well timed…
Without Rosie, I am lost. I’ve been sucked into a black hole a galaxy wide…it is nothing I have ever felt before. It isn’t that I haven’t experienced loss, or that I haven’t loved deeply before. I do special needs and senior rescue and loss is a huge part of that work. I’ve lost beloved family members and friends. And, I’ve worked in the funeral business.
Rosie and I shared something that is impossible to explain. I enjoyed being with her – rubbing her feet, massaging her curved back and stretching her little legs, inspecting her for new fur growth, or just staring at her in awe of that amazing spirit. She was – for lack of better description – a tiny person. I preferred to spend time focused on her rather than on FB. In hindsight, I wish I had posted more because I am frightened I will forget things like how much she loved flowers…she poked her little nose into them and inhaled. If there was no fragrance, she was disappointed. How squirrels puzzled her… she didn’t know what they were or how to react to them. Falling leaves scared her. She loved the beach but disliked the sand, could watch an albatross or pelican for hours but had no interest in a crow. And her face, that marvelous face, when she first saw a squeaky toy. Loving her, I was the happiest I’d ever been. I know it’s an experience I’ll never have again.
I took her out as much as possible because I couldn’t bear to leave her alone and I wanted to make up for the years she spent huddled under a piece of furniture on a filthy floor in the dark. I dressed her because she needed protection and as long as she needed the protection, she might as well be beautifully clothed. Moreover, she loved the attention she got. Most of the time though, she was snuggled against Eddie, curled up in my lap, pressed against my side or asleep with her nose in my ear – how I miss hearing her breathe (I even miss the drool spot on my shoulder every morning). I miss waking up and asking her what we should do that day, or seeing her excitement when she thought we might be going for a car ride. I would give anything to see her walk across the bed to me or to open my eyes to see hers staring into mine. I would trade ten years of my life for one more good year with her.
Today I took Rosie to all of our favorite spots, the places we’d go to just sit and enjoy each other’s company. I took photos of her little urn and of her tiny foot print plaque to share with her FB family. It’s at Point Dume beach where we sat when I took her to the beach for the very first time.
I never lose keys, yet today I lost my car keys at the beach. Or maybe I became so overcome with anger at Wendy the hoarder for what she did to Rosie and those dogs that I couldn’t find them. My head was pounding and I started crying as I mulled over all of the things Rosie will never get to do because she ran out of time. Along with the anger, I felt fear – terror really – because with Rosie in my arms or in my lap, I was empowered to tell her story, to ask for help for animals like her, to help special needs and senior dogs find homes and to educate people about hoarding/backyard breeding. I sat in the sand wondering how to keep doing the work without Rosie to anchor me. I realized I have to try. I stood up thinking I’d better figure out how to contact AAA and there were my keys next to Rosie’s blanket.
Before I get cold feet, I need to get the ball rolling. I need to finalize the plan for a public memorial service. Los Angeles Pet Cemetery has offered us their beautiful grounds if we want to join them for their blessing of the animals later this month and that is an option.
Second, let’s pick a date/time for a worldwide memorial. Imagine people gathering in parks, uniting to remember Rosie and to tell the world that animals like her matter to us! This community spans all time zones – we could really send a message!!! Perhaps since Trixie, Tiny Tim and Biggie were also born out of greed we could include them in the memorial. Are there any folks out there who would like to help with this? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I won’t lie – I am shattered. I am terrified. I am still crying, still reaching for her, still thinking of ways to entertain her but most of all missing her with all my heart. I live in Rosieland but there is no Rosie here anymore. I adored everything about her and I do not regret a minute of our time together but if this world was fair, if we had better laws to protect the defenseless, Rosie would not have been born to die before she had a chance to really experience life and love.
Eddie and I are immensely grateful to everyone for the love and support given to Rosie. Neither of us dreamed this post would be written so soon after she was rescued. We could not have done anything for her without your help. We truly hope that for the sake of our beautiful Rosie, the girl who stole hearts, you will help keep Rosie’s memory alive. We can really do something wonderful if we work together. Please don’t let Rosie’s story end here.
Peace and much love to you all,