The death of our beautiful dog Rosie

I used to think that people who got upset at the loss of a pet were too sensitive. Then we got Rosie. A beautiful Rhodesian Ridgeback. We trained her to be a companion service dog for my son, who has autism. Rosie was 9 and half years old when we had to put her to sleep last Tuesday. She was diagnosed with a form of cancer that is not treatable.

Rosie was one of the mildest even tempered dogs that I had ever trained. She would allow my son to be as rough as he wanted with no reaction. I know she knew he was special. The reason I know is because of her protectiveness toward him. She instantly knew who to let near him or who to encourage to walk away. She protected him. She guarded him. She played with him. She ate with him and she slept with him. The loss was great. And it was a lesson I wished my son did not have to go through.

We arrived at our vets and everyone knew the reason. A dog can not lose 35 pounds in 3 weeks and not be affected. She started out one month ago at 127 pounds and she passed away with dignity weighing 92. You never would have known she was sick to look at her. She looked beautiful. She still smiled when her name was called. She still responded when she saw someone she wanted to keep away from my son. Yet when you looked into her deep amber eyes you could see something was wrong. The sparkle was gone.

My son knew we were going to have to put her to sleep because the course of treatment was failing. So we arrived at 8 am and walked into the room. Cliff the assistant had already placed a crochet blanket on the floor for her to lie on. My son lay on the floor and called Rosie to him. She diligently lay down beside him and placed her head on his shoulder. She was given a sedative and she started to relax. She reached up and licked his face and then she was given the final injection. She looked into my sons eyes and licked him again and went quickly to sleep. My son stroked her the entire time telling her he loved her and that he would never for get her. We know that this was the right thing to do. It was her time. But it does not lessen the pain. God blessed us with a treasure in Rosie. And we graciously accepted her. I am thankful that we had her this long. I was later told that she had been very sick for over a year. You would think that with cancer it would be easy to tell when a dog is sick. Our vet reassured us that because she was a service dog that she was intent on protecting my son so she had a goal and it wasn’t until she couldn’t perform her duties that it could be seen that she was sick. Rosie was into the vet every six month for well check up. Mainly because she was worked so hard. When she passed she was surrounded by everyone who loved her. Not a vet or tech had a dry eye. She affected everyone she came into contact with because she was so good at what she did. She will be truly missed.

The death of our beautiful dog Rosie


Wylie, United States

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