This week I am sad to report that we lost our dog, Rosie. Rosita Conchita Lopez-Lopez (her proper full name) literally disappeared into thin air. I saw her walking around the yard at noon on Sunday, then she was simply not there anymore. We searched all over the farm for several days, looked under every imaginable surface, down every gully, and nothing. It is now has been almost a week and there is nowhere else to look, nothing else to do but accept she is gone.
I miss her terribly, so much that I couldn’t really talk about it for days. She had grown old and couldn’t see or hear very well, but she was still her sweet self, trying to hang out with the cats who long ago learned she was a paper tiger. She still made me smile every time I saw her, each time she galloped off like she was going somewhere, but really wasn’t.
She came into our lives purely by chance. We were asked to foster a dog back in 2008 when people lost their homes in the financial crisis and the animal shelters were overflowing with pets. At random she was dropped off at our house in Berkeley, and instantly the whole neighborhood fell in love with her. Neighbors would come and get her from the yard to walk her, resulting in several walks an afternoon by unassociated groups without us knowing. When we moved into San Francisco, she again became a community icon sitting on the second-floor porch quietly watching the world go by, eating dog treats neighbors tossed up to her. We literally became known in the area as Rosie’s owners, the ones with the cute, sweet dog who sat on the porch.
But the farm was really the home she always wanted. If there was a being that loved Iowa even more than John, it was Rosie (as John wrote about years ago). She was her own dog here, doing what she wanted, walking herself up the dirt road to visit her boyfriend Rex or trotting off to chase frogs in the pond as we worked nearby. One summer she spent so much time in the muddy water of the pond that no human would get within 6 feet of her, her coat so permanently smelly and caked with mud. But she was happy as a clam.
She lived a peaceful and quiet life, John said of her yesterday, and that is how I will think of her end too. I may have wanted to comfort her in her final moments in my human way, to bring her inside the Tiny House and cover her with a blanket, but that is not what she would have wanted. I will envision her walking herself off into the sunset peacefully to leave us, independent and hardheaded to the end. I hope there were frogs for her there to lull her mind to rest, and a cool breeze to comfort her in her thick coat as she departed this farm she loved.
As I’ve told friends and family about Rosie over the course of the last week, the outpouring of love has been phenomenal. Many of you have sent to me photos of her (like the one of Lindsey above), as if she was your own dog. It feels like a network of loving aunts and uncles and neighbors who need now to process her passing in your own way. I am so appreciative she touched so many lives, that her sweetness was known by so many.
She will be sorely missed.