Normally, the copy in this space is devoted to you, readers. But this week, it's all about me.
That's because I am not capable at this moment of thinking about anything other than our family dog, Rosie. A few hours ago, we had to put Rosie down. She was just four months shy of her 17th birthday. She was a part of our family since Rosie, a stray, and I found each other when she was puppy.
Rosie was a mix between an English springer spaniel and a poodle. I guess that made her a springapoo.
I still remember the day Rosie and I met at the animal shelter in the Quad Cities in September 1996. For seven consecutive Friday afternoons, I had stopped in at the animal shelter in East Moline on my way home from work.
On that day, I walked in, and the attendant at the counter said, "I think we found the right dog for you, Mr. Jagler."
I knew the drill. We walked into the back room, and the woman released a dog from one of the cages. The puppy scampered over to me on the slippery cement floor, rolled over on her back and looked up at me with her tail wagging.
"How can you not take this one home?" the attendant said.
The next day, we picked up the dog, and she promptly curled up and fell asleep between our two young sons in the middle seat of my late father's minivan. We named her Rosie, as in Springsteen's Rosalita of musical fame.
In those early years, Rosie was my shadow. She never needed a leash or a tether. She never left my side. I'd ask her if she wanted to "romp and snoop" in the backyard, and she'd make a beeline for the back door.
Rosie began having periodic epileptic seizures and became quite territorial. This is quite common among springers. She did not respond well to strangers, and our close friends often found that amusing.
But Rosie mellowed with age and developed an absolute obsession for my wife, Kristi. In turn, my wife developed quite a fondness for "schnoodling with a poodle" on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I often joked that if Rosie was a comi…Read more...