April 10, 2004 – January 28, 2015
Our Rolfie came into this world the night before Easter 2004. His mother gave birth to a litter of 9 and we surprised ourselves by agreeing to adopt one of her puppies. As we went to see them for the first time, we just knew that we were looking for a puppy called Rolf. When we found him (or maybe he found us), there was no doubt he was Rolf and he knew it! The name fit him and he answered to it immediately. He was a total alpha dog who aspired to be our pack leader or, at the very least, the second in command.
When we set eyes on him, he captured our hearts and wrapped us around his fuzzy little paw. At that moment, a newlywed couple became a family of 3.
Rolf was a russet colored golden, eventually grew to more than 100 pounds and was so handsome that folks would stop to admire him. From the beginning he was a guys’ dog … no hanging around with girls for him. His happiest times were spent under the desk and in the office with his master or on “guys only” walks where he engaged in his favorite pastime….sniffing. He earned the title, “Rolf the Relentless” because he never gave up. Whether it was a baby’s bootie (so very gently removed from a foot without the baby realizing it), the stuffed animal on the counter at the vet’s office or a treat, Rolf always figured out how to get what he wanted.
He was a great traveler having mastered the art of weathering I-70 closings on the plains and his favorite lullaby was “Sugar Pie Puppy Dog” (Rolf’s version of the Four Tops/Motown classic). Rolfie was always busy (even while he slept, he howled at the coyotes) and he dutifully kept watch on his family and the neighbors from his window seat and the back steps. For his kid, Rolfie was a loving companion and guardian who waited by the door for her return and greeted her with lots of good waggle. He was always ready to help or join in a group hug but what Rolf treasured most was the time he spent with his beloved master at the end of each day.
By association, Rolfie was a true Packers fan sitting in front of the television for 11 seasons. He loved cool weather and Christmas when new toys magically appeared under the tree (and were torn apart in the backyard). Somewhere along the way, he acquired the nicknames Nookums (aka The Nook) and Cupcake and bore them with his usual confidence and good nature.
At the age of 10 years and 10 months, bone cancer took our Rolfie from us. He spent his last hours in the sunshine with lots of belly rubs, waggling and totally engaged in everything around him. He faced whatever lies beyond with bravery, surrounded by love and with his “Rolfness” firmly intact.
Rolf’s legacy of pure joy and unconditional love and his lessons of courage and perseverance will be with us always.
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and there is a heart shaped sign (just as there has been for many years) on a lamp post in Loveland, Colorado. It says, “Everyone Loves Rolfie!”
They did; we do and always will love our Rolfie.