Oakridge Wild Rose aka “Rosie”
June 25, 1995-March 15, 2009
It’s hard to sum up 13 years in a few short paragraphs. I started showing Labradors in 1994. I purchased Rosie from a reputable breeder in Oregon, who was selling her to downsize her breeding operation. I was very excited to get Rosie, as she had lovely bloodlines and was a beautiful representation of her breed. I couldn’t wait to start showing her. That dream was shattered when I picked her up at the airport. She belly crawled out of her airline crate and tried desperately to get away from me. She was terrified. I didn’t worry too much at that time. I thought the plane ride and being around strangers was very traumatic and being a Labrador, she would get over it quickly. She didn’t. It took me two weeks to get her to let me close to her. And I was the only human that could. I started looking more into her history. I found out “through the grape vine” that she had been traumatized as a puppy. Long story short, she was kept in a kennel from 7 weeks of age until the day I bought her. She was never let out to play, and all she knew was her kennel mate. I believe she was traumatized by a man, because for her whole life, she didn’t trust men. Friends in the Labrador world encouraged me to send her back, because she would never amount to anything. But I had already fallen in love with her and couldn’t justify sending her back into the situation that created such a fearful little dog. I was determined to bring her out of her shell. That turned out be a lot longer project than I expected. I did bring her out of her shell to a point, but she never got over her fear of men and strangers in general.
But I was lucky enough to know the real Rosie. Rosie was a clown. She’d do anything for a laugh. She loved to roll over on her back and wiggle back and forth. She loved swimming and hunting game birds. (as long as there weren’t strange men hanging around!) But her favorite thing in the whole world was snow. She would go outside and ‘plow’ with her face. She could somehow toss the snow up in the air and catch it in her mouth. And then there were her ‘doggie angels’. She would lie on her back and do her cute wiggle, which would turn out like a snow angel. If there was snow, you could find lots of doggie angels in the back yard. Even as she aged, up until the last snow in February, she managed to get a few in.
As she got older we called her the queen of the couch. She was a happy dog with her family and a very few friends that she trusted. I only wish I had gotten her before the trauma hit. She was always very fearful. That broke my heart. So we adjusted to her needs and just let her be who she was.
Then the inevitable hit. She was much slower, and was starting to have more bad days than good. I knew a decision would have to be made soon. But each time she would bounce back and be her happy self again. Until March 14, I came home to let her inside and she didn’t greet me. I had to carry her into the house and I could tell something terrible had happened. I called Kathy, sobbing, and explained the situation to her. She kindly stayed on the phone with me for an hour that night. We decided to see how she did over night. By morning it was obvious the time had come. I called Kathy back to have her come over. I explained Rosie’s fears of new people and she understood completely. We moved Rosie outside into her grass where she loved to lay. Kathy came and Rosie tensed for only a second and immediately was comfortable with Kathy there. That’s a miracle in itself.
I couldn’t bear the thought of taking Rosie to a vet hospital to be put down, and have her last moments of her life be in terror. Kathy was so gentle and respectful. Rosie left us in the most peaceful way. She was treated with dignity through everything. Even after she was gone, Kathy was gentle and kind to her. What a godsend! Kathy I can’t thank you enough for the service you provide. You are an angel.
Rosie – You were my little Rosebud. You gave so much and expected so little. You are in my heart forever. I cherish the fact that I have a part of you in your daughter Rodeo. She misses you. She looks for you. We will miss you everyday until we see you and Ruger waiting for us by the waterfall with purple flowers.
Kelli, Robert, and Rodeo Revoir