"Oh, by the way I'm sorry about Roscoe, he was such a good dog."
As I sat in my bunk on week 2 of red phase reading those exact words from a girl, a girl from school that I wouldn't even consider a friend writing me a letter, oh so casually.
About 3 weeks after I shipped, my best friend passed away. I had this weird feeling when I left that morning, that something was going to happen. I hugged him for a few minutes, smiled and said "Bye Roscoe, see you in 6 months..."
I re read the letter probably 10 times, each time getting sicker and sicker. All of my battles were surrounding me asking me what was wrong. They were my support system and I am so blessed to have them in my life. I think being at basic made it SO hard for me to cope with his death. I kept telling myself he was still going to be at home when I walked through the doors, wagging his tail and barking, like always.
My parents didn't want me to know, they wanted me to focus on my training and not get distracted. I knew this killed them. I got a phone call on a Sunday- I remember it perfectly, I was sitting in the corner next to my battles, Juarez and Annon. I had my goofy eye pro on my face and I was talking to my family on Face time and at the very end right before I had to hangup I said, "by the way... and I choked up... I know about Roscoe..." My entire family started crying and telling me how sorry they were, that he was very sick and there was nothing they could do for him.
My mother told me a few weeks later on the phone that after I left he really started to go downhill, that he stayed in my room, wasn't going on walks, and was not eating. I always thought to myself that Roscoe told himself that he had to hold on, for us kids. But, he couldn't anymore... My mom sent me a Polaroid picture of my brother and Roscoe laying down 2 days before he passed away, and I kept that picture in my locker and said a little prayer every morning.
He really is my guardian angel.
My best friend who stole the cheeseburger that was behind me during obedience class, my best friend who traveled cross country to Hawaii and back... Hawaii was his favorite place, he would sunbath for hours outside. My best friend who we put on the trampoline in Arkansas and got in trouble for (so worth it), he use to climb up our tree house slide and go back down, all crazy like. My best friend who wore his mountaineer jersey with pride on game days. My best friend who layed with me in bed when I was sick, and didn't leave my side when I had my tonsils removed. My best friend who I shared all of my loli pops and ring pops with. My best friend who could live off of cheese and beggin strips. Roscoe should have gotten an award for being an amazing Army Brat, he's probably traveled more than other military kids combined. He was such a good traveler, always had his tongue out breathing heavily with his oh so great dog breath *haha* We even had a travel water bottle for him that we used to lay out in the mini van. he knew when we were packing up to leave on another trip, he'd start pacing and doing his goofy singing... Good times.
The death of a pet can be a truly traumatic experience and can have a large void in our hearts and lives. It's coming up on his year anniversary and It doesn't get easier. Every time I'm in the kitchen, I see his collar hanging up and I shed a little tear. Why can't he still be here? I will never get over myself for leaving. I just wish I could have said bye. I constantly beat myself up, what If I'm the reason why he passed away, what if he just couldn't handle another one of his kids leaving and me leaving just caused him to let go.
A lot of people will just say, "It's okay, he was just a dog." No, he wasn't "just a dog," he was more than that and until you get your Roscoe, you won't know that feeling.
I miss my sweet baby more and more everyday, as I'm sitting here writing this post I can't help but cry. He can never be replaced. If you knew Roscoe you knew he was the sweetest thing, you'd put your hand out and he'd instantly plop to the floor and roll over so you'd rub his belly.
How is the Rainbow Bridge treating you, Roscoe?
Until we meet again...