Saying goodbye to a friend...by Dr. Richard Janis on 07/25/18
He was more than a friend. He was a member of our family. We got Rocky as a gift for my son twelve years ago. Last month we found out he had an aggressive cancer that could not be treated. The vet told us something I never knew: Dogs hide their pain for several reasons but one may be that they want to please you.Then sometimes you don't find out about things until it is too late.
I don’t think I have ever met a more gentle, kind being. He taught me that you can never have too many friends. He was always making friends. People of all ages, especially little kids, would always come up to him in the park, sensing his kind, gentle nature. People often would ask me how I relax, how I would de-stress. I would say that having a dog like Rocky was part of that. He gave unconditional love and loyalty, always had a sweet, sunny, disposition, always happy to see you, always wanting you to be happy. Nothing could bring him down. He could make the grumpiest person smile. It was just part of his nature.
Rocky hated conflict. He would get upset when he would see it. His nature was to fight against it. Are all golden retrievers like that? I don’t know but that was a very appealing part of Rocky’s personality. He had a calming influence on everyone. We had a lot of great times and great family trips. He loved to hike and we did so many over the years. He was very social and just loved being around people and other dogs as well. Parties made him happy. He would bark continuously if there was a party going on in the house and he was not allowed to be part of it.
The diagnosis was devastating for my family, especially since he only lasted for a few days afterwards. It was heartbreaking to see him go but he was suffering greatly. Having to put him down was honestly one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I was there with him until the very end and it was very difficult for myself and my family.
We gave him love and a good life but he gave us so much more. So many things were easier because of him, even dealing with the death of my parents. The way I feel about Rocky is that if everyone had a friend like him, the world would be a much better place. I saw a quote but don’t know who it is attributed to: “The cruelest trick on mankind is the lifespan of a dog.” I can definitely agree with that. I have had a lot of pets in my lifetime but don’t think I have ever missed one as much as I miss Rocky.