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Today, I bid farewell to a friend. His name was Rocky, affectionately referred to as, “Rocky Boyoh”, or simply, “My Best Boy.” I’ll miss him.

It may take days or weeks before I adjust to not having to listen for his footsteps at night. This little dog, who could go 10-12 hours during the day with no accidents, somehow could not go more than 3-4 hours at night without the need for relief. I was there for him.

Clicking his nails on the floor as he walked from the bedroom, he would stop at the corner of the hallway (like he was waiting for a cab), just before it turned into the living room and (hopefuly, I got there in time), I would pick him up and carry him to the back door, slide the door open, strip off his diaper and drop him into the cold night air on the patio. This was our routine for so many of the past months.

Before all of that, he was fairly happy, even after losing the one eye he had when we found him. In spite of his blindness, he was quite capable of negotiating corners and doorways, and always able to find his water bowl and a bowl of food. He was like a sturdy little tank, still capable of putting up a fight, if he disagreed with being man-handled.

Rocky came to us with his girlfriend, Savannah. He may have never recovered from the broken heart of losing her in 2008. We rescued the two of them in Marin County, California, to save ourselves from being without dogs. Greg Kihn (yes, that guy) used to have a radio show in the bay area where he profiled dogs in need of rescue and Margaret learned of Rocky and Savannah through that medium. She jumped on the website and saw pictures. Initially, she saw Savannah and sent me a link. Then, she saw Rocky and said; “forget about that last one, I want this one!” When we went to get him, he was tethered to Savannah on a split leash. Margaret loves to tell this story. All of this was in 2002, while I was working as a consultant to Yates Advertising, a company in San Francisco.

So, imagine having to sum up twelve years of your time with a dog. We’ve had many and we still have two. I’ve been through this five times now. Champagne, Beijing, Savannah, Lady, and now Rocky. It doesn’t get easier. There’s no way to avoid it. I still love having dogs. Rocky is gone.