In her typical inimitable form, Rosalita aka Rosie Cole, grumped her way off the mortal coil this morning at 11:15 am. She passed pleasantly under the care of the most wonderful vet staff in America. We first gave her a sedative to relax her and Rosie felt no pain for the first time in a long while. I realized then that it was the first time I had seen her truly relaxed and comfortable for months. I pet her and talked to her, rubbed her ears, and just let her be peaceful for a while. When we finally euthanized her after she was comfortable, her death was near instantaneous. From the time Dr. Stone pulled back and aspirated the needle, drawing a little bloom of blood into the poison, and then injecting the medicine, it took 3-4 seconds for her to pass. I had my hand on her and felt her sigh and she was gone.
As with everything involving Rosie, the decision to put her down was difficult. Truth be told, I probably should have done it a month agao, but I am of the belief if there are still good days to be had, you owe it to them. Unfortunately, we had reached the point where there just were not any good days left. She was almost if not completely blind, had a very difficult time walking, and was confused and getting stuck everywhere- behind the toilet, in the railings on the banister, in between the deck steps, in the wires under the computer desk, etc. This weekend, when she had a lot of difficulty getting up, I decided it was time.
It was a hard decision because Rosie never really liked me, and although I loved her, I didn’t like her that much a lot of the time. So my mind played tricks on me- if I put her down to early, was I doing it for me because she was a difficult dog? Would I put Lily down that early? And because of this doubt, I probably let her suffer more than I should have. It’s such a difficult decision.
But enough about the grim stuff, let’s remember the good things. As you may remember, Rosie joined the household over a decade ago as I was driving through the country and saw this white thing in the middle of the road running around in circles. I got close, stopped the Subaru, got out to inspect her (by now I knew it was a dog), and I chased her around the car and she jumped in the driver’s seat and said “Let’s go!” And so we did.
She had clearly been abandoned as she had no caller and this was a dumping zone, but I still made pictures of her and posted them everywhere for a ten mile radius, and stopped at every farm house in that zone, asking if anyone was missing a dog, and was told at almost every house “No, but congratulations on your new dog.”
Rosie had clearly been abused, ate while lying down because she had been crated so much of her life, was not leash trained, and had probably been kicked a lot based on the fact that she bit my foot every time I walked by her for the first couple of years. For the first year, my friends all tried to talk me into putting her down because she was vicious, and one friend named her Snarls Barkley and it stuck.
I disagreed with everyone, and didn’t think she was mean or vicious, she was just angry and needed space and to not be fucked with. She was never a problem with Lily or Tunch, and she and Thurston became good play buddies and she became downright BFF with Steve- they would share beds and cuddles for hours until one of them realized what they were doing and would fuck off in shame.
Over time, she calmed down a little, although she was eventually banned from the bed because she bit my feet every time I moved, and she became a pretty good dog. She liked to play, loved her treats and her food, and was adorable when she got the zooms. She became a good part of the pack.
I can say without hesitation that she never really liked me, and on her best days I could expect her to tolerate me pretty well. She was not a lapdog, didn’t want my cuddles, would ocassionally suffer the indignity of me petting her, and we became pretty functional roommates with clear boundaries.
On the other hand, she did have her people that she ABSOLUTELY adored. She just loved my dad to pieces, becoming putty any time he came around.
She adored Gerald, and would race to him any time he came over and just be on him like ugly on an ape the entire time he was here. She really liked Devon, although at first Devon had to talk in a deep voice to her because if she used her normal voice Rosie got really angry. Over time, though, Rosie started to love her, too.
And then there was Tammy. Rosie just loved Tammy. Would spend an entire weekend following her around the house, wagging her tail. It simultaneously made me infuriated with jealousy and thrilled that she was capable of love. I guess Tammy just has a way with difficult people, which could explain our relationship.
I gave Rosie a nice bath this morning, in part to get her clean, in part because it is the only time she submits to me and I can touch her and talk to her without her just leaving me. Rosie was a SUPER SMART dog, and on bath days if I did not do her first, I would not see her for three days. But once I got her into the sink, she basically submitted as if to say “Alright you fucker, you got me, let’s get this over with.” So we had a nice talk, I dried her off and gave her some treats, and we went to the vet.
I will always have a place in my heart for her, and I love that she had such a strong personality that superceded her instincts as a Jack Russell Terrier. I would never have chosen her to be my pet, but the universe decides the animal you need is not always the animal you want.
Rest well, old friend. We did our best.
I’m so sorry. RIP, Rosie.
Dorothy A. Winsor
Oh no! I’m so sorry
Very sorry John. It’s always so hard to lose family.
Brendan in NC
Damn. Sorry to hear that John. RIP Rosie.
I’m so sorry John. I remember the day you found her. You gave her the best life, even if she repaid you with a surly attitude. Letting them go just sucks no matter how you look at it.
I am so sorry for your loss, John. You gave Rosie a wonderful life .
As Dr. Seuss said : “Don’t cry because its over, smile because it happened”.
The death of any canine companion, however quirky, is cosmically sad. They are better beings than most humans. We remember all of ours years later.
Thinking of all the pets I’ve had and lost over the years; even the difficult ones become such a part of your life. I’m so sorry, John.
I’m so sorry, John.
Lovely tribute, JC.
Thank you all. I’ve only been home for a half hour but I’ve checked twice to see if she is stuck somewhere.
I’m so sorry. It’s hard to let them go even when you know it’s time.
Emma from Miami
So I’m having a hard day, and then this happens. Dammit. I’m so sorry, John.
Excuse me. I need to go bawl my eyes out in private.
I’ve definitely been there, John–with a sweet, dopey cat whose chronic intestinal problems led to inappropriate peeing and pooping all over the house. Eventually it came to a point where he couldn’t defecate at all, and the best options were so radical that they’d probably have led to more suffering–and this cat was also just an endless hit to our quality of life. But because of the latter, I kept kicking myself because I was worried I was putting him down just because he was inconvenient.
What a beautiful story about Rosie. I’m sorry for your loss. Rosie had a good life with you, and though she may not have been fond of you, you gave her security and love and space. You’re a good man, John.
It sucks when the right decision is the painful one. RIP Rosie.
Aw man….so sorry to hear this.
I’m so sorry, John.
So sorry John. Rosie chose wisely that day you saw her.
Dammit, I’m so sorry. The blog will not be the same without her.
RIP Rosie, so sad to see her go but it was clearly time. What a sweet remembrance you wrote.
This was a lovely tribute.
We lost a dog to brain cancer and the descent was very swift: I went out the day after the diagnosis to buy a ramp so he could still get into the van to go for walks in the woods, and he lost the ability to walk within the next 24 hours. The part about realizing there are not good days left really resonated for me.
Never easy. Remember the good times.
You lost a family member today. Perhaps a grumpy, stubborn and standoffish member of the family, but family nonetheless. Take time to grieve. You sent a friend home from the battlefield of life, and you have nothing to be ashamed of in giving Rosie a hell of a good life.
Also, one of my first memories of Balloon Juice was a post about you visiting your friend at the shelter and being informed by Lily that she was your dog.
Oh damn. What a great dog.
The joy she gave to you and others was a blessing.
Oh John, I’m so sorry to hear this. When I visited you a couple years ago, I found Rosie to be a sweet girl who was very friendly. It is so lovely that you let her leave the world in such a loving way. I’m in tears and send you and the rest of the pack my deepest sympathy and love. Poor Thurston especially!
Sorry to hear that. Losing them is tough.
I’m so sorry John. RIP Rosie
Damn, so sorry to hear Rosie is gone. Y’all had a good run though, and thanks to your compassion and kindness, she was well cared for and loved in a fashion she could tolerate.
Sorry for you loss John.
I remember when you first got Rosie!
Man, that’s tough. Always feels unexpected even when expected. Sorry for your loss. Still, a good run for a good girl.
I’ve never heard that. Perfect.
What rp and everyone else said.
You did indeed. Saving her, making her a part of your family, helping her in this final transition, and keeping her in your thoughts going forward.
I am so sorry. May her memory be a blessing. I am sure it will be.
Lord Fartdaddy (Formerly, Mumphrey, Smedley Darlington Mingobat, et al.)
I’m so sorry. I wish there were more I could say, but there just isn’t. There never is anything you can say. I’m sorry. And now I’m going to snuggle with Smedley Darlington Mingobat a little.
I’m so sorry. RIP Rosie.
Aw man I’m so sorry.
I’m very sorry. Ave atque vale, Rosie.
You’re a good man, Cole, and a very good dog person.
So sorry, Cole ?
You gave her a good home and life..
She didn’t have to like you, cause she loved you too ?
RIP, Rosie ????
You gave her her best life, John.
Another JCole lesson in how exactly it looks to be a good human.
Thanks, and RIP, Rosie.
I am so sorry. May she RIP. I still haven’t gotten over losing my beloved one and only boss cat.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
Beautifully written, John. I feel like I’ve been at one of those memorial services where everyone is telling fond stories and laughing through the tears. Those are treasured moments.
Be in peace, Rosie. I’m so glad your suffering is over.❤️
Like most everyone, no doubt, saw the news and instantly started repeating “Oh, no, oh no, oh no…” out loud.
Also, no doubt, like most everyone, had big tears in my eyes after reading John’s wonderful account.
Thank you for taking care of Rosie so well, John. You did the right thing over and over, even to the end.
I’m so sorry. I remember reading your post the day you found her. And I remember the posts where you thought maybe she wasn’t going to work out. But you stuck by her.
Seriously, John, she was the luckiest goddamn dog in the world, the day you drove her way. You have the gift for meeting your animals where they are, and not expecting them to be other than who they are. And so an obviously very traumatized throwaway got years of security, and friends and people who loved her, who all accepted her as she was. Lucky, lucky girl.
hells littlest angel
Sounds like she had a good life and a great companion. Condolences.
And thank you for being such a profoundly decent human being.
John, my sympathies on losing Rosie. I always enjoyed your stories about her. I had a very bad Jack Russell named Nathan Jr. for 16 years. He ruined all my furniture, was neurotic and badly behaved the entire time. BUT….he was hilarious, had more personality than any dog I’ve ever had, and my kids loved him to pieces. When he went to the Rainbow Bridge, I had the same thoughts as you…did I let him go too soon because he was so difficult? Looking back, I am confident I didn’t. He was sick and old, and I actually probably waited longer than I should have. I’d like to think that Rosie and Nathan Jr. are gamboling together at the Bridge right about now!
So very sorry about the loss of your friend. It’s never easy, even when it’s a kindness.
RandomMrs and I are anticipating having to do the same for our sweet girl soon, who’s rapidly approaching Rosie’s condition in which she’s mostly blind, often confused, and needs to be carried up and down the stairs.
I am so sorry, John. RIP, Rosie. Condolences to all who loved her.
Sorry, man. It’s always hard, but you gave her her best life.
I’ve been reading this site for 13+ years now and this is the first comment I’ve ever made. I’m so sorry to hear about Rosie, I remember those posts about you finding her all those years ago. I’m in tears because it makes me think of my own experience having to put a beloved dog to sleep a few years ago, and I’d never wish having to do that one anyone.
I’m so glad you were able to give her a good home.
I’ve loved following Rosie’s adventure with you, John. RIP to a good, most of the time, dog, and good on you for taking her in.
My heart aches for you John Cole – I do not know you but I know you have a big heart because of the love you show for dogs especially and all animals in general. The pet loving community that lives on this blog will give you comfort, this I know. Nothing I can say can ease your pain. Just know that Rosie’s luckiest day was when John Cole stopped his car and open the door, his heart and home to Rosie. Both creatures were better off in life at that point in time. Roy Greene aka Rattle Mullet
Just One More Canuck
I’m so sorry to hear this, John. RIP Rosie
I had a neurotic ankle biter for many years, though he did love me. THank you for loving ROsie and caring for her and giving her the life that no one else would have provided. SHe was a lucky doggie.
De-lurking and fighting back the tears to say RIP Rosie. My condolences to all who loved her
This is a beautiful obituary. I really value a love that embraces faults in the beloved.
As I get older, a good death seems like a true gift. You gave Rosie the gift of a stable and loving home, lots of human and critter friends and took good care of her to give her a comfortable passing. Good on you, John, and sorry for your loss.
So sorry for your loss. But take comfort that Rosie had a great life with you. You have a big heart John Cole.
You, sir, are a mensch! My thoughts are with you and Rosie today. You are a cantankerous bringer of joy.
Though not the appropriate place, I have been away from the site for awhile for a variety of reasons. Just quickly….Emma recently had her last Chemo, and after two years, the port was removed from her chest. She also had both shoulder joints replaced this Spring. This is the first week in two years that she has no treatment or procedures. So many of you offered kind words when it happened two years ago, a thanks to you all.
John: you gave Rosie a great home and give all of us a great place to get away from whatever is driving us crazy in our lives. Peace and light to you.
Rosie knew love and kindness after having no love or kindness. You made sure she had no pain or fear. That’s not nothing. Condolences on the loss of your wee boon companion.
Sorry to hear about Rosie. Thanks for the nice write-up.
I’m so sorry for your loss. Now I’m thinking of the pets I’ve lost. I’m holding my remaining little girl kitty close. I guess it proves we still feel and can hurt and can love, so that is something to be grateful for.
The symptoms you described about Rosie’s final few days could identically describe the last few days of our almost 19yo Italian Greyhound – almost blind, increasing difficulty walking and then finally even standing, obvious doggie dementia (our IG got lost in bathroom corners too), her appetite progressively declined until she more or less completely quit eating and drinking anything the final two days, even if we held the food or water immediately in front of her face.
One saving grace was that throughout her life, we speculated that if Florence could have chosen her final meal, it would be flounder – and it just so happened that three days before she passed, I brought her home some flounder from a seafood restaurant I ate out at, last thing she eagerly ate before she quit eating altogether a day or so later.
You’re a good person, John Cole, and Rosie was a good dog.
I’m so sorry. That’s such a sweet picture of Rosie with your Dad.
So sorry. Lets us know how Steve and the dogs are taking it.
Paul in KY
Delurking to give you my deepest condolences, John. Read many stories about her that would make me laugh out loud. You did the right thing & were a true guardian to her.
A Good Woman
My condolences John.
@Junker359: Welcome, Junker, even on this sad day.
I’m sorry to hear about Rosie. She had a nice life with you and your family. Even when you know it’s the right thing to do, it’s still very difficult.
Oh, John. I’m so sorry. RIP Rosie.
You gave her an amazing life, space and safety to be who she was, and companions who brightened her days. (Your Dad must be some version of catnip for Jack Russells!)
I’ll miss the stories about “What Cole Did to Piss Off Rosie This Time,” and cherish the ones you shared with us.
I hope you cherish those memories, too.
@eric: Happy for your good news, even on this sad day. Welcome back.
Aw man, I’m so very sorry, John. I’ve always loved Rosie, and her cantankerous personality, from afar. She was a character and your posts about her always brought a smile to my face.
Peace, my friend.
You are a hell of a good man, Cole.
You let her be who she was and loved her anyway. The very definition of true love.
RIP Rosie, you picked the right car to jump into…good girl.
Oh Rosie, you were my favorite of the Cole pack. I’m so happy you bonded with Steve.
You were a survivor and you won the lottery when John picked you up.
Thank you for giving her such a nice life, Cole.
I’m sure her memory will be a blessing, Cole. You did a good thing.
My sympathies, and always remember you made her life better.
I am so very sorry. It’s always difficult to let them go.
@John Cole: That’s one of the hardest parts of grieving. Those instinctive habits we form around them that suddenly have us awakened to the fact that they are gone, when we expect to see them. A year later, I still expect to see our late dog Juniper, every time I walk back into the back yard (where she loved to lay in the sun). My deepest condolences to you.
I remember the post where you reported Rosie getting in your car and refusing to leave. She chose well.
Rest in peace, Rosalita.
Thanks for sharing that great remembrance of Rose and her life. Most of us humans won’t get such a nice send-off as you just shared with all of us.
Villago Delenda Est
I am saddened. She lived a very good life, with a very good companion. She and Tunch are frolicking in green meadows right now.
Oh, Rosie. You difficult, but beautiful, soul. RIP
Lovely tribute, John. You truly did your best by her.
So sad to hear. My thoughts are with you.
May you get as much love as you give, John Cole.
What sad news… RIP Rosie. They take a piece of our hearts with them when they leave us. Especially those that made us work for their love.
OHHHHH, I am so sorry.
What a sweet obituary. You gave her a wonderful life.
I am so sorry. Every time a pet dies they take a piece of your heart. RIP Rosie.
A beautiful remembrance. Thanks for sharing it and her with us. Condolences to you.
I’m sorry for your loss and will miss hearing about Rosie.
John. I’ve long admired your tenacity in integrating a difficult ‘rescue’ pet into your home. BTW, the dogs in our neighborhood growl & nip at my husband on his walks. Not me. Don’t know if he gives off a ‘danger’ vibe or perhaps an odor that triggers them.
Condolences on the loss of one of your tribe.
I’m so sorry, John. RIP Rosie. Give the others extra hugs today–good for them and for you.
I’m so sorry. Deciding the right time to let them go is a hard, hard decision. You loved Rosie and even if she didn’t like you, I’m sure she knew how lucky she was to have you be the one to take her.
I’m so sorry, John.
John, I’m so sorry. As many others have said, you gave her the best life possible and loved her for her. There’s not much more we can do in life than that.
I, of course, have never met any of your pets, but from your stories Rosie was always my favorite. My condolences to you and the rest of your household.
Cheryl from Maryland
John, what a lovely tribute to a personality plus dog. Never forget that you took her to a place where she was secure, had people to love and be loved by after the cruelty of her abandonment. Ave atque Vale, Rosie, you gave those of us who read John’s tales of you much joy.
You gave her her best life, John.
I am so sorry. Letting go is always hard, but you gave her a wonderful life and even if she is gone, you remain part of each other’s souls.
Sister Golden Bear
I’m so sorry. You gave her the best life possible.
What a beautiful remembrance — rest in peace, Rosie, and condolences to all her extended family members.
John, I don’t think there’s another person alive who could do for Rosie what you did. You two could not have been more perfectly matched. You did right by her and I hope you find comfort in sweet memories.
So sorry, John. May Rosie rest in peace now, without pain or fear.
Horrible news but also good. Glad you were able to give her such a great life, and also glad you were able to let her go no matter how hard a decision it was.
Rosie definitely loved you. She wouldn’t have stayed if she didn’t.
So sorry for your loss. you have written Rosie a wonderful tribute here.
Rosie had her best life with you. She loved you too, John. Rest well, Rosie.
You made us smile and remember even amid sadness—I am so sorry for your loss, John
RIP Rosie. I always loved her stories. Worst part of owning pets. They all leave too soon
So very sorry, John. She was a big part of your life for a long time, and you were probably the best part of her life. Of course she leaves a void. You will probably keep looking to see if she is stuck somewhere for a while.
@MazeDancer: This is exactly how I reacted. Rosie was joining the fam right around the time I started reading this blog, so she has a very special place in my heart. She definitely hit the jackpot with you, John Cole. Thank you.
RIP Rossie, John I really do know the feeling. I still look over to where the doggie bed was to see if Nikki or Conni are there.
A great testament, Cole. And a great picture of Rosie with Dad Cole.
You gave her a life she wouldn’t have gotten any other way. You saved her when she needed it. And you took her out of pain when she needed that.
You gave her friends and you took care of her and gave here a very good, long life. And you did the one thing for her that she couldn’t do for herself. You earned an atta boy for giving her a good life.
Those of us who have had dogs know, in so many ways, they are mans best friend. The can bring out the best of us, even if we don’t want them to. They are great companions, even when they don’t like you. They have personalities, just like all of us. And often they are friends, not matter what they think of you. I’ve been reading your blog since before you found her and that act was one of the things that made it special. It’s been a long and very worthwhile time here with you and all your friends. Hope it continues for a lot longer.
Adding my tears and condolences to the pile. Rosie is checking in with Tunch–and with Walter, too, I bet.
West of the Rockies
Oh, John, this is brutal for you, I’m sure. Give your other four-legged friends hugs (carefully with Steve). Be kind to yourself.
Goddamnit, John, stop cutting those onion.
RIP Rosie. She will be missed.
I’m so sorry John. You did what a good Dad had to do. You’re right. Think of the good times now.
I’m so sorry, John. ?
I remember when Rosie became a member of your household. You did good by her and now she’s in a good place and is bouncing around at the Rainbow Bridge with Tunch.
So sorry to hear the news about Rosie. At least you gave her a peaceful end, John, hope that comforts you. I lost my older cat, Bella, in January. She was 17 years old and just slipped away at home. It is hard to lose them.
John, sorry for you loss. I remember when you found her, and how you wondered if rehoming her would have been best. I was on the “keep her” side because I knew no one would treat her better than you did.
That is one of the most honest, clear-eyed dog obits I’ve ever read. Rosie knew what she was doing when she decided to plonk herself down in the middle of the road you were travelling. I’ve always loved reading about her. And — this goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway — you gave her a much better and longer life than she ever would have had otherwise. I hope she doesn’t get stuck on the Rainbow Bridge. RIP, Rosie Cole.
You gave her a decade of good times, good friends, and good treats.
You have a good heart, John Cole. Dogspeed, Rosie.
Welcome back! And healing thoughts to Emma.
Aw, Rosie! It will be a long time before you are forgotten.
John, she was lucky to have you taking such good care of her for so long!
Ghost of Joe Liebling*s Dog
I’m so sorry. It sounds like you gave her the best that anyone could have, for as long as she wanted it. If I were a dog I’d sign up for that.
“For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
From one atheist to another: bless you, John, for doing unto one of the least of our brethren.
I loved loved loved the story of her finding you. That is one of the reasons I have kept reading this blog. Your consideration of what pets need and want. Hugs scritches and kisses to the rest of your household.
My condolences John. RIP Rosie.
I am very sorry for your loss. She lived the dog’s life once you rescued her. Much peace and love.
Thank you so much for taking her in. I am happy to hear that she had real love for some people, at least.
Beautiful tribute to a special if difficult puppy. RIP, Rosie!
So sorry, John.
Mike in NC
Oh no! Condolences.
I’m so sorry John…. I followed Rosie from the first post when she jumped into your car, and although she was a curmudgeon, she was your curmudgeon, and by extension, all your readers too.
It’s coming up on a year since we said goodbye to our greyhound Darcy, and we also lost his room-mate (and former BJ Calendar model) Frankie about 8 months ago. But they are still with us in our hearts and memories, and Rosie – with all her complications and quirks – will be in yours as well.
No One of Consequence
Thank you for posting this John. I am sorry for your loss, but happy for the journey you and Rosie had. You both were lucky, though perhaps not in exactly the way either of you had intended.
Well played. Good Dog, Rosie. Run and frolic wherever you are now.
“I don’t know where I will go when I die, but wherever Dogs go when they die — I want to go there.”
A moving tribute to one that was difficult but loved, John. My condolences.
And RIP to Rosie. Should one say “in peace” to a JRT? Raise hell up there, girl!
I’m terribly sorry. I loved Rosie.
I’m so sorry John. What a beautiful tribute to a singular doggo.
So sorry to hear about Rosie. I’m sure she loved you in her own special way. Will miss new stories about her but thru the blog can re-read the old ones.
My sincere condolences to you John and those who loved Rosie. Certainly there were photos and words you wrote about your relationship in the past. For now I am so glad she made friends with Steve and read what you wrote about her. RIP Rosie!
I am in bed with my often aggravating cat Chenille lying on my side purring like a train engine and headbutting me for pets every two or three words. She was my first short haired cat and I innocently thought wouldn’t shed as much. Ha, no.
This remembrance of Rosie, always my favorite Cole family member, makes me stop and appreciate her and all the love and joy she brings to my life. I too remember Rosie jumping into your car and the aggravating behavior that made you consider rehoming her in the first months, but like the people you canvassed I knew that she was yours. You are such a grumpy marshmallow, John. I feel privileged to be a member of the jackal community every day.
Mingobat (f/k/a Karen in GA)
Rosie, we all knew you were a good girl, no matter how hard you tried sometimes to pretend you weren’t. I’m so glad you found the right human and had the best life.
My condolences, John. You did right by her.
You gave her a good life. That’s the best a person can do.
So terribly sorry for your loss. Rosie was such a “take me as I am” individual and your memories of her, bad days and good, will never fade. It is the difficult ones that can make the deepest impression on our hearts. In his puppy stage my bulldog Basil was a crazy, mixed up ball of energy: biting, chewing, zooming, destroying, never at rest. At doggy daycare they called him “the monster.” He still plays fetch so hard I think his heart will burst but he’s so much calmer and more loving now. I think of the times I thought I might have to give him away and I feel like crying. He’s been my Rosie and maybe every dog owner should have one.
I remember that too. I always had a special feeling about Rosie.
Such a beautiful essay, isn’t it?
Death Panel Truck
I’m sorry for your loss, John. Putting down an animal is always a painful experience.
I’m so sorry John, she was quite the character. I too remember when you found her, and remember thinking that was the same kind of thing my sister did – it’s why we had to find homes for 9 cats when she died! It’s impossible to know when it’s the right time to let them go, we just have to use our best judgement. We had a 20+ year old cat who was sick and getting thinner; we’d been talking about taking “that trip” to the vet, but she saved us from having to decide by laying down on the rug by the back door and passing on Thanksgiving Day several years ago. The best comfort is knowing how much you added to her life by loving her no matter how difficult she was to love sometimes.
RIP Rosie. I have found that it is the difficult ones, the ones that you have to make time for, that you miss the most. The ones that aggravate and annoy you. But then they are gone and there is no denying what they meant to you. And what you meant to them. Peace and comfort to all of you.
Sorry to hear you have lost a dear pet.
Aww, so sorry my man and R.I.P. Rosie. Hope Steve’s okay; he’s going to miss his nap buddy.
RIP Rosie. ???
John you should write Rosie’s story, of all your critters s actually. My animals and other family!
I’m very sorry. I remember reading your posts about finding her and her cantankerous ways.
May she be forever at peace.
I am sorry to hear this.
You gave her a good life! RIP Rosie…
I’m so sorry, John. Thank you for giving her just the best possible world of friends and non-friends, the love that she would accept and the space she needed.
good girl, Rosie. Good girl.
I am so sorry, JC. You gave Rosie the best life possible and she loved you – in her own way. Rest well, Rosie. We’ll see you when we get there.
R.I.P. Rosie, and thank you John, for doing your best for her, your best was awesome.
You are an exceptional dog lover. Russells annoy the hell out of me and I would have had to find her another home if she didn’t like me. I’m more of a cat guy anyway but I can certainlly understand your sadness. I post this as my big black 8-ball Smooch is curled contentedly in my lap as I type away.
May she rest in peace.
Now back to lurk land.
I’m so glad you didn’t get any responses to the posters you put up. Rosie probably sneaked out and tore them all down. She knew a good thing when she saw it.
Ironic to da max is the name of Jack Russell’s original terrier.
Sorry for your loss, John. Rest in pease, Rosie.
So sorry, John: it’s always hard losing a companion – even the temperamental ones like Rosie.
And don’t compound the sadness with the “what ifs’?” – those of us who care about our animals (and you are definitely one!) can only do the best we can for them at the end: sometimes it’s obvious when it’s time to go, and sometimes not. Sounds like you made the right choices. RIP, Rosie.
So sorry for your loss John.
Another lucky dog awaits your rescue in the future, I’m sure.
I’m so sorry, John. What a lovely remembrance, all the better in that you didn’t try to sugarcoat the relationship that you had with her and that you respected who she was and worked with that. The picture of her with Dad Cole is the best.
Requiescat in pace Rosie.
Major Major Major Major
Oh no :( so sorry. Hugs and all that.
I dare say that a lot of heads of state will not receive such an eloquent and moving eulogy when they pass on
Rosie was one lucky dog! I remember the day you found her and all the issues you had with her. We all enjoyed the latest Rosie story and, while you will miss her the most, the entire Balloon Juice family will miss Rosie.
J R in WV
We know you did your best, and your best is really good. So you gave Rosie the mean dog the same best care you gave your companions who didn’t bite your feet every night. It’s always really hard. Thanks for all you did for her, and all your fuzzy companions.
So swell to pick up a pup from the middle of the road! You’re such a mensch, John G Cole!
@NotMax: Hard to remember when the word/name “Trump” had anything other than a malevolent cast to it, isn’t it? And yet, it used to be a compliment to call someone or something a “trump”. Go figger.
I’m sorry, John. Rosie was a good girl and you gave her your home and your love. Rest in peace, good girl.
A Ghost to Most
Sorry, John. Just remember, when Tunch passed, it spurred us to adopt a 2 year old disgruntled chunk of cat, that was obviously mistreated. She is now a contented member of our family. No doubt, Rosie will spur others to take a chance on a troubled animal. You did.
My guess is you learned a lot about yourself because of her. She was one lucky dog to have you!
Rosie – grumpy as she was, but I think she knew that you gave her a good life. More than that, you stuck with her despite all. I remember a post so long ago asking someone to take Rosie – as clearly you seemed to be in desperate straits at the time.
I am sure the rest of the pack miss her terribly as well – especially Steve!
Farewell, Rosie – you were loved.
This is true. I nicknamed my cocker, Bud, “Ornery Bastard.” But damn if he wasn’t by my side, not quite under foot, all the time. He was a senior rescue and one night, about 3-4 weeks after I got him, he came over in the night and plopped down right next to me. From then on he slept by my side. I couldn’t move or touch him but he was glued to me. I miss that ornery bastard. John will miss Rosie, because no mater how she treated him, she always came back to him, she may have not liked something about him, that reminded her of someone else, but she liked him. Says a lot about John that he liked her so much, even if she didn’t like something about him. That’s a very good dog. And a good friend. See past the parts and see the whole.
Rosie gave you somewhat typical terrier “love”. She was beyond lucky to have met you on the road that day and be gifted the life that followed. Very sorry for your loss.
This just reminds me why I came to this blog, and why I stay. You are just a good human being, JC, and so are the people who hang around here.
James E Powell
Sorry for your loss. You did right by Rosie, from the first day to the last day.
If it weren’t for you, your Rosie would never have found true love with your other animals and your humans; animals bring out the best in almost all of us and Rosie wears that crown and walks in beauty. Her memory will be a blessing.
So sorry to hear this. You have my deepest sympathies John.
I had just started following ocassional links to BJ (probably from Atrios) when Rosie and Cole crossed paths.
I did not know what to think. I didn’t have any sense of who John was. Rosie was extremely difficult and John’s life and household were entirely upended. I could not believe he was following through with this impossible dog. But slowly they trained one another.
I sometimes wonder if Cole’s parents, after the hell he must have put them through in his wild youth, have gotten some sort of weird satisfaction watching John deal with his own two difficult children, first Rosie and then Thurston. Watching Rosie and Papa Cole love on one another reminds me of Margaret Mead’s observation that grandparents and grandchildren are natural allies because share the same adversary.
Thank you for taking such good care of Rosie, even though she treated you badly sometimes. You are a good man.
Only you could have given her those years of a great life, loving her even if she was a PITA sometimes. It’s such a hard choice to make, and it sounds like you did the right thing at the right time. You finding her in the road was her winning the Powerball; she just chose to not let that go to your head and lavished her attention on the people you love; she loved you in her way and that’s a lot for a dog from her background. I wish you peace.
I’m sorry, John. You’re a good man for making the last part of her life a good one.
John, thank you for sharing your girl Rosie, for giving her a safe home, kind and loving friends and family, and a cranky curmudgeon to be best pals with. Extra hugs today to all who loved her.
Rosie on the Bridge.
Sorry for your loss John…what a good doggie to have around all these years.
@Zelma: Rosie as a “lucky dog” makes the hair on the back of my neck stand on end, but I see where you are coming from.
My stepdaughter’s mother was incapacitated at an early age (twenties) by MS and she was sent to a low end nursing home on Medicaid) while her four year old daughter was sent to not good foster care.
My husband and his then-wife adopted her. Then-wife decided too much trouble so wanted to return her (kid’s age 10-12 through this process). Their divorce mostly based on whether they coild or should return the child.
So when people tell me she is so lucky to have us, I think..mm not so much. It could have been worse, but Jeezus phuck it was already vastly worse than anything I experienced in my life.
Long story, but sort of how I feel about Cole and Rosie. Not perfect, but under circumstances best that Rosie could ever have had, and Cole knows she wasn’t best dog for him but was for the rest of the household, and Cole gave the best to everyone.
You’re a fine man, Cole, and Rosie knew it. Thanks for being there for her from first day to last.
Very sorry to hear this. She was lucky to have a man of quality to care for her all these years.
John, this is such a lovely tribute to Rose. What a wonderful story. Sometimes I forget what a good writer you are, if you ever get time, you should start a blog.
This story is the very definition of unconditional love.
I am so sorry about Rosie, John. We was a great character and she was so lucky to find you. She knew immediately you had a good heart. She will be greatly missed by so many, including Steve.
A woman from anywhere (formerly Mohagan)
I’m so sorry to hear about Rosie, John. You gave her a good life and a good death. And she is out of pain and at peace. And that’s all because of you. Condolences to your father also. I’m sure he’ll miss her too.
I’m so sorry, John. You gave her some good years. Thank you.
A woman from anywhere (formerly Mohagan)
@way2blue: I’ve long thought a lot of dogs are triggered by men just because they are men (the scent of testosterone, maybe?) for a number of reasons, from former abuse by some man, to plain dominance and territory issues that have nothing to do with the individual man. This is not limited just to dogs, either. I’ve seen the same behavior in turkeys, for example.
This is sad but not totally unexpected news. I hope you don’t feel the loss more than you may currrently anticipate, and that the rest of the pack adjusts soon. One of my dogs isn’t my favorite, but pretty sure I’ll be sorry when he’s gone.
And thank you for including the photo of Dad Cole the Rosie Whisperer, one of my favorite pet photos of all time.
Condolences to you and to all who loved Rosie.
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
Damn. I remember when you found her. I can’t believe this much time has passed. I’m glad Rosie is free from pain, and my condolences to you, Cole.
Wonderful tribute to Rosie, and yourself as well.
So sorry John. As a dog lover who’s spouse is not (we have cats who I dearly love), I’ve lived vicariously through Lily and Rosie and Thurston and others in the extended pet family. Always tough. You are the best pet daddy.
I’m so sorry, John. What a beautiful tribute you wrote.
So sorry, John.
My sincere condolences to you and the entire family, two and four legged.
Condolences to the whole Cole family, both two- and four-legged.
You allowed Rosie to be herself- what a gift to a not always lovable pup.
With sympathy and understanding,
Never mind who liked who. You saw Rosie in the round, and you know that, and that is how you know you did the right thing — not just today, but down the years.
Rosie’s adventures were always one of the more entertaining aspects of the blog and she will be missed.
Joy in FL
I’m sorry, John.
You wrote a great memorial for her. I love how you met her and gave her a good, stable life. She is a good dog.
Damn. You gave her such a good life, and I think we all feel she was “ours” too, as so many have been here for her whole time with you. Another of my friends may be making the same decision today, and I’m weepy for both and all of you. I hate to see any of our pets, much less a crowd, on the rainbow bridge. Too many of us have been down that brutal decision path; ya done good.
Aw John, I’m sorry. I was already a lurker when you found Rosie, and I loved the story then, and all the stories over the years. You are such “good people,” and Rosie was so lucky to have you (the photo of her with your father is all the evidence anyone needs). All of her four-legged friends will miss her, too.
SN in CO
I have been following Balloon Juice (lurking) long enough that I remember both the advent of Rosie and now the end of her story. I so admire John Cole for both finding and caring for her, and for giving her such a wonderful post-“adoption” life. Whatever her early life had been (and by actions it sounds like it was tough), John, you gave her the best sort of home a dog could want or need. Thank you.
And Rest in Peace, Rosie.
My condolences, JC. You did right by her in life and in her ending, and you can write a eulogy like nobody’s business.
I just came in, opened my email, and saw one from Twitter titled:
So I had a pretty good guess as to which John, and why.
So sorry, John…..
We just had to adopt my step-daighter’s pets. Pitbull mix is adorable best dog we ever had. We love her.
I think our new male cat is shy but adorable. (Cats don’t ususally like me. I am quiet and sensible, but I don’t project whatever cat vibe cats sense in my husband. Smell? Possibly?)
Husband with cat charisma is loud and can be pushy. New cat is extremely skeptical ( tooth and claw, to the bone.) Husband hates him and is frankly afraid of him.
Cats are wary of me, but new guy likes me and is friendly. I like him too but am wary of the slashines. I cringe when he rubs around my ankles (friendly before the slash) but I think my husband came on too strong. Since he ( husband) is so loud, I do not know if he can come on as anything less than strong. That is a problem, because some cats are shy.
Rosie got the best family that she could hope for. Fact that she was at odds with Cole doesn’t matter. She started life in difficulties, and spent most of her life with dogs and a cat she loved, and a human she felt safe with. That ‘s a lot out of life.
Forever running free now.
I’m so sorry, John Cole. They really leave their mark on us.
@SN in CO: Even on this sad day, Welcome!
Well now I’m crying; my condolences, John. I always vicariously loved Rosie for her attitude; life treated her poorly for a long time, and she took her time getting past that. And I have deep respect for you, John, for giving her the space, care and love to be herself, cranky & difficult as she was. You’re good people.
And that is a stunning elegy for Ms. Rose. One of a kind :)
So sorry for your losing Rosie, John. She was good, if occasionally, grumpy dog. Steve is going to miss her cuddle buddy. Take care of yourself. Her memory is a blessing.
I am so sorry, John. Not a good day in our beloved pet world.
Oh, man. I’m sorry.
My wife and I always say that your pets tell you when it’s time, but sometimes it’s hard to know, especially because they will rally for you and make it seem like it’s not just yet (because, yes, she did love you whether or not she liked you).
I’m sorry for your loss, John. You gave her a good life, a gentle passing, and a lovely tribute. She was one lucky dog.
I’m so sorry, JG. Hard to lose someone that close. Thank you for telling us about her.
Oh goodness no.
I have been a huge Rosie fan ever since you got her. I also enjoy the difficult ones.
I’m so sorry, John. It sounds like you did the absolute right thing by her, and thank you for giving her a life full of comfort and love.
Oddly, the fact that she didn’t seem to love you probably meant that she felt so comfortable with you and adored you in her grump-ass way. That’s a weird kind of love no one discusses, but is no less real.
Tough day for all of us. I have a similar relationship with my cat, Homer. I hear about Rosie and Bixby on the same day. Devastated.
God, this day.
Bless you, Cole. You gave a difficult dog the best life.
Sad news. My condolences to John and his pack. RIP, Rosie.
beautifully movingly written. RIP Rosie and so sorry.
Tough to do at the last. But it must be done.
My cat slept under my hand for 17 years. At the last he relaxed and seemed to be asleep.
My tears and condolences John.
All these years later I still sleep against the bed edge so my dearly loved has enough room.
Just saw this post. John, my deepest condolences. You were the best thing that ever happened to her right to the end.
So sorry to hear this sad news. You gave her a good life.
Others have said this, but it bears repeating: You gave Rosie a good life, when her prospects without you were for no life at all.
As for missing difficult dogs, well, let’s just say you’re not alone.
Damn it Cole… you are a good man.
That was a great eulogy. Rosie was lucky to have you.
Oh, John! I am so sorry!
You did good by that dog, man. Condolences.
So sorry Cole. I’ve never cried this much for a fur baby I’ve never met. For all her quirks, she was a good girl.
You did right by her from the minute you saw her to the end. Take a minute to be proud of yourself for doing that, for Rosie and for others whose life you touch.
Oh no. So sad!!! RIP, Rosie.
I’m so sorry John. ??? A great demonstration of unconditional love. RIP Rosie.
My condolences Cole. Sounds to me like you did right by her.
I’m so sorry to read this news and send you my sincere condolences. Rosie was such a lucky girl that you were driving down that road that day. RIP Rosie.
Odie Hugh Manatee
If love could be measured with words, your post shows how much you love your Rosie. Rest in peace, Rosie.
And if there’s a God, please bite his foot for me.
Yer a good man, John Cole.
Damn, sorry for your loss John.
I’ve enjoyed the stories of your animal family, and Rosie’s always made me laugh, as it reminded me of an old cat I had once who did not view me as her favorite human.
Take care of the pack and let them care for you.
Very sorry for your loss, John.
Maybe you and Rosie couldn’t love each other perfectly, but you gave her a home that included others with whom she did share a more perfect love. I’m so sorry, John, and so sad.
One of the wisest pet people I know wrote: “You’ll know it’s time the day you look at them and your heart breaks”. So true.
And also, pets live in the moment. Better a day too soon than a day too late; I’ve been guilty of the latter, and my Gryff ended up suffering in a way he shouldn’t have, because I didn’t make the hard choice.
So sorry for your loss, John. Rosie was a very lucky dog that you understood her and gave her a good life.
condolences, john, and rest in peace, rosie. you gave her the best life she could have after she started off with a really lousy one. i’m so glad that my initial concerns about her and cats were never realized. i’m so glad she’s no longer in any pain.
Condolences John. You did right by her, in spite of her personality. That’s the true heart of a rescuer. As @Anotherlurker said so perfectly:
So sorry to hear this. The day, once it comes, is always so sad, but it’s hard to think how Rosie could have found a better landing pad, even if, really, she deserved a better owner the first time around.
Oh, man, I’m so sorry, John. That is always the hardest decision to make and hard to know the exact right time. You gave her a good life and I bet she knew it. Hug the rest of the pack extra today.
Sorry about your dog. The rainbow bridge seems far away until it’s in the rearview. The hardest of days.
Rosie stories were always the best…condolences.
RIP Rosie – beyond the rainbow bridge Rosie is telling other canines ‘Y’know, I don’t think he liked me as much as he would’ve liked to like me, but he was so nice that it didn’t matter …’
Very sad news.
Mai Naem mobile
I can’t believe you found her 10 yrs ago. Time sure flies. RIP Rosie.
Late to the party as usual, but felt I needed add my condolences to the mix. Like many other commentators, I remember when Rosie joined the Cole pack via that bit of serendipitous happenstance. I mean, it is a bit hard to believe how many more times we have transited the sun since you found her abandoned and confused. What I know, John, is that you substituted residual years of life that offered comfort and safety in lieu of the short, brutish end she most certainly faced on her own. And like so many critters that have been abused, she probably didn’t have the tools to return the love you showed.
RIP Miss Rosie and take care of yourself, Cole. Though it stings right now, rest easy knowing you done good.
Worn (from his current basement hideout)
Gee, take your eye off this blog for a moment, and people start hopping off the twig.
to be serious, my condolences for your loss, John, and my admiration for your giving Rosie the best life she could have. I hope you feel proud of that, as well as sad about losing her.
“Rest well, old friend. We did our best.” This made me cry. I’m so sorry to hear about Rosie, I remember when she found you. I’m so glad she had a long good life with you.
O. Felix Culpa
Beautiful eulogy for a (sometimes) difficult, (always) beloved dog. Peace to you, John.
You and Rosie were fortunate to have each other.
So sorry John. One can love and not like at the same time. Smokey knows.
Joseph A Miller
Goodbye, dear Rosie.
She knew she had a good home with you. That’s wonderful. Sorry for your loss.
Rest well Rosie you’ve done very well. So sorry for your loss John.
Hey Cole, I’m so sorry. She was lucky to find you and smart to pick you. Well done, dog and man.
Was here when you found her, and through all the various trials and tribulations. She was a good dog, if not quite ever entirely your dog, and she will be missed.
So Sorry, John.
A very touching eulogy.
I’m so sorry, John. I remember when you found her, and I’ve enjoyed hearing all the Rosie stories in the years since. It’s so so hard to say goodbye, but she had the best possible life with you.
What a beautiful obituary. Bye dear Rosie ♥️
I’m sorry for your loss, John. I remember how challenging Rosie was at the beginning, but you did the right thing – you gave her a great life even if it wasn’t particularly rewarding for you.
John Cole, I am sorry for you and all the Critters. I have had a horrendous day of my own, one that will effect my Family forever, and I didn’t think it could be worse, but now it is.
Like you or not, you were likely the Best Human Rosie Girl ever knew, and her life was infinitely better because of you.
Love you, love this Place, thank you for being.
Oh man, I’m sorry John. You somehow found each other as grumpmates, and you were both wonderful to each other in your own ways. RIP Rosie.
This was a great tribute, John. You gave Rosie such a nice life.
@leeleeFL: I am sorry that you are going through some things.
So sorry to read this. Rosie was my favorite of your dogs because of the way you wrote about her. I know, I know, Lily is very sweet and you adore her, just a total sweetheart, but Rosie was An Individual With Opinions. I don’t know if she was a Good Dog, but you loved her and she was lucky to have found you. I hope the other beasties remain healthy and happy.
So very sorry for your loss, John.
I’m so sorry about Rosie. I remember reading the post when you found her. You gave her such a good home, and the freedom to be herself.
Sending my condolences your way John. I know this is late, but I just had to check in. This blog has meant a lot to me over the last few years and your stories always made me smile. I hope you have peace knowing you did the best for your Rosie.
@PB: Welcome, PB. Today is a sad day, but don’t be a stranger.
@leeleeFL: I’m so sorry to hear of your terrible day. Peace, WG
@CBGB: Welcome, SBGB.
So very sorry John. You and Rosie
Decisions made in love are always right–and are never quite right because we care so much that it’s hard to not second guess ourselves. I thank you for caring enough for a little dog’s life to put up with her baggage, and for sharing her with us.
I’m gonna need therapy when Lily passes.
Oh my dear sweet Rosie dotes… I already miss you! You were a presence and forever will be in my heart! Please, send me an angry growl and let my tears dry so we can rest well together tonight side by side as we always did!
What a lovely eulogy for Rosie. Thank you for caring for her. <3
Oh my, so much later but I saw something on Twitter that made me come find this, scrolling back through pages. I’m so sorry for your loss. And Rosie is still, to me, the new dog! Take care and thank you for making a home here for all of us who love our furry friends so deeply and take solace in the community.
I’m sorry about Rosie — like many people here, I remember when you found her (or she found you) and I enjoyed hearing about her, grumpy attitude and all. You gave her a good life and she felt safe with you at last.
@WaterGirl: Thank you, WG. Peace is appreciated.
@Starfish: Thank you so much. I appreciate it.
I remember hoping you would keep Rosie when you first found her. Later I know at one point I suggested you find another home for Rosie because all I ever read about was how difficult she was. I am glad I read this post where you speak of her with some tenderness. As you might guess, I love Jacks; I’m sweltering thru the PNW heat with my 3rd boy (32nd year). So, I always rooted for Rosie. RIP, little girl, it’s seems you chose wisely.
So sorry for your loss. I’ve enjoyed all of your pet posts, and I know how they are all family members. You can be proud that you gave her a good life, though that doesn’t dull the pain of her loss. Thanks for sharing Rosie with us.
Brittany Whitacre ( Tammy's neice)
My condolences, I know it’s never fun losing a pet, Especially one so close to our heart. The memories are important and you did a beautiful job letting everyone know her story! Hang in there.
I have never commented but wanted to give my condolences. I had a little chihuahua that I found that looked a lot like Rosie. I lost her in November. You were a good shepherd to Rosie, John. Rest in Power Rosie!
Condolences, John. I always thought of Rosie as Cole in Dog Form, from your descriptions.