Rest in Peace Little Rollie…

"Meet Rollie" by since76 on Flickr

Although I’ve written about my hometown of San Manuel and my home security fail in in the past, I don’t usually make it a habit to share uber personal stories on this blog. Of course, there’s always an exception to the rule.

Meet Rollie

[Email and feed subscribers, please visit the blog if the video fails to show]

Rollie was adopted on June 23rd, 2006. He was part Dachshund and part mangy mutt—actually he was supposedly part Cocker Spaniel but we’re skeptical about that. We’re also skeptical of his age which is supposed to be 11 (human) years old; but since he was adopted, there’s no way of knowing whether the vet’s estimate was correct.

Rollie Has Left the Building

Life has been extremely busy as of late with business and personal stuff—which explains the silence on the blog—but never in a million years would I have expected to be dealing with a deathly ill puppy.

On Wednesday evening we noticed that Rollie’s appetite was gone and and he was drooling—Rollie was a big fan of being lazy, napping, eating, pooping, licking, and scratching but he was much too civilized for drooling so we knew something was wrong.

On Thursday he went to the vet and was diagnosed with stomach problems. On Friday, he went to the vet again after he started having bouts of diarrhea and his urine was found to be red-orange in color. That same day, he was rushed to the Animal Hospital after his blood count was found to be at a critical level. On Saturday he recovered slightly, but was experiencing neurological issues and couldn’t find his balance. On Sunday just before Noon, his heart stopped and any attempts at resuscitation were stopped shortly thereafter.

We still don’t know what caused him to get so sick and decline so quickly; we had him checked regularly and he was always found to be in tip-top health for his age. We’re still waiting on lab results which were slowed due to the holiday weekend, but even that tidbit of information doesn’t sound too comforting at the moment.

We knew that he was getting old and that one day he would leave us, but seeing him slip from us so quickly has caught us completely off guard. I know that grieving is part of the process of losing a pet, but I never expected it to be this hard. I know it sounds cliche, but I still wait for him to come trotting out from his favorite napping spot and plop down next to me wherever I may be sitting.

In Closing…

I just want to say thank you if you’ve read this far. I wrote this blog post as a tribute to Rollie, and I just wanted him to know how special and important he was to me and all those who met him.

For those of you who have lost a pet, I’m so sorry for your loss. And for those of you who are thinking of owning a pet…

  • Do your homework and become informed.
  • Be sure you’re ready to take care of a pet; there’s plenty of sacrifice and work involved.
  • Please consider adopting a pet from a rescue agency—many of these innocent animals were abandoned due to no fault of their own.

The Closet Entrepreneur

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  1. What a sweetheart! I’m sorry I never got a chance to meet Rollie in person, but it’s clear he had a wonderful home and was surrounded by people who cared about him deeply.

    Dogs are with us far too briefly for the light and love they bring. My sincere condolences on your loss of a dog and a friend.

  2. Dannie M.

    I am so sorry to hear about Rollie. As an avid animal lover, I know how hard it is when they leave us. Everytime you talk about him, I could tell he had you wrapped around his little paw toe. Thank you for taking him into your family and giving him love. It does get easier.

  3. As someone who has lost two dogs in my lifetime I know exactly how it feels.

    My first dog was named Toto and she was 18 years old when she died (I had her the whole time!). She was a cockapoo.

    My second dog was a Schnauzer (great dog btw) and I got him when he was 10 yrs old and only had him for a few more years.

    Anyways, sorry to hear about the loss.

  4. Every person who has been blessed to have a pet in his life understand the unconditional love they give and how they become family. It’s hard to lose a furry family member, surprisingly hard. Give yourself some time and space to just feel what you feel. There are no rights or wrongs with grief, we all feel what we feel.

    My heart goes out to you both, and you are in my prayers.

  5. Paul Valach


    I am very sorry to hear about the loss of your family member Rollie. It is always a devastating thing, I’ve put down two kitties and its never easy returning back home to an empty house. You gave him a home for almost three years, one he might not of had if hadn’t reached out. You will get another, its just that way with animal lovers. Thank you for sending people to shelters when they search for a new member of the family. Again I am very sorry to hear the sad news.

    Paul & Fred.

  6. Tomas, I am so sorry to hear about Rollie, there is just never enough time with our pets. What a blessing you were for him, to have adopted him at an advanced age. Most people would not even have considered it. I hope that it will be some comfort for you to know that he had a happy, loving last three years of his life, and all because of you. I don’t know if you know about the Rainbow Bridge, but if not, please Google it: it provides comfort to those who have lost beloved pets.

    All the best,

  7. TransparntHuman

    I lost my favorite cat pretty quickly a few months ago, even though it’s easier now, it still feels like something’s missing. I agree with Ginger, Rollie was better off to have known you, focus on that. Thoughts like that help me.

  8. Thank you all! Your comments, sympathy, and words of encouragement mean so much and have truly helped us mourn the loss of our little one.

    @Jeff Moriary & @Dannie M. – I too am so bummed that Rollie never got to meet you, Dannie, and your gang of pups! And what Jeff said about dogs being with us far too briefly for the love that they bring is so true. And yes, he definitely had me wrapped around his little paw toe! That little rascal figured out how to burrow his way into everything, including my heart! Thank you both for your words of encouragement, they mean a lot.

    @Chris – I’ve been told that losing your first dog is the hardest, but I couldn’t imagine losing a dog after having their companionship for 18 years. Also, that’s great to hear that you got a second dog even after all you experienced after losing Toto; it gives me hope that I too can help out another dog in need while still keeping Rollie close to my heart. Thank you for the condolences Mr Tingom.

    @Charlene – We’re definitely trying to give ourselves time to grieve, and amazingly it has brought us all closer than we already are. Also, thank you for the phone calls and checking up on us when things were rough, it was greatly appreciated.

    @Paul Valach – Yeah, the thought of adopting another rescue dog has indeed popped into my mind since I know many dogs need another chance. It’s still way to early to start seriously thinking about it, but I’ll start looking once I’m in a healthy and proper state of mind. There are still so many emotions running through me and every day things get a bit better, but it’s still extremely difficult to not look at another dog and think about Rollie.

    @Ginger – Thank you for suggesting that I checking out the Rainbow Bridge; it’s an extremely touching story and is definitely bitter sweet to say the least. Adopting an older dog has always been a priority simply because it would appear that older dogs get passed up for the cute and active puppies. The funny thing is that Rollie was an old man but was always trying to out hustle every dog he met whether they were younger, bigger, or both.

    @TransparntHuman – I’m so sorry to hear about your cat and I guess it will always feel as if something is missing. We’re definitely trying our hardest to think positively and at times we break out into laughter while reminiscing about things Rollie used to do. I guess it’s all part of the grieving process, and I appreciate the advice.

  9. So sorry to hear the news Tomas. My wife’s dog from childhood is suffering from old age and it is extremely difficult for the family to come to terms. I cant begin to imagine the grief I would feel if something tragic happened to my own. Thanks for sharing Rollie’s story, you have our best wishes.

  10. Daniela

    Hi Thomas,

    I’m really sorry for your loss. I have not lost one yet but I don’t know how my reaction would be since they are my babies. I know that words can’t really heal the pain that think that he is a lot better now that he is resting.


  11. So sad to hear! I hope you’re doing ok — Rollie sounds like he was v. sweet and will be missed —

  12. Tomas, I’m so sorry for your loss. I know how hard it is. We lost our older German Shepard about a year ago. She was 12. My wife had raised her from a puppy and she was the greatest dog I’d ever known. I’m really not a dog person (allergies & such) but she was so wonderful that I was devastated when she passed. The circumstances actually sound pretty much the same. I don’t think I’ll really ever get over it but we’re definitely better for having known/owned her. I suspect it’ll be pretty much the same for you. Sorry!

  13. Thank you all again for your comments, they mean so much!

    @Ben Leivian – Thank you for the well wishes, and I’m so sorry to hear about your wife’s dog. Just be sure to spend some quality time with the old pup; we were so busy these last few weeks and it just feels like we didn’t get a chance to be with Rollie before he passed away.

    @Daniela – I know what you mean about your dogs being your babies. I was always the one stressing that a dog should not be humanized, but even I couldn’t resist their charm. I’m not shy to admit that Rollie had me—a grown man—baby talking to him every time I saw him. 🙂

    @green LA girl – Thank you so much for the condolences and well wishes. I never told you how eco Rollie was; he was like a magic trash compactor and never let a leftover food bit go to waste. 🙂

    @Chris Lee – I’m so sorry for you and your wife’s loss and I appreciate the kind words. We definitely do feel like we’ve changed as people—in a good way—simply by having Rollie in our lives; and I definitely know what you mean about never fully getting over the loss.

  14. So sorry to hear about your loss; my condolences. For what it’s worth, this blog post, along with the comments, is a very nice tribute.

  15. Kelly

    Tomas –

    I am so sorry for your loss. I know your pain. I am sure the time that Rollie had with you was the best time of his life and that he was as blessed to be your dog and you were to be his owner. It always helps to share your loss with other animal lovers who can understand the unconditional bond that we share with our furry kids. I lost Gunner, my Golden Boy, in December of 2008. At the age of 5 in 2005, Gunner was diagnosed with cancer in his jaw. Amazingly the vet was able to actually remove his bottom jaw from the canines forward and he recovered without the need of chemo or radiation. Then in June 2008, he was diagnosed with lymphoma. At the time we were told that without treatment he would only live two weeks. We opted for chemo treatments, which we knew would only put the cancer into remission and not cure it, but we were not ready to let him go and he had too much life in him to let him go. Fortunately, animals respond to chemo completely different than humans–they don’t usually have all the bad side effects. After only a couple treatments the cancer was in remission and Gunner was given a new lease on life. Although he had to continue treatments each week, he was like a puppy again! It was wonderful! Then in December 2008, he suddenly became very ill only to be diagnosed with a third type of cancer that caused a tumor on his spleen to rupture. This is when we knew we had done all we could for Gunner. Saying goodbye was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I am still mourning his loss and miss him dearly. This spring I planted a garden in his memory. It is now blooming beautifully and I know he would have loved smelling all the flowers. One thing that helped tremendously was to get a new puppy. I now have a new little boy named Buster and his name definitely defines him!! Thanks for sharing your story and allowing me to share. God Bless.

  16. Argh, so fast! You guys are lucky to have had each other.

  17. Lori

    Hey Hermano,

    This tribute to Rollie really touched my heart; to the point that I actually cried when I saw that short movie clip of him; it made me sad. Like I said before, he will always be very close to you guys.

    Too bad Zeus never met Rollie, although Zeus would have probably annoyed the heck out of him. You are more than welcome to dog sit for me any time. 🙂

    Love Ya!
    Your sister,

  18. @Suman – Thank you for your condolences and you’re right, Rollie would have loved all this attention! 🙂

    @Kelly – Thank you so much for the kind words, and I’m so sorry to hear about Gunner—he was definitely a fighter. And what a coincidence since Rollie also loved to smell the roses; usually at the most inopportune time but that was just him. 🙂

    @stevenbshaffer – Thank you so much for the kind words Steven, it means a lot.

    @Lori – Don’t cry little sis, everything will be okay in time. And yes, I’ll be sure to keep in mind that I can babysit Zeus. 😉

  19. Val

    Some how I missed this post earlier. I understand silences and lapses in postings. My heart has been broken over and over thru the decades as my creatures great (Irish Wolfhounds) and small (tiny kittens) left for the great kennel in the sky. Just know that Rollie is enjoying a different life.

  20. Jim

    Pets are that piece of unconditional love that always takes the stress out of any day. It’s amazing what you can learn from them – they don’t need voices to talk to us. So sorry about your loss and thanks for adopting!

  21. @Val, @Jim – Thank you both so much for taking the time to leave positive and uplifting comments—it’s greatly appreciated. 🙂

  22. I am positive that Rollie will be sorely missed by all of his family that enjoyed the paw like company. Remember all dogs go to heaven and thus he is safe and free to roam with as many bones and doggies treats as he pleases.

  23. Blakeney

    I am very sorry to hear about the loss of your doggie. Take comfort in the fact that you gave him love, warmth, sustanance, and comfort. I’ve always thought that if there is a heaven where we’ll be reunited with lost loved ones, it will be our pets that come running out to greet us first.

    It’s wonderful that you are thinking of adopting again. Your new family member will never replace Rollie, but will be special to you in his or her own unique way. Best wishes.

  24. James

    I have two adopted guys myself and I feel for your loss. Thank you too for putting the word out there to adopt.

  25. @Garage Sale, @Blakeney, @James – Thank you all for the amazing support and thoughtful comments, it’s amazing to see to say the least. 🙂

  26. Just stumbled across your blog and your post about Rollie and I’m reminded how little time we actually get with our dogs. They truly are best friends and they’re joy at seeing us at the end of the day is so special. I’m glad you brought so much happiness to Rollie’s life by adopting him, he was a lucky dog! Thanks for sharing your story.

  27. @Lisa Keyes Scott – Thank you for your kind comment Lisa. 🙂

  28. Ed Miller

    Some three weeks ago I lost Nathan who was 15 1/2 years old. A sweet dog who lost his master, my brother, on Christmas 2005. His apartment was opened on the 27th and he went outside and was run over twice by a car. He survived that as an old man and flew from LA, CA to PA where a friend of my brother’s took over. In nine months she died and I had Nathan since November 2006. He was in great shape for his age but then within a week he went straight downhill. Man’s best friend for sure. I still look for him but—-

  29. Fish Kungfu

    I just stumbled across your blog today, and I really like it. I am so sorry for the sudden loss of your best pal, Rollie. He sure is a handsome fella. As others have mentioned, the “Rainbow Bridge” is very comforting for anyone who has lost a pet-child-friend. My best friend, Shadow, was almost 15 years old when he went to the Rainbow Bridge just 2 weeks ago (July 11, 2010), so I definitely know how you feel. My eyes welled up a bit just reading about your loss. It sounds like you were a good Dad to Rollie.

    I highly recommend you do a Google video search for “Skidboot” and watch the first result, “Skidboot the dog”. The relationship between Skidboot between Skidboot and his Dad is very heart-warming and amazing.

    God bless you and little Rollie’s spirit.


  30. I know how difficult is to loose a beloved puppy. But I congratulate you for this post! If a new dog get to be adopted by u guys, it will sure be a luck little fella

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