ROSCOE - RIP 

Roscoe, my wife Shino’s best friend and devotee (I’m not jealous), and my co-pilot for fourteen years, has gone to Heaven. He was healthy, fit and trim, eager to please, and always ready to chase the squirrels in the park. It was “his thing”. 

Up until his last few weeks. 

One afternoon, he suddenly had a balance problem. He lost coordination, and kept veering left into walls and whatever else was in the way. It lasted a few minutes, and passed. A few days later, a more serious episode occurred. It passed also, but he retained his balance issues, a head tilt, and a drift to the left when walking. The next day I took him to the vet for tests. 

What I thought was a stroke, was diagnosed as Vestibular Disease, common in older dogs. It is an infection of the middle ear, usually resolving itself in a couple of weeks, returning the dog to near normalcy. If it didn’t clear up, a brain tumor is suspected. 

Though functioning well, his condition didn’t clear up after a few weeks, and then began a noticeable, rapid decline. Old behaviors changed, and new ones came on. I'm not sure he recognized me, and he would walk past the house when coming back from a walk. His muscle coordination worsened, began walking in circles, always to the left, and he spent his time gazing off into another world, or sleeping deeply. 

Back to the vet, it was agreed that he appeared to be slipping away. Most likely a tumor, which only neurological testing could confirm, and follow up treatments diagnosed as necessary. We decided to not chase a cure. His worst days were when going to the vet. Somehow, he always knew. We wouldn’t do it to him anymore.  

He had lived a good life. He showed no signs of being in pain. We would watch him now for when his quality of life became clearly negative. We entertained hopes for a remission. 

Shortly thereafter, after we had gone to bed, he had his worst seizure, lasting about an hour. Hyper-active with his tongue hanging out, he was running wild-eyed through the house running headlong into everything, until we were able to get his leash on and control him, somewhat. We knew his time had come, and the next day made arrangements with the vet. He had another seizure that evening. The next afternoon, we sent him to Heaven. 

As my co-pilot, he never made a wrong turn, and never complained when I did. He didn’t care for retrieving a ball, or a stick. “Let Bobbie (our cat) go get it”, he seemed to say. Which she did (she’s a strange one). He was just bright enough to get us to do just about anything for him. He was crazy about Shino, as was she about him (really, I’m not jealous). 

He was all heart, and vigilant about his job; letting other dogs and passers-by know that he was on duty, and watching over his back yard. There were squirrels, raccoons, possums, and skunks to run off. Though when it came to the skunks, he was sprayed six times by my count. Seems he never learned. We were slow to catch on, also.  

He filled our home with Love and Joy, and we will miss him. 

Until we meet again, Rest In Peace, Roscoe.

Photos by Me.

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