"You know, puppies do get older, and you still have to take care of them when they are regular dogs." -said the snarky random girl who was hugging and kissing my puppy Rocco on a beautiful summer day in July 2004. Granted, we were dropping him off for the day at my friends house to go party at the 10 Ugly Men Festival in ROC, but I thought we were being responsible have someone dog sit him!
While everyone oo'd and ahh'd when we adopted our 6 week old Rocco from a shelter in upstate NY, there were plenty of other opinions, including that chick's. Why would you guys get a dog when you're still in college? What happens if you two break up? How are you going to be able to afford a dog? Do you know how much puppy shots are? Really.. you think you can handle the responsibility? (and that was just from our parents!)
And then the day we adopted him on a whim, we learned our roommate was allergic to dogs. Maybe we can sneak Rocco in the basement and he wouldn't even notice! The sneezes started, and Toughguy and I packed up our things to crash in our friends living room for what would be the next 2 months, 2 college kids on a couch, with a dog, while paying rent at a different fab apartment. All this for a little puppy who had the sharpest teeth I've ever seen a 10 lb thing have, and wasn't afraid to use them.
It was a roller coaster ride at first, the heels he chewed, my hair straightener that no longer straightens, when he'd sneak out the back door and give us a panic attack running around to find him on the other side of the street, the $300 vet bills where I'm not sure they even did anything. But for all the bad things there were awesome great things we now had by having a dog.. the never ending dog kisses, having someone so excited to see you when you walk in the door, his grumbles where I swear he's laughing, the day i came home from the bar and cried because Toughguy had taught him how to 'shake' and I felt bad for missing it because i was having drinks with the gals, teaching him how to swim at Ellison Park, asking him to pose for our Table # pictures so he could 'be' at our wedding, and him being the first one to jump up and give us a hug and say congrats when Toughguy got down on one knee and proposed in our rose petal, tealight filled apartment.
6 years later, our dear old friend Rocco turns 6 years old. Its crazy to think he's counted on us for his entire life, as well as my Mom who at first thought he was a big brat. Then the summer we bought our house, we asked if she could take him up to VT with her while we packed. A few weeks hanging out with him, I'm pretty sure Rocco is more regarded to Mamma Q than most humans she knows. And now he's a big brother to Lexie! I'm sure he misses the days he got all of the attention, but the fact that she idolizes him and worships his every move 24/7.
I'd like to wish a very Happy Birthday to Rocco. While I'm going to stop somewhere after work to pick him up a special gift, if he had his choice, he'd just ask for a simple pair of dirty socks to chew on... his absolute favorite thing in the world. Think of that next time you get a big kiss from him!