This post is for me, I need to write this all down, last evening I lost a precious child of mine.

It’s almost 3am and I can’t sleep. I didn’t know it was possible to feel so sad. For anyone out there that’s not a huge dog lover, you’ll probably think I’m crazy. After supper yesterday evening, Chris took the dogs and the girls ball throwing to the park near our house, just as he’s done so many thousands of times before. He has no idea how it happened. He threw the ball with one of those ball-launchers and he presumes that the ball hit something as it suddenly bounced off towards the road with Rolo in full speed pursuit. At that moment he noticed a bakkie driving quite fast. It’s not a busy road at all and he tried to call Rolo but it was in vain, he hit the side of the bakkie. The girls were with him and fortunately a lady that he knows looked out of her flat window just above where it happened. He asked her to take the girls home while he rushed with both dogs to the vet that’s just around the corner on the back of the bakkie. That vet is just consulting rooms for a larger animal hospital about 15 minutes away, they had nothing there. By this time I’d driven in my car to the vet and walked back home with the girls and Olive as Chris rushed Rolo to the main animal hospital. I didn’t see Rolo and Chris told me when I saw him that he didn’t think Rolo would make it. Zoe was crying, I was crying. My mom came down and I got the kids into the bath. Chris then phoned to say that Rolo had died – he died on the way to the vet. Chris was sobbing and he then came home and we got the girls to bed and spent the evening sobbing. In utter shock and disbelief.

Rolo was 5 years old, not ready to die. He was an incredible dog, I miss him so much and I know it’s still going to get much worse before it gets better. He was always near you, it drove me crazy but wherever I was in the house, he would be lying there next to me. He was always happy and keen and eager to please.

I’d always wanted a chocolate lab after I read a book, “Emma VIP” as a child about a chocolate lab guide dog. My cousin heard about a lady that bred chocolate labs in Bloem and I phoned to ask if she had any litters available. She said she’d let me know as her dog was hopefully pregnant. Olive was about 8 months old I think and we wanted to get her a friend. I had literally just suffered my first miscarriage and was driving to school one day when my phone went, it was the lady offering me a chocolate lab and I accepted immediatly. He arrived on the plane from Bloem one night. The plane was late and we had to go to the cargo section to fetch him, I still remember it was about 1am when I eventually lifted this 6 week old brown bundle out of the crate. Olive was an incredibly obedient dog, a golden retriever whereas Rolo was a typical labrador and a real character. He was hard work – he was always hungry, woke us up unbelievably early in the morning for his food (when he was little), took forever to house train but was always unbelievably happy. Chris took him every single Saturday afternoon to dog school for a year, off they’d go in his old citi golf, with Rolo sitting so happy and so proud on the front seat next to him. He excelled at dog school. We’ll never have the time to take a dog EVERY Saturday to dog school, now that the girls are bigger (and here) and Chris’s work is so busy. There was also a brilliant dog school in Pinelands and we don’t live there anymore, I don’t even know if there are any dog schools in PE, my mom certainly didn’t manage to find one. He was boisterous as all labs are but mellowed over the years and was so obedient. He could go for walks and runs off lead, would ignore other dogs or food or whatever if told to do so. We could take the dogs anywhere and they would behave. They were my children before Zoe and Ava arrived and I still think of him as my precious only boy. We took them walking or ball-throwing every day and even twice a day before Ava arrived.

I want him back, why, why, why? There’ll never be another Rolo. I thought I could write it all down, all the thousands of memories and little things that he used to do. I can’t, there are just too many and it’s too hard. I am utterly and completely devastated. Some of you may not understand and I really don’t care, because there’ll be others of you that do, although right now it doesn’t feel like anyone understands just how heartbroken I am about my precious boy. We were probably told on an almost daily basis what a beautiful dog he was and how well behaved. He was in the very prime of his life. He made me feel so safe as he was such a good watch dog as well. I love Olive but she’s not a very cuddly dog and likes to keep to herself. I always said I’d never get another labrador and while it’s all to raw now, I’ll get another lab in a flash. Zoe desperately wants a cat, I’m not a cat person, I want a dog, I just want Rolo. Yet another reminder that we mustn’t take our loved ones (or our life) for granted. Live each day as if it’s your last and treat those close to you as if it is. I’m a perfectionist and like everything to be just right. I need to relax more with the girls (and Chris) and stop stressing about the little stuff. In memory of my precious boy I’m going to try my best to go with the flow a bit more, live more spontaneously, also be enthusiastic and happy as one just never knows what lies ahead. One’s perfect life can change in an instant. I would give anything to bring him back. It kills me to know I’ll never see his face again or the way his whole body wiggled when he wagged his tail (and his wagged incircles not side to side like normal dogs). He was one in a million for sure. I will miss you forever my boy.

With Zoe as a baby

The dogs aren't actually allowed on the couch - pregnant with Zoe

His puppy photos are all on a CD somewhere as our computer crashed just before Zoe was born and the photos were all recovered but saved onto discs.

I can’t do this anymore. It’s now almost 4, I know I won’t sleep. I’m so, so, sad. My parents are about to go away for a month. We’re spending Christmas alone as they’re away with my brother in the USA, we’re looking after their dog and keeping an eye on their house and Chris has some work stuff to do. My younger brother’s wife is about to have a 2nd baby, he has no leave left and they’re moving into a new house in the New Year. Chris’s family are also scattered – his middle sister isn’t married and she’s working over Christmas, so his folks will be with her in Cape Town (at their house), his oldest sister is on holiday with her family at Disneyland in the USA and his youngest sister will be at their holiday house on the Natal North Coast with her family. We do have lots of friends that will be here and in Jeffreys and St Francis so we won’t be technically alone, but Christmas does feel an awful lot bleaker without Rolo. I presume I will eventually start to feel better but I’m sure I’ll never stop missing him. We haven’t had many pets. We got a labrador when I was 4 that was put down when I was at University. My parents then got a Golden Retriever who was an awesome dog and they got another one, on my instigation the year I lived at home after I’d finished studying. Oscar was put down when we were living in Cape Town and Emma had to be put down earlier this year. They were all old and had lived full, happy lives. Rolo was still so young and full of energy. I kept thinking over and over and over again – I am so glad we got our dogs before the kids, so we had the time to train them and now they’re beyond that demanding, naughty puppy phase and we can just enjoy them. They were so good with the girls. I need to stop as this is just making me feel worse. I want him back. He just can’t be gone, my gorgeous boy.


8 Responses to “Rolo”

  1. Beth Says:

    I don’t think I’ve commented on yr blog before but had to respond to such a sad post.
    What a tragedy, so very, very sorry about the loss of your beautiful boy.

    My dogs are everything to me, my boy was hit by a car over a year ago, after getting out of our garden. We only found him the next morning – after a huge Cape Town storm – curled up on the side of a busy road, badly injured, shivering and in shock. I raced him to the vet, thru rush hour traffic, with my hazards on and driving on the wrong side of the road. Luckily the vet managed to save him. After lots of surgery and rehab he is doing ok, still doesn’t have full use of one leg, but I am beyond grateful that he is still with me.

    So sorry once again, Rolo was a gorgeous boy..

    • zamom Says:

      Thanks so much for the comment, I’m so glad that your boy is recovering I only wish with all my heart that Rolo could’ve been as lucky, I just wasn’t ready to say goodbye yet.

  2. Nisey Says:

    Oh hon, I completely get how big this is, I don’t know what I’d do if anything happened to our babies. They actually moved from the UK with us – their tickets cost more than ours!!

    Our animals become a part of our family and it really would be like losing an essential part of what makes us a family.

    big hugs

  3. samcy Says:

    Katherine I am just devastated for you.

    My girls are my world and if something had to happen to them I think I would just die. My dogs are not just pets to me but very important integral parts of my family. They have been my only “children” for 6 years and my heart is just breaking for you.

    It is clear that Rolo was more than just a pet to you as well.

    May he rest in peace and may your heart heal with time.

    Much love

  4. darylfaure Says:

    Katherine I’m so sorry my friend for your loss! Our pets really are a part of our family, and then when we lose one it leaves a huge hole in the family. You have so many wonderful memories of Rolo, and I hope they will bring you some comfort.

    Big hugs

  5. Irene Says:

    Katherine – I sooooo understand how you are feeling as we love our dogs to the moon and back. Oscar nearly died last week from a Mamba bite and Oli said he didn’t care how much it cost but we WILL save him. Its absolutely heartbreaking to lose a pet – especially one that has brought so much joy.. it will get easier but you will always remember him … Im so soo sorry for your loss (hugs)

  6. thebinges Says:

    I am so sorry Kath. My biggest hugs to you. What a beautiful young man Rolo was.

    All my love,

  7. Lesley Says:

    So sorry for your loss Katherine. I completely understand your sadness as I would feel the same devastation. {Hug}

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