Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Beloved Boxer Named Romeo

In my lifetime I've written several love letters, some I've sent too soon and some I've sent too late. This is the first one I've ever sent to a dog. His name is Romeo.

I first met Romeo while dating Billy. Having always been an animal lover, especially dogs, I had an instant bond with Romeo - but that had nothing to do with me and everything to do with Romeo. He was special. He was on the very verge of being human. His eyes, his expressions, the way he would tilt his head when listening to you or asking you a question. Yes, he asked questions - he had this certain way of looking right into your soul and it was as if you could hear his voice. It wasn't just me who felt this bond with Romeo, it was everyone who came in contact with him.

Romeo was a big boy - an albino boxer with pale pink skin and black spots, as Billy always liked to say. When he would get hot the pink in him would show up even more. His ears were like velvet upon velvet. That was my favorite place to pet him - pulling on the length of his ears gently to get that feel of velvet in my hands. He loved to sit up on the couch like a person - his body half erect with his head resting on the highest part of the sofa. The perfect spot to watch football, baseball or The Dog Whisperer. It was also a great spot for scoping out whatever food might be left out on the kitchen counter, like a whole chicken still in the box or a package of doughnuts. He was equally comfortable jumping quickly onto the warm spot of the bed if Billy left the bed for even a minute. It's amazing how quickly he could transition from jumping into bed into a full-blown "I've been sleeping here for hours" kind of snore.

Romeo had a partner in crime, his beloved Juliet. Juliet is a fancy little dog full of light and energy - her official breed name is a long-haired, deer-legged chihuahua. Romeo probably weighed close to a 100 pounds. Juliet weighs about as much as five feathers. Maybe six. She is so small she could curl up in a ball and rest comfortably in the space inbetween Romeo's outstretched paws. They had a love affair and a playfulness that was wonderful to watch. Rolling around together, chasing each other up and down the hall and exhausted at the end, curled up entwined with other. Juliet delighted in torturing Romeo to no end with her constant nipping at his ankles - that was their foreplay. He loved her enough to endure it all with grace and sometimes a heavy sigh.

Romeo got sick a short while ago. It was sudden and devastating. This beautiful, wonderful dog who was still just a young dog, passed away from heart and lung problems. He wasn't even mine, but my heart aches for him. I can't even begin to imagine the loss that Billy feels. As Billy said to me recently, Romeo didn't belong to him - he belonged to God and God had loaned him to Billy for a short while. It was a very generous loan - the kind that can never be paid back - the gift of loving Romeo is immeasurable. Billy decided to have Romeo cremated when he passed away. So, for now, Romeo is home with his loved ones, Billy and Juliet. Perhaps one day they'll have a private moment and go on another adventure together - someplace Romeo loved.

Dear Romeo........ I love you and I miss you. Thank you for the love..........


Bill said...

Sheri, i love you for many reasons, not one of which is greater then another, but for your love of Romeo, thank you, and thank you for the wonderful piece! The tears streaming down my face at this moment are bitter sweet...Love for you and Romeo, and Juliet, and family and friends, and a reminder its all so swift and short...And gratitude for all of it as well...No rainbows with out a little rain...The rain will pass, until then, it streams down and out in buckets...sadness, loss, and Love...Thank you! God Bless you and us all!

Lisa Loria said...

So sweet and SAD!
That was lovely.
To LOVE...the four legged and two legged kind.

Burlap Luxe said...

Hello Sheri,
A love so dear...(Tear)
Blessings to you and your children.

PS. So happy to hear the sea life is treating you well.

Burlap Luxe said...

PS. Sheri
My blog was featured in Romantic Homes magazine this month October 2010

sandra said...

It was so good to see you this weekend. So sorry for the loss of Romeo. The love for an animal is such a beautiful gift.

Lori Bei Durst said...

Such a wonderful tribute to "man's" best friend. Thanks for sharing! :o)
fondly, Lori