Today we say goodbye to our beautiful boy Sawdust Romeo. Thirteen and a half years ago he was delivered to us in Connecticut from Indianapolis by a rescue who specialized in relocating labs from the Midwest to the Northeast where we lived in Waltham, Massachusetts.
We had just moved there from Los Angeles. My first demand (request?) regarding the move was that I wanted a big “thunkin'” dog. In los Angeles I had met my now husband of 11 years, and against my single girl rules, I decided to move across the country with him. We’d been dating for a few years and I had stepped deeply into love.
So we adopted “Jake” who we then named Sawdust Romeo, a nickname for my uncle Ray who had just passed away. Ray was an avid animal lover, and a logger who courted and then married my dad’s sister Sally. My grandpa noted that he always had sawdust on him when visiting Sally. Hence, he named him the “Sawdust Romeo”.
Sawdust entered our newly-joined life together making us coparents. The chaos of a puppy is like eating a whole cake. So delicious but holy shit! What have we done? And then we all just got good at it. We became a family. Cowboy (the kitty who swiped at his face upon meeting him) even started cuddling up with him on rare occasions.
We’ve taught him tricks like “achoo” where he’ll get you a tissue. We’ve traveled like crazy. He’s lived in seven houses in five states from new England to Texas to the Pacific Northwest. When he was eight he got a maniacal little sister named Pixie Lollipop exactly two days after his kitty Cowboy went missing.
Sawdust is my hero. He survived Leptospirosis, Lyme disease and Anaplasmosis all at once. He wasn’t supposed to last the weekend. That was ten years ago when he was three and a half years old.
I know that every pet is special. I know they never stay long enough. But as I sit here waiting for the person to show up and help us help him go peacefully, I have to pay tribute to this boy who has guided me through so many struggles and provided me so much joy and love.
Sunday snuggles. I wag my invisible tail for you Sawdust. I am forever changed by your peaceful and amazing soul. That soul is partially within me and everyone you knew. Thanks for being our ring bearer, our light, and our best teacher.