So, a lot has happened within the past few days.
-I moved into my apartment on Saturday. I believe it's rather awesome. I'm living with a lovely lady that I've been friends with since 5th grade.
-Classes started on Wednesday. I'm learning how to be a commuter student, so hopefully I'll share those funny-ish stories as they happen. A few already have.
-For being such a big university in terms of the number of students as well as the size of the campus, I have been amazed at the number of awesome people and friends that I've come across the last two days. It is extremely easy to become just a number here at UT, so it is refreshing and reaffirming to the soul to run into people who just brighten your day by simply crossing paths with you. I've needed that.
You see, I started my fall semester on an incredibly difficult and sad note. My dog Rocky has been sick the past few weeks and after a vet visit that yielded little hope, he took a fast turn for the worse (worst? ...whatever). So Sunday morning I met my family at the emergency vet clinic. The same damn place that we took Duke exactly 18 months before to be put to sleep. But in my heart, for the few days before we even took Rocky to the vet, I just had this feeling that he was getting ready to leave. And then I found myself mentally and emotionally preparing for what that day would feel like.
And I felt terrible doing that. Is it okay to prepare like that? I don't know. It still sucks, preparation or none at all. The wound left from the loss of Duke healed (as much as such a thing can, anyway), but then it was opened anew with losing Rocky. Another part of this newly festering wound is how Charlie is handling it all. Seriously, this dog is not completely a dog but has distinctly childlike qualities. He mourned and moped around, and when I went home for a few hours one afternoon, he hardly ever left me alone. He's alone now and only has the cats to keep him company, which doesn't say too much haha.
I took him outside to play. There's something about our backyard that is uniquely Duke and distinctly Rocky. It was sad for a few minutes as I knew it would be, and then suddenly I began thinking of all the things that made my boys happy. These thoughts in turn made me happy. I smiled at the bee Charlie snapped at, the blades of grass he tried to eat, the dirt caked between his toes, the sun warming his back, the sticks he used in place of dog toys. In each instance, I saw both Duke and Rocky through Charlie. And though I am sad that the boys are gone, I am happy knowing that they lived. I am happy knowing that Charlie boy had a good teacher and big brother in Rocky, as Rocky did in Duke.
As my Grandpa said in the waiting room, "dog in the mirror spells God." I am so thankful for the time that God gave my family and me with one of his angels. We'll miss you Rocky, you "Big Dog", woolly mammoth, Chewbecca look & soundalike dog you.
He absolutely loved playing in the snow. Other than rooting around the dog food bowl and making a huge mess, snow was probably his favorite thing.
Rocky always chased after bees and wasps...and was stung several times.
He always hated getting his hair cut during the few summers when it became unbearably hot outside. Rocky as a clean-shaven dog was always a funny sight, but he wore it with pride, at least after the initial embarrassment wore off.