So I thought a lot this week about what personal story I wanted to share because I didn’t really want to share some sob story, but that’s the first thing I think of. I’d like to tell you that after a lot of thinking I came up with some inspirational story to tell, but I didn’t. I’m going to make you cry and if you don’t at least mist up while reading this story than you probably don’t have a heart. I’m just kidding it’s not that bad. But it is incredibly sad…
Ok, so it was the summer after 7th grade and I was spending the night at a friend’s house during the week. Perks of summer and all. My mom was spending time with our four pound Chihuahua, Rocco, while waiting for her first kid to arrive. (She runs a daycare). She did that every morning, but when it was closer to the children arriving she would put him away so he did not bark at everyone coming in and out.
Well today the first kid arrived early and Rocco jumped out of my mom’s lap and ran out the door. He had actually done this quite a few times in the past few months. He was just too interested in the outdoors. He thought the world was his playground. My mom could not go after him because she had to watch her kids and my stepdad was not home…neither was I and I would feel bad about for a long, long time.
So my little sisters, 11 and 9 at the time, went out looking for him. They found him across the street in the neighbor’s backyard. He had tried to play with their jack Russell terrier, but that didn’t go so well. He had a broken neck and the vet said he’d been killed instantly.
**This is where I would like to put a picture up of Rocco, but he was before social media websites so they are all in print form
I think the worst part about this is that my little sisters found him. They were too young to see something like that. Neither of them knew what to do and just ran back to get my mom who went out to find her precious doggy. She loved Rocco probably as much as she loves my siblings and me.
The phone call I received was the worst I’ve ever had to this day. I just kept asking “what do you mean?” over and over again because I couldn’t believe that he was dead.
We had a little doggy funeral and Rocco was cremated. His little box that says “Rocco” Jarczyk is still sitting at the top of my mom’s closet. She wants his ashes to be buried with her. Judge my mom if you want I think she’s crazy too. But I’ll do it for her because I know how much she loved that dog.
This was my first experience with death. I had not lost anyone close to me yet and I was too young to understand what was going on when my other dog had to be put down years earlier. It was really hard to see my family hurting and know that I was the only one not completely traumatized by the accident. I didn’t even have to see him.
I know this probably sounds crazy, but I spent days trying to remember the last time I’d spent time with him or what I’d done with him. It was surprisingly hard to remember when you come in contact with your dog so much on a daily basis and he just becomes part of your life.
Rocco died on March 18, 2004 and we brought home Dexter on March 29, 2004. My mom thought getting another dog would help her grieve. She was very selective about picking him out though…Rocco was the typical Taco Bell looking Chihuahua and Dexter is white with light brown spots. He is also much bigger. Rocco was a tea cup breed meant to be smaller, but Dexter is now nine pounds.
At the time my mom thought she was going to be going back to work outside the home and Chihuahuas get lonely so ten days after we brought Dexter home we had Daisy. (She came already named that is not my family’s personality at all.) She is black with white spots and also a much bigger breed.
This seemed to help my family a little bit, but they mostly bonded with my parents. This just brought me much closer to my dog at my dad’s house who was one year old at the time. At first I hated him because he was part jack Russell terrier and I couldn’t get over that, but after ignoring him and “being mean” to him for a few weeks I felt horrible and cried a lot and told him I was sorry for being such a horrible owner. Don’t judge me I was thirteen. We’ve been inseparable ever since.
Even though I had Dexter, Daisy, and Kobe (also do not judge I was going through a Lakers phase) I still missed Rocco and they didn’t really fill the void. I cried every night for almost a year over Rocco…I don’t know if it’s normal to be that torn up over an animal’s death, but I know it affected m whole family that way.
Ever since then my mom has been crazy about how we take care of our pets. Dexter and Daisy are mean little dogs that do not socialize very well and bark constantly. This is because after Rocco my mom sheltered them so much. Rocco used to ride around in her purse and go everywhere with us. My mom blamed herself for making him fearless so Dexter and Daisy are pretty mean to everyone that’s not family.
They are getting better now though because last May we got another dog. See when my mom feels like she is losing something in her life she replaces it with a dog. My youngest sister went to kindergarten…she came home from a bar with Rocco. (That’s a whole different story). She made it until my brother was going into first grade before she started looking at puppy websites again, but sure enough she realized my brother was going into kindergarten and in 10 years he was going to graduate and Dexter and Daisy were most likely going to die all in the same year. She had a mini breakdown, begged my stepfather a lot, and came home with Blue, a Pomeranian Chihuahua with a blue coat.
Luckily have Blue is socializing Dexter and Daisy so they aren’t so mean because people were really getting annoyed with them. Buying Blue is how I knew my mom was completely healed after losing Rocco because he is not going to be any more than five pounds, but he still gets to run errands with us and she’s not making him fear everything outside of our home.
He is not even full Chihuahua though and none of them look anything like Rocco at all. Even though that is the type of Chihuahua my mom grew up with I don’t think we will ever have another Taco Bell dog again.