As I write this, I look down and see an empty floor. For the last few years I have had Rocky by my side. He has been the one living thing that has witnessed just about everything that has happened to me in the 21st Century. Now, Rocky is the last real sacrifice I have made before I leave Syracuse. He will stay here with the ex-wife to live out the rest of his days.
I cannot help but feel sad about this even though I know that I am doing the right thing. He will be much happier in Syracuse where there is more grass and trees. The chances are extremely high that he will be more spoiled than ever and I am ok with that. It was just heart breaking to say good bye to him. It is going to be weird to wake up every morning and not have to walk him. I am grateful that my days here are numbered because him not greeting me everyday when I open the door to my bedroom will be difficult.
Rocky is a reminder of where I have been. He was a puppy sleeping on my chest when I was going through my unemployment period in 2000. I remember the walks from Soundview to Castle Hill, in which, we crossed through the mall on White Plains Road in the Bronx. I also remember hugging him hard after I came home from 9/11.
He had such great resilience to survive that first drive to Syracuse. Rocky hates the snow but loved to dig his face in it. I remember how he loved the other dog, Rusty, and how sad he was when he died. Rocky has seen me at my worst during the divorce and he is seen me at my best when I sold the house. He could tell my moods and always found away to make me feel better. I repaid him by nursing him back to health when he was sick.
I have watched him grow old and lose his eye sight. Rocky is like an old man now with his old man ways. You have to carry him downstairs because he is afraid to fall. I almost do not remember life without having to cater to him. Yet, I would not have it any other way because I truly love that dog.
Saying goodbye was something I had to prepare for. He was originally supposed to come back home with me. But, things happen and situations change. Rocky will be in a better place and will still be loved. I will miss him more than than he will know. This is truly my last sacrifice. I feel know that I am coming back with nothing but the clothes on my back (and the comic books, dvds, PS3, and TV in the Car)…