I have not experienced a lot of grief from loss in the past decades.  I have a lost a few grandparents, but they were older and since I did not see them on a daily basis, the grief was less of a process.  I cried at the funeral and when I thought of them later on, but I did not feel that heart wrenching sadness you feel when you lose a child, spouse or parent, that you hear about.  I have lost a few good friends and get sad when I think about them and still do, but its not that gut wrenching sadness.

Almost 12 years ago I was walking on the Strand in Manhattan Beach.  This lady was walking two beautiful pugs and I fell in love with them right away.   I asked her where she got the pugs, so she invited me into her mansion on The Strand while she got the phone number of her breeder.

Less than two years later, I put a deposit down on one of those lovely pugs and I had my own pug baby in March of 2004.   We named him Rocco Sauvage LoGiudice and he was so beautiful.   I would take him to work at my office in Venice Beach and everyone loved him.  In 2005 when I was in and out of the hospital and at home recovering Rocco was my constant companion.  He would follow me into the bathroom and lean over the tub to look in if I was in taking a bath.    The years flew by and Rocco travelled with us in my Jetta when we moved to Seattle in 2006.   In 2007 I named my handbag company after Rocco and Dante (my other pug) and Rocco would attend several trunk shows with me. He came to my office everyday and was a part of my day to day life.
We named this red patent leather bag, the "Rocco" bag and it was my best seller ever.  A lot of my friends still carry it.  

He travelled with me again in the same beat up Jetta when I drove down from Seattle to La Jolla, CA in Spring 2013.  In October of 2013 he had what seemed like a stroke and eventually stopped being able to use his back legs, then he just got weaker and weaker.   The vet did not know what it was, so I wrote an email to my former vet up in Washington.  She gave me a short list of what it could be and it was one of those fatal neurological diseases...the name eludes me now.   I gave up going to the vet and just took care of Rocco at home.  I did not want to take him in and pay $200 to have him put to sleep.  That just did not seem to be the right thing to do - I gave him a bath, hand fed him, and he would pee when I laid him on the grass outside, then I would carry him back in.  I knew he did not have a long time to live so I did not mind doing those things.   On Christmas Eve we took him with us to the hotel where we were staying because he was too sick to leave with the dog walker.   At 2:45 am I woke up and went over to him, I knew he was gone.  He had stopped breathing.  I put my face on his fur, he had really soft fur and I cried and told him "I would miss him and that he was so beautiful"

He was so beautiful up until the end.  He had a very trusting soul and was such a handsome boy.  Everyone loved him.  I loved him the most.  Today I am feeling that heart wrenching grief that I have read about in books and magazines.  Its like a part of your heart has been ripped out.   Yes, he was just a dog, but he was my heart and the first dog I have ever really loved.   Sometimes I wonder why does God take the most beautiful things from your life?  He was so beautiful and on the dark days of my life he was my only sunshine.   I love and will always miss him.

We love you Rocco.

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