Rooney, my little Scottie, has moved on from this world. He died Monday morning, November 15th at 1:30 am, having lived a good, long life of 13 years and 4 months on this earth. A happier spirit there never was! He was born connected to the worlds of bliss and delight, and he smiled constantly. He never had an angry or mean moment and was a devoted, loving and incredibly tolerant being. I loved the Roo, as he was affectionately called, and have learned from his loving example. We should all be so fortunate to exist in such a loving, happy and peaceful state of mind.
I got Rooney in late 1991 in Modesto, California. Mary White and I, in the market for Scottish terrier pups, drove out to a farm where there was a litter of new Scottie puppies. When we arrived, they were all out on the lawn, scrambling about. I sat down in the grass in their midst, and Roo was the one who came running over and plopped himself in my lap. Well, that was as clear a sign as ever was that he was destined to come and live with Sita and me. Mary got his brother and litter-mate, Joshua.
Throughout his life, Roo was a happy and spirited sort. He was laid back and mellow, but once outdoors, nothing was better to him than the chase! He had to go the route of the school of hard knocks, learning about what and what not to chase. In the process, he got skunked several times, and at one point had to spend a whole week outside on the deck, airing out. He even tried to paw a porcupine he had sniffed out and cornered during a hike, an escapade that I fortunately and hastily cut short. He loved to hunt squirrels, field mice, rabbits, and, when we moved to Colorado, he discovered the prairie dogs, which were an ongoing entertaining challenge. He would hurtle from one side of the field to another, trying to desperately catch one of these little pranksters. He had the heart of a greyhound, but alas, the legs of a Scottie; but nevertheless, he never gave up trying, in vain, to capture his coveted quarry.
Sometimes he bit off more than he could handle when he focused his fearless spirit on the larger things in life. His large game hunting expeditions included a sizeable herd of mule deer, which he chased into the mountains (it took me an hour to catch up with him - I followed the baying hound-in-pursuit cries through the brush!) and, on one of his more foolhardy expeditions, a band of very large elk. The elk were not impressed, and the operation was called off.
However, though he was a warrior in the wild, at home, he was clearly the beta dog, and he played second fiddle to Miss Sita, who was five years older, and very much the alpha female. While she was alive, she ran a tight ship, and made the day to day decisions for the two of them, especially regarding the route for daily walks. When Sita passed on in 2000, the Roo was somewhat clueless about this decision making process, and first day out alone, stopped at the street corner, not knowing which direction to go! But he soon took charge, and blossomed into his full "Rooness" and took on the mantle of the sole beloved pet, a role that he clearly grew to love.
Throughout his lovely and sweet life, Rooney gave me unconditional love and was the sweetest companion a girl could ever want. When Wasim came into my life in September of 2003, he adopted Roo as his son, and affectionately referred to him as "Sonny Boy". Secretly, Wasim prepared Roo the tastiest grilled chicken bits each night that he trimmed from our dinner and prepared his breakfast with cottage cheese with glucosamine (for his joints) each morning. This fall, Wasim made a house for Roo and put a sleeping bag inside so Roo would have a comfy safe haven and a cave of his very own. Though Rooney did not have the house very long, he absolutely loved it, and slept in it all day long.
As he matured, the Roo became very contemplative and deep. He loved to sit by the sliding glass door or in the grass, just gazing for hours, smelling the breeze, watching the birds and the leaves move, and witness the gentle procession of life. He loved to sleep in the grass under the shade of trees during the warmer months, and he loved the feeling of the moist earth and leaves under his body.
Till the end of his life, Roo was able to walk, and on Sunday, he took his last walk out to the grass and lay down to sleep. I had to carry him back in. He had not eaten for 3 or 4 days and had stopped drinking water altogether. "Our son is leaving us", Wasim said to me. I knew Roo's time was close, and I stayed with him throughout the weekend, checking on him and giving him comfort. Sunday night, he was in distress, and we did the last thing we could for him. He died peacefully at the emergency clinic at 1:30am on Monday morning, in a peaceful setting surrounded by those who loved him best in this world. We petted and kissed him and took a lock of his fur, and
wished him well on his journey to doggie heaven.
I suspect that Miss Sita met him at the gates of heaven, and that they had one heck of a party. No doubt, after the party, they went and chased prairie dogs together and had a fine time. Now, in his renewed body, he never tires and he can run with complete abandon. The days are long and good. He may well watch over me from the vantage point of doggie heaven and cast a benevolent and caring eye my way from time to time. A fine and noble doggie he was - let's raise a glass in celebration to the life of Rooney!