Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Man's Best Friend

Rommel 1999-2009

Losing a friend is never easy.  Rommel was a good and faithful friend and we grew to love him.  He lived with us for over two years, first on Ann Street and then at South Street.

At first we weren't sure how to handle him.  He had a reputation for aggressiveness, especially toward other dogs.  Taking him for a walk often involved traveling on side streets, being watchful for other dogs and crossing the street to avoid getting close to them.  Later, after taking him to a trainer for several sessions and learning how to behave while handling him (for it's the handler who needs the training more than the dog), we were able to walk him through the heart of Old Town, even on Duval Street among crowds, and control him when another dog was nearby.

Rommel was a great watchdog.  When we lived on Ann Street, a half-block from Duval Street he'd always let us know if someone was getting too near the gate or behaving badly.  He did the same for us on South Street even though he wasn't able to see who was out there he'd still give warning if there was somebody nearby.

We left Rommel at South Street when we moved to Elizabeth Street this past July.  The house at South Street had become his home.  He had almost two thirds of a walled-in acre there to roam, a covered porch to sleep on when it rained, and frequent visitors for human stimulation.

Rommel's owner lives elsewhere and has for several ears.  When he comes to Key West on visits the affection between dog and owner is evident.  Peter, his owner, got Rommel as a one or two year year-old, after he was taken from a prior owner who didn't treat him well and given to Peter.  When Peter left Key West to undertake business ventures elsewhere, Rommel became the charge of Captain Outrageous.  When the Captain died we were asked to care for Rommel and thus began our friendship.

Rommel died from complications from cancers that developed quickly and advanced quickly.  He was kept comfortable until the end. He now rests in the ground of the place that was his last home.

Goodbye, friend.  Perhaps we'll meet again one day for a romp in Elysian Fields.


Anonymous said...

Their lives are so short but they have a strong impact on an individual during that time. Devoted, good friends they are. Tuff to say goodbye.

Elizabeth Chasse said...

Well written Dad. Can't help but get teary eyed when I think about him.

Webmaster AKC 1 said...

Definitely the finest of canines, that one.

Charles Rinehart said...

Dogs are the best. A member of the family. Always there for you. Losing one is so hard. A great blog. Good luck. All the best.

Use OpenDNS