On June 8th, 2019, I should be celebrating Romeo's 10th birthday. But I am not.

As many of you know, we lost the Best Boy Ever on May 18, 2018, three weeks shy of his ninth birthday. We lost him suddenly and do not know why.

This past year has been hard without him. I miss that boy so much. And when an anniversary rolls around, of course, the memories flood back in stronger than ever.

If you are reading this, you are most likely a dog lover so you get it. And if you have had that special one, that one sometimes referred to as your heart dog, you know it's even harder with that particular one.

I love Zuzu, our Greyhound/Irish Wolfhound mix. And we have grown closer over the past year. It has been nice in some ways to have some time to devote just to her.

So no offense to Zuzu, but Romeo was special. I grieve over the loss of all my dogs. I cry over all of them. Still.

But Romeo and I had a special connection, deeper than any I have ever had. He and I understood each other. We could share a look and know what the other was thinking. I could give the slightest gesture and he knew what I wanted him to do.

If there were a World Championship for Snuggling, Romeo and I would have won the Gold Medal. We could snuggle anywhere, anytime, regardless of how hot it was or how small the seat was. And Romeo insisted on it. His favorite place in all the world was in my lap. As a puppy, the ONLY way he would take a nap was if he could crawl in my lap or if I closed him in his crate. Otherwise, he was doing what I was doing.

If there were a World Championship for Connection, Romeo would have won that too. He was very tuned in with me and his eye contact could rival any other. This piece, of course, did not come entirely naturally. This piece I had to work on very very hard from the get-go. He was an independent confident guy who loved adventure. We worked hard on building a strong connection.

Remembering my dog

As a puppy in a litter of four, Romeo was Red Boy (had the red collar) and was nicknamed The Traveler. He was the first pup climbing out of the whelping box to explore his new exciting world. He loved adventure and that was natural from the very beginning!

I was visiting his litter from the time he was two weeks old until he came home with me at just under eight weeks of age. I took lots of photos to share with the rest of the families since they were all out-of-state.

When I sort back through the photos I took, I realize now that there actually were more of Romeo than any of the other pups. Not because he was my favorite, but because he was the one who most often was in the best position for photos. Looking back, I thought it was a coincidence.

Now I realize maybe it was not. Maybe Romeo knew he was mine before I did. I did not find out we were taking Romeo home until the night before we picked up our puppies.

Originally, the breeder had chosen the girl for me. And we had the name Zuzu (sound familiar?!) all picked out. We did not even have a boy name chosen.

Unbeknownst to the breeder, if I had been able to choose my own, I actually would have chosen Red Boy. So somehow Romeo made sure he came home with me in the end. I don't know how he managed it, but he was a smart boy.

Romeo did not have a name for the first few days he was home with us. It took us a few days to agree on a name. But we think we chose the right one. It suited him nicely. Don't you think?

Romeo will be with us always. I still tell stories about him and will continue to. He taught me so much. I miss him every day.

Please see our Memorial to Romeo here.