Oct 27 2007
By Emily Goodson
Dino was a dog who made it impossible not to love her.
Named for the famous cartoon dinosaur, Dino was a Rottweiler who belonged to my friends Rob and Nicholle, but she touched the lives of a much larger circle of people in Camden County - so much so that, when the difficult decision was made ……………..
on Sunday to put her down, many of those people dropped whatever they were doing in order to be there
Dino would have been 11 on Nov. 5. Over the last few weeks, she had been in and out of the vet’s office with health problems, from blindness to a bum leg. However, it was the vet’s discovery of a massive growth near her heart that prompted the decision to lay to her to rest.
Without a doubt, the hardest part about Dino’s death was that Rob, her devoted owner of more than 10 years, was unable to be there. You see, Rob is training in Mississippi with his Navy Seabee unit in preparation for a deployment to Iraq. All he could do was say goodbye to Dino through a cell phone, which Nicholle held to Dino’s ear at the vet’s office. Her eyes lit up when she heard the voice of her beloved “dad.”
Rob received Dino as a puppy from his ex-wife, Chris, and over the years Dino saw Rob through all of life’s ups and downs. Her favorite things to do were stick her head out the window on car rides and eat ice off the floor of the bay at the fire station, where Rob worked.
Dino quickly befriended the other firefighters, who always had a rolled up towel and a game of tug-of-war waiting when she came to the station. All the guys knew how much she meant to Rob.
Myself and the rest of Rob’s and Nicholle’s friends spent most of this week swapping stories about Dino; like the one about when she once accompanied Rob to the fire station.
One of Rob’s co-workers, Jason, had never met Dino until that day, and it just so happened that Rob and his partner got a call and had to leave Dino at the station just as Jason was arriving.
You really can’t blame Dino for “protecting” her fire station. She refused to let Jason into the building until he managed to crawl to the refrigerator and grab some bologna. She and Jason were good friends after that - as long as Jason kept feeding her bologna. Rob came back to the station to find Jason and Dino sitting on the couch, a steady stream of lunchmeat passing between them.
Other Dino stories were more poignant, like the one about how she got Nicholle over her childhood fear of big dogs. As a young girl, Nicholle attended Girl Scout meetings at a neighbor’s house. Each time she arrived, she was bowled over by the family’s four big dogs, and not surprisingly developed a fear of large canines.
Dino changed all that with her sweet personality. Nicholle said Dino always thought she was a lap dog, despite her 125-pound frame. Rottweilers often get a bad rap due to their fearsome look and natural protective instincts, but Dino was a walking PR campaign for the breed. She was smart, loyal and gentle, and got along well with Nicholle’s three cats, Moose, George and Misty.
They say all dogs go to Heaven. I am privileged to be able to say that I knew one of its newest angels.
(Emily Goodson is the assistant editor of the Tribune & Georgian and a regular Friday columnist.)