Ronan would have turned 15 today

Facebook just reminded me: my dog, Ronan MacScottie, would have been 15 today.

He died on October 19, 2014.

Ronan MacScottie

It’s always a joy to remember the energy and attitude and laughter he brought to my life every day. Literally, every day, without exception, he made me laugh. As I have noted before, he was with me through some very dark times, and more days than I like to recall that was the only smile that crossed my face.

On the other hand, the day he died was among the worst of my life, and it still guts me to think about it.

There is one thing I’m incredibly grateful for. Those who have known me can tell you that sometimes I talk about the good old days too much. (I grew up in the South, so I come by it natural.) I’m sure those who knew me in Boston, in Seattle, in Bend, in my last tour of NC, I’m certain they got sick to death of me never shutting up about how great Denver was.

To this day I talk about Ronan. A lot. My girlfriend hears, several times a week, some sentence or another beginning with an iteration of “Ronan always ________.” Her Blue Heeler, Trouble, is a laugh-a-minute bundle of distilled insanity, and she’ll comment on something he did. That always seems to trigger a memory of Ronan, and reflexively, out comes “that’s how Ronan was, too,” or “did I ever tell you about the time Ronan…”

This would probably drive some people around the bend. Thing is, she’s a dog person. She knows the joy of having a dog in your life and she knows the anguish of losing that friend, too. She talks about the dogs she’s had, as well. She gets it.

When Facebook blindsides me, it always hurts at first. I remember the last day, not the other 4,429. Give or take. But the moment passes, and I find myself smiling at the life, not dwelling on the death.

And I’m grateful to have someone who understands.

Sail Away Home

Sail Away Home: Drake Park/Deschutes River, Bend OR, October 19, 2014

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