15 May 2009

Farewell Old Friend: RolyTheDog (1995? - 2009)

Readers of the EcoRover blog are familiar with "RTD" (RolyTheDog). She died this week--nearly 14 years old, she led a happy happy existence and enriched the lives of all who knew her.

My wife Jan (Mrs ER), daughter Emily, and I were having pizza and beer at Mike Calucchia's Ippity Bop Cafe in Butte America. Spring of 1997. Mike was active with animal rescue, and knew that our dog had died recently. We walked out to the car, Mike followed us, and we found a "nearly 2-year old," big-nosed hound in the backseat. "Just take her home for a few days, and bring her back if she doesn't work out." RolyTheDog (Roly rhymes with Poly) fit right in to our active lifestyle:

Roly became fast friends with Emily, swimming in the river:

Catching frogs:



Climbing peaks:


Nordic skiing:

Cutting the family Christmas tree:

Helping with Science Fair research/fieldwork:

Testing out the boyfriend:

Or just hanging out:

Around the house, she was eager to fetch the morning newspaper:

Sun bathe in the yard:

Be friendly with the cats:

Or mother a visiting puppy:

And yes, she did love to roll (almost never in anything smelly!):

Roly loved every trip in the Land Rover (and any road trip, anywhere):

Rafting on the Big Hole River:

Fishing with Jan (Mrs ER) and friends:

And inspecting (and kissing) trout:

A few days before she died, RTD came along on one last fishing trip, and had one last swim in a swift, cold creek:

Farewell, old friend and good member of the family:

We will all follow in your tracks someday:


Lisa Wilson said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss! Dogs become such a big part of the family that's it's never easy to let them go, no matter how old they are.

I think you're right about me needing to label my aspen trees on my blog. My husband was just laughing at those birch tree comments.

mountain.mama said...

Oh, I'm sorry. I know how hard it is to lose such a great companion. It's the downside of being a dog lover. It looks like Roly had a good life with your family.

Rio Arriba said...

What a wonderful tribute to such a good friend.

It's so hard to lose them. My thoughts are with you and your family.

I think God said "I will give you the perfect companion, but because he is perfect you may not have him for long." Something like that anyway.

Get another dog, soon!

B Squared said...

It is so amazing the effect animals have on our lives. You certainly have chronicled his life beautifully. It would have been a pleasure to have shaken his paw.

heide said...

Oh, Pat, I'm so sorry. What a great tribute. I'm all teary and I never even got to meet her.

The Crow said...

What a touching tribute to a good friend and beloved member of the family.

I remember every dog I've ever loved...can't remember the names of some of my human friends, but I can name every dog.

It's great that she got have this last outing on such a good day with you.


Emma said...

I'm so sorry, Pat! We will miss Roly's presence. How wonderful you had so many full years with her.

Leslie said...

I am so sorry to hear about Roly. My dog of almost 14 years died last year and I still think of her so much and miss her. Dogs are such wonderful beings. They just live too short. You are in my thoughts.

Sean Eamon said...

Sorry to hear about Roly. Your students will forever remember Roly in the Engineering Hall being a polite bystander.

The Span Of Life
The old dog barks backwards without getting up.
I can remember when he was a pup.

The Hunter's Wife said...

So sorry to hear about your loss. Our dogs sure do become such a large part of our families.

Hecate said...

One thing I've learned from my many animal friends is that life is all about the quality of the experience. Be at peace knowing you gave her one of the best.

fishing guy said...

ER: It was a wonderful tribute to your faithful companion and fellow fisherman.
My favorite fried fish I call Italian Crappie and dip the fillets in a mixture of Parisian Cheese and Italian Bread Crumbs.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi ER, I'm so sorry about Roly... My cocker lives for about 15 yrs. We do get attached to them, don't we?????

Hopefully, you will find another dog that loves to roll---and you can name it Poly!!!!!

Roly did have a great life with your all... I know that he knew that.. (He told me!!!) ha ha

Anonymous said...

That's one fine looking hound. I'm sorry she's gone, but how lucky you guys had her in the family.

Janie said...

After reading that post, I feel like I knew Roly. What a great dog. We lost our Molly after 14 years, a couple of summers ago. She was such a big part of our family memories, I guess we'll always think of her and miss her.

Anthony Willard said...

I'm so sorry about Roly. She was such a good dog. I remember her sneaking out to keep Jackie company at her desk while she was working. Jackie told me that she sneaked her a Dorito here and there. No wonder Roly always wandered out there!

Anonymous said...

Damnit. Those dogs do capture our hearts don't they? All the pictures of RTD with Emily had me just bawling...reminds me so much of our hounds with our boys...litter of intermixed species. The one of you driving with her head on your shoulder just killed me...beautiful dog, great adventures, & a full life lived in glorious country...all we can ask for I suppose. My heart hurts for your loss, but it's joyous to know she brightened your life for so many years.

Peace & hugs,

Quiet Paths said...

Hey neighbor. Thanks for this heart-deep tribute to your old friend. Lots of memories here. That is a tough loss. Happy existence is very good.

Chad Okrusch said...

Pat, Jan, and Em--

I'll miss Roly too. We were with you in spirit on Sunday morning. The photo tribute was beautiful.

Chad and family

Joe McKee said...

This is a beautiful memorial. What a life RTD had. I think you are all lucky to have had each other. Very sweet.

Kristine Shreve said...

Oh, it's so hard to lose a pet that you love. Roly looks like she was a wonderful dog. I'm sorry for your loss.

Tim from Bozeman said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I will really miss seeing RTD in your posts, but not as much as I'm sure you are already missing her.
Take heart, my friend she had a great life. My condolences.

EcoRover said...

Thanks everyone, for your heart-felt comments. Some of you knew RTD personally as my students or colleagues, others just through this blog. But you all understand the role that companion animals play in our lives and families. May you all experience a fine canine friend in your own lives.

troutbirder said...

You said and showed it all perfectly Pat. 14 years and a good life for him and wonderful memories for you. Well done RTD

Tammie Lee said...

Ah, lovely tribute to your friend. Looks like you shared a full and wonderful life together!

~Sheepheads said...

Only dog owners can fully appreciate the void created when their best friend goes. Dogs eventually tear our hearts out. Sorry about RTD. ~G

The Crow said...

I've been back, silently, several times just to look at Roly again. She was a beauty, and her personality comes through your photos.

Again, my condolences.


spy said...

Oh my ... what a lovely photo/essay tribute to RTD. He shared my heart too. Thank you for being his life friend.

EcoRover said...

Thanks Howard (aka "Spy?").

Karen said...

So sorry for your loss..

What a wonderful tribute to a beautiful lady..

R.I.P. Roly..

Marcia said...

Pat, sorry to hear about your dog. What a nice tribute, and great photos.


tsduff said...

Very sorry to hear about Roly - she was already dear to my heart after only a few blogs. She was neat - and I know how much she is missed already :(


Sam! said...

Oh, man. I'm really sorry about Roly. She was a really amazing dog and I still think about her a lot. She was basically a person, and the most decent person you could meet at that. I hope you guys are all doing well and maybe I'l see you around town.