He was black, with shiny curls and a terrier face. The only puppy to survive from a pack of eleven brothers and sisters. He had beautiful, sweet light brown eyes with golden sparks. He had a sweet, beautiful, loving soul.
And he was hit by a car. He couldn’t get up, one of his rear legs and hip had been crushed to bits. Too crushed; the vet said his only hope of survival (albeit a tiny one) was a very complicated operation. I took him to the University Hospital for Pets, and he went through six hours of surgery. I waited and waited, and then the surgeon told me that I had to force him to walk. If he couldn’t stand up, then it was the end. Roger was lying on the floor of the operating room, a terrible scar running all the way from his hip to his paw. I called him. “Roger, come to me. Come to me, please, my love”. And he tried so hard, but his legs wouldn’t obey. He fell once, and he fell again. And I called him, fighting the urge to take him into my arms and spare him such an ordeal.
The surgeon was denying with his head, saying silently that there was no hope. “Roger, come to mummy. Please Roger, come on, walk!”. And he walked, he walked with two front legs, dragging his rear legs behind. My courageous guy.
It took him months to learn to walk again, but he did. And then came the skin rash; his beautiful hair fell out and his skin got covered with bleeding, supurating sores. He had to be bathed every day with a nasty smelling liquid, and stopped from scratching. I had to take him to the vet to receive injections twice a day, and I had to dress him up with my daughters baby clothes so the bandages that covered his body would keep into place. It was summer, and it was hot, and it was painful to see him suffering so much.
But he learned not to scratch himself, and slowly, very slowly, his skin regenerated and his hair started to grow again. But grey. A two years old dog with grey hair.
He liked to run on three legs, the fourth leg an useless appendage. He liked to play with the cats and unearth all my plants and make holes where he shouldn’t. He liked, most of all, to be with me wherever I went.
He attacked the stupid pitbull who attacked me, barking furiously and biting the pitbull’s legs with all his might. He got a terrible bite from the pitbull but he still went on protecting me. I had to rescue him, because he would have given his life for me.
My Roger, who had the heart of a lion in the body of a small dog. Love you, my little one.