Goodbye Rodeo

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My dog Rodeo passed away this week. He arrived into my life at 10 weeks old, 12 years ago. Though he came to grow over 100 lbs – he had a gentle, sweet disposition. Well-mannered, never barking and always excited to go somewhere new, Rodeo was my role model and consummate teammate as I transitioned from my twenties to my thirties.

Rodeo taught me a lot about responsibility. I had to be present whenever he needed to go outside our 2nd story apartment. His needs for exercise, play and exploration became my own. He came to define my regular routines which incorporated his visits to local parks and dog-friendly excursions with grocery shopping and other errands.

Rodeo loved to go for car rides — and was tall enough to sit up and watch the world go by. A day wasn’t complete until I had sufficiently exercised his super-computer nose in search of good smells. He was restlessly driven to smell everything — cataloguing and comparing anything or anyone alongside his vast,...