Rosa Winters

2012 - 2020

Rosa,


When we first met years ago, neither one of us was sure we were gonna be good for each other. You were so scared, underfed, and anxious. Nobody was allowed near you. You tried to attack Misha. You were wary of all other dogs. I’ll never, ever forget the bone you carried with you from room to room like it was a security blanket — the one thing you had in a world that had treated you so, so unkindly.

It was such a challenge to get you to eat normal, healthy puppy food because you were so used to the scraps you got before. It was days and weeks before you trusted me enough to come to me for pets. The first time you escaped your leash and ran from me, for miles, I was scared I wasn’t up to the challenge of being the mom you needed to help you heal and be happy. I’ve been afraid of that every day for the last 8 years. But darling girl, I have tried so hard and I hope that you can see and feel that and all of the love that I’ve surrendered to you.

I knew you were mine and I was yours the day you stopped carrying that bone around. I would give it back to you and you would set it down and let Misha chew on it for a while. Since then you’ve been my baby and a great big sister to Misha. I’m so proud of how you learned not just to trust people but to give them so much love and affection and joy.

You’ve put up with so much from me as I learned how to be your mom and care for you. We got your weight up, your fur grew back into that beautiful coat that I have had to vacuum up nearly every day. You have seen me through heartaches and victories, college and jobs, moving from one house to the next. We have been inseparable for years. You gave me love as I grew from a scared, traumatized, hidden person to the woman I am.

I can’t be away from you and Misha for a night without missing you, and now I’m faced with an endless stream of nights and a torrent of days without you in them. I’m going to miss you so, so terribly. It hurts me so much to know that’s my future but I would never give up my past, our past together, to stop this hurt. Misha and I, we’re going to be OK. There’s so, so much love in our lives and there are so many people who care for us and will care for us. We are going to be OK — sometimes it hurts me to have that thought because I don’t want to be OK without you, but we will be and we will cherish you every step of the way. You are a piece of my heart — you will always have a piece of my heart.

You will always have that piece of my heart, and I hope you carry it with you to whatever you become next and that it brings you comfort and warmth. I love you, my darling girl and I always will.