in September 2012. i went to my brothers house to see a dog a lady had brought by. she said the dog was too large for her to take, he was also violent, and couldn't be controlled. she also said that if we didnt take him she was going to have him destroyed. my brother said that wasnt going to happen and took the giant smelly rough looking beast. within the next few days we discovered his lower back near his tail was damaged due to a long time spent in a cage to small for him. his highly sensative tail would cause him pain if it were touched. we discovered this woman was liar my brothers 2 year old grabbed the dogs tail and gave it a tug, the dog yipped and we expected him to attack instead he looked at the child and laid his head back down, at which point by brother pulled his kid away. he gently played with the young french mastiff my brother bought just a short time earlier. but he quickly discoveredhe didn't have the room for 2 massive dogs plus 4 pugs, 1 husky, and a chow husky cross. so i took the smelly 'beast'. at my apartment we'd spent alot of time on the front porch, me worriedly holding onto his leash, while he laid at my feet. after a bath a short time (2 weeks) i began to trust him more, it was no longer about having a big dog to protect my house, it was about him having a better life. we found out that he had been burned with cigars/cigerettes, he was beaten and mistreated. soon he was sleeping on my bed, lying on my couch and eating the best food i could afford. anyone who came by was told "i dont care what he does, you hit my dog and i hit you" as i felt guilty over his treatment. he got a pigs ear twice some times three times a week he loved them. however all attempts to get him to 'play' failed. but i accepted he didnt know how to play or was probably never played with. he became my friend, my trusted watcher and protector of the fort. he'd sit and stare out the window for hours like he was nobility. a great brown beast watching the lands and protecting his home. this was at a time when money was tight, but i made sure he had the biggest fluffiest bed i could find (he'd sleep on it during the day, but at night he was up on the bed hogging my side never my girlfriends.)
many a time i came home after the night shift to find him sleeping in my spot. next when me and her would fool around paly fighting he'd gently try and stop it, me still a little cautious never tempting his warning nips. but once i did i found he wasn't biting but he grabbed my arm and tried to pull me away. i gave him the good boy speech and rubbed him down, he'd never hurt me or my girlfriend, he'd die protecting us. whether it be a hat on his head or me lifting his jowls to make him look funny he never cared, he was always like go ahead get it over with kinda attatude. a few days before christmas i was walking him at night and he fell. i didn't think anything of it, thinking it was the ice. as the months passed it got worse a vet check showed he had a ear infection, anti biotics were started 150 bucks every other week half of my pay every two weeks. he was back to normal starting to play as in he'd grip the ball, but never shake it or run with it. the other families in the building knew and trusted him as his deep howly bark would warn them of someone coming to the door, as he'd watch from the bedroom or the living room windows. he'd get nighly scratches and rub downs, and i'd lay with him on the floor and pet him. trying to show my thanks for doing what he did best, and for putting up with his first horrible owners.
in may he got worse, increased dosages of AB, his simple slips became trouble walking stumbling flopping over. but i hoped and willed him along helping him, having patients. but he pushed on.
on the 19th i discovered he was no longer able to walk. the vet was unsure if the ear infection was causing pressure to the brain or a tumor and infection was putting pressure on his brain but it was affecting his nervous system. with increased meds we I hoped he could recover. he seemed to, but i now know he soldiered up pushed on for me, to continue his job as protector. but he got worse and worse, i had to carry him outside to use the bathroom, i had to hand feed him, and use a empty soda bottle with holes punched into the lid to water him, once or twice a day he'd stand and take as many steps as he could. i stupidly took this a good sign, i know now it was him trying to push on for me. i watched as he lost nearly 75 pounds, he was slipping away, and i could no longer bear to seem him suffer, so on the 24th i made the worse call i've ever had to make, and i spent the next three hours with him crying and apooligizing begging him to let go, that it was "ok" and "he didn't have to watch over us anymore" "he could let go, and i wouldn't be mad" may 27th was the end of days for me, i day i had written in stone to take a life, a life i'd rather switch with my own. i prayed for god to take as many years off my life as he wanted just to give my Roman a little more time. the weekend was spent with him petting him loving him the best i could telling him i was sorry and it was ok. 8am on the 26th i began the day with the now usually depressing ritual of hand feeding him, and watering him. petting him until the last minute where i had to leave for work or be late.
i said goodbye to him like i usually would. I have jsut realised that "bye buddy, see you tonight and i love you" were the last words i ever spoke to him, i never got to say "good bye" even now i break down a continue through the tears. at 11AM i received a call from my GF saying she was sure he was gone, because he was no longer breathing.
the whole way home it didnt hit me until i touched the door handle. as i opened the door and seem him there on the floor where i left him i broke down. he was relaxed, laying with his great powerful head between his arms like he usually would. i used to think of him as Mufasa from the lion king, and as i broke down and laid against him i now think of the scene just after the buffalo run him down.
i cried and felt him,still warm, his large heart no longer beating. i petted his head and tried to hold back the tears (men dont cry)
my best friend, i'd die for him and he'd die for me, we knew each other like the back our hands or paws, was gone. having passed a day before i was going to have him killed, saving me that pain, passing while i was at work so i wouldnt witness the event. i removed his collar, and i rapped him in a blanket i had had since early childhood, the only honorable rap i could give him. and i carried him out to the truck, where he was transported to my parents farm, a 6 feet deep, four feet wide, and five feet long was dimensions of his tomb i dug. i placed him in the hole as gentle as i could. a buried him i planted a lilac bush and a flower over him. and said my good byes. 8 months we spent together, 8 months i'd give anything to relive. a part of me went with him when he passed sometimes i still come home thinking i'll find him waiting at the door, opening slowly as to not hit him and realise hes not there. i hear his paws on the ground, and his howlish bark in the air. i wish we had more time, and im sorry for what was done to you Roman, you are my best friend, i will never forget you and i will always love you, rest in piece in dog heaven buddy you deserve it.