Why Rowdy Is More Than Just My Dog
I can’t deny that every kid who grows through life along the side of a pet will develop a special bond, but I believe my bond with Rowdy goes even deeper.
I could see more than eyes, pupils, and a brain in constant survival mode.
I believe that there’s more going on inside a dog that we have yet to prove.
I think they have the capacity for emotions like compassion, sadness, happiness and fear.
I think they’re loyal to us for reasons that go beyond their history of hunting in packs and following the alpha male.
I think dogs have evolved over time similar to humans, and since adopting them as our best friend, we’ve grown an unexplainable connection to them that delves deeper than evolution.
I was diagnosed with a unique form of OCD as a child, and I was taught how to introspect and shut off what my therapist called the “trickster.”
As I grew up I learned how to manage this OCD, but it still formed in different channels.
I developed an obsession for basketball and found a small group of friends whom I grew close to, but I still wasn’t able to share and connect deeply because I still felt out of place wherever I went.
I found myself full of anxiety, and although sports naturally placed me in the “popular crowd” I still went about my day with anxiety and doubt.
I’m sure that anxiety is a natural part of growing up, and maybe OCD didn’t have as big of an impact on my social life as I imagine…
… But regardless, I still felt different then everybody because I was always in my head analyzing.
However, no matter how difficult my day was, I always knew I could come home and find comfort, fulfillment and connection in my scruffy pal.
When he looked at me, I knew he understood me.
Dogs are amazing because they’re simple and full of joy.
You can go through your day dealing with your personal battles, but when you come home you know you have somebody who genuinely missed you and cares for you.
That’s how I felt every single day.
In my world of misunderstanding, Rowdy was always somebody who I knew I could understand and who could understand me.
He was my one constant that, along with basketball, gave me a feeling that I was okay in the universe and had meaning.
When he looked up at me with his happy face and tail wagging, I didn’t need to analyze because I could feel him.
I was a young boy and he was a puppy when we met, and we went through so many stages of life together, so our bond wasn’t just something you talk about.
It was real.
It was something I could genuinely feel.
I could confide in him in a way that didn’t need words.
He would sleep at the foot of my bed almost every night, and whenever I would stay up late into the night thinking, I knew I didn’t have to do it alone.
Don’t get me wrong, life with him wasn’t all roses and feelings of transcendent contentment.
He caused a lot fear with almost dying several times and getting in trouble with the law for tackling neighbors on a jog out of excitement.
But all that fear was well worth it because he gave me a peace of mind and deep connection to life that was hard for me to find.
When he died I couldn’t cry, and at the time I wasn’t sure why.
I sat there feeling kind of happy, as all the memories of us flew through my mind.
I thought about his crazy life packed full of laughter, tears, shouting, cursing, fear, love and endless emotions.
I saw his breathing fade, his gums turn white, and his eyes lose his curious boisterousness that continued to his last breath.
Yet I still felt happy.
I thought of how much of an impact he had on my life, but the crazy thing is, that wasn’t even his biggest accomplishment.
His rollercoaster life, along with everything he did for me growing up, was enough to be a book in itself.
Yet he still somehow managed to touch the hearts of hundreds of thousands of people…
Spark a movement for awareness of an overlooked and misunderstood condition…
Gain the attention of the media and grow a following of loving dedicated fans…
Raise money for a great cause…
Inspire everyone who hears his message to be confident and comfortable in their own skin…
Build real and genuine relationships with kids like Carter and Ava whose lives are changed…
And grow a legacy that will impact lives for years to come.
There’s a reason why his story has reached so many eyes and ears, and that’s because there actually was something different about him.
What that is, and how all this happened… I’m not really sure, and I don’t think I’ll ever find an answer.
All I can do is sit back and feel blessed to be a part of it with him.
I eventually did cry, but at the moment of death, I was blind sided with the realization of how unbelievable the last couple of years were.
I was finally hit with the “holy sh*t” all that really just happened, and I sat there holding his head in a daze of awe and ecstasy.
He gave me meaning, but that isn’t what’s important.
I want to thank you, Rowdy, for changing my life, but more importantly, thank you for changing the lives of a lot of other people that really needed you.
This is why Rowdy is more than just my dog.
He’s the dog of all of you guys who were touched by him and his magical powers.
Now you understand how he really does have the ability to shove a fist full of emotion up your stomach, and he’s had this otherworldly power since he was a little puppy.
Rowdy gave me confidence in life and helped me feel comfortable in my own crazy head.
And he’s helped others feel confident and comfortable in their own skin.
He’s more than just my dog.
- White Eyed Rowdy