Thursday, March 6, 2014

In Loving Memory.

Rugby. Smart. Loving. Brave. Strong. Handsome. The Best.

On February 28th, we lost the first addition to our family, our dog, Rugby. The past week has been one of the hardest weeks of my life, nothing prepares you for the loss and pain you feel when someone you love more than anything leaves this world, especially the loss of a dog.

Dogs are selfless, loving, giving, brave, the most amazing best friends you could ever dream of. They love you when you are sad, happy, rich, poor, sick, or healthy. They don’t care about those things, all they want to do is love you and be with you forever.

David and I knew the first time we met Rugby he was something special. We both knew we were all meant to be together, it was fate.

The beginning of Rugby’s life was not easy, he had a very rough start. Rugby was found as a puppy in dumpster in Northern Colorado, by the Humane Society. After the Humane Society found him, he was transferred to 2 different shelters looking for a forever home. This is where fate intervened and brought this wonderful dog to us.

My sister Jennifer and her friend heard Rugby’s story at the Boulder Humane Society and knew that they had to rescue him. Despite the fact that they were not allowed to have dogs in their college rental, they brought the then 30 pound puppy, home and said, “Can we keep him?” Of course I couldn’t say no after looking into those beautiful big brown eyes. The rest was just going to be logistics.

I called David and told him about this new love bug and he said, “Awesome, is he big? I hope he’s big! I coming up to Boulder to meet him tonight.” That night Rugby, still being very frightened from the multiple shelters and being transferred around, curled up on David’s chest, where he slept all night.  David knew that Rugby was meant to be with us forever and said he would take him to live with him in Denver.  That is when Rugby found his forever home.  People say that we rescued Rugby, but really we were the ones that were lucky to have found him.

Rugby was the cutest puppy you could imagine, but always very mischievous when we would leave him alone. When we would leave this little puppy (actually very big) furry guy alone, he found ways to show us how much he did not appreciate us leaving him. He ate computer chargers, the backs of every picture frame we owned, an entire coat closet, a PVC trash can (yes, the entire thing), satellite phones, multiple comforters, fake flowers, a table, shoes, a ballistic nylon kennel, pillows, lamps, basically anything and everything was fair game. You see most people would be upset by this kind of puppy destruction, but we knew it was because he loved us so much and the thought of us leaving him was just too much for him to bear. Rugby was such a sensitive dog, his heart was so big, and being separated from his family was just not an option.

Since we got Rugby in college, he was everyone’s first dog, a dog that we shared with all of our friends. Rugby was part a of countless backyard BBQs, dinner parties, late nights, Wash park days, Boulder Res days, football Sundays (where he would steal people’s seats on the couch) and other summer and winter activities. We had birthday parties for him where all of our friends would bring him gifts, sing happy birthday and just celebrate him. He would come to the mountains with us on ski trips and stay in Breckenridge, Vail and Aspen. He was the ”Best Dog” in our wedding and did with such style… he made us look goooood. He had the life. Most people don’t get to do half the things Rugby did, but boy if there was someone who deserved it, it was him.

While Rugby got to do so many amazing things with us, his favorite things by far were the simple ones. Sitting between David and I on the couch every night, with his head on my knee. Lounging next to the AC vent in our dinning room on a hot summer day. Cuddling in two down comforters on a cold winter day. And lately, being with his new best friend and brother, Ryder, laying in the sun in his backyard that he loved so much.

Rugby taught me more about life than I could have ever imagined. Here are just a few of the many, many things I learned from him.

-       Be strong and never give up- Rugby had a rough beginning and as a result had a paw that never worked quite right, but he never let that stop him from doing what he wanted to do. Rugby got up everyday and marched on; no matter how much pain he may have felt, he never ever gave up.

-       Love Unconditionally- Rugby showed unconditional love to everyone he met. He would make friends with anyone and everyone. It didn’t matter if 5 dogs were coming over to his house and tearing his toys apart, Rugby still would love them, no matter what. I don’t think I have ever met a dog that had more friends than Rugby; he easily won people over with love and that huge smile.

-       Enjoy everyday to the fullest- If there was ever a dog who made the best of everyday, it was Rugby. No matter what obstacles stood in his way, he would still hop up and down every afternoon for his walk and then skip the entire way. I don’t think I ever saw a dog bring smiles to so many people’s faces as we passed them on his daily walks.  Rugby just exuded joy, and everyone could feel it.

-       Appreciate what you have- There is nothing quite like feeling of coming home and seeing a 105 pound dog hopping, crying and wagging his tail just because you came home to him. No matter how tough your day was, you can’t help but smile and think,  “how did I get so lucky to deserve this?” All Rugby needed to be happy was to be with his family. He didn’t need new toys, a better house, a bigger yard, all he needed was what he had, his family and love.

This last year Rugby finally got the brother he had always wanted, Ryder. As Rugby had gotten older he had been beginning to slow down and we thought that getting him a brother would help. It did. I have never seen a bond like the bond Rugby and Ryder immediately shared. Even when our vet came to give Ryder his puppy shots, she said she had never seen a puppy respect an older dog quite like the way Ryder respected Rugby. Ryder followed Rugby everywhere, did everything Rugby did, idolized him. Some examples of this: Rugby always would sit on people’s feet and low and behold Ryder began doing the same thing, Rugby could never jump on the couch, instead he would slowly push himself up one leg at a time, Ryder (who is perfectly capable of jumping) now does the same thing, one leg at a time. We were so, so lucky that Ryder had a chance to learn from Rugby. People continually ask us, “ How is Ryder so good already?” We simply reply, “It had nothing to with us, he learned from the BEST.”

Last Friday morning all I could think was, how unfair, why did he have to leave me so early in life, why did I get only 8 years with him? I still think Rugby was taken away from us too early, but now I realize how we were so incredibly lucky to even have Rugby in our lives. I was honored and blessed to share my days with him. He made me a better person. He made the world the better place by showing us what really matters in life, love, family and friends. In the end that love we have with each other is all that stays with us, Rugby showed me that.

Rugby, Rugs, Ruggers, Rugabee- I will miss giving you a bear hug each and everyday. I will miss having dance parties with you, watching you act like a puppy hopping and skipping around. I will miss taking you on walks where you would skip &  hop making the world smile as it passed by. I will miss how you would sit down mid-walk just to take in the view. When I would say, “Rugby, let’s go buddy.” You would just look up at me lovingly and shake your little paw at me with the infectious smile of yours, saying with your big brown eyes, “Hug me, mommy, then we can go.” Those were the best walks and hugs of my life. I will miss when you would cuddle into knee every night on the couch and I would sometime fall asleep on you and you would never mind. I will miss when you would sleep on our bed at night and you would curl onto David’s feet and when we would pet and hug and you would breathe deeper and louder just to show us how happy you were. I will miss you sitting on our feet and then looking up lovingly at us just to say you complete me. I will miss early morning cuddle parties, because no one knows how to cuddle quite like you do. I will miss when I would hug David and you would run in between us so we could share a group hug. There are so many moments, wonderful memories, smiles, laughs that I will cherish for the rest of my life until we are together again someday.

Rugby - Thank you for being the most incredible, loving, perfect dog. You changed our lives, made us better people and taught us more about life than we could have ever learned on our own. You prepared me to be a mom and David to be a dad. We will pass down the lessons you have given us to our baby, so that our baby may too learn from the BEST.  Thank you for always making us happy on the worst days and always celebrating with us on the best. Thank you for finding us and being our first baby, the beginning of our lives together, the beginning of our family. We will never forget the unconditional love and affection you gave us each and every moment you were with us. We will love you forever and always.  Our love, our baby, our best friend, our dog.


  1. Aw :( Sorry to hear about your loss. One of my dogs is sick right now and I don't know what I'm going to do if he passes. Stay strong girly


    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I hope your dog gets better soon. Our dogs mean so much to us. I will be thinking about you and your dog and I hope he gets better.

      Xx Kelly