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A tribute to a four-legged legend.
Oh Rocky, my sweet boy, my best friend…14.5 years of deep companionship, and yet…you’ve never said a single word to me.
Perhaps all of these words simply get in the way of the reason we are all here…to experience and embody love in the here and now.
That, my son, is your legacy.
Rocky Balboa Messeroff, at 4:44 on the morning of August 4th, 2023, your joyful soul departed your beautiful Yorkshire Terrier body and began a new adventure into the great beyond.
While the grief and emptiness are excruciating…you leave us, and this world, with so much joy, wisdom, and love.
Rocky Boy, you are my son, my best friend, and my loyal, faithful sidekick…and you ALWAYS will be.
Although it feels like I’ve lost a limb…a limb that is gone yet somehow remains…please know that I appreciate every opportunity to feel you still, and to see you everywhere I look and when I close my eyes.
You left this world on your own terms…laying in my arms, our hearts aligned, in our home, with your loving and adoring mother holding your head and whispering sweet nothings in your ear.
Classic Rocky. You always got your way…even on your way out.
As your soul transcended this world, I know that you didn’t leave us completely. You left a piece of yourself within me, your momma, and your sweet sister, Lela. You live on in us…in every heartbeat and in every breath of this gorgeous life.
You also live on in so many family members and friends who have known you and love you, as well as through the countless unknown lives you continue to impact.
You were always a star, Rocky, whether you were joining me at in-studio TV interviews, stealing the show in a documentary about the very book YOU inspired, or strutting up and down Main Street Breckenridge for all to revel in.
We will all continue your legacy of inspiring others and shining such a beautiful, bright light onto this world.
And wherever and however I am sharing with others, I will forever be sharing a piece of you.
Your life fills me with such joy, and it also makes me realize something that has changed me forever…
Life is NOT short.
We always say how short life is, but it’s not.
It’s not short when we are actually present for the moments.
You and I shared THOUSANDS of days together, immeasurable mornings “nuzzing” tight, countless hikes, so many beautiful camping trips, and hours upon hours experiencing life out in the glory of nature.
We’ve dodged crowds on the sidewalks of Manhattan, lived the suburban life on Long Island, scrambled over rocks in the tropics of the Virgin Islands, tramped across fields and footpaths on the glorious, snow-covered peaks of the Rocky Mountains, enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime Father-Son adventure in Aruba, and explored miles upon miles of pristine beaches in Costa Rica; all while enjoying a lifetime of glorious sunrises, majestic sunsets, and magnificent star-speckled night skies.
Recollecting your great life brings tremendous fulfillment to my own. And while it never would have been enough time with you, I am thankful for every experience we have shared together.
And I cherish all the memories we’ve created. Wow, how I appreciate them now.
I cherish the way you always looked at me, and looked out for me.
I cherish YOU, my sweet boy…everything about you.
Even your stubbornness.
But I see now, Rocky, that grief is simply the transformation of one relationship into another.
Now, we are ALWAYS connected, my friend…always intertwined, always united…for all of time, and beyond time.
And we will meet again. I know it.
I’d also like to thank you, Rocky.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart…a heart that is overflowing with so much more love because you were, and still are, here.
Thank you for teaching me your ways…how to live in the moment, how to be clear about my desires, and how to live as an example of peace and joy.
Thank you for teaching me how wonderful it feels to feel special...to feel worthy…to feel unconditional love.
Thank you for showing me that we may grow older, but we never have to grow up…that time stands still in the presence of what truly matters…that we shouldn't care about what others think…and that life is meant to be lived on our own terms.
Perhaps, it won’t require death to remember this often.
Also, Rocky Boy, thank you for inspiring me to live a life of freedom…to actually be there and be present for your life and for mine…and to appreciate and enjoy the little things in life.
It turns out…the little things are actually the big things.
And isn’t it funny?
As your life progressed, I continuously gave you more love and more of my time, energy, and attention. I even changed careers to spend more time with you!
All the while, MY life was also getting better and better and better.
You taught me that happiness is directly tied to spending more time with your dog. What a simple formula for joy!
We sure had fun, my boy.
From our adventures and movie nights, to travel days and exciting flights, you were the best missing piece in my life; a missing piece I never knew I needed.
And now, I miss your endless kisses. I feel them still.
I miss sharing my snacks with you.
I miss YOU.
But life is a constant flow, a delicate balance. This is the Yin to so much Yang. And as light appears to flow into dark, and white fades to black…darkness must imply light, and death must imply life.
And all is perfect.
So go have fun, our sweet teddy bear, and enjoy the royal treatment you deserve.
Enjoy the all-you-can-eat ‘meat and treat’ buffet.
Enjoy the sun on your body.
And enjoy the shade.
Enjoy cool sips of fresh water.
And enjoy the breeze in your soft, golden hair.
I am always here for you.
You are my son and my regal prince.
And whenever you need me, the world can wait.
I love you, Rocky, my sweet boy…
And I always will.
If you knew Rocky personally, thank you for sharing some of your life with Rocky Boy…please share your memories and photos as well!
Also, in honor of Rocky and all that he’s taught me…I’d love to gift you your own digital copy of Rocky’s book, “Dogs Get It” - Download your copy at TheMindfulPoet.com
And if you’d like to see Rocky strut his stuff down Main Street Breckenridge, check out the mini-documentary starring Rocky on the Dogs Get It page (scroll down the page to see the video at mikemesseroff.com/dogs-get-it)
Lastly, for more of Rocky’s stories (and photos) told from a different perspective, check out Alisa’s eulogy here.
Enjoy the journey…Rocky sure did and it’s what he would want!