An Ode to Rodger

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Last week my parents had to say goodbye to their beloved Mini-Aussie Rodger, a funny little dude who was 12 years old. The end came quickly due to a fast growing melanoma, and I was lucky enough to be with Rodge to share in a loving send off alongside my Mom. I don’t think I have to tell you how hard it was to say goodbye; it was awful and heartbreaking and just about the last thing anyone ever wants to have to do. But it was also peaceful and humane and uncomplicated and I’m grateful I could be with him, stroking his soft fur till the end.

Rodge was also my dog Major’s best friend before we lost him and has been my-now dog Gibson’s best buddy too. And of course he was a fixture in our lives for a quite a long time with every visit we made to my folks. We even had him for a few months years ago back in 2013.

Rodge had a big personality in such a small package. He had one brown eye and one blue and the softest, most luxurious coat you could ever imagine. He had a staple of tricks that guaranteed extra treats and had a way of talking to my Mom that she completely understood. I said he gobbled like a turkey a time or two, but Mom said I had it wrong; he was holding a conversation in his own unique tongue.

Rodge loved the car/boat/airplane. He was a seasoned paddle boarder. He loved leaving pee-mail on the neighborhood “bulletin boards” (you cannot believe how how he could raise his leg), and above all he loved to eat. Anything. Anywhere. At any time. He inhaled his food, swallowed his treats whole if he could and could lick a plate faster than you can blink! Eventually we came across a slow feeder, which only slowed him down a smidge.

For the last year I’ve been making little videos called “Tricks for Treats” with Gibson and Rodger to send to my family living abroad. I’d ask for tricks and the boys would get treats. Rodger LOVED this. He could roll over three times before Gibson could wave. Although his repertoire of tricks was relatively small-mainly “roll over”/” and “high five” and”-near the end he learned to “spin” by watching Gibson realizing he could get more treats with a new trick!

I can’t tell you how grateful I am that we live in a time where we have our cameras literally in our hands 24/7 (if we want), and luckily for me, Rodger was a willing subject. He knew that since he was such a good boy, he’d most definitely get showered with treats. He featured heavily in my Mug Chronicles daily photo project over the years. You might remember him. It’s hard to choose what photos to share with you today; I have so many!

Rodger always up for anything, whether it was a canoe or boat ride, a trip to the grocery store or a walk down the street. He never wanted to be left behind. Mostly we obliged him! He was curious about everything with his nose firmly planted to the ground checking every scent out; he would have been a pro at nosework, I swear! He could bask in the sun like no other. A little dog in a big world that could barely contain him.

Rodger, I miss you little buddy. You were best friends with my two big buddies. You came running down the stairs, and flying up onto the bed when I called. You kept me company and tolerated me picking you up-even when you had no choice. You made us smile, laugh and cry. You had a lot to say to every dog that passed you by, and you were a true best friend to my folks. You are a legend little dude. I will miss you deeply.

Rodger Wilco, April 12, 2012 -April 14, 2024

Hug your loved ones tightly my friends,
Holly ~ Soupatraveler


  1. So sorry to hear this. He was such a sweet little man. I always loved seeing your photos of him. His beautiful eyes were captivating. So comforting to have photos of his life and adventures. Give your parents my love and a big hug to you. xo

  2. Wonderful text about the Roon!! Boy do I miss him too! He was one of a kind and true my made you feel like a Rockstar when you came for a visit! I love the collection of photos – you really captured him perfectly! ❤️

  3. I just met Rodger a few months after your Mom & Dad got him. He was just starting to be trained. Im happy he gave every one & fur buddy’s some fun & laughter! Run with your buddies Rodger. You are loved forever!

  4. Rodge! I remember when your parents got him and he started showing up in your photos. He had something special and totally captivated my heart from afar. A Rodge spotting in my feed (especially with Major) always made my day. I’m so sorry for your loss. xo

    • You know what Debra, I thought of you while putting together this post, thinking, I bet Debra would love these photos. She really loved Rodge and always sent a little word along to him when I posted a new photo. Thank you for the kind words. xo

  5. Oh Holly, I am so sorry. Thank you for sharing the tribute and all the lovely images. Priceless! I love the photo of your mom and Rodge walking down the street!

    • Thanks Lee Ann. I know you get it too, having just been through this yourself. It’s so wonderful we have so many beautiful photos of our special buddies. xo

  6. What an awesome tribute and such great photos. I feel like I knew him without ever meeting him. What a sweetheart he was. You are great at storytelling holly. And even better at loving your fur friends. It’s not fair how short our time is with them here!

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