According to Amanda, I forwarded the photo of Rocket wrapped in the orange towel to her work the morning he showed up. I was on the phone with her cooing about him, saying that we don’t know who he belonged to yet, but he needed help and a home. When I hung up, she turned to her co-worker and groaned, “Oh my God, we’re getting a dog.” (For the record, she just told me this information this morning, ten months after the fact).
A week before Rocket stumbled into the road, Amanda and I were driving along that same highway (I should point out here that there is only one “highway” that leads to and from our house…Honoapiilani Highway. That’s island life for you…), towards Lahaina town when we saw a striking white and grey pit bull riding in the back of a white truck. Both of us “oohed.” “Now that is a looker! I would have a gorgeous dog like that,” I said. “You know,” Amanda remarked, (and I quote), “if I had to have a dog, I’d consider a pit bull.” (She later denied this vehemently as it worked against her argument of why she didn’t want a dog, but I wanted a dog so badly, I vividly recall this passing comment as an opportunity to plead my case as to why it would be a great idea to get two Dalmatian puppies, which I’d been begging for for months). I gasped. She quickly turned to me and corrected herself, “Don’t come home with a pit bull. That didn’t mean anything. We’re not getting a dog.”
Before Rocket, I’d spend hours online looking up rescue dogs and Dalmatian puppies. (I had a beautiful Dalmatian years ago, Jaxum, who passed away at a young age from organ failure. He lived with my Mom and Dad, but I wanted my own chance to do right by another Dalmatian. I missed the feel of his fur, his sweet disposition, his high energy, his unbroken spirit. I believe some breed specific qualities can speak to person. I wanted my buddy back. I wanted it to be better this time. I knew it was delusional to think that just by getting the same type of dog, that I would have the same experience, but I entertained the thought anyway). In my searching, I kept thinking about what I would name a new dog or two. I kept coming back to one name: Rocket. This meant I’d have a boy dog, and only one. It was the only name that felt like a “sure” thing. Rocket, Rocket, Rocket kept going through my head. Does this mean a “Rocket” is coming into my life?, I journaled weeks before he arrived.
(My journal also says: My next dog is going to be Banjo, when the time is right. This entry, of course, is post-Rocket. “When the time is right” is underlined for emphasis).