Losing a pet is like burying a kid, so after the death of Kitty, our 20-year-old cat, Casper, my 16-year-old rat terrier mix, and Angie’s 13-year-old springer, Kodi, all within a short amount of time, Angie and I decided no more pets. We didn’t want the additional responsibility or, more importantly, the pain that comes with losing them. Little did we know, a dog named Roger would make us reconsider.

I’m an electrician, and one of our good friends, Heather Muller, is the medical coordinator at Bob’s House for Dogs, a nonprofit that fosters homeless middle-age and senior dogs for shelters and rescues. Over the years, I’ve donated some electrical work out there.

Before Christmas 2019, I stopped out to put in some light switches and lights, and there was Roger, a 7-year-old Rhodesian ridgeback-mastiff mix. He seemed to follow me everywhere I went, and he’d either stand next to me or sit and watch me do my work.

I went home that day, but I couldn’t quit thinking about Roger. It took me awhile, but I finally told Angie there was a dog at Bob’s House I think I wanted. Having always been an animal lover, she agreed to go meet him. Roger was skin and bones when he arrived at Bob’s House from the Monroe County Animal Shelter a few weeks before I met him. We decided he needed to come home with us. He just had those sad puppy dog eyes we couldn’t say no to.

Roger was so thin he needed a coat to keep him warm

Angie and I were amazed at how easily Roger has fit into our home in Rock Falls, Wis. – once we got some rugs. Shortly after we brought him home, Roger slipped on the kitchen floor and wouldn’t leave the bedroom, which is carpeted. We went to Menards and bought a carpet runner for the house and a rug for the camper.

Roger just being Roger

Roger gets along with Gomer, our 11-year-old Great Dane-Chesapeake Bay retriever, and we take them camping and kayaking. We almost lost both dogs on a camping trip, though. I figure Gomer sniffed a deer and took off, and Roger followed. Thankfully, Angie found them, and they both have collars they wear now when we go camping. During those camping trips, it didn’t take Roger long to figure out how to use his puppy dog eyes to his advantage. Everyone feeds him. He’s a gentle giant, but when he gets treats, his mouth turns into a mousetrap. Snap!

Roger and Joe on the golf cart

Roger is a peace maker. If other dogs are mad at each other, the hair on his back stands up, and he puts himself between them. On a happier note, Roger loves kids, rides on the golf cart, and 10 to 15 minutes of cuddling before bed. Angie likes having another friendly furry face waiting at the door to greet her when she comes home – even if Roger is more my dog than hers. And, we both love knowing we are able to give another rescued pup a good home.

Submitted by Guest Blogger Joe Gibson, AKA “Roger’s Dad”