Friday, April 15, 2016

The Greatest: Rowdy Cowgirl, death of a pit bull icon

Yesterday, Rowdy Cowgirl passed from this earth in my arms. Rowdy, who we called Girl, was the girl in the Reunion Rescue logo and the shining light that kept Reunion Rescue going for the past 15 years. She was the greatest. Just like the song. 

Rebel, Mookie and Girl in better days
I met Girl at San Francisco Animal Control when Reunion Rescue was getting its start. She would sit in her kennel in Room 106, the pit bull room, where people would open the main door and whisper, 'Oh, those are pit bulls,' before quietly closing the door and tiptoe away almost as if they feared these locked up dogs would attack, maul and kill them through the heavy chain link and prison cell-like enclosures.  

Girl was an old soul from the start. She seemed to know all the secrets of the world and would go back to her cell at SFACC quietly, always with dignity. I would promise her I'd find her a home. I promised her I wouldn't let her die like the others routinely killed at that facility. When the day came for a new pit bull to come over from strays and Girl to be destroyed, I couldn't do it. I called my husband who brought Mookie and Rebel down to the sideyard to meet Girl.


It was a hit. Mookie, always the ladies man was Girl's best friend from the get go. Both dogs were athletes and all about the Frisbee and the ball. 


Rebel was his own dog, happy in a crowd or just by himself as chow chows are.


Girl was still young and had a lot of puppy in her. She immediately chewed up a Johnny Cash album and then ate a Moby tape before we implemented the Reunion Rescue Step 1-2-3 Pit Bull Starter Kit.


It wasn't long before Girl was crate trained and able to share free roaming the house with Mookie and Rebel.


Over the years living in our little cottage on Lakeview Avenue in San Francisco, we made the rounds. We ran and hiked Merced Lake,

Pacifica on the beach, Montara and every beach and mountain hiking trail between San Francisco and Santa Cruz.

We made the trip to Bolinas, Dogtown and Stinson Beach as often as we could. We hiked Mount Davidson, Bernal Heights, Chrissy Field and Presidio, Fort Funston, Baker Beach and China Beach.


Girl became a regular and lovely sight in the city where she almost was killed. She become an icon for pit bulls and the logo for Reunion Rescue from a tatoo on my arm.



Girl became the captain of the Reunion Rescue Frisbee Team and was featured in the movie 'Off the Chain."

More than all of that, she was my best friend. For me, she was that dog.


My heart is broken, but the last gift I could give to Girl was to let her go. Her job here was done. She saved a lot of pit bulls over the years and it is now her time to rest.


Girl truly was the greatest...and taught me every day how to settle for just being good.


Goodbye, my beautiful Girl...

video

This is the song I'm playing today for Girl, The Greatest, by Cat Power...it's everything about Girl who really was the Greatest ever and who taught somebody like me to just try and be good, to just be the best that I can be.



Once I wanted to be the greatest
No wind or waterfall could STALL me
And then came the rush of the flood
The stars at night turned DEEP to dust

Melt me down
into big black armour
Leave no trace
Of grace
Just in your honor
Lower me down
TO CULPRIT SOUTH
Make 'EM WASH A SPACE IN TOWN
FOR THE LEAD
AND THE DREGS OF MY BED
I'VE BEEN SLEEPING
Lower me down
PIN ME IN
Secure the grounds
For the later parade

Once I wanted to be the greatest
TWO FISTS OF SOLID ROCK
WITH BRAINS THAT COULD EXPLAIN
Any feeling
Lower me down
PIN ME IN
Secure the grounds
FOR THE LEAD
AND THE DREGS OF MY BED
I'VE BEEN SLEEPING
For the later parade

Once I wanted to be the greatest
No wind or water fall could STALL me
And then came the rush of the flood
The stars at night turned DEEP to dust

5 comments:

  1. My heart aches worn yours. May you run happy and healthy on the other side of The Bridge.

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  2. I fear the day I have to deal with this loss. My Paris sounds a lot like your Girl. Thank you so much for sharing Girl's story. I wish you and your family the very best.

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  3. ugh, so so hard. Im so sorry, I know the anxiety and grief you are feeling. what a beautiful amazing dog and how lucky that you got to love her.

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  4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcQvYh_3Atw

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  5. She sounds like she was a beautiful (inside and out) furry family member. I hope she finds my faithful Staffy Henna after she crosses the Rainbow Bridge. Sounds like they would get along great. My prayers are with you and yours, from Joan and Hazel

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