19 thoughts on “Silence”

  1. That’s really sad to hear the news about Robert.

    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” Roger Caras

  2. Adrian told me about Robert, the dog I’m calling him at work to ask about. I think he is an amazing dog and his condition makes him really special. I can’t forget the way he was getting closer to me when I was petting him. He is so cute…

  3. In my life, I would say there have been three very special dogs. The first two have already been taken away from me, and Robert is all that remains. The prospect of losing him is very unsettling.
    I first met him in 2001, I think, and at the time he had one gigantic eye that made him look like a cyborg dog with super-powers. I’ve always liked to think of him as a super-power kind of dog. Knowing that he is close to death makes him seem more like an old man all of a sudden, and I don’t like it one bit. I was also hoping that he could live forever, but I suppose there are only so many bodyparts you can replace, even in a super-power cyborg dog. Blood is very tricky.

  4. In the early days, I remember that he was pretty fussy about being approached. He would get grumpy about people being in his personal space, or disturbing him when he was tired.
    I am thankful that, after some years, I was allowed to share some space with him on his giant pillow. I think we both slept there once, perhaps on a weekend that we were spending together.
    It has been a privilege to know this Mexican dog.

  5. Well, Robert, we are getting kind of old now aren’t we? I can no longer dance like a slip of wind, and you are not now the high-stepping race horse you once so elegantly resembled.
    Hey, never mind, we had some good times. Remember when you could see and we would go down the back stairs to the beach and you would bounce all over the lawn. Then I’d put you on the leash, and we’d take off along the boardwalk, where you sometimes had to snarl and snap at much larger dogs to remind them just who was ruler of the streets here. You weren’t so keen to come back up those backstairs seeing as how it was obvious to you that one misstep and you’d go right through the open back of the step to the hard cement below. But once you couldn’t see, no problem, it was a a lark to go up and down.
    And there you are now with your own cart! You’re going to leave it to me, aren’t you, in your will? You’re such a sweetheart. I’m going to miss you. Everyone is going to miss you. Already people are saying to me on the boardwalk, “Where’s Robert? We haven’t seen him with you for a long while.
    Seen in person or in the mind, you will be remembered.
    Cheers, old boy, Dorothy

  6. The first time I visited Idee, Robert came right up to me and leaned on me. Despite his blindness there was no apprehension — only trust and affection. He’s one of the sweetest dogs I have ever known, and I always look forward to seeing him when I visit. He’s in very good hands, and is lucky to be surrounded by such wonderful people.

  7. I know how very hard it is to watch Robert decline.

    I really don’t think there are any words to say that will help you and Paul except that we are thinking of you and if there is anything we can do to help, let us know.

    Love Liz

  8. I am so sad to hear about Robert. He is a sweet being. I think everyone thought so – certainly all the Idee staff were good to him. You and Paul have given him a wonderful life for several years and he has given you a lot of love. You will really miss having him underfoot.

  9. Stapled to my bookshelf, hangs a large photograph of Robert. Thanks for guarding my chair, Bobby..

  10. One of Robert’s most amazing abilities is the speed at which he enrolls new members of the Robert Fan Club. His sure fire enrollment method has long been to wander up to a stranger, sniff them a bit to be sure, proceed to be petted (this seem to be an action on his part) and then gradually start to lean upon (physically that is) the non-member until they enroll.

    But he can also performs his recruiting without physical contact as well. This is quite something to experience in some cases. One of the more memorable of these events occurred while walking Robert on the boardwalk in the Beaches. A woman spotting Robert from some distance came over to ask if she could pat Robert. Upon learning that Robert is blind, she immediately offered us money to pay for an operation to fix his eyes! And this was not the first such an offer to have been made to us. It led us to conclude that if we couldn’t get the technology working at Idee, we could simply hang out on Queen Street with Robert and a sign that reads ‘Please help. Our dog sees better than our software’.

    As talented as Robert is in befriending humans, he has chosen generally (there are a few notable exceptions) not to befriend other dogs. Especially the big ones. Back when Robert was still the One-eyed Wonder Dog, he would see other dogs walking behind the Idee office from his spot by Leila’s desk on the 3rd floor. This immediately got Robert growling, or if the dog was large enough, even a bit of barking. Now I know that this type of anti-social behaviour shouldn’t really be encouraged, but he seemed to enjoy it so much that we did anyway. One day as a dog, oblivious of Robert, walked along the alleyway two floors below, Robert growled and barked until the dog was out of Robert’s view. Robert took his territory defense job quite seriously and enjoyed his work so much that I decided to take him over to the next window overseeing the alleyway and pick him up so he could see out. He immediately understood what was going on, spotted his enemy and growled vigilantly. I did my part by shuttling him to all the remaining windows and we were all kept safe as the big dog strolled off, clearly not wanting to mess with Robert. Robert decided that this form of parameter patrol worked well and we used it many times.

  11. he’s black as night
    and sweet like fudge
    often times, he was hard to budge!

    but without his sight
    and with legs like jello
    That crazy monkey made everyone warm and mellow.

    Xoxox

    granola

  12. So sad to hear about Robert
    one lucky dog though, to have met you and Paul.

  13. Robert’s legacy is the example set by Paul and Leila in taking him in and nursing him through the happiest days of his life, when he could so easily have finished his short life as a neglected stray on the streets of Mexico.

  14. Because I would see Robert once every year or so what really stood out for me was his amazing transformation from undernourished street dog to urban chique office dog. Like many others -getting to spend a few minutes adoring Robert was something I enjoyed every time I stopped by Idee. He’ll be missed by all of us in his fan club.

  15. Robert has to be the luckiest dog I know. He was whisked away from one of the most dangerous and overpopulated cities in Mexico and brought to a comfortable, loving and serene environment with a new family to take care of him. A little weathered and rocky, he was nursed back to health by Leila and Paul and went on to live an exceptional life. He went here and there, he went everywhere. The blind dog, holding his head high and wagging his tail with every step. Robert had such a gentle and peaceful personality. The way he would brush up against your leg or touch you with his warm nose. You wanted to reach out and give this special guy all your attention. I will remember Robert fondly and he will always remain close to the hearts of many.

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