I miss ya, Bongo

Yesterday my family had to put my dog down. He was suffering and it was best to put him out of pain. I feel like I took him for granted. I always said he was too small and I was a “big dog” kind of dude. I never truly missed him when I was away at school to be honest.

It saddens me that he’s been put down. It feels like my childhoods officially over because Bongo’s gone. He just always was there. He was a part of my home experience, and it won’t feel like the same home when I’m there. I think I’m especially sensitive to his death because I miss home in general. I’ve been away for a while and I’m sad that Bongo won’t be there. I liked the fact that he was sleeping 20 hours a day. He was doing what part of me wanted to do: just pass the fuck out. He was a good dog. I was only a couple days away from seeing him for the last time.

In case your wondering who the hell Ben Rosen is, who he is REALLY, here’s a story about Bongo that absolutely reveals a classic brosen move.

When we first got Bongo, i was about 10, give or take a few years (i honestly don’t know). My twin sister and I were the candidates who could potentially name it. I have a younger sister too, but I’m not sure why she didn’t get a chance to name it (maybe she was too young at the time). So me and Hannah are arguing over who gets to name this new puppy. I’m not usually adamant about things, but with this, I was determined.

My dad put two names into a hat to settle this, and he chooses my name. Success! I don’t even have to think. I know I want to name him Duke. I stick my chest out and I couldn’t believe I was the one who could determine what we call this creature for the rest of his life. I’m not sure why I chose Duke because my Dad and I have always been North Carolina Tarheel fans.

So this should be the end of the story right? No way, José.

Next thing I know, Hannah runs upstairs crying. Straight balling. Not a good kind of balling; the bad kind. And I’m like, “fuck”. Now I’m actually sad that I made my sister cry. This was really uncharted territory for me because I like seeing people happy. In our childhood, usually how things went was Hannah would be assertive in what she wants and I’d compromise. It’s not that Hannah like bullied me into getting what she wanted, but she wasn’t afraid to say what she wanted and I still respect her for that. Again, I like seeing others happy.

I run up to her room, and I say, “Yo, I feel bad. You name this puppy.” She hugged me. I was happy she was happy again. Plus, no more sadness in tension in the house = success. She named him Bongo. I absolutely love that name. But, when I tell friends my dog’s name is Bongo, they laugh, and each time it takes me a second to realize Bongo refers to an instrument. It’s weird because the name seems so natural now.

A year or two later, I name the next dog Lola, and Lola is still alive and healthy. It’s kind of a weird name for a dog. Plus, i have no idea where Lola came from. I have so many better ideas for names, but I’ll use them for my next dog.

I’ve always liked seeing others happy. It’s who I am. Hannah taught me that it’s okay to go after what you want sometimes, and Bongo taught me that napping and pooping outside is okay sometimes.

I feel like I wasn’t very grateful for him when he was alive, but I miss him a lot already.


  1. I’m more of a “big dog” kind of person, too. BUT, it really isn’t about the size in that situation. It is about it being YOUR dog. It’s family.

    I’m surprised that at such a young age you were so empathetic towards your sister. She’s lucky to have you.

    Bongo is a cool name. Duke would have been, too. But Lola? What were you thinking?

    Sorry for your loss.

  2. My condolences. II too have had four-legged, best buds pass away. It’s always a big tug on the heart. I’m sure Bongo is pleased you have Lola. The lovin’ and lickin’ continues. ;0)

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