For ROSE, Who’ll Always Get By (With a Little Help From Her Friends.)
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What would you think if I sang out of tune Would you stand up and walk out on me? Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song And I’ll try not to sing out of key Oh I get by with a little help from my friends. Mm I get high with a little help from my friends. Mm going to try with a little help from my friends.
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When I walked into Black Dog one day over five years ago Rose, having seen the email address I used to use bum rushed me in the lobby to have a laugh with me; I had used a quote from “The Shining:” email@example.com. No one else had gotten the reference before, and no one else ever did.
Rose’s departure from Black Dog is a sizable event, right up there with the MASH finale; no one ever likes saying goodbye. Rarely will you meet a more authentic, honest and positive-thinker than Rose. As I’m writing this in bed in the middle of the night next to my sleeping husband, I’m thinking about the influence she’s had on my life—and to be sure, so many of your lives—and I’m getting sadder about the fact that she’s leaving. She’s been the glue that keeps us and everything together.
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“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” ~Henri J.M. Nouwen
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I’ve been to Rose’s home, a happy home where the tiles on the bathroom floor heat up and there’s a fantastic, very artsy tub in the center of a glass room. It’s actually the perfect setting for a horror movie. Over the years we’ve lunched, celebrated, cried and chaturanga’d together. Life stuff happened, and we talked about all of it: marriage, death, dogs, illness, parents and yoga.
I’m convinced the Black Dog lobby is some kind of vortex, a powerful force of nature where the truth reveals itself—the good kind, and the not-so-good. I’ve done tons of teary interviews with you guys on that couch; you’re nodding your head in agreement.
Months ago, we had a stuffed animal for sale with a Black Dog t-shirt on it. Apparently, only the t-shirt was for sale. Ends up, the stuffed animal was something very sentimental for Rose. And I freakin’ sold it. Oops. I ordered another stuffed animal to be delivered to her, and when it came it was about 12 sizes bigger than the original one I was trying to replace. Again, oops. [And hey, if I sold that dog to you, maybe you can bring it back? It would make her day!]
What’s so remarkable about Rose is the belief she’s had in me, even when I fucked up somehow, made some pretty stupid mistakes (like selling the stuffed dog) and found it difficult to believe in myself. She’s all heart, with motorcycle boots on and Jimi Hendrix playing. She’s kind of a badass robo-babe. And she’s probably in her kitchen cooking right now, whipping up something extraordinary and yummy.
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“A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others.” ~L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
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We all could use a little help from our friends…
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“One couldn’t die for you. Of course, an ordinary passerby would think my rose looked just like you. But my rose, all on her own, is more important than all of you together, since she’s the one I’ve watered. Since she’s the one I put under glass, since she’s the one I sheltered behind the screen. Since she’s the one for whom I killed the caterpillars (except the two or three butterflies). Since she’s the one I listened to when she complained, or when she boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing at all. Since she’s my rose.” ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
“When I started doing yoga, I wasn’t looking for a spiritual practice. I felt like inside of me, I was pretty clear on the way I was and what was happening. Again, I’m really lucky, because by nature I’m happy. It’s the biggest gift anyone could have. What happened was I started doing yoga and it really became more of my lifestyle, and the message that if you do it enough it all kind of sinks into you, I never necessarily believed it but it’s true, for me… I had the nine surgeries, I had the Jejunostomy, I started doing yoga and I have never spent a day in the hospital since.”
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But the show must go on… even though I don’t think the internet has enough space for all the well-wishers and kind send-offs.
“Rose has been the biggest influence on my teaching—she believes in all of us. She is the big sister I’ve never had. She is truly the mama bear and has an endless amount of energy to listen, talk, support, and laugh. Her sense of humor is boundless, her smile contagious, and her willingness to laugh is part of not only her extreme outer beauty but an indication of her inner beauty. She has taught us that we can never wear enough jewelry, we should always have the coolest yoga pants and plenty of fabulous sweaters, and that we better have a least three or four killer recipes on hand! She is the hostest with the mostest!!!” ~Sigrid Matthews
“I am beyond blessed to call you my dear friend and mentor. No matter what changes take place, I know that we will still move through life together. I love you so much!!!!” ~With light + love, Rachel Pagan
“I cried that day when you called to tell me you gave your notice. You called all the teachers. And that’s just like you, to call each of us and tell us personally. Always full of heart, always full of class. I can’t thank you enough for your support and encouragement during my time at Black Dog. You were a great friend, boss and mom. Even when you had to give tough love, I never felt unloved. Your heart will be greatly missed Rose. I love you.” ~Grace Huang
“My first real Rose experience was taking teacher training with her back in 2007. I got to know her through our practice, and I was very grateful when she finally gave in to my constant nagging to allow me to sub, and finally teach at Black Dog, my true yoga home. Her support and encouragement has helped me become a better teacher, and learning from her battle with cancer. I’ve become a healthier and happier person, working every day to make life better for me and my hubby. Gonna miss ya, Rose! Much love, my hippie sista!” ~Peace, Heathor Kulber
“With a little help from Mr.Shakespeare and Proverbs… A rose by any other name would not be our Rose, a woman of such worth far beyond jewels is her value, and her malas are stunning too. She is clothed in strength and dignity and laughs at the days to come, wearing yet another hot pair of yoga pants on those gorgeous legs and butt. She opens her mouth in wisdom, kindly instruction is on her tongue and always ready to share recipes, know-how, humor and magical ways to make our days brighter. Charm can be deceitful and beauty vain, but not in our Rose. Who can replace her? Not a one.” ~Barbara Kuhl
“No matter what, you were there for me. Always having my back. My experiences in LA would not be the same with out you. You helped make my training possible, always wanting to talk to me and look after me. I Love you LA mama :) xxxxxx.” ~Josh Blau
“Rose is an incredible person, the kind who deserves awards and parties in her honor because there is so much to celebrate. Rose is the sole reason Black Dog Yoga was a home away from home, and for some of us, just “home.” She is the image of compassion—human, humble, strengthened by survival and lightened by the gift of living. She is my yoga mom, the glue that held our incredible business together, and I just admire the woman. Rose is a blessing and a strong-ass bitch!” ~Be well, Niki Saccareccia
“Like a rose, I’ve watched Rose blossom and grow. I have seen her from the beginning of her yoga experience all the way through to running what has become one of the best yoga studios in Los Angeles. Every great dog has a great leader and Rose has been that for everyone!” ~Best wishes, Heidi Crowther
“Rose is one of a kind. She is genuine, sincere, generous, strong, inpiring and thoughtful. Rose made Black Dog Yoga a home for so many people, myself included. She was there the first day I walked in and has been there every single day since then, supporting and encouraging me, and so many others, to be the best and happiest we can be.” ~xo Joy Stone
“I love Rose. She is a woman who truly lives her yoga. I have endless gratitude that she’s been a big part of my own yoga journey.” ~Margaret Buckley