"This little boy of mine has been with me for almost half of my life," Gretchen Rossi wrote of her dog Vito

By Gabrielle Chung
July 28, 2020 08:34 PM
Gretchen Rossi and dog Vito
Gretchen Rossi/instagram

Gretchen Rossi is paying tribute to her furry friend.

The Real Housewives of Orange County alum, 41, revealed on her Instagram Monday that her beloved dog Vito has died, sharing photos of her final moments with her canine companion alongside pictures of the pup throughout the years.

"Tonight we lost one of our family members 💔 Our sweet Vito man (as I liked to call him) I have had Vito for almost two decades. He was going to turn 18yrs old in just a few days; these first two pics are my last moments with my baby tonight," she began the tribute post.

"This little boy of mine has been with me for almost half of my life, so this loss is very hard on me. He has been with me through some of the hardest times of my life and some of the most amazing times of my life."

According to the star, Vito was there for her during her divorce with ex Chris Rossi, as well as when late fiancé Jeff Beitzel died of leukemia in 2008.

She also said that Vito helped her get through her five-season stint on RHOC, adding that "it was such a blessing" to have him around when she welcomed daughter Skylar Gray, 1, with longtime beau Slade Smiley last year.

In the slideshow, Rossi also shared photos of Vito with her dog Rocco — who passed away two years ago — as a way "to honor who they were in my life and how much they meant to me!"

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"Vito was my spirit animal, he had such a fun and quirky personality. I will miss so many things about him but especially his big brown eyes, his wagging tail, him gently biting at the back of my ankles to get my attention, and him falling asleep curled up next to my belly," she wrote.

"He was truly one of my best friends and always knew how to make me laugh or feel better! He loved the Lake, chasing balls & ducks, going for walks and playing hide and seek with me."

While Vito's death has left a "huge hole" in Rossi's heart, she said that she finds comfort in knowing he has "reunited" with Rocco.

"We love you so very much and will miss you terribly," she added of her pooch. "Rest in Peace my sweet Vito-Man 🙏🏻❤️."