When I found Rocky he was about a year and 3 months old. I was walking down the long line of chain link cages that held many a hopeful set of eyes and sad and wishful looks for a new and happy home. Then I came to the face that left me without a doubt that this pup would be my new friend in my life. He was already naked Rocky so I left his name the same, it fit him well. He was sitting by the gate with his big sad brown eyes as he watched me approach the gate. I stood and looked at him and he looked back at me. He was a beautiful black Labrador with slightly longer hair on his tail. The look on his face I couldn’t resist. I had been looking for a Lab and not just any Lab for many are hyper and I wanted a mellow dog. Rocky was definitely mellow. I knelt down beside him and touched the chain link gate and he just leaned against my hand and looked at me. I said to him, “Rocky how would you like to come live with me?” He just continued to look at me with those big brown eyes and then a little flop flop with the tip of his tail on the cold hard concrete floor. I told him, “don’t worry pal, I will be back in a few minutes and your coming to live with me.”
When all was said and done I had paid the $25 fee for him and while we were walking out the door, the guy said “He is one lucky boy, he had until tomorrow and we were gonna have to put him to sleep.”
I lived just up the street from the pound so we walked home the 3 blocks and we were just barely made it, having to stop a few time for Rocky to rest. I was looking for a mellow dog but this was a little to mellow especially for a dog being only a year and 3 months old. By the time we got to my house he was fully out of gas. I thought maybe he was just hungry and weak from being in that jail house for dogs on death row. So for the next couple of days I tried to feed him high quality dog food but he wasn’t that hungry and still real sluggish. So I decided to take him in to the vet and see what they could figure out what was up with him. The tests came back with worms, mites, rickets, malnutrition and probably not eating because of a broken heart but he had definitely been mistreated health wise. So I got the medications to help with his problems and fed him red meat everyday for 2 months. At first he could barley make it 30 or 40 yards before getting to tired, then gradually after a few weeks he could make it around the block and then I started out gradually taking him on short slow trots next to my bike. After 6 months of this he finally became a healthy happy energetic dog. He could then run with me alongside the bike for hours, chase rabbits and coyotes when we hiked through the back country.
Over the 13 years that rocky was with me, he was my loyal companion. I was never without him. He went everywhere with me. He was so loyal I remember one party in particular I went to. Rocky was out in the front yard, these were the days when there were no leash laws being enforced so dogs ran free. This house had no fenced yard so Rocky was free to roam if he wanted which he never did, he always waited for me no matter where. The party went on into the late hours and I was fairly saturated. We had walked to the party and when I left I went out the back door and wobbled home about a mile away. In the morning when I woke up I realized that rocky wasn’t with at home, then I figured I had forgotten him at the party. I walked back to where the party was but before I got there I could see Rocky on the front lawn still patiently waiting for me to come out the front door. I felt it wouldn’t be right to walk up to him and say Hey Rocky, I came back to get you after forgetting you last night. So I walked up the alley to the back of the house, went in the back door and came out the front door so he wouldn’t know that I had forgotten him and said, “ok rocky, lets go home.”