Rocky is one of my family’s dogs. He’s a black lab, and we got him in the summer of 2009, shortly after our dog Rosie died. My dad wanted to get another dog, but I, and I think my brother and mom, weren’t ready yet. My dad and mom went to the SPCA, I’m sure “just to look”, and ended up coming home with Rocky. Rocky was originally called Travis, and my guess is it was after Travis Barker from Blink-182. Apparently on each of the dogs’ cages, there was a paper that had their name and a bit about them. The paper said Rocky was a handful, and that’s part of the reason he’s ours now. My dad felt bad for him because he knew no one would adopt him with that written on his cage. There had also recently been a story on the news about how black dogs don’t get adopted as often as other dogs, and this also was part of why they picked Rocky.
I did not like Rocky at all at first. I wasn’t ready for another dog, and I was also very sick and very skinny at the time, and if he tried to lie on me or cuddle with me, it hurt. I wasn’t doing super good mentally at the time either, because how can you not love a dog?
Rocky was a troublemaker. I think one of the things we were told about him was that he liked to jump on counters and steal food. He did that a few times, but it didn’t last too long.
We brought him to the dog park a few times. I remember him chasing another dog, and they went around and around a big tree, and pretty quickly, Rocky realized he could turn around and go the other way and catch the other dog. I don’t usually see dogs figure that out. Rocky also loved to roll around in the mud or the stinky grass and would encourage other people’s dogs to do so as well.
We bought Rocky a kiddie pool for in the backyard. He was very apprehensive at first, but once he got in, he realized how much he loves the water. He loves playing in the pool and especially when people spray him with the hose. My dad and brother and I took him camping one time, and he ran right into the lake.
Rocky can sit, lay down, roll over, and speak. Sometimes. He’s very stubborn. If you have food, he listens very well, but he’s usually too excited to be able to roll over when there’s food involved. He does not like his paws being touched, so he won’t shake paw.
Rocky likes to sit on the couch and look out the window. He sits funny, kind of like a person might sit. He barks a lot at things going on out the window. He barks louder when it’s a small dog than when it’s a big dog. He also barks at dogs and other animals on the TV.
Rocky likes to lick toes. He much prefers dirty, smelly toes to clean toes.
Rocky’s little brother, Sam, likes to sing often. Rocky only sings on rare occasions. He particularly likes the “whooooo waaa-whooo waa-whooo” part of “Who Are You”. He has a quiet singing voice, and stretches his head upwards and has a very long neck when he sings and it’s adorable.
Rocky is very soft, especially his ears.
One time, my parents went to Texas for vacation, and my brother and I stayed home to dog sit. Rocky had gone to the bathroom in the basement the Saturday morning before they left and he had diarrhea the night before. My mom figured it was some new peanut butter and molasses treats she had given them, so she threw them out. After they left, Rocky continued to have diarrhea and he started throwing up. I was nervous and didn’t know whether he needed to go to the vet or not. I looked online, which of course made me more nervous, but it suggested not feeding him for 24 hours so the diarrhea would stop.
Early on Monday morning, a holiday, I woke up to find a little bit of blood in his vomit. He went outside and tried to go to the bathroom, but only blood came out. I called the emergency vet to see if we could bring him in, and they said we could. I called my grandparents to give us a drive since neither my brother or I can drive. I went with Rocky to the vet, and he seemed fine on the way there.
I told the doctor what had happened and he checked Rocky out. He said he was dehydrated, which we pretty much knew since he was pooping and throwing up all the time. He said they would need to do blood work and an x-ray to see what was wrong. After a few hours of waiting, they told me that Rocky had pancreatitis. That was what Rosie had when she died, so that worried me a lot. The doctors said they would keep him overnight and put him on an IV and give him antibiotics and things. They didn’t seem to indicate it was likely he could die from it, so I guess it was worse for Rosie because she was older. Since the emergency vet is only open on non-regular business hours (ie. evenings and holidays), we would have to come pick him up on Tuesday morning, and if he was doing well, he could come home, and if not, he’d need to go to our regular vet.
The next day, we went to pick him up, and they said he could come home. There were three different medicines we had to give him for about a week. They said we were lucky we caught it early, because it could have been much worse. He now seems to be right back to normal.