• Mindy Schwartz

Saying Goodbye to Rocky

Updated: Aug 25





We said goodbye to Rocky last month. Every time he lowered himself to the ground in super-slow-motion I wondered if I was being selfish to make him stay with me so long. Then he’d go charging to the top of our hill, put his front paws on the wall, and with his tail wagging joyfully, bark at the people walking by and I was sure that he was still happy to be alive.


Rocky picked us out at a shelter 14 years ago. We entered a kennel looking for a medium to large puppy, and this adorable little 8-week-old ran over and untied my husband’s shoe. We immediately knew this “shepherd mix” was the puppy for us.


Where did the time go? It seems like only a year or two has passed since we brought him home. He was not the easiest puppy. He hated being in a crate, so we turned our bathrooms into giant kennels. Rocky used to get car sick, so every trip took twice as long as usual, because we had to stop and walk around for a few minutes, which was definitely better than having to clean the car.


Rocky was clearly a “mama’s boy” who followed me around everywhere. Throughout his entire life he was my constant companion. As he got older, he spent more time with doctors, surgeons, and rehab therapists, but he was good-natured and accepting of anything that was done to him. Everyone who met Rocky loved him because of his sweet personality, which was on display even when he was in pain. Over the years Rocky became a protective older brother to Alma and then to Wrangler, the puppies we brought home to raise for Canine Companions, a national service dog organization. Rocky, loved having new playmates, even though at times they could be annoying!


During 2020 Rocky helped me to cope with Covid restrictions by being there whenever I was feeling down. I learned patience by having to wait outside the pet hospital for an hour while he went to rehab and acupuncture every week. His excitement over a stop for a cup of whipped cream at the local coffee shop drive-thru taught me to appreciate the special little moments in life.


And now that Rocky is gone, our lives and the lives of our two other adopted dogs are still enriched by the love he shared with us.


“Dogs' lives are too short. Their only fault, really." Agnes Sligh Turnbull





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