Nicknames: Rock, Rockadoo, Mister Rocky, the Rockster, Rocky Baby, Rocky Honey Doggie Boy
Birthday: September 15th 2004
Likes: Walks, skritches, treats, kisses, squeaky toys. Sitting on Daddy's lap (Daddy's the one with glasses), playing bet-you-can't-get-my-toy. Chasing and being chased, playing catch. Being with family and friends. Snoozing on our shoulders, laps or beds.
Pet-Peeves: Other dogs getting walks while he's inside. Passersby he sees from his post in the window, even if they're all the way across the street. Wearing hats.
Favorite Toy: Any squeaky toy, or Aunty Betty's talking dog.
Favorite Food: Treats! Chicken and sweet potato treats, lamb and fish leather treats, chicken and apple treats, peanut butter, anything Daddy has.
Favorite Walk: Mark's Nature Park. Anywhere he can visit his friends.
Best Tricks: Walking on his two front legs, getting Daddy to chase him around their yard.
Arrival Story: When my Dad (the fellow with the beard and glasses) visited an Island toy poodle breeder, he asked for an apricot female puppy. Their only two available puppies, just a few weeks old, were black males. The breeder brought them out, one in the palm of each hand: one was roly-poly and the other looked like a real runt. The roly-poly puppy ignored him, but when the runt looked up and saw my Dad, right away he woofed! So naturally Dad reserved that puppy... and now he can't complain that Rocky barks!
Bio: Rocky was born in Mill Bay on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. He's still a skinny little guy, just 6½ pounds (3 kg), and his legs look very long. He's exactly 10" tall at the shoulder, and he wears size 12. He's called black, but when his hair is longer it looks dark chocolate in the sunshine. He has white and ginger hair on his muzzle and always looks like he's smiling.
Forums Motto: Growl Woof Wag Wag Kiss Kiss Kiss
More reasons Rocky is special: Rocky expects all the people he meets to find him adorable, and many of them do. His favorite neighbors are Bob (blue shirt), and the lady with the koala slippers, his Aunty Betty.
He loves to meet other dogs when we're out walking, especially Molly, Maggie and Spooky.
Rocky's right hip was irreparably damaged in an accident when he was a puppy, and couldn't be repaired. He didn't lose his leg, but the hip is gone and the top part of his thigh bone, and for years he had a bare patch over the owie.
Since soon after the injury, Rocky has tried to walk with all four legs, and he has good even muscle development. His good back leg has most of the power, so he runs three-legged, keeping his bad leg tucked up.
An amazing thing has happened: Rocky's body has created a false right hip joint further up against his spine, and his remaining thigh bone socketed in there. By the time he was four, he could use his back right leg to scratch behind his ear, he could balance on that leg for peeing, or lift it. And that false hip is getting stronger: that year, he started to dance around on his back legs again -- a real miracle.
It's hard to believe that Rocky is already seven years old. He looks great -- of course, he just got groomed yesterday -- and he's very busy every morning.
Today, first of all, Rocky had to rush to the door to welcome Jenny at 6:40am as usual, acknowledging her compliments on his latest cut, then he came and sat on me, waiting for Jenny to be free after Daddy's breakfast. Once she sits down, she picks Rocky up and gives him a lovely morning massage and scritch -- he rolls over with one arm in the air and gazes up at her lovingly. Today he also had a few pieces of dried salmon and some turkey salmon jerky, just for energy.
Tucker is visiting with Rocky right now. When Jenny left, she was on her way to the bank so the boys and I caught a lift. That gave us time to walk around the neighborhood. The two of them walk on a double lead. We ran into Shania's owner outside her nail salon; she gave the boys kind words and good scritches. Then we dropped in at the vets for a little play and more happy scritches. The vet tech told Rocky he doesn't look a day over four!
Today it was Tucker's turn to get groomed at Cory's Klips. When Rocky and I went to drop Tucker off at Cory's, Rocky played with Cory while Tucker sat on the other side of me and pretended to be invisible. Eventually Cory carried Tucker off, then Rocky and I met Daddy next door at Bradley's Bistro. The three of us sat outside, Dad in his scooter, and Rocky mooched a few scraps while Dad and I were snacking. Mm-mm!
Before we'd finished eating, the wasps came calling. Scarey, scarey wasps -- Rocky hunkered down in the doggie backpack with the top zippered closed, and kept a good eye on them. And the crows put us under surveillance, hoping we'd toss them a few scraps (I did).
Tucker was finished in under an hour. He sat with Daddy while Rocky and I walked a loop over to the city hall and back. Then I finished my crossword puzzle and Dad finished his book before we were ready to leave.
On the way back to Rocky and Dad's house, the boys and I went to the post office, which was very busy, and then walked through Bosley's. Yoshi the great dane wasn't at work yet, it was still early for him and baby Eliza; Tucker scored some doggie pepperoni bits, while Rocky held out for the love and scritches. Both of them got compliments on their excellent grooming.
Now it's almost noon. After getting home, Rocky and Tucker took turns on Dad's lap, alternating that with eating dry food and drinking fresh water. It's very quiet now, and everyone is settling down for a nap....
Later today the three of us are going to visit Rocky's Aunty Betty. She has a special card for him, and has written a poem for the occasion. Also, I've heard she got him one of Merrick's little sausage treats as a present, but he doesn't know that yet. Sh-h-h.
Finally! It poured for days and days. The flood in Rocky's back yard was creeping up the patio, and he was not impressed, in fact the poor little guy tried not to go out at all. He did listen for lulls in the rain, which explains our 3:20am bio break the other night.
The warning ended at noon, and there was just a light misty rain by the time Rocky and I went out. He got to check out all the neighbourhood scents and leave a few of his own, visit the bloodhound pack and look in on his friends at the local service station. Bliss!
Cooter Ray's yard is on Rocky's regular walking route, and we first met him about three years ago when he was a huge gambolling puppy. He was the first bloodhound I ever met, and the only dog whose voice I've mistaken for human. I swear I heard someone call out, "Over here... over here!" and when I turned, there was Cooter at the fence, in one of his best aw-shucks poses.
Young Cooter was a very social little guy. Although his family had a tiny Yorkie inside the house, he went out back all by himself. And it didn't take long for him to get lonely -- when he was alone, he'd been alone forever! So another black and tan bloodhound, sweet Georgia, came to live with Cooter's family and Cooter had company in the yard. Georgia and Cooter trained in tracking together, and Georgia was the star.
Their family planned for Cooter and Georgia to have puppies in a year or so, but accidents happen, and Georgia became a mother at the earliest opportunity, delivering a litter of eight for Christmas. There were a few problems, and one of the babies didn't survive. Of the seven others, five were adopted out, leaving two girls to grow up at home. Georgia wasn't too pleased to have them hanging around, and she escaped at every opportunity. Their fence had to be electrified, and every possible hole location blocked up.
Young Karma is a handful, and she usually followed her mother out adventuring. Once Georgia stopped escaping, Karma learned to use her family as jumping boards to go over the fence by herself; she now wears a cowbell after one too many escapes.
Sweet Brasha is near-deaf and blind, and a Daddy's Girl. Cooter looked after her, and I'm sure she misses him very much.
We heard the news on Saturday: Cooter died on Friday night, probably of gastric torsion. He wasn't even middle-aged for a bloodhound. The neighbourhood isn't the same without him. Rocky and I miss him, too.