Editor’s note: Simply put, rocks are the new dogs. To meet the needs of this growing population of pet parents, we are switching our focus to become your source for all things rock related. Rockster will deliver the latest care info from experts in the mineralogy field, the best training advice from leading rock behaviorists, and the most helpful tips from our team of rock lovers, who will help you navigate life with a not-so-furry friend. Also look for inspiring stories of rock rescue and adoption, as well as profiles of Rockster Heroes. And be sure to create a page in our Community area — we want to see your pets, pebbles and boulders alike! We hope you enjoy Rockster. — Pamela Mitchell, Senior Rockster Editor
We brought Rocquel into our family many years ago. My wife and I didn’t have pet rocks when we were younger, so bringing her into our life — picking out Rocquel’s bed, pouring her first bowl of gravel, taking her for a first roll — are moments we will cherish forever.
In 2011, we decided to add to our family again and rescue a dog. We adopted an Italian Greyhuahua/Terrier mix, and keeping with the spirit of our pet parenting, we named him Rocky.
But Susan and I knew that no matter how cute Rocky was, and no matter how stone-faced Rocquel acted upon hearing the news she would soon have a baby brother, we had our work cut out for us.
Getting the two of them to live happily together was not going to be just an easy skip on the lake.
But through trial and error, we found the ways that Rocky and Rocquel could coexist, and even share some puppy love.
Here are four easy tips to get your resident rock and her new pet friend to live happily ever after.
One of the great things about having a pet rock is that she has no teeth and no paws. So unless you leave her on the edge of a shelf or table, or accidentally leave her in a walkway, there’s very little she can do in the way of harming another creature. The dog, on the other hand, could really sharpen his claws on the surface of your rock. So let the dog be the curious one, while instructing your rock to stay still. Once the dog has given your rock a friendly sniff — and maybe even a lick on the forehead — he will quickly learn that the rock is a friend, not a foe.
Rocquel has had her own bed and blanket since we got her. She quietly sleeps at the end of our bed and never stirs. Now, some people would say you should try to avoid letting your pets sleep in the human bed, but we felt Rocky and Rocquel would bond better if they shared the same sleepy space — they would have a shared comfort zone from which they could further bond as buddies.
Again, it’s all about the dog and rock being comfortable sharing their happy, intimate spaces. And what makes pets happier than dinnertime? Rocquel is way too busy inhaling her pebbles to even notice Rocky doing the same with his kibbles. Within days, our two scamps were sitting patiently together at their respective bowls waiting for dinner.
Rocquel loves putting on her leash and rolling down the street where we live. It gets her exercise and fresh air and keeps her from gathering moss. Rocky also loves his walks, and the two of them make quite a team traveling the sidewalks. Not only does it help them expend their extra energy, it is a shared activity that they both enjoy. Seeing Rocky and Rocquel enjoy doing things together means we no longer feel between a rock and a hard place.
Read more about pet rocks on Rockster:
Read more about introducing resident pets to new family members:
About the author: Jeff Goldberg is a freelance writer in Quincy, Mass. A former editor for MLB.com and sportswriter for the Hartford Courant who covered the University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team (Huskies!) and the Boston Red Sox, Jeff has authored two books on the UConn women: Bird at the Buzzer (2011) and Unrivaled (2015). He lives with his wife, Susan, and their rescues Rocquel and Rocky.