Rocky Was a Lucky Dog

My great friend Jeff called me shortly before 6 p.m. yesterday.

“What are you doing,?” Jeff asked. He didn’t sound good.

“I’m headed home from work, you,?”  I asked.

“Rocky died,” he said.

“‘l’ll be right over,” I replied.

Rocky was Jeff’s 16-year old Cocker Spaniel. Jeff and Rocky made a terrific team. Jeff rescued Rocky from a kennel and an uncertain fate a long time ago. Rocky saw Jeff through some tough times a few years ago.

You could see Rocky and Jeff had absolute trust in one another. Pictures of Rocky are scattered through Jeff’s house. In each one, Rocky looks absolutely delighted to be there. Obviously because Jeff was there, too.

In the past year or so, Rocky was feeling the effects of old age. He was blind, deaf and limped from arthritis. Jeff doted on Rocky, making sure Rocky found his way outside to do his business, and always rewarded him afterwards with some Scooby snacks.

Jeff would often wake up in the middle of the night to check on Rocky. When Jeff did so, Rocky would sniff and snort, then fall back asleep, reassured his best buddy had his back.

Jeff said he isn’t sure what he would have done without Rocky during that dark time he had awhile back. Rocky was so protective.  Befitting his name, he was like a  rock for Jeff.

Jeff says he thinks Rocky gave him more than he gave Rocky. I think it’s a tie.

When I got to Jeff’s house last evening,  Rocky was still there, where he died in the living room. Rocky’s head rested on his favorite blanket. His head was cocked upward a bit, as if he saw something fun in the distance. His legs were arranged as if he was getting ready to run toward whatever he saw.

I think as Rocky was dying, he saw his buddy Alex, another Cocker Spaniel who lived with and was loved by Jeff and Rocky until he died a few years ago. Alex and Rocky are probably having a ball somewhere as we speak, running around fields and chasing sticks.

I couldn’t do much to help Jeff. He was mourning, but holding it together. Jeff wished he was there to comfort Rocky when he died. I said I thought Rocky died when Jeff wasn’t home on purpose, to spare him the grief of watching the event.

Jeff wondered if he did everything he possibly could for Rocky during what was clearly his happy life.  I guess it is obvious to everyone except Jeff that Rocky became the luckiest dog in the world when he met Jeff.

I’ve been fortunate to have many friends in my life. A few have let me down, most have not.  Through all that, I’ve learned how best to judge people as potential buddies.

If the person treats the animals around him or her with love, respect and care, you would be wise to choose that person as a friend.

I know I chose extremely wisely in becoming friends with Jeff. 

How do I know that? Rocky told me.

3 Responses to “Rocky Was a Lucky Dog”

  1. Jeff Says:

    thanks Matt…..the Modereger Boys (Rocky, Alex and Jeff) thank you. I guess I chose wisely too.

  2. denis Says:

    extremely well-written. it sounds like rocky was a very lucky dog.

  3. johncnunez Says:

    it is very sad when you loose a mate like rocky, I had two Shih tzu, brothers from the same mother but of different litter they are black and white, rex and sonny where like two drops of water , both like the daily walk around the park with the usual sniffing around the trees. but last year sonny collapse during one of these walks, I took him to the vet. but it was too late he die in the clinic table. what can I say.

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