Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Profile: Rocky

Rocky's prospects for adoption are slim. He has been brought in by his owner along with another dog because the owner says he no longer wants to take care of them. The other dog is quickly adopted out but Rocky, with his various health issues, is a hard sell. He is eight years old and has wobblers (a spinal bone disease) as well as hip displasia. He also has to overcome the general perception of Dobermans being dangerously aggressive dogs. Though he isn't well received by the public who walk by his kennel, Rocky quickly becomes a favorite of the staff at Toronto Animal Services. He is a gentle, affectionate old guy who, more than anything, just wants a soft blanket to lie on and good belly rub.

The weeks go by and while there are a couple of potential suitors, no one takes Rocky home. Some dogs unfortunately do not take well to kennel life, especially in a high anxiety environment where there are other unknown dogs constantly barking for attention and strangers wandering in and out. Maybe it's from the stress, maybe it's from the exposure to an abundance of transmittable diseases but Rocky's general health and behaviour start to decline. At one point, near the end of his second month at the pound, he ends up catching whipworm from one of the other strays and has to be put on deworming medication. A few weeks later, just as soon as he gets over that he develops a cough and within a few days it has worsened to the point where he is coughing consistently throughout the day. The kennel cough vaccine he'd been given earlier was ineffective. He sounds like someone with tuberculosis. He's also got an eye infection, hearing problems, a lump in his side. He's a mess. On top of all this, he's also starting to guard his kennel from visitors. With his health degrading so rapidly and no adoption possibilities, a decision is made to euthanize Rocky that afternoon.

I'd already considered fostering Rocky but always felt he'd do better in a single dog family. However, now that the euthanization order is given, he's out of time. I inform TAS that I'll take him home that evening.

Rocky's been with me now for over a year. There have been some significant health issues to overcome but now, except for the occasional stiffness in his hips, his health is otherwise good. And, most importantly, he's found his soft blanket and plenty of belly rubs.

1 comment:

rdharder said...

i was just browsing some photos and the last article caught my attention.

My name is also Rocky :D

Thanks for the care of the dog.. God Bless