Sent: Monday, October 30
To: CFCNCA Marketing
Subject: Animal Welfare Week photo contest contribution
I am submitting the attached photos for the cutest pet contest. This is really more cause-related than cutest pet related, but my dog is really cute too!
As an advocate for the cause of animal welfare for many years, I finally adopted my first dog from a greyhound rescue. I adopted Rocky in January 2015 from a CFC charity that rescues greyhounds from being euthanized after their racing careers end. Rocky was six years old when I adopted him and really underweight for such a large dog. He was returned to the agency for undisclosed reasons by a family who had previously adopted him. But that didn't matter to me! Rocky was a beautiful boy, and I was more than eager to adopt him and bring him home.
After bringing Rocky home, he immediately adjusted to the routine of the house and started enjoying life as a retiree. I took Rocky for his first checkup at the veterinarian, and the vet told me I had to fatten Rocky up a little bit because he was so underweight. No problem there! Rocky loved eating, and it took him no time to pack on a few pounds of healthy weight. He looked even better after that! Along with eating, Rocky really enjoyed sleeping on his comfy bed, cuddling with daddy (me), going for car rides, giving love and kisses, and playing with his stuffy toys, Mr. Ducky and Mr. Badger being his absolute favorites. Rocky was such a lovey. He quickly became my best friend, confidant, travel partner, dinner companion, and source of unconditional love.
Without Rocky, I don't believe I would have been able to make it through some very difficult personal and family issues I was experiencing. That unconditional love really pulled me through some very dark places in my life.
During a routine checkup at the veterinarian in December 2015, the vet noticed that Rocky has some swollen lymph nodes in his neck, and recommended I get him seen at an animal hospital for further evaluation. Later that same day, I received some very bad news. Rocky had stage 4 lymphoma, and wasn't expected to live but for a few weeks longer. That devastated me! I was about to lose my best friend, and there really was nothing I could do about it. I prayed to God to help Rocky be comfortable while he lived out the remaining days of retirement with ease. The veterinarian at the animal hospital helped prescribe palliative care for Rocky to keep him comfortable and help keep the lymphoma at bay.
In April 2016, Rocky succumbed to the ravages of the lymphoma and was put to sleep. A few months before his passing, I celebrated Rocky's seventh birthday with him and fed him some steak and gave him a peanut butter cookie (his favorite) for his birthday dinner. Rocky's time with me was far too short, but his time with me was filled with love, care, comfort, and ease - a life very well deserved for such a beautiful animal put through the hardships of racing for people's entertainment and financial gain. Rocky is very sorely missed, and I feel the impact of his absence every day!
I support the cause of animal welfare by rescuing and adopting dogs (greyhounds) from rescue organizations and shelters, and by making people aware that there are really tons of great animals in shelters looking for great homes! I also am an advocate for finding a cure for pet cancer. There is no need for pets who show such unconditional love to suffer needlessly with cancer. We need to find a cure for our pets, so they can live long, beautiful lives with us.
That is my story with Rocky, the retired racing greyhound. He was my big, little boy and my best friend! I miss him!