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Phillips: A dog’s life

Posted: September 15, 2015 4:40 p.m.
Updated: September 16, 2015 1:00 a.m.

Since my weekly column came out two weeks ago telling the story of how I met my dog, I have had several people ask me how he is doing, so an update feels very appropriate at this time.

I’m quite pleased to report he is doing well and is mostly, if not completely, recovered. Just to recap the story for those who may have missed it: on Sunday, Aug. 31, I worked for a while in the afternoon and, on the way home, I accidentally hit a little black dog with my truck. The collision knocked him out, but, thankfully, did not kill him. I took him to a veterinarian, who just happened to be at his office on a Sunday afternoon taking care of another emergency. He checked out my victim and said he appeared to have a concussion, along with some other health issues unrelated to the accident, and the best thing would be for him to stay at the animal hospital, at least overnight.

I checked back the next day and he appeared to have made some improvement, but was still very listless and only wanted to stay still and sleep. The vet let me take him home with some medications and advice on how to care for him.

I took him to the Walter M. Crowe Animal Shelter to let them know I had him, in case an owner was looking for him. My wish has been all along to keep him as my own, but I also wanted to do the right thing for the dog and for any owner who could be missing him. That seemed doubtful, since he obviously had been neglected. The shelter allowed me to take the dog home and said if no one claimed him within five days I could adopt him.

I was pondering what to call the little guy and my adult son suggested the name Rocky, after the famous movie boxer, because he took quite a beating and came back. I was considering it when one of the animal hospital workers made the offhand remark, “he’s a little fighter.” That sealed the deal and my little lap dog is now being called Rocky.

The first few days, he showed very little interest in eating or drinking or doing anything other than sleeping. At the vet’s suggestion I was feeding Rocky a liquid diet of Ensure with an eye dropper. I also gave him his pain medicine, antibiotic and water the same way. The Ensure seemed to make him perk up some, thanks to the nutrition it provided.

That only lasted a few days and now I can’t believe what an appetite he has for such a small dog. He’ll wolf down his food as fast as he can, then head to the cat’s bowl for more. Oh, and on that subject, my cat, Sammy, has been very accepting of Rocky. I’m sure it helps that most of the time Rocky is just a motionless, hairy blob. He certainly poses no threat to Sammy and she (yes, Sammy is a she) will sneak up to him for a good exploratory sniff now and then. They even sleep together, sort of. They don’t quite cuddle yet, but they will sleep within a foot or so of each other on my bed. I’m very proud of Sammy for her good attitude through all of this. I have made sure to give her lots of extra love so she won’t feel like she’s being replaced.

So, the five days have long passed for anyone to claim their little lost dog and I am going to adopt him. The vet said it’s best to wait about a month after his concussion to have him neutered, which is part of the adoption process, so we have a couple of weeks to go on that.

I appreciate all those who have asked about Rocky. First, that you care enough to be concerned about my dog and want to know the latest news about him, and it shows me people do read this column. I thank you for both.


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