It was August of the year 2005, and I had finally saved enough to purchase the dog of my dreams to keep me company in my big, lonesome college apartment. I searched, planned, and prepared for what seemed like forever, and finally found a breeder with a litter of labrador puppies. They were purebred and registered with papers, and once I met baby Rockster, it was a match for sure. He was going home with me, and it was a joyous day!
Fast forward through the house-breaking, the obedience classes, and the phase of floor/wall chewing. Rocky was a great puppy, though his extreme excitement around company was almost always overwhelming for my friends. Most of my guy friends didn't seem to mind much, and actually seemed to be able to enjoy rough-housing with such a big, friendly dog.
Rocky is a northerner much like his owner. This has been proven time and time again as he developed horrendous environmental allergies upon moving to our new home in the south a year and a half ago. He is getting better, but at his worst he had barely any hair (anywhere on his body), his skin was inflamed, red, and itchy, and he was unmistakably miserable. He was on Benadryl for about a year which stopped working, and now he's on antibiotics and prescription hypo-allergenic food. He's going into his third consecutive month of the treatment now, and it seems to be helping surely, but ever so slowly.
He adores Clark despite the fact that my husband doesn't return the sentiment. However, due to his allergy conditions, Clark allowed him to rejoin our indoor world after being stuck outside for a year (in a protected environment...don't worry, folks). The Rockster likes it much better in our company (and who could blame him, really?). We've gone from having to give him medicated baths every other day to once a week. In spite of all of his medical struggles, he's a happy pup who loves a good roll on our carpet and a wrestle. He's not a cuddly dog, but he sure is sweet and loves everyone in our family (including Bunny and Peanut). He wouldn't hurt a fly, but I'm confident he'd try to protect us with his whole big heart.
I love my dog. He's wonderful.
So here's to you, Rocky, happy third birthday!!!