Rocco: And the best news of all…



Rocco was adopted today!

It wasn’t by the man who was interested in him all along. It was by a woman named Maxi, who had fallen in love with Rocco on his foster mom, June’s, Facebook page originally, but had decided that her two dogs and three cats were enough, so she would refrain. Even though her third dog had recently passed away, and Rocco reminded her an awful lot of this dog. Two dogs was enough.

And then Rocco ran away in a thunder storm. Maxi was devastated reading about it on June’s Facebook page, as were all of June’s friends.  She hoped, and prayed that Rocco would return, and told herself that if he did, she would offer to make him hers (as Maxi had extensive experiences with escape artist dogs afraid of thunder.)

And he did.

And she did.

I contacted the man who was planning to adopt Rocco and explained the situation. I mentioned that the doggy door he was planning would probably not be a great idea, in case Rocco could bust out of the yard in another thunder storm. I explained that Rocco had an offer from a woman who was retired and would be home with him most of the time. And when she wasn’t, she would secure him in her laundry room with her other two dogs, where he would be safe and sound. And the man agreed that Maxi would be the better home for Rocco. (A win/win because I’m sure he will adopt another of our shelter dogs).

So at 2:30 today, June brought Rocco to the Friends of the Animals adoption event at Orvis and I met her there with Rocco’s health record (which I had kept in my car from running him to vet appointments). Maxi got there first. She couldn’t wait. You could tell.

Now Rocco is settled in at his new home with his two dog sisters who welcomed him with open paws, thank goodness. One of the cats even gave him an approving sniff on the nose. And he’s cuddled up on his new orthopedic bed beside Maxi’s bed, getting ready to live out the best years of the rest of his life.

Rocco? We love you so.


June had a harder time saying goodbye to Rocco than she thought she would. But Maxi said she could visit any time.

Rocco on his new bed in his forever home.

Rocco on his new bed in his forever home.

Rocco: Whoa

It has been a crazy few days in Rocco-land. The good news is, I was able to raise the money for Rocco’s surgery and he had it last Friday. And it went well, though we are waiting for the pathology report on the tumors removed and hoping everything is benign.

The morning of his surgery last Friday. A little early for Rocco to rise and shine, apparently.

The morning of his surgery last Friday. A little early for Rocco to rise and shine, apparently.

The bad news is, two days later, we had terrible thunderstorms here and while Rocco’s foster mom, June, was out, Rocco had a little freak-out. He squeezed himself through a cat door, busted through the screened in porch, and escaped while June was away. She was distraught and searched the neighborhood with friends, but no luck. It was a very sad and restless night that June spent with Rocco on the lam.

We posted signs all over her neighborhood, including in the park near the state capitol where I was starting to think, on day 4 of him missing, that Rocco was gone for good. I imagined him trapped in a drain pipe or caught under bushes by his harness. I imagined all sorts of things I won’t share because the world is sad enough without my horrible fantasies. Although he has a microchip, Rocco wasn’t wearing tags, because he’s a foster dog (and let me tell you, neither June nor I will ever make that mistake again; we’ll have tags made up that say “foster” with our respective phone numbers on them for our respective foster dogs. By the way, read this  article on how to make sure you don’t lose your dog in the first place, and how to get him back if you do).

Most importantly, I posted him on the Lost Pets of Baton Rouge Facebook page, describing his blue harness, his shaved back (he’d had a hot spot and the vets thought it best to remove the hair) and his incisions. And today, after I’d left a lunch meeting downtown, I got a call from a woman named MaryKay. She said she’d seen Rocco outside of her office (which was about a mile or two away from his foster home) but hadn’t been able to catch him. Then she saw his picture and description on the Lost Pets of Baton Rouge Facebook Page, where she’d gotten my phone number. She gave me the address of her office, and I was five minutes away, so I drove right there.

When I arrived, she met me downstairs and pointed to the areas where she’d seen him on the street. “I knew he had to be someone’s dog because of the blue harness,” she said, “But every time I took a step towards him, he ran away.”

Poor boy was still afraid, four days after that thunderstorm. I thanked her and did a lap around the block, calling his name and looking in bushes. I asked a little old  man taking out the garbage if he’d seen a dog and he shook his head. No dog. I turned the corner and asked a middle aged man doing construction on a ramshackle cottage alongside the interstate if he’d seen a dog. He pointed to an alley between the house he was working on and the house next door to it and I said, “Really?” My heart was in my throat. I took a couple of steps in that direction and called, “Rocco!” And guess who popped right out from under that house and throttled me with love and kisses?


There is nothing happier than the abrupt ending of horrible fantasies. I clipped the leash I was carrying in my bag onto his harness and took him to meet MaryKay and say thank you. And snap their picture:


MaryKay, you made my freakin’ day! Rocco’s too! Oh, and you have extremely cool cowboy boots.

Then I gave the boy a treat from my bag (yes, my bag is like a mini-Petsmart), loaded him up in the car and took him back to June’s house. I have a key to June’s house, because part of our deal when I asked her to foster Rocco was that I would help with stuff like getting him to vet appointments and out for walks on her long work days. Fostering is great but it can also be time consuming, as shelter dogs are often sick, and so fostering partnerships like this can be a great way of saying yes when you might otherwise have to say no.

Anyway, neither of us ever knew what Rocco’s journey might entail (repeated vet visits for kennel cough and surgery and then a great escape and great reuniting). But I can promise you that neither of us regret stepping up for him for even one minute.

And the adopter who was interested in him a month ago? Still interested! In fact, this great guy is putting in a doggy door at his house and then wants to have Rocco over for an overnight visit in a few days to see how it goes. Of course, we will make sure his fence is secure, and we’re going to try out Rocco with a Thunder shirt  so that next time there’s a storm, he remains calm. In fact, I wish they would make those for people because next time there’s a storm, I think I could use one myself after this.

Frida is Lost: Bring Her Home.


This is one of my first fosters, Frida. When she was here, I named her “Blossom” because that is what she needed to do in order to find a good home. She was so shy she pressed herself against the back of the kennel and didn’t want to come out. And when she did, she spent all of her time hiding under my coffee table. But she found the best home I could ever have hoped for, with a poet and LSU grad student whom I have come to adore. And we are all freaked out because a couple of days ago, at their new home in New Orleans, she slipped out through a faulty gate in the yard and disappeared.

I’m writing this post in the hope that those of you with connections in mid-city New Orleans will help look for her. She is still very shy, though not aggressive at all. I suspect she followed a food trail somewhere and got trapped in someone’s backyard. This is not the kind of dog who ordinarily wanders; she LOVES her mom and dad, rarely lets them out of her sight and is the kind of dog who, if let off the leash, runs straight home. They have invested so much time (training her) and money (fast-kill heart worm treatment) and love in her. Please help them get her back.

I really don’t like to post sad stuff, because there’s enough of that out there without me, so let’s not put this in the sad category. My brother’s dog was missing for a year and was returned healthy, safe and sound due to some fliers my mom put up in a supermarket near her house. My friend Patti’s dog hopped her fence and was on the lam for a week before someone put signs up and the woman who had him in her backyard called and returned him.

Let’s bring Frida home. (Meanwhile, I need to get that song “Bring her Home” from Les Miserables out of my head, so please let’s do this fast).

Thank you, beautiful people!