When married couple Beth and Michael Clark decided to pay a visit to the Anne Arundel County Animal Control (AACAC) facility to make good on a pledged donation, they weren’t expecting to adopt a dog that day. Beth, who was close to 9 months pregnant, was preparing for the birth of the couple’s first baby, and so adopting a pup wasn’t in the cards at the moment.
However, all of that changed when Michael laid eyes on Rocky, an 18-year-old senior pup, who was sick, weak, and on the verge of being put down, due to lack of interest from shelter patrons.
Rocky’s life was not easy by any means. For one, he lived with an owner who didn’t care much for him. Beth and Michael listen to shelter staff give his background story and it cut them to the heart. The poor pup was neglected, uncared for, scavenged for food, and had to endure the brutal, unforgiving weather for 17 long years of his life, while his owner sat comfortably in a nice cozy home oblivious to it all. Sadly, when his owner no longer wanted to deal with the cost of caring for Rocky, who needed special attention and medical care in his senior years, he surrendered him to a kill shelter, leaving Rocky all alone to fend for himself.
Sadly, when his owner no longer wanted to deal with the cost of caring for Rocky, who needed special attention and medical care in his senior years, he surrendered him to a kill shelter, leaving Rocky all alone to fend for himself.
Beth and Michael were too compelled not to do anything after hearing Rocky’s story and decided that his suffering would on that day. The couple put in the necessary paperwork to adopt him, without any second guessing and made it official. Finally, the dog who had only known a life of pain and suffering was going to a home filled with love.
Rocky went home with the Clark’s in time for Christmas, and boy did they spoil him. In spite of his age and gradually deteriorating physical condition, he kept up with his new family the best way he could. He was happy, and they knew it.
“When I started showing, he was a lot more attached to me.”
Earl last Wednesday, Beth gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Hazel. After a day in the hospital, Beth and Michael brought little Hazel home to greet her new brother Rocky, and boy did his eyes light up when he saw her.
Rocky, whose body by this time was starting to completely shut down, greeted Hazel with a sniff, and never left her her side. Sadly, that day, Rocky breathed his last breath and passed away peacefully and quietly, exiting the world knowing that he was greatly loved. A visibly emotional Beth said,
“We’re still adjusting to Rocky not being here. I’m just really glad he was there when we got home.”
Beth and Michael wrote a letter to the AACAC advocacy group Friends of Anne Arundel County Animal Control to announce Rocky’s passing, and they, in turn, wrote the following letter to Hazel, their newborn daughter thanking the couple for their extraordinary act of kindness:
Someday your mom and dad will tell you all about your first dog, Rocky. Everyone loved the story of a young Fort Meade couple who came to AACAC right before Christmas 2015 just to drop off donations but ending up adopting a frail 17-year-old dog named Rocky. Rocky thrived in his new home with your mom and dad, and each update of his exploits was avidly followed by his many fans. Rocky even was the one who made the announcement that you were on the way!
Early Wednesday morning, you were born, and Thursday evening you went home with your proud parents. Rocky, now well over 18 years old, was there to meet you…but not for long. Rocky had been slowly fading in recent months, and late Thursday night he peacefully left the world that you just entered. Before that happened, your sad mom and dad took a picture of the two of you together. Someday, they will show you that picture, and tell you how wonderful and how loved your first dog was, even though your lives only overlapped so very briefly. Goodbye, Rocky, from all your many friends.”
Rest in heaven Rocky.