A non-profit, no-kill animal rescue
Happy Endings - Rocco
Dear Dick and Friends of Sweetpea,
In March 2004 my family adopted a pit bull mix puppy that was abandoned at the train station in Springfield. Being a Police Officer, I was trained to be very cautious and weary around Pits and never even thought of owning one but Libby came right in and settled down with our family. Libby was extremely gentle toward all of us and seems to appreciate all the love and praise we gave her. Unfortunately, after having her for about a month, I was playing ball with her in our back yard and she saw a cat across the street, ran after it and was struck and killed by a car. My wife, kids and I were shocked and grief stricken over the loss of such a beautiful friend.
I soon decided to turn our grief around, largely as a lesson for my kids, and began researching Pit Bulls on the internet. While definitely well equipped for fighting , I was amazed to find they were a devoted and loving breed who aimed to please and definitely undeserving of the reputation they have been given. Even more shocking to me is how some people treated them and how many of them were in need of a home. Without hesitation, we decided to help a Pit in need by offering it a loving home.
I spent hours upon hours searching the internet for the right Pit in need. I finally had a list of about 2 dozen dogs with in 50 miles of me that needed a home. My family and I called and visited shelters all over Massachusetts, Connecticut and RI.
I had discovered Rocco on Petfinder.com. I was immediately impressed by his picture and the alert look he had, almost as if he was saying "I need a home". When we arrived at the shelter and saw the way Rocco look at his handler, Carl, with love and admiration, I knew he was the dog for us ! Being an adult pit and not a puppy, I admit I was a bit concerned about getting along with other animals and strangers so we asked Dick if we could take him home for a few days on a trial run.
We took Rocco home that day. He immediately jumped in the van and made himself at home in the passenger seat up front. His introduction to our 2 cats freaked the felines out, but that was to be expected. Rocco didn't care about them . Ditto for the ferret. And strangers too. Plenty of them ! All of them ! All he asks for is a pat on the head. A good friend of ours, who Rocco didn't know, came and entered our house soon afterwards when no one was home. Rocco simply greeted her and wagged his tale. Not an ounce of aggression.
I was astonished when Rocco went to our stairs and just looked at
them. He had no idea how to use them. My daughter had to show him
and to this day, he still pauses for a second to ponder the stairs.
He also had no idea how to play ball or Frisbee. Again, my daughter
has been working with him and now he gets somewhat excited at a game
of tug or fetch. From the first night and ever since, Rocco has
slept with my wife and I. I don't mean at the foot of the bed. I
mean head on pillow , under the covers , snoring. That took a little
bit of getting used to say the least. He definitely thinks he is a
lap dog and no one has yet told him different.
We are very happy with Rocco ! He definately flourishes on all the love, praise and attention we give him. I want to thank you for all you and Sweetpea did for Rocco, giving him a chance to find his forever home. It is very sad the reputation these dogs undeservingly have.
A Police Bulletin from Rocko's owners:
While we were out, Rocko somehow got out of the house yesterday and went for a walk. He was quickly found by Officer "X" of the Warren PD on Comins Pond Road. Even though he didn't get into any trouble, he was arrested on the spot under a vagrancy statute and booked at the station. Being a Police Officer's dog (and a juvenile - he's only 4 !), he was given due consideration and released to Katie on personal recognizance. Here are his booking pictures (trying to look penitent):
(Officer X's name has been deleted so that Rocko's cronies don't pay him an off-duty call ...).
We are a non-profit, no-kill animal welfare organization, dedicated to the rescue, care and placement of stray, abandoned and surrendered animals.
Please contact Dick Clark for an appointment to meet with any of our pets.