Friday, July 22, 2011


July 21 is not a good day for me. Yesterday, already feeling blue, I cleaned up after my old buddy, Rocky, who threw up on the carpet just as I was getting ready to leave for a doctor’s appointment out of town. Rocky is around fourteen years old. We don’t know his exact birthday. We found this wonderful dog when he was approximately six months old. He had been abandoned near the Chatuge dam, a place often used as a dumping place for unwanted dogs.

It was hard to believe that anyone would leave such a handsome pup near the road where he might be hit by a car. He fearlessly stood his ground under a tree, shunning those who might want to put their hands on him. When I saw him as Barry and I walked by, I commented that he seemed determined to stay in that spot as though he was waiting for that certain person to come and get him. Little did I know he would end up at my house and become my shadow in his later years after his master passed away.

Yes, Barry spent an hour coaxing the pup into his arms and into his Jeep. It was a shorter time before the pup became Rocky, and Rocky became a devoted pal to Barry.

For twelve years the rescued dog and the gentle man who loved him, were inseparable.
I knew when I arrived home late in the day I’d find the two of them on the deck, Barry in his rocking chair, enjoying the woods and the creatures that lived there, and Rocky curled up near his feet.

As my mother would have said, this dog doesn’t have a mean bone in his body. To know Rocky is to love him. He has fans everywhere. When we brought home Tiger, a grown cat, Rocky accepted her immediately. Now he licks her ears and her face until she finally has more of all that loving than she wants..
 I hated to leave my dog yesterday with his big brown eyes beseeching me. Don’t go, he seemed to be saying as I left at 10:30 a.m. I knew he wasn’t well, but I planned to be back home by early afternoon. I’d call the vet if he wasn’t feeling better then.

But my doctor visit stretched out into several hours and soon I realized I’d not get home in time to take him to the vet if he was really sick. I called my friend Denise and luckily she was home. She went to see how Rocky was doing. She found he had vomited two more times and was so lethargic he wouldn’t get out of his bed. He was twitching and acting strangely, she said to me on the phone. She called my vet and met me there with Rocky. I had to leave him overnight hooked up to tubes for hydration. The vet had no idea what was wrong.

On my way home to get Rocky’s bed, my car suddenly stalled in the middle of the road. I started it and drove a few miles but it stalled again. The third time it stopped I had turned on the road where I live, and I managed to pull into a parking lot where I left it. My neighbor Alice responded to my call for help, as she often does, and drove me over to take Rocky’s bed to him. I knew  he would be much happier if he had his bed.

So I was without my dog and without my car that I need and love so much. I knew I’d get my car back eventually, but I feared that my beloved pet would not return to me. Only two years ago, July 21, Rocky’s master was taken from us by cancer and a poor medical system.

I will be bereft if Rocky leaves me, too. He is almost fourteen years old. Quite elderly by dog standards. And I am trying to prepare myself. However, tonight July 22, Rocky is home again, and has eaten some broth and rice; he drank a little water and went outside to urinate though walking is quite difficult.
He responds when I talk to him although he is on pain meds, antibiotics and something to help his digestion.
 Maybe he'll hang on a while longer.


Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Hang in there Rocky. I feel your pain Glenda. The only children I had were four-legged ones and they were the best babies in the world. Hope Rocky continues to improve. Give him a scratch on the year from me.

Ellen said...

Oh Glenda, your heart and soul were in your words and I truly hope that you and Rocky are OK. I hope that knowing that we love you both helps a bit. Ellen Schofield

Ellen said...

Glenda, my heart is with both you and rocky.

Anonymous said...

I'm a new visitor to your blog, and I was saddened to read about Rocky. It can be difficult when someone you love, even a pet, becomes ill. I hope things work out for the best for you and Rocky.

On another note, I found your article in the summer issue of Breath and Shadow interesting. I know someone else who has multiple chemical sensitivity so can understand what it's like. I'm also a writer with a disability. Please feel free to visit my blog at to learn more about me.

Abbie Taylor

Vagabonde said...

Thanks for coming to my blog and leaving such a nice comment. Pets are so precious – it is hard when they are sick as we are never sure where they hurt and what we can do for them. We have cats as we travel and have no fence. My youngest daughter had a dog and when we were ready to get in the car to take her out to the restaurant to celebrate her 10th birthday her dog ran to the street and was ran over as we watched in horror. So I don’t have a dog here – she does have 3 now in Nashville. I hope Rocky will soon be completely healed.

Glenda Beall said...

Thanks Sam and Vagabonde, for your concern for Rocky. He is coming along much better than I had expected. Today he went down the stairs and back up. That shows he is much stronger.
I have had friends tell me they had prayed for Rocky. I guess God must think this is a mighty special dog - and he is.

Glenda Beall said...

Ellen, Ellen and Abby,
Thank you so much for your compassion. I am so happy to report that tonight, Monday, July 25, he is much improved. He hates his medicine, but my sister has been with me the past two days and he adores Gay, so he takes his meds from her most of the time.
I felt better when my vet said he thought Rocky's problem was not liver disease, but a liver injury caused by something he ate.
Have you ever heard of a dog eating mushrooms? Dr. Smiley things he might have mushroom poisoning.

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Rocky. I sure hope he gets well soon. I know how you feel. Animals are part of the family. I'm also sorry to hear about your car stalling. Sounds like a difficult time now. I'm truly sorry. I sure hope and pray you are feeling better, too.

Anonymous said...

Dogs will eat anything, but I'm surprised Rocky likes mushrooms. Our Irish setters never ate vegetables. You could give them a plate of scraps, and they would eat everything else on the plate and leave the vegetables untouched.

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome

Glenda said...

Brenda Kay and Abbie, I am a happy camper today. Not that I'm camping, but Rocky insisted I feed him and he ate like a well pup. I think he'll be around for awhile.

Abbie, I really enjoyed reading your blog and I left you a comment.
Thanks for stopping by.

Paula said...

I was alarmed when I read your blog, but relieved after reading all the comments and finding out that Rocky is so much better. I really like that dog - and his owner!