As dog lovers we know that all dogs are special, my goodness God really broke the mould when he made these amazing animals.

Every now and again though, there is an extra special one that touches our hearts for whatever reason and we realise that they were sent to teach us something.

Meet Rocco, he joined the gang in early 2010. At a spritely 5 years old, he was every inch the working Cocker Spaniel and I adored him instantly.

Our first walk together was on a snowy January afternoon and it was so much fun, I remember laughing my head off at his crazy antics.

At the time Rocco had a head full of black dreadlocks! he reminded me of the former Chelsea Football Manager Ruud Gullit.

From under the mounds of snow, every time I called his name, this wee head full of crazy black curls would pop up to see what I was after.

As his hair was so long, snowballs attached to him but we learned that if we towel dried him and then popped him under the hair dryer, the snowballs soon disappeared.

Rocco was such an amazing boy, he was full of fun and energy. His wee tail never stopped wagging.

He could also be the grumpiest old sod I’d ever met, like if I tried to put him in a crate to keep him safe in the doggy van, well let’s just say, I learned to wear padded gloves for that activity lol.

And heaven help any dog who got in his space!

Over the years Rocco was out on adventure day care Monday – Friday and often boarded with us at weekends or for holidays due to his Mum and Dads working hours.

He became my third boy, very much part of our family and his Mum said I became like a second Mum to Rocco.

He was one of my best friends, I loved him dearly and he loved me.

He was amazing on the dog walks, never on a lead as well he was a bloody nightmare on one but off it he was the most perfect dog, unless there were birds about, then I had to be on guard!

He loved to explore and chew tree barks, in fact in the photo attached, it took him 3 months to fell this tree. Every day he would chew a little but more of it until he finally felled it!

As you can see he was super proud of his exploits. His dentist wasn’t though as he kept grinding his teeth down but that was part of his nature and no matter what we tried or what advice we took, we could not stop him.

Rocco gave the best cuddles, he loved to burrow down under the covers and keep cosy.

It was fab on wintery days snuggling up to watch films with him, unless he trumped.

My goodness, these things could make your eyes bleed and like Pumba from The Lion King, he could clear a room in seconds!

Rocco was wonderful around my little girl when she was born, it was a joy and a relief as I was worried he wouldn’t take to her but he was perfect.

Like every dog when they get older Rocco started to have his moments where he was maybe a bit more grumpy or a wee bit forgetful.

One day he decided whilst it was pouring down with torrential rain that he would go on his own little adventure!

After half an hour of searching, we had to call in help. I called the Police, the Dog Warden and of course Rocco’s family.

Thankfully the silly old boy had been picked up by the dog warden, literally minutes after I had last seen him.

It was the best £125 I’d ever spent to get him back.

When his Mum and I went to collect him, he was in such a foul mood, he would not speak to me.

Rocco stressed quite easily, so this had been an ordeal for not just him but all of us!

He blamed me! Although it was the silly old fool’s fault as he wandered off. He had never ever done this before, so we were all a bit worried.

I brought out some treats and I sat in Rocco’s bed and he eventually came over to me.

At first he would take a treat and then growl at me but slowly he thawed and sat on my knee. I was in tears, sheer relief and happiness all rolled into one.

After this incident, Rocco’s Mum took him to the vet and our worst fears were confirmed, the old boy did indeed have cancer.

This is what was causing his out of character behaviour.

They couldn’t give a time scale but said it was terminal and we should just enjoy what time we had with him.

Rocco lasted about 7 months, right up to the week before he crossed the Rainbow Bridge he was still out chewing trees and giving all the younger pups a run for their money.

I was devastated when the call came to say he had gone, I cried hysterically for hours, even now when I’m writing this I can feel the sting of tears in my eyes.

Rocco truly was a special boy, he was sent to teach me how to love unconditionally and how to cope with loss in my business.

I will always be grateful to Rocco and his family for choosing Stardust and for allowing me to be a part of such a special boy’s life.

If your dog is a bit misunderstood like Rocco, or just needs an extra human to cuddle whilst you’re at work, drop us a message and see how we can help.

Speak soon,
Lisa xx