Rocky 16-004


Rocky is a 13-year-young Golden mix who weighs 55 pounds at our last measurement. His main issue, other than his age, is that he's mostly blind. He is a happy boy and loves to be around his humans. He is very easy to care for and always has a smile.

At a Glance #16-004

Mixed Breed Born: January 2003
Male 55 lbs

Status: Deceased

Rocky's Sponsors

Rocky's Well-wishers

Tara B
"In memory of Layla."
Mary R
"Love you!"
Barb H


Rocky is a 13-year-young Golden mix who weighs 55 pounds at our last measurement. His main issue, other than his age, is that he's mostly blind. He is a happy boy and loves to be around his humans. He is very easy to care for and always has a smile.


Saturday, April 14, 2018

During the last week of March 2018, Rocky was noticeably not himself. He was not eating his usual food, his breathing was labored, and he spent a lot of time laying down. He even didn’t want to go for a walk. On Wednesday, March 28, I took him to the Vet and I received the worst news possible: Rocky had cancer all over his lungs and an enlarged heart. Rocky would not live much longer and the Vet recommend euthanasia. I informed my wife, Rocky’s Foster Mother, of the news and we picked the day of April 2, 2018, to help him cross the Rainbow Bridge. We dedicated the following weekend to Rocky.

On Thursday, March 29, 2018, his Foster Mom took him to her work for the last time. She said he sat behind her desk with and went outside a few times.

On Friday, March 30, 2018, we took him along with our Resident Dog, Moses, to Minnehaha Falls for one last family picture. 

On Saturday, March 31, 2018, I took Rocky and Moses first to Pilot Knob, a historical site where treaties with the Lakota were signed. It is located just off Highway 55 and across from it is St. Peter’s church, the oldest church in the State of Minnesota.

It was unusually cold for the last day of March and windy, but Rocky trudged on.

There was also a lot of snow for this time of the year.

Here Rocky is facing east with the view of Pilot Knob behind him. Off in the horizon is downtown Minneapolis, and Ft. Snelling.

Then we went to Crosby Farm Park where we had taken him many a time. By this time, Rocky was visibly tired so we returned home and he was treated to Chik-Fil-A, Reese’s peanut butter cups, and Oreo cookies. 

Then he helped us create this memorial for him that will go somewhere in our back yard. We also got his foot print and some of his fur to keep forever. 

True to his form, he took up his usual place at bedside, and moved to his other place at the other side.

On April 1, 2018, Rocky started out in one of his favorite spots: right in front of the bottom step. The area of the top step is called “the Blackie position” named after a previous foster who was also a senior dog. This spot will forever be referred to as “the Rocky position.”

First thing in the morning, I saw a message from RAGOM stating that several volunteers had paid his adoption fee for us and that we were officially Rocky’s adoptive parents! It made no difference to Rocky. He thought he was always home. It was a bittersweet gesture for the next day we would have to help him cross the Rainbow Bridge.

We took him around Thompson Lake at Thompson Park one last time with Moses. He then was treated to soft dog food, and various treats. He and I spent the evening in the living room and watching the sun set on Rocky for the last time while watching “Jesus Christ Superstar” on NBC starring John Legend and Alice Cooper.

Rocky spent his last days at home hiding, or at least where he thought we couldn’t see him. The pain in him was palpable and he knew he was near the end. On April 2, 2018, after returning from work, we feasted on White Castles and then I took my now two resident dogs for one last walk around the neighborhood. I let them take their time. I spent as much time with Rocky as I could. But I couldn’t stop time, and then it was time to go.

We brought Moses along with so he could see where Rocky was going and then he’d know he was okay. We took our time going into the Vet hospital and Rocky was his usual self, which made it even more difficult. But the cancer inside him was great and it would kill him and though I now had the authority to call it off (and I really wanted to) we had to let him go in peace. He was his polite and spunky self to the end and feasted on peanut butter cups and treats unit he had enough. Rocky crossed the Rainbow Bridge peacefully in our arms. He was 15.

We first saw Rocky appear on the Daily Plea two years ago in January of 2016. We knew that if we took him in that he’d likely be be with us until the day he died. He was 13, blind, and bit strangers who just touched him.

He came into RAGOM during a family crisis. We didn’t learn until March of 2018 that he was dropped off at the Sheriff’s office and his Surrendering Owner was forced to call RAGOM from a safe house. We had just had our most recent foster adopted with another rescue organization we volunteer for and had an opening. Rocky was said to be miserable and scared in the shelter, especially being blind.

Our second foster over-all was an old black Labrador mix named “Blackie” who was 12 when we rescued him, and he was adopted, so we have a special soft spot for senior dogs. We told the intake department to bring him up here. He first spent a week in the Rochester area with a fellow RAGOM volunteer. And then in early February of 2016, he was brought to our home. He was nervous at first and I just let him sniff me. Then I went inside and let Moses into our backyard and let them meet though the fence. Both were wagging their tails in a happy manner. After a minute, I let Rocky in the gate and they’ve been brothers ever since. Heather came home later and met this lovable old guy. It took Rocky a week or two to allow us to snuggle him.

Rocky was a special needs dog and most people would’ve passed on fostering him, let alone adopting him. We rearranged our house to make it consistent and clutter free. We soon learned that Rocky was old but not feeble. We have a baby gate to keep Moses out of the kitchen but it was fitted on the bottom step and Rocky could still get under it. His FM had spent a half hour cutting up a corned-beef brisket and left it on the counter top and closed the gate. While Moses was in the living room with me, Rocky crawled under the gate and snatched the brisket off the counter top. I then put a grill on the gate to keep Rocky out. Rocky also learned another trick. He learned that if he went outside and did his business, he got a treat as did Moses. He started going outside for one second and immediately coming back in and sitting right in front of where we kept the treats. 

Rocky did not do well in loud public situations. We took him once to German Fest in St. Paul and quickly had to leave because he was acting up and becoming impossible to control. This also meant RAGOM’S “Meet and Greet’s” were out. We constantly had to warn people not to touch him and let him come to them. This also meant no little kids. Despite this, Rocky actually had interest applications, but most of them were not a good fit. Once such applicant had chickens, and we had no idea how he was with them. Rocky could see light and dark, and movement. His other senses were sharp as well. He kept chasing the chickens wanting to play with them. So chickens were out. Most people who met him asked the same question, “Why can’t he just stay with you?” And stay with us he did.

Rocky loved to meet other dogs, so Goldzilla was a treat for him. Whenever Rocky sensed the presence of another dog, he’d start whining and looking for the dog. We have a neighbor female Newfoundland who was a regular sight on our walks. We’d pass by and she’d come to her fence to say hello. He was also a joy at RAGOM volunteer gatherings. But still, we always had to protect Rocky from people, and people from Rocky. 

Rocky had far more energy than his younger brother. He’d always want to go, go, go on walks and hikes and it was Moses who had to be dragged. He liked to wade in the water and stroll through the woods. He was also a good guard dog. His hearing was quite keen and he’d bark whenever he heard the mailman, or any other noise. His first 4th of July was a real challenge for us. 

Rocky was only a snuggler on his terms. If we went to him and snuggled him, he’d get up and move the second we stopped. However every time we’d lay down for a nap, he’d come to the side of the bed and stick his head up to be petted. He’d do the same whenever we sat at the desk. He stayed off the furniture even though we encouraged him to lay with us. He just preferred to stay on the floor.

He loved car rides and would just lay down. He handled stairs like a pro if he was familiar with them. He could not see stationary objects. Once an Halo was donated to him and we used it when out in public, like at tap rooms and breweries. 

Rocky, you were a great dog and a sweet, sweet boy. You filled our lives and our home with great joy. We protected you from walls, storms, squirrels, other dogs, traffic, and people; but ultimately, we could not protect you from time and cancer.

You were the youngest “old” dog we had ever seen and although passerby’s always asked about Moses, we were no less proud of you and loved you no less. We found your forever home after all: us. You ran a great race and fought the good fight. It was an honor and a privilege to foster you, and then be your final forever home. Your paw prints are permanently etched in our hearts and we will never forget you. Good night sweet prince. May your memory be eternal.

To Rocky’s original owner, we think we know how hard it was to have to give him up. Please know that we loved him as our own and did everything we could to give him the best home he deserved. Thank you for calling RAGOM and thank you for allowing us the honor of being his final home.

To all members of “Team Rocky” from his first pick up to those who just held his leash for us, thank you for everything you’ve done for him and us.

To RAGOM, thank you for deeming us worthy of fostering him and being his final adoptive home. Thank you for being in existence and for your continued work in rescuing the other Rocky’s out there.


Kevin and Heather K

Monday, March 26, 2018

Rocky enjoys walking with his foster brother on a "spring" afternoon.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Rocky's fosters are Firefly fans. Rocky looks good in Jayne's hat. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Just like all of us at RAGOM, Rocky is ready for winter to end. He is looking forward to more hikes through the woods and playing with neighborhood dogs. He's still going strong for an old guy and still handles stairs better than his foster brother Great Pyrenees. 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

This is Rocky after the great snow storm this week. His fosters cleared some the backyard for him.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Rocky is enduring this frigid winter like he always does. He has a thick coat, yet likes to be inside as soon as he's done walking or doing his business. He's still agile for his age and handles the stairs like his foster brother Great Pyrenees handles the cold. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Rocky went with his FD to the RAGOM Holiday party and showed off his halo donated by Second Chance for Blind Dogs. He even got to meet Santa.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Today Rocky went to the RAGOM Holiday sale and party. He got to meet many of the local volunteers as well as their foster dogs. It got a little too busy for Rocky, being blind and surrounded by noise, so he spent most of the time outside. The quickest way to earn Rocky’s trust is by constantly giving him food and treats from your hand. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Rocky is still going strong. This year, he is spending Thanksgiving weekend at his own foster home. His fosters love Chick-Fil-A, but not as much as Rocky and his foster brother do.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Rocky got a gift from Second Chance for Blind Dogs. This Muffin’s Halo keeps him from running into things. He is trying to get used to it. He’ll be wearing it at Goldzilla 2017.


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Rocky is still going strong with little sign of slowing down.

He and his foster family went out to Taylors Falls and walked through a sculpture garden.

And they went to Interstate Park and looked at glacial potholes (although he couldn’t actually see them due to his blindness and therefore wasn’t allowed to get too near them).

And the next day, they went to Psycho Suzi’s in Minneapolis which is known for being a Tiki bar and for loving dogs.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Rocky had a guest for the 4th of July weekend: brand new RAGOM dog Edman 17-148.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Rocky joined fellow RAGOM dogs and volunteers at Urban Growler again.

He let everyone pet him. Rescuers know how to handle a special-needs dog like Rocky: ALWAYS let him come to you. Never walk up to him and just touch him. Rocky is mostly blind and therefore uneasy around strangers. He’s great with other dogs, like his fellow RAGOM dogs.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Rocky represented RAGOM at Pet-a-Palozza 2017 at the MN State Fairgrounds. He likes the outdoor dog-orinetated gatherings.

Hanging out with his foster dad.

He took to fellow RAGOM foster right away.

Rocky loves his people.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Rocky once again represented RAGOM at his foster brother’s rescue. He was stealing his foster brother’s thunder again because he was the only golden dog among a pack of Great Pyrenees. He was also surrounded by experienced dog-handlers who knew how to approach a special-needs dog like Rocky. His forever family must also be as dog-savvy.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Rocky likes to cool off in the river after walking through the woods on a hot summer day. Please see the video here.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Rocky went to the drive-in movie theater with his foster family and their friends.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Rocky spent the weekend at his FM’s mom’s home.

He got to go for a big walk. See him in action here.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Rocky represented RAGOM at the U of MN Landscape Arboretum: Video 1

He spent most of the time under the table: Video 2

Rocky loved the wooded areas of the Arboretum where they invented the Honeycrisp and Honeygold apples.

And tiptoeing through the tulips.

Dogs are rarely allowed on the Arboretum grounds, so this was a rare opportunity for not only RAGOM, but for Rocky and his foster family.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Rocky went to Bad Weather Brewery near where he lives and met a lot of people.


He thought wading in the water was a lot of fun, too.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Rocky is enjoying spring.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Rocky likes to nap here in what we call the “Blackie position” named after a previous foster who was also a senior dog. He also likes to sit here to annoy his foster brother and prevent him from coming upstairs; what we call “Rock block." Rocky is RAGOM’s answer to Marvel superhero Daredevil: he’s blind, red, and handles stairs with ease.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Rocky is enjoying the warmer weather and is still walking every day with gusto.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day, Rocky! We love you - The Granowski's Happy Valentine's Day, Rocky! We love you - The Granowskis


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Merry Christmas from Santa to the Golden Seniors! Merry Christmas from Santa to the Golden Seniors!

This gift is in honor of Rocky 16-004. Hoping 2017 finds you in your forever home! This gift is in honor of Rocky 16-004. Hoping 2017 finds you in your forever home!
From Roberta Jensen and Gerard Breiter

This donation is for Rocky 16-004 in Memory of RAGOM boy Ole and Mozart ( who was also blind) This donation is for Rocky 16-004 in Memory of RAGOM boy Ole and Mozart (who was also blind).
From Laurie Risbrudt


Saturday, January 21, 2017

Fellow RAGOM dog Rufus (aka Brutus 15-206) has come to spend the weekend with us. Rocky thrives around other dogs, even ones half his age like Rufus are.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Rocky is a Minnesota dog, so he’s used to winters. He prefers the warmth and comfort of home, but as you can see, he loves going for a walk on a sunny winter day. He still moves very well for a dog his age.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Rocky has fellow RAGOM dog Hercules as a guest this weekend, and they are having a great time.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Rocky is doing great. He spent Thanksgiving weekend at his foster mom's mom's home.

And then he went for a hike at Effigy Mounds National Monument.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

"You are an inspiration, Rocky! Enjoy your adventures!" -Beau 14-117 and the Myers famiy

From John and Amy Borg

From an anonymous friend


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Rocky had a great Goldzilla weekend! First, he went to a RAGOM volunteer party at Urban Growler Brewing Company where he met his fellow foster dogs and RAGOM volunteers.

And then he was featured with his fellow fosters at Goldzilla 2016.

We discovered that Rocky thrives around other dogs. When other new dogs are around, he is also far more welcoming to new people. He approached lots of dogs and people at both Urban Growler and Goldzilla. The more dogs he gets to play with, the merrier.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Rocky going for a swim.

This old guy still has a lot of rivers to swim.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

We tried to take a walk, but then it started thunderstorming.

Sunday, June 19, 2016


Happy Spring!  Happy Spring, Rocky, and good luck on your training. From Griffin 16-006

Happy Spring!  Happy Spring! In memory of Fast Eddie. From Tara Walker


Monday, June 13, 2016

Rocky enjoys being an ambassador dog when there are lots of people and other dogs, like a picnic. He represented RAGOM at the picnic for the rescue group that rescued his foster brother, and for once, he was stealing their thunder. He was the only Golden among big, white, fluffy dogs.

Rocky making friends with a girl that looks just like his foster brother. The big pack of Pyrs accepted him as one of them.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

It's my turn to drive!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Rocky and his foster brother hanging out at a picnic for his FD’s work.

They also love car rides. Rocky just lays down for them.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Rocky visited his first brewery this weekend with his fosters at Bad Weather Brewing Company near where he lives. He was very popular with the patrons there. Rocky also made his first visit to Ft. Snelling State Park, and his fosters discovered that he does indeed like to swim, or he would if they allowed him to. He did a three-hour hike and had energy to spare. At both places, he let lots of people pet him. You won’t find a “younger” 13-year-old dog.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Nobody believes Rocky is 13, but he is. He is the youngest 13 we’ve ever seen. He went on a hike a Sunday with his fosters and he outlasted the three-year-old Pyrenees.

The energy this guy has for his age is incredible. He is low-maintenance and a cuddly guy. He is not shy about challenging his foster brother to a wrestling match. He’s as great a dog as they get.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

We can’t believe Rocky is 13, and neither can the vet, but his surrendering owner said he was, therefore we are going with it. Rocky has made his foster home his home and is best buds with his Great Pyrenees foster brother, Moses, who is also a rescue. Rocky loves his walks and keeps up with Moses. He is ready for meet-and-greets. He has been friendly to every stranger who has met him and loved being petted by them. He loves his tummy rubs and doesn’t growl when touched anymore, now that he’s settled into his foster home. He’s learned a few tricks from his foster brother, like counter-surfing, which led to our closing the gap under the kitchen gate. He helped himself to a corned-beef brisket that was on the counter. He also has a big ball to play with. His foster brother is an AKC Good Canine Citizen, and we have started his training at home. Right now, he is just working on heeling and sitting, which, with a blind dog like Rocky, require a different approach.

We discovered that Rocky needs a muzzle when having his nails trimmed. Next, we will attempt to answer another question: does Rocky like baths?

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Rocky has been taken to an eye specialist, who said that nothing can be done to improve his vision. He is given medication for his eyes to prevent glaucoma, though he hates it and runs and hides. However, the vet found it hard to believe that Rocky is 13 and said he acted and looked more like half that age. That said, he moves very well for his age. He loves to go on long walks, can run, and handles stairs with competence. He also likes to play with a big ball (like a soccer ball) and tug-of-war. Just be careful what you put in front of his mouth since he can’t see well. But he is being trained by his foster not to bite hands and has caught on.

He has become buddies with his Great Pyrenees foster brother and has made himself at home. He may be fine on a tie-out cable when left outside, but he really doesn’t want to be outside for long. He often comes right back in unless he needs to do his business. He could be left home alone for a longer workday, but his ideal home is with another dog. Because of his poor eyesight, he needs a clutter-free home and consistent layout to reduce his running into things.

He was taken to a local park with his fur-brother and kept up fine. They both, however, sniffed every tree in sight.

Saturday, February 6, 2016


Rocky is a 13-year-young Golden mix who weighs 55 pounds at our last measurement. His main issue, other than his age, is that he's mostly blind. He has the most trouble in the dark and seeing black items (chairs, gates, etc.), and it helps to have things well lit for him, or to wrap bright fabric around them. He also needs his home free of clutter to reduce the number of items he could run into.

He moves very well for his age. He loves to go on walks, can run, and he handles stairs with competence. In his original home, he was with other animals and got along fine. His current foster home has a Great Pyrenees and he uses it as a seeing-eye dog on walks, and he likes to wrestle it even though it is twice his size. He has no interest in sitting on furniture and prefers his dog bed, or the top spot on the staircase, or wherever he feels like lying. He used an open crate at his temporary foster home, though has no interest in the current foster home. He gets to wander freely when home alone, whereas the Great Pyrenees is kept out of the kitchen (look up "counter-surfing").

Rocky is fully housebroken and lets his humans know when he needs to go out. Unlike his Great Pyrenees foster brother, he doesn't like the cold and will head inside once he does his business. He's mostly quiet and barks only when he hears someone at the door. His hearing, unlike his sight, is quite sharp and he comes when bidden. He loves a good brushing and a snuggle, and ESPECIALLY tummy rubs; though he growls if you try to put your hand under his tummy when he is lying down on his stomach. He is a happy boy and loves to be around his humans. We don't know yet if he likes to swim. He was surrendered to RAGOM in late January. He is very easy to care for and always has a smile.