5/26/2023 It’s me again, doggy world! I have a little news for y’all. I’m not my normal self because I’m in a bit of discomfort. I split my nail down to the quick. I did it while I was playing out in the play yard. My handler cleaned up my paw really well and laid with me in my crate until I fell asleep. My crate is way too small for the two of us, but he managed to stay with me regardless. The HOPE folks said that I’m going to be fine. My handler is taking good care of me.
Hazel and I played this past week. She’s really cool. The new guy, Luke, and I met with no issues. I heard him bark and you know I was hyped for that!
I met a lot of new people during the week who came to visit the cell black. I LOVE people so much. I sure hope that one day, a person or family finds me worthy of a forever home. Until next week. . . woof, woof, woof.
5/19/2023 Woof Woof! Hello doggie world! It’s me, Rocco, aka Meatball! Before I begin I’d like to send a few barks out to Libby, Oreo, Roxy, and Lacey. . . and big boy Russo, even though we never played or ran the fence.
For the past week, I’ve heard some negative comments about my breed, which I can tell you, I don’t like at all. You absolutely cannot judge a book by its cover!
My handler and others here at the prison will tell you that I am loyal, sweet, cuddly, loving, and playful. Sure, I can play hard at times, but I have learned how to tone it down. And, I DO get along with other dogs. It’s just that I carefully select who I want to get along with. And, might I ask–what’s wrong with that? Aren’t humans also selective with who they like??? Humans don’t like everyone they meet, and some dogs, like me, don’t like some dogs I meet. It’s perfectly normal. I just have to be tested with any other dogs in a potential home to see if we’re a good match! All that I ask is that you look beyond my breed and see my true character, for the wonderful dog I am.
I have to add that the new dog on the block, Luke, seems to be pretty cool. He was a bit taken aback by my bark at first, but now we are running the fence together. I think we are going to be friends. Stay tuned!
4/28/2023 I know it’s been rainy and whatnot, but I had another great week. Honestly, everything is great when you’re this good looking! I’m just really excited because tonight I’m going to my first major event, something called Denim, Diamonds, and Dogs. Hazel is going with me and she better not steal my spotlight. Everyone keeps reminding me that I need to be on my BEST behavior and I’m not sure what they’re talking about, as I’m always on MY best behavior, it might just not be what everyone else is hoping for!
I will say that I am a little sad as Bowser had to go back to his rescue last night. He just wasn’t cut out for prison life and all the new things, new people, and rules can be really overwhelming. But I hope that HOPE and Canine Rescue will take great care of him!
4/21/2023 Good morning everyone! I had another beautiful week, as I was able to go out on an adventure to meet some people. We met at something called a “park” and there was green grass everywhere, and this thing called a “slide”. I tried to climb up the slide, and everyone was laughing and laughing. It was exhausting and I’ll never do that again!
So anyway, I met some people and alright fine, maybe I got a little too excited meeting them because I might have knocked over a little kid, but he was running around and I just wanted to play! He was fine and I was trying to help him up by tugging on his hood, but in hindsight, maybe it looked like I was playing tug. I also met a baby and the baby had a stuffed animal that I tried to “borrow”. I tried telling everyone that I would have given back the pieces, but that I just needed to see if there was a squeaker in it. Apparently that wasn’t the right thing to do either. They started talking about maybe I need a home with older kids, not little kids that are my size. I don’t care, as long as they like to PLAY!
Oh also, apparently its a “bad” thing to follow random people to their car and try to jump in before they leave. I just really LIKE car rides, I can’t help it. Eventually, they put me back in the car I showed up in, and I climbed into the driver’s seat and was barking at them to hurry up because I don’t know how to drive! I wish people would listen to me!
Last thing…I finally met Bowser! Well, I saw Bowser, haven’t officially met him yet. We’re giving him time to settle in first. Then we will have to have a barking contest!
4/14/2023 Hello to all my DOG PEOPLE! Its been a wonderful week, the weather has been beautiful, so you know what that means…POOL TIME! When I saw that there was finally water in the pool, I dove right in and laid down. The only thing missing was someone serving me nice cool cookies as I soaked up the water and the rays!
Oh and I finally met Jaida and went nose to nose! I think she likes me, like likes me likes me, and who wouldn’t like me? We kept it short and sweet, but I think we’ll do it again since I’ve come along way with the dogs in the program. Now they all know that while I may come on strong, all my highpitch barking doesn’t mean anything bad.
Speaking of my bark, I heard we have a new dog coming and that he has a bark like mine! I can’t wait to meet him! We’re gonna have to have a competition to see who is louder, Bowser or me! I bet its me!
4/07/2023 It’s Rocco’s World, the rest of us just live in it…
Woof-woof-woof…means Good Morning Everyone! First I would like to apologize to the person who took me out for a long walk on a beautiful day. It was probably the first beautiful day in a long while, so Bella and I went on a tour. I was excited of course as I always am and when my Handler gave the leash over I knew it was time to rock and roll! The second I got outside and the warm sun hit my back, I felt the need…the need for SPEED, and off I ran! Sometimes I forget how strong I am and I’m just thankful she held on to my leash and that I didn’t bowl anyone over! Although that would have been fun too…
Anyway, I loved getting out with Bella and we put lots of smiles on the faces of so many people. It was a perfect outing with Bella, you couldn’t have written a better script and it felt like we’ve known each other for years! She acts tough, but she’s a sweetheart. I really enjoyed spending time with her and I think having me around for muscle helped her feel more confident. After we got back we had some play time together, but to be honest, I was exhausted and just laid on the ground.
3/31/2023 The Meatball–The Gremlin–The Rocco–in his own words:
It’s been another beautiful week here at the Big House. My dad is really sticking to the script with this diet thing. I thought it would be just a passing phase, but nope, he’s sticking to it. What I know for sure is that he has my best interest at heart. After all, warmer weather is coming and I need to be swim suit ready, LOL! Jaida gives me these looks, so I must be doing something right. Hopefully one day soon we can start going on walks together. I can’t wait for the doggie pool to go up–it’s one of my favorite things!
I’ve met a lot of people this past week. For some reason, they love pinching my cheeks and playing tug-of-war. I can feel their hesitancy because of my breed, but once they see what a great guy I am, their hesitancy goes away.
TGIF! I’m so glad it’s Friday because I get my dad all weekend. I miss him when he goes to work. If I had my way, we’d be joined at the hip, but I get it that he can’t be with me 24/7. So I just love on him every chance I get!
Well, see y’all next week, unless I find my forever home. Here’s hoping. . .
3/24/2023 Rocco and his Handler should write a book on “How to win doggie friends and influence selective doggies.”
Hello everyone…I have to admit, its been another adventurous week for me! My Handler had talks with some of the other Handlers to set up some play dates with the other dogs and it went SUPER GREAT! It was totally AWESOME! I rubbed noses with Bella and did a few chest bumps with Chief too!!! My Handler watches us with an eagle eye, he knows he’s put in a lot of hard work to get me to this point, and I don’t want to mess it up for him (or me). I want to make him proud!!! I know I have a habit of going 0 to 60 in nano seconds, and that can scare some people. But we’ve been working hard at this.
Sometimes people forget that I’ve been given up on my whole life, except for my rescue and HOPE. Its always been hard for me to maintain my cool exterior around other dogs. I just get SO FREAKING EXCITED to have new friends, but my handler is amazing at keeping me in check and bringing me back down when he sees it building in me.
I’m still trying to convince Jaida to be my friend. She doesn’t hate me, but she’s not too sure, so we’re still working on our relationship. I don’t think either of us really know what to do with the other one. We hang out a lot in separate yards, and we see each other all the time. I’ll win her over one day, I know it!
And speaking of one day…I’m so ready for my forever home! I promise if you adopt me, I’ll be the goodest boy, the goofiest clown, and bestest companion you could ever ask for!!! Scout’s honor!!!
If you’re looking for your own personal entertainment/cuddle clown, apply here, https://www.hopedogs.org/adoption-application/?animal_name=Rocco
3/17/2023 Apparently Rocco Handler has given him not one, but two nicknames now…a.k.a. Meatball, a.k.a. The Gremlin
I had an awesome week! My handler was on his game, and I got a chance to meet Chief a few times! We ran up and down the fence line together and we had tons of fun! My Handler mentioned something about Chief will really help me get my steps in, and that it would help me with something called a diet, but I was too focused on the new kid to really pay any attention to my Handler.
I also had the opportunity to get up close and personal with Jaida too! We sniffed each other and dance around with each other through the fence. I think she’s pretty cool. I also think she LIKES me! I gotta play it cool though because I don’t want to make Hazel or Bella jealous. I still haven’t gotten a chance to really meet Bella yet but in time maybe we will get there! After all, I am THE Ladies Man on this block!
So remember that diet thing, I mentioned earlier? Well, I don’t know what got into my handler but he said I need to go on a diet, as I’m really living up to my nickname MEATBALL. I am going to trust is dude for now, but boy do I get hungry! When he first put my bowl down in front of me, I gave him this little look like, “where is the rest of my food? please don’t do this to me!”
Oh so, the new nickname…I used to bark at people to get them to come over and play with me, but apparently even though I use my cutest, more high pitched bark, some people still thought I was scary! Can you image that, me…scary?!?! Anyway, so we worked on quiet and inside voice and now instead of screaming at them, I screech! But I want to make sure everyone knows I’m not a real Gremlin, you can get me wet and I will definitely take food after midnight! Please adopt me and end this madness they call a “diet”!
3/10/2023 Hello world! It’s Rocco. I just wanted to send a bark out to Roxy and Oreo, my former pals here at the prison. I really miss them and hope that they are enjoying their forever homes!
This week went pretty well for the most part, although my handler had a bit of a tough week. I tried to do my part by being a comforter to him. I’ve been by his side since day one.
It was a pretty decent week, weather wise, so I’ve been getting a lot of outside gate action with the new girl on the block, Jaida. She’s pretty cool, and I definitely enjoy her company.
I’m doing SO much better at controlling my excitement level when greeting other dogs. . . I’m learning! See ya next week!
3/3/2023 Rocco’s Handler helped Rocco get over losing two of his best friends this week when they were adopted.
This week, I’m feeling a bit on the downside after my two best friends, Roxy and Oreo, were adopted. I’m glad Finnegan Is still around…for now. He’s a bit of a handful sometimes, but I secretly love it and hes really the only one who can keep up with my drive. FinnFinn and I even went on an outing together over to a couple other blocks. At first, I had to take the lead and show him that it’s pretty alright to go on adventures, then he started to get more comfortable and we could walk side by side like cool kids. We are definitely the dynamic duo for sure! Every timeI get a chance to go out, my excitement goes through the roof! I just LOVE meeting new people and seeing new places! And they like to laugh at my antics too!
I also finally got a chance to run with Bella. We each stayed on our side of the fence line, and it was pretty good. I guess she’s pretty cool but I need see her a lot more so we can build a friendship. I also got a chance to meet the new girl on the block, Potter aka Jaida. She’s a grown woman for real. I was shocked that she took to me on our first meet and I am definitely looking forward to more interaction with her!
Rocco’s handler also wants to let us know that Rocco is really doing well with walking side by side with other dogs too! As you can tell, Rocco can get along with other dogs, but it took months of hard work and dedication to get him there. A lot of other dogs don’t care for his energy level or his high pitched excited screeching.
2/24/2023 Rocco’s new nickname at the Big House is “gremlin.” The name describes his cuteness to a “T.”
“I’ve always let my handler speak for me each week that I’ve been in HOPE, but this week I decided to give him a break and speak for myself. Besides, my bark is much louder than his!
I had a great week for the most part. I’ve been playing with this fairly new guy, Finnegan. He’s pretty cool and actually he’s been a blast to play with. I thought I had cornered the market on energy, but I think Finn has me beat.
I lost my other playmate, Oreo, since he got adopted, so it’s nice to have another playmate. I’ll never forget the “big paw” that Oreo put on me. Roxy has also gone to her forever home. We didn’t get along at first, but then she grew on me. I’m going to miss her too.
I’m doing good, but I sure wish I would get adopted too. I’ve put in my time at the Big House. I’ve learned manners, tricks, and how to get along with other dogs. I know I get on my handlers’ nerves sometimes, but he’ll never admit it. I know he loves me in abundance. That’s all I’ve ever wanted–someone to love me and give me a chance.
2/17/2023 Rocco has been doing great when it comes to learning how to play with Roxy and Oreo these past few weeks! There’s such joy on his face when he’s playing too! Now that it looks like Oreo and Roxy are being paroled, Rocco is learning how to play with new kid on the block Finnegan. They jump and roll around and when they get tired, they just flop right on the ground, but are back at it after a few seconds!
Rocco is really good at switching up how he plays too! With Oreo it was all about who could do it better, who was bigger (Oreo) and who was stronger (Rocco). With Roxy it was all about calmness, they’d play for about 10 seconds, then he’d follow her around and sniff all the things she did…and of course her butt too! After play time is done, Rocco just wants to lay down and relax with his big meatball head resting on your leg.
I seem to have all the dogs that have a lot of character, as I had Kane too. They’re like twins, except one is definitely better behaved and I’ll never tell who 😉
If you’d like to adopt your own Meatball full of character, apply here:
2/10/2023 Let me start by saying that Rocco is truly a blessing.
The weather was pretty nice this past week, so a lot of the handlers were outside with their dogs. Rocco and I were outside too, doing our daily rituals, running and playing with the balls and then his favorite–keep away with the rope. The birds were chirping and the seagulls were flying above us. We were playing tug with the rope, then all of a sudden Rocco let go of the rope and started chasing his tail, which seemed weird to me. I looked at his back and saw something white–you guessed it–a seagull had pooped on Rocco’s back! He was chasing his tail because he knew something was on him that didn’t belong there, and he wanted it off. What does it mean when a seagull poops on a dog? I hope it’s a sign that Rocco’s forever home is near!
2/3/2023 Rocco definitely has A LOT of character, there is no doubt about it! A few of us were all in the yard me, Rocco, Roxy and Oreo and each handler for the dogs. Rocco and I are doing our normal exercise with the rope and Roxy and Oreo start playing on the other side of the fenced yard. Suddenly, Rocco goes off nonstop barking for literally 10 minutes! I should explain that Rocco has two barks, one where he wants attention or wants something, and the other that means something strange is happening and I need to check it out. This was his attention seeking bark.
So I stop what I’m doing to see what Rocco wants and he’s yelling at Roxy and Oreo. I leash him up and head over to where they were playing and calms down. Turns out he just wanted to be with the group! He might be a bit too energetic for most dogs, but he certainly likes being around them. FOMO, Fear Of Missing Out, would be the best way to describe this crazy dude!
1/27/2023 This was kind of a strange week for Rocco. For whatever reason, he didn’t want me to leave him alone whether it was for five to ten minutes or me walking to the trash can. Thankfully, the last two days he eased up.
Every night, I get in his crate with him and give him my daily pep talk. I comfort him, telling him he did a great job, or telling him the things we need to work on. I also tell him to have a good night’s sleep and that I will see him in the morning, God willing. When I have these conversations with him, I swear he understands every word I say.
Rocco and Bruno generally don’t like each other, but this week, we were able to have them in the dog yard together, on leash, without either of them barking at each other. Huge milestone!”
1/20/2023 When I was given Kane, and now Rocco to train, I’ve seen so much and learned a lot. They literally have become gifts in my life and continue to be so. Rocco has made tremendous strides at getting along with Oreo, Roxie, and now Finnegan. I’m so proud of him!
Rocco’s energy speaks on so many levels; he really does become the LIFE of anyone’s down day. My greatest joy is when people request to see Rocco. They love the energy he brings. Honesty, I can’t recall Rocco ever having a bad day. Do dogs even have those? I thank God for Rocco!”
1/13/2023 Every morning now Rocco looks to eat a bowl of fruit loops with his breakfast. Shame on me for starting this tradition, but the look that he gives me softens my heart to the core. I swear, Rocco is almost the spitting image of my prior dog, Kane.
I’ve been taking Rocco for walks with the other dogs so he can be more comfortable being around and with them. He’s doing well. Sometimes people confuse him barking at other dogs as being aggressive. This is not the case! Rocco just gets really excited and wants to play. He yearns for play and companionship–what has been missing for most of his life, until he came to HOPE. When other dogs play, he wants to play too, and vocalizes. But, it’s with excited barks!
Rocco also loves to chill with me. Rocco will lay face to face with me claiming his spot on the pillow, nesting his head on my arm, while snoring! This pup is such a love muffin!
1/6/2023 When people see me walking with Rocco they often say that he looks like my twin. I smile because knowing where he came from, Rocco walks with confidence and you can see at times a smile on his face as he walks. I love it when I hear the compliments he receives. I especially love seeing the faces of people as they watch in awe his progress when going around the other dogs. Rocco just wants to play. He wants to be a part of whatever is going on, whether it’s with people or dogs.
I also noticed that Rocco likes taking the lead when walking with the other dogs. He hates being in the rear of the pack! He is funny!
Rocco has lots of character and it’s a joy to watch as others experience what I get to witness every day. I love it when I hear people chant his name, “ROCCO!” His energy is uplifting.
What people don’t see is that this stocky butt loves to cuddle!
12/30/2022 I don’t know what got into Rocco the other day. I put his dog bowl down, and he looked at me like he was asking, “What else are you going to put in my bowl?” So, I chopped up a hotdog for him thinking that would do it. NOPE. I then sprinkled some mozzarella on his food, and I swear I saw a smile on his face. Rocco is no dummy, that’s for sure!
This week, I had conversations with Rocco for playing too rough. He’s doing so much better; he’s even playing with Roxy now. Sometimes, when he gets in that rough play mood, he’ll look at me as if he’s saying, “Sorry, don’t give up on me!” The look he gives me touches me to my very core.
I tell Rocco that his time is coming for his forever home. He’s listening. . .
12/23/2022 This week, Rocco didn’t disappoint. The snow came, and I couldn’t wait to take Rocco out. I’m not sure if Rocco had ever been exposed to snow before because when he stepped in it, it almost seemed foreign to him. It was funny watching him tip-toe through it, not sure what was underneath him.
Once he figured it out, he ran though it with the zoomies. Then he settled in and just wanted to eat the snow. When the men came out to shovel, Rocco started jumping around in a playful manner trying to catch the snow in mid-air and acting like a goof ball.
This week, Rocco met Oreo for the first time, face-to-face, on leash. It was hilarious to see Oreo lick Rocco in the face. Rocco tried to do his normal chest bump, but with Oreo being so big, Rocco didn’t have to jump.
I’m so happy to see Rocco getting along with some of the other dogs in HOPE. For the first time, Roxy and Rocco were able to run the fence together–that was huge. I’m just so proud of this “meatball!”
12/16/2022 It’s been a beautiful week with Rocco to say the least! I decided to try something different this week with Rocco. Ever since I got him, Rocco will lie in my bed all day, but at night, it’s my time for the bed, so I would tell Rocco “crate.” He would go into the crate and sleep for about 10 to 15 minutes, then he would hop his meatball butt into bed with me. Well let me tell you, the bed is NOT big enough for both of us! The past few nights, I’ve been latching the crate, but in the middle of the night, Rocco somehow manages to get out of the crate and jumps into bed with me. He knows I’m too tired to care that he’s in the bed. So yes, we are still working on that.
Did I tell you that Rocco eats his breakfast in bed? Well, he does. AND he likes a few fruit loops on his dog food, along with some roast beef. Rocco is smart–sometimes, too smart! There are times that Rocco reminds me so much of Kane!
12/09/2022 At this very moment Rocco is trying to nibble on the pen I am using to write this journal entry! All week Rocco has been turned up! First thing in the morning, I’m not sure what his dreams are about, but whatever they are they have him ready to PLAY! Even before he eats breakfast, he needs to play. He knows darn well that I only have so much time to get ready for work, and get him ready. He also knows I don’t like to leave until he’s eaten breakfast, so he saves that for last. He knows I’m sucker for this “meatball”!
Rocco is doing better and better meeting random new people and he’s adjusting to having new dogs come on the block and other dogs leave. We’re still working on “give it” when he has something, so we’re still trading things, but to just hand it over without anything in trade is a big NOPE from meatball! We’ll keep working on it though!
12/02/2022 Thanksgiving was a little different this year, as it was just me and Rocco. We’re not sure how he spent his last few Thanksgivings, but this time around Rocco’s bowl was overflowing with turkey, a little stuffing, and a little bit of pumpkin pie! And it really is true that after a turkey dinner you really do need that nap, because Rocco passed out with a full belly and a smile on his face! In fact, he didn’t want to go anywhere the rest of the day, I think he was waiting for a second helping!
We continue to work on Rocco’s ability to go from 0 to 60 and back to 0. He’s doing really well with it, and all his other training too! Rocco’s future home will need to dedicate time to continue working with Rocco to help him be successful in a home. He’s a lot of dog, lots of energy, but eager to work and make you happy too! Rocco would also like to make sure that his future family definitely includes him on EVERY future Thanksgiving meal every year!