Our Holiday Miracle: Rocky The Dog Learns To Socialize!

When people get a look at our recently-rescued 5 year old Black Labrador Rocky, they assume he probably goes everywhere with us. The prevailing assumptions about Labs include “they’re friendly!” “they’re loyal!” and “they love to play!” All of those things are true about Rocky, except that he can’t stand other dogs. In fact, when we first took him on what we thought would be an innocent hike along a mild trail in Auburn, he literally pulled my arm out of its socket lunging at a passing Golden Retriever. This can’t be right, Meg and I thought: Labs LOVE playing and hanging out with other dogs, right? Sure, we’ve had “quirky Corgis” for the last 20 years…our last Labrador was a female Yellow Lab Meg raised from a Puppy, and she was amazing in every way…what were we missing here with Rocky? While we tried to figure out what type of emotional baggage  our new pup might be carrying around, we decided to do something we’ve never done in our 30 years of marital dog ownership: we sent Rocky to Obedience School. And guess what? He’s becoming social! It was great to get videos from the school (@allaboutdogobedience) showing Rocky joyously mixing it up with other dogs of every shape and size, but the real proof of his maturation came on a Christmas afternoon walk, when we ran into our neighbor Andy and his dog Mookie…after some growling and sniffing, they became fast friends! A Christmas Miracle! We are now so looking forward to normalized adventures with our lovable 80 pound goofball in 2024! Lesson: don’t be too proud to ask for help 🙂