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Rocky’s Story

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As Rocky lies curled up on our feet, it’s hard to believe we’ve only had him for six weeks.  Our journey began five months ago, and Rocky was certainly worth the wait.  Neil and I had been together for almost two and a half years and decided it was time to expand our family.  While both of us had grown up with Labs, neither of us had every owned a Vizsla.  We were familiar with the breed through various family and friends, and it took little convincing for both of us to decide that Vizslas were the perfect complement to our home.

After filling out a detailed adoption application, and after Stephanie’s (our Fairy Dogmother) twenty-five minute inquisition over the telephone, we had passed the first test.  Everything that Stephanie said to try and dissuade us only made us want a Vizsla that much more: relentlessly energetic? Perfect–Neil and I both love the outdoors and long-distance running; velcro dog?  Perfect–we would be disappointed if our dog wasn’t utterly devoted.  But, rightly so, Stephanie was reluctant to adopt a high-energy Vizsla to two city boys whom she had never met.  After all, city life can be unnerving even for people, let alone a sensitive puppy.

Undaunted and certain of purpose, we agreed to trek out to the eastern tip of Long Island to persuade not only Stephanie, but a coterie of Vizsla owners, that we were ready and fit to raise a young Vizsla.  This second test turned out to be anything but a test.  For hours, we played with Vizslas at the VCLI Wine Tasting Event.  As we were about to head back to the city, Stephanie pulled us aside and let us know she would begin trying to place a dog in our home.  Neil and I were grinning ear-to-ear the entire ride home.

Over the next five months, Stephanie had two potential rescues come through the program that she thought could be good matches.  But because we live in NYC, there were several personality traits in those dogs that turned out weren’t well-suited for our home.  As soon as we began to feel star-crossed, fate intervened.  The same day that we learned we wouldn’t be getting one of the other rescues, Stephanie called and said there was a family in western Pennsylvania that had decided to place their dog in the rescue program.  He was six-month old Vizsla puppy named Rocky who had already received ten weeks of obedience and was a very well mannered, handsome boy.  The sooner we could pick him up, the better, as the family had come to terms with their decision and wanted to rip the band-aid off, so to speak.  The only hitch was that, because of the distance to Erie, Pa., we would have to drive out there and pick him up ourselves.  Almost as soon as we hung up the phone, we had reserved a rental car to bring Rocky home that same weekend.

When we arrived in Erie, after a seven hour drive, everyone was anxious, including us.  Stephanie had warned that meeting Rocky and the family would be an emotional one, but no words can describe how bittersweet it truly was.  Rocky was the sixth member of the Berger household, and they could not have been a sweeter, more loving family.  Unbeknownst to them, when they got Rocky, their nine year old daughter had a severe dog allergy.  After raising and training Rocky for over four months, they decided together that it was best for their daughter and the entire family to find a new home for Rocky.

In their living room, we sat and chatted for a half hour or so.  They demonstrated all of the many commands and tricks that Rocky follows (Rocky even obeyed their four year old daughter!) and tried to fill us in on every detail of his personality and routine.  After one last walk around their living room and after loading our car with all his toys and crate, we let them have a moment alone with Rocky.  When they came out, they were all misty eyed.

During the drive home, we talked to his former family twice and also let Stephanie know how he was doing.  For most of the ride, he sat in his crate, eyes wide open, knowing his life was about to change forever.  When he jumped out when we arrived at our building, he was greeted with so many new sounds, smells, dogs, and people he didn’t know what to make of it all.

Since Rocky’s great adventure to New York City, he has been doing so well. Slowly, but surely, Rocky is adapting to his new home and city and experiencing so many new and exciting things.  Just the other night, he sat intently and quizzically as he listened to a live violinist!  He has met many new friends, explored all over lower Manhattan, and even made a trip up Central Park for a play date with another Vizsla, Tawny.  Rocky has definitely changed our lives for the better.  He is such an amazing dog and we couldn’t love him more.  Basically, we have become Velcro owners, hopelessly devoted and constantly showering him with kisses and love.

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Welcome , today is Tuesday, January 23, 2018