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Updates & uplifting tales

Rocky the Boxer’s hard road to happiness

Boxer rocky

Rocky, a handsome and friendly boxer mix, arrived at the Dumb Friends League after apparently being hit by a car. His injuries were life threatening—he was disoriented and had suffered a head trauma.

When our Dumb Friends League veterinarians examined Rocky, they discovered he had a severely broken jaw and was suffering from dangerous brain swelling. They leapt into action to alleviate Rocky’s pain, performing a 7-hour-long surgery to carefully repair his broken jaw and insert a feeding tube to provide him with the nutrients essential for his recovery.


With a large external-fixation device in place to set his jaw, Rocky entered a foster home to start his long journey back to health. Although his brain swelling had gone down and he was starting to eat on his own, he wasn’t out of the woods yet with nearly two months of intensive care ahead of him.

Throughout all his trauma, Rocky’s goofy and affectionate personality never faltered. After months in foster care and a total of four surgeries, he returned to the shelter for adoption with only a minor head tilt to remind us of what he suffered and how far he had come.

Enter Dan, a kind gentleman who happened to come to the Dumb Friends League looking for a new canine companion. Dan has an incredible story too.

He’s a U.S. Army veteran who fought in Desert Storm and was in the Pentagon on 9/11. He came to the Dumb Friends League looking for an emotional-support dog after his 10 and a half-year-old dog Blue passed. Dan, who had also been working with Pets for Vets, stopped by just to see what we had available. He said he connected with Rocky because they’ve both been through so much, and he told us that Rocky is going to be an “on-the-bed kind of dog.”

Rocky and Dan

Rocky will be busy hiking with Dan and spending time at their 7-acre ranch in New Mexico. Dan is hoping Rocky can tell him when his emotions are getting the best of him and help him overcome difficult times. Watching Dan and Rocky meet, it’s obvious they’ll be a great match. Rocky, the goofy, bouncy boxer mix, immediately cozied right up to Dan, lying contently next to him and accepting pets.

These are the incredible stories we are honored to witness every day. Each pet comes to us in need of kindness and compassionate care. Watching these animals transform from their arrival to the moment they walk out the door with their new family is why we do what we do—and we certainly couldn’t change their lives without our compassionate community.

Rocky’s incredible transformation from a scared and injured dog into a wiggly and happy pup is just one of these stories. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our staff and volunteers, this sweet boy has a second chance at a new life—and thanks to Dan, it looks like it’s going to be a really great one!

Looking for your own Rocky? Check out our adoptable pets now.

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