HeroThose of you who follow me on Facebook know that my family and I endured a terrible ordeal this week. Our sweet, loving dog Rocky was shot on Monday morning, deliberately and with the intent to kill. I don’t want to dwell on all of our the pain, suffering and anger in this post though, because we were also able to witness a miracle. Rocky survived, after being given almost no chance. He lays next to me on the couch as I write this post.

This Gratitude Sunday post is dedicated to Rocky and to all of the veterinarians, nurses, assistants, caregivers and administrative staff at both his “home” animal hospital and the emergency animal hospital who helped him to live. But even more than that, this post is dedicated to EVERYONE who kept Rocky in their hearts and thoughts this week and lent us support and love, whether that was online, over the phone, or in person. There is not a shred of doubt in my mind that it was the power of all that love that gave Rocky the strength to come back to us. As a result, I’ve been able to tell my kids that MOST people in this world are good and loving and kind, and that one disturbed individual who conducts one act of evil cannot overcome the goodness in the hearts of the many. Thank you!

I do have quotes on gratitude for the dogs and animals that dwell in our homes and hearts, but I am foregoing making my usual gratitude list for the reason that there are far too many individuals and events to list and every one of them leads back to Rocky being alive. I do have a different kind of list, however, that I hope you will enjoy.

Quotes on Gratitude for Dogs

“If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.” — James Herriot

“Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” — Anatole FranceRocky coming home

“If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” — Woodrow Wilson

“The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.” — Andy Rooney

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent.” — Milan Kundera

Everything I Know About Life I Learned From My Dog Rocky

  1. Nothing is more important than family.
  2. You CAN do what seems impossible.
  3. Just because one person treats you poorly doesn’t mean others will.
  4. Always keep your sense of adventure.
  5. Carry yourself with grace and confidence. Know you are beautiful.
  6. Do not live your life in fear.
  7. Play outside often.
  8. Give more hugs and kisses than are strictly necessary under the circumstances.
  9. Few things are finer than a perfectly grilled steak. Except maybe bacon.
  10. If you must bark, make sure it’s for a good cause.
  11. Make friends with llamas and sheep. They’re good people.Rocky with kids 2
  12. Play hard. Nap hard.
  13. Treat children like the treasures they are, and always protect them.
  14. NEVER give up.
  15. If you are lost, trust you will find your way home again.
  16. Most people are nice. Stay away from the mean ones.
  17. Never forget how much you are loved.
  18. Greet your loved ones at the front door with robust enthusiasm, so that they will know how much they were missed.
  19. Enjoy every meal to the utmost.
  20. Be present with yourself and your loved ones. Don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future.

What are you grateful for this week?

Rocky in water

Categories: Dogs, Family, Friendship, Gratitude Sunday · Tags: , , , , ,



  1. You post brought tears to my eyes, Julie. I am so thankful Rocky is okay.

  2. Oh Julie…so beautifully said. We are all grateful for Rocky’s return home and for all the hope that this homecoming symbolizes. With gratitude, Irene

  3. Oh wow. Tears in my eyes, too, after reading the list of things you learned from Rocky. So grateful that he’s home, and that you’ve all got through this ordeal. Sending you warmth and love.

  4. WHAT?! This is just unreal … who could do such a thing?! I am so very sorry that this happened to Rocky and your family, and I am so very thankful to hear that he made it through. Your post nearly brought me to tears. Hope the healing process is a smooth one for all of you.

  5. Julie, I am so sorry I did not know! It is a miracle of love. Blessings an dhelath to Rocky and all. Woof!

  6. Julie,
    I too am stunned and so, so sorry that Rocky was victim of such a horrendous crime and you all had to suffer. I know Rocky must be incredibly happy to have such a loving family and grateful to his caregivers. Sending healing thoughts to him and to your family.

  7. I’m so happy that Rocky pulled through! Here’s to the continued healing for Rocky, you, and your family. Way to go, Rocky! 🙂

  8. Beautifully said, Julie. The love of an animal can teach us much about love and gratitude. God Bless!

  9. Julie, thank you for sharing this story in such a gracious, compassionate way. You are a wise woman, and Rocky and his family are so blessed to begin again. This brought back memories of my “Bernie” who was shot by a policeman who got a new stun gun. He was trying it out. Bernie almost made it to the vet with his big St. Bernard/German Shepherd head on my lap in the backseat. It’s funny how it feels like Rocky is helping me heal from a very old wound. Big hugs to you all…

  10. It’s SUCH a relief he pulled through. Thank you for sharing his, and your, ordeal with us. –I’m grateful this horrible event had such a happy ending!

  11. Well, I’m a dog lover, so you’ve got me in tears 🙂 So glad he’s going to be okay and this scary story has a happy ending!

  12. Lovely post! How neat that God answered our prayers!

  13. So very glad Rocky is recovering at home. 🙂

  14. I’m so thankful Rocky will be okay, Julie. I just found out about this. Rocky is very lucky to have you and you are very lucky to have him. Our two guys are Frodo and Jack. Believe me, I know how you feel. Please give Rocky our love. So glad he’s okay. BTW, what a wonderful tribute.

  15. I’m so thankful your precious pup will be okay. Pat his big head for me!

  16. I’m going hug my beloved dog, Pepper, right now! Glad yours is okay after that horrid moment. Also, check this out-


    Take care,

  17. And I’m thinking that Rocky is grateful he lives with such a loving family!

  18. Lovely words Julie. And so glad Rocky has survived. That is the power of love and strength.

  19. Soooo glad Rocky is at home again. It’s your love and energy that return him there. Now I’m off to love my Gryffindog up for a while. There is no finer companion than a loyal and dedicated canine. Thanks for sharing this happy ending!

  20. Beautifully written, Julie. Happy endings still happen!

  21. What a beautiful and poignant letter, Julie. It seems like a letter, not a post, written directly to each of us.

  22. Rocky’s beautiful! Thanks for the wonderful doggy wisdom, Julie. I’m so glad Rocky has pulled through.

  23. What beautiful words of gratitude. So glad Rocky is home and doing so well. You can see the joy and relief of his caregivers in those pictures.

  24. So thankful Rocky survived. Pets are such a critical part of our lives, in the lessons they teach and the love they offer.

  25. Thrilled to hear Rocky is recovering. May he have many more happy years with such a loving family.

  26. What a great list that applies to our furry friends and us adults. Dogs are heaven indeed. So pleased for Rocky’s recovery x

  27. I love your “everything I know” list. And that Rocky is one handsome pup.

  28. I’m grateful for Cupcake – watching me watching TV. And that Rocky is doing so well. That was scary…

  29. Your post made my heart ache with love, Julie. I’m grateful for all my critters, past and present. That’s a very long list! They make my day-every day. Sooooo happy Rocky came through. Hugs and cookies to him.

  30. Kathy Cornell Berman

    Thanks for a beautiful post Julie. So happy Rocky is home. What an ordeal!

  31. Why would someone just up and shoot a dog? That, logically, makes no sense. Maybe the person was mentally ill? Oh my. I will keep your list of lessons in my heart. 🙂

  32. Number 10 may become my new mantra. All those ideas sound like a good picture book. :).

  33. I love your tribute to Rocky!! 🙂 I am a dog person myself and cannot imagine something like this happening to my Blitzen! How horrible! I love the photos of Rocky, especially the last one. He looks so happy in the water! How is he doing?? I hope and pray that he makes a full recovery.

  34. What a beautiful post, Julie. It is amazing how full of grace and strength you’ve been throughout this difficult time. You inspire so many to continue to see the good, to cherish each other and the moments that we have. Thank you, and GO, ROCKY!!!

  35. I’m so thrilled that “your” Rocky is on recovery road. “Our” Rocky, Yellow Lab Mix sends best wishes.

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