Rocco #2 Chocolate Labrador Retriever Male 9 Years Old ID #2729

chocolate labrador retrieverRocco came to BLRR as an owner surrender.  Due to the owner passing, Rocco was presented for euthanasia.  The vet thought he deserved a chance to be re-homed, and contacted Brookline.  Rocco, despite weighing in at a hefty 118 lbs, seems to be a healthy, and friendly nine year old dog. Rocco is currently getting settled into his new foster home. Please read his blog from the bottom up.

July 13, 2020

chocolate labrador retrieverWe’ve had Rocco for close to a month now, and he’s really starting to settle in. He’s lost some weight, and has continued to gain energy. He LOVES his walks. Right now, we’re doing a 1/2 mile walk early in the day before it gets hot, and then another 1/2 mile walk in the evening when it’s cooled back off. He would love to do more than 1/2 mile at a time, but until we get some more weight off of him, we’re trying to keep the walks short so that his joints don’t suffer. If we’re home, we also take him for a few small walks around the yard during the day. He really likes walks in the woods. I let him off leash on our property for our walks in the woods, and he never goes far, and always comes when called. He really likes to eat the tall strands of grass on the edge of the yard, and I let him graze for a few minutes a day.chocolate labrador retrieverRocco has been wonderful with everyone he has met here at the house, and on our road trips. He likes being with his humans, so I take him with me whenever I can. He is so very happy when he gets to go in the car! To load him up, he puts his front paws in, and I lift his hind end. I haven’t been able to get him to use the ramp. He reportedly camped with his prior owners, and also likes to swim, but we haven’t been able to do either of those things with him yet.

chocolate labrador retrieverLike most dogs his age, Rocco has some arthritis in his legs. You wouldn’t know it though when he sees another dog! He loves to meet other dogs. He has met every dog in the neighborhood, and as a result I have now met all of my new neighbors. He is BFFs with the neighbor’s dog, Reggie. Usually they run around the yard independently after a few greeting sniffs, but on Friday night Reggie was running circles around Rocco, and play bowed a few times, so Rocco engaged in play for a few minutes (until he pooped out!) It was so great to see him playing like a pup again!

Rocco attempted to hump a friend’s dog a few weeks ago, but stopped when corrected. I haven’t seen that behavior from him since then with other dogs, so I think he’s learning that it’s not appropriate. That being said, he does hump his bed from time to time. Never tried it with a human though, thank goodness!! chocolate labrador retrieverRocco is a great communicator. He barks once if he wants in/out of the house. He barks when he’s excited (like when we turn on to our road, and he recognizes where we are), or hungry, or when he has to go to the bathroom. He also barks for a few minutes when we leave him, but then quickly settles in until we return.

Overall Rocco is an easy going dude, but he does like his naps, so it would be best if he goes to a home that has no kids or older children that understand to leave him alone when he’s sleeping. He can get grumpy if disturbed. Thankfully he will let you know if he’s unhappy.

chocolate labrador retrieverRocco is not a snuggler; he likes his space. If we lay on the floor next to him, he accepts a few pets, and then promptly gets up, and moves away.

He loves squishy toys, and likes to thrash them around. He will bring them to you to play with him, and he sounds so vicious when we play, but his tail is always wagging! I think he’d like to play fetch too, but it’s just been too hot, and we’ve been trying to keep the stress to his joints low.

He will just hang in the yard with me when I’m outside watering flowers, or working in the garage. He likes to roll in the grass, and lay in the sun. Rocco will leave the yard though if someone walks by – only because he’s mister social, and wants to say hi to everyone all the time! So, for that reason, potential adopters should have a plan in place to keep him in their yard.

Rocco aspires to chase bunnies. He will bark, and chase the birds that land in the yard sometimes. He has no interest in chasing deer, thankfully! chocolate labrador retrieverWe’ve never had to crate him. He’s never destroyed anything, and has no interest in human things. He’s never had an accident in the house. We have left him alone for extended periods of time, and he’s fine. He is unable to get on furniture so we have a few different beds around in the rooms we frequent so that he can be comfortable at all times.

Rocco does not go up stairs well, or willingly, and prefers carpeted floors. He sleeps on his bed in our living room every night, and tends not to stir until we do in the mornings. He has not encountered cats, or young children while with us, and while we have no reason to believe there would be an issue, it is an unknown.
He is eating Purina Pro Plan right now with joint mobility supplements, and some meds for arthritic pain. We’re hopeful that once he loses a few more pounds, we won’t need the joint pain medication for him anymore because it does make him sleepy.

Rocco is a great senior dog with the spirit of a young pup. He’s one of the easiest fosters I’ve ever cared for, and he will be an excellent best friend for someone that’s looking for an easy-going canine companion!

July 2, 2020

chocolate lab Rocco

Rocco has had a busy week! He’s been with us for two weeks now, and we can already see a difference in his energy level, and overall body shape. He came to us at 118 lbs, and weighed in today at the vet’s office at 116lbs. Slow, and steady wins the race!  Rocco like green beans, carrots (cooked), sugar snap peas (but not plain peas), broccoli, and cauliflower. He’s not a fan of cucumbers. He also likes a few blueberries here, and there.

He walks like a dream on the leash. The only time he pulls is when he sees another dog that he wants to go play with. He has met about five dogs so far, and has done very well with all of them. He will hump if allowed to do so, so I try to make sure he’s behaving himself around his new friends.

We have had people in, and out of the house several times, and he is a great greeter. He quickly settles, and listens well when told to lay down.

He likes pets, but isn’t a snuggler, and likes his own space, so when he’s on his bed, we leave him alone. It would be best if he’s placed in a home with older children that understand to leave him be when he’s resting. He sleeps from about 9pm until I move around in the mornings, he doesn’t seem to be used to a regimented schedule, which is great!

In general, he likes to be in the room I’m in, and will willingly lay in the lawn when I’m outside working. He will leave the yard if someone walks by – because he likes to greet everyone, so it’s probably best to keep him leashed when outside, or in a fenced in yard.

chocolate lab Rocco

He’s always trying to go with me when I leave. My husband reports that he barks until he sees me pull away, and then he settles in, and waits for me to return. I recorded the greeting I receive when I return – he’s always presenting me with a toy, and wagging his chubby little butt off.

June 22, 2020

Chocolate Labrador RetrieverRocco has been doing very well overall. He’s still not keen on hard floors. Even though we’ve laid down runners for him to leave the living room, he refuses to use them, even with treats as coercion. He spends most of his time in the living room, where there’s a giant area rug, copious windows, and ceiling fans. He does like to hang with us on the gated porch when we’re out there. In general, he likes to be where he knows we are. He laid in the lawn near the garage most of the weekend while we worked at projects. Chocolate Labrador RetrieverHe does get a bug to go for a wander once in a while, so we keep an eye on him. Rocco does have a tell when he’s about to walk away, so we’re getting better at understanding when that might happen. He only tried to wander off twice on Saturday, but in all fairness we were in the garage all day, so I wanted to wander off too.

He loves walking in the woods. So far we’ve only been able to do short jaunts, but he gets a skip in his step when he knows where we’re headed, because it’s full of great smells and things to explore.  We watched a mama deer, and fawn run through the yard yesterday with very little interest from Rocco. There was no indication that he wanted to chase them, and never even barked at them.

Rocco is a great alert dog however. He barks when people come to the door, and when he senses something is off. For example, he was dead asleep on the living room floor the other night about 11:30pm, and instantly woke up, put his nose in the air, and started barking ferociously, and ran to the door. My husband put a leash on him, and took him out, where Rocco proceeded to pull him towards the woodline. We’re fairly certain he smelled a bear, or some other critter that he didn’t like, because his reaction was so strong, and so sudden! We got him calmed down, and he was quickly back to sleep.

Chocolate Labrador RetrieverWe do not have AC in our house, we really have no need for it. There are lots of windows, lots of shade indoors and out, ceiling fans, and a gentle breeze most days, and so far Rocco has been fine. I am prepared to break out a box fan for him though, if he’s panting more than usual. I do think he’d benefit from a forever home with AC, as his age and weight probably make the heat hard on him.

Rocco is such a good dog! No accidents, no destructive behaviors, and friendly to all the dogs he’s met so far. He’s super low maintenance; my husband felt the need to say the other day “Don’t forget we have a dog”! It would be easy to forget that he is here at times!

June 18, 2020

Rocco is a nine year old chocolate lab with the heart of a three year old. He was described as “fat and friendly,” and while both are currently true, we hope to get him to a healthier weight over the next few months. He wants to run and play, but doesn’t currently have the stamina to do much. We are confident with the right diet, and moderate exercise (he likes to swim!) he’ll be a svelte bachelor in no time!

The first night in our home was a success. He slept the night on his bed, and eagerly chased all the birds out of the yard first thing this morning. After potty time outside, he settled in, and has been watching the birds out the french doors, and taking snooze breaks as necessary.

chocolate labrador retrieverHe has a loud bark, but hasn’t used it inappropriately, and I appreciate the alerts of strangers walking by. Rocco is intimidated by the hard floors in the house, so we have placed a bunch of throw rugs down, but the gaps in between can be challenging…but only when he’s paying attention. He does fine when he’s distracted, so we’re hopeful he overcomes that barrier soon, as our entire main floor is hard surfaces.

Stairs have also presented a bit of a challenge – he can do them, but doesn’t like them. He’ll go down the stairs with no issues. Sometimes, when he’s climbing them though, his front legs go up, but his back legs don’t budge. Which, as you can imagine, causes a bit of a conundrum. Lifting the hind end of 118 lbs of coco butt is not ideal! Luckily we have alternate ways to enter/exit our home that don’t require steps. I think once he gets some of the spring back in his step, he’ll be able to do steps with no problem.

Once he settles in a bit more, we’ll have more stories to tell, I’m sure!

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