When Madeline was about 5 years old, her cousin’s dog had a litter of five puppies. Madeline loved animals and could hardly wait to see the puppies.
When she finally was able to visit the puppies, she noticed that one of the puppies was smaller than the others and did not seem as active and alert as the others. It was a little girl, black with some white spots. Madeline picked up the little puppy and put it by her mother so she could eat. The other puppies immediately tried to crowd out the small puppy, but Madeline moved them away so the small puppy could eat and receive needed nourishment.
Madeline immediately fell in love with that puppy and asked her mother if she could keep the puppy. Madeline’s aunt warned her that the puppy may not survive, but she could have the puppy if she did. Madeline’s mother agreed.
Madeline immediately took charge of the puppy, even at her young age. She spent much of her time at her cousin’s home tending the puppy. She made sure that the puppy was able to nurse from her mother. At times, she needed to move the other puppies so hers would have an unobstructed ability to eat. The puppy quickly began to gain strength and size; though not as big as the others.
Madeline decided upon the name Rocky for her puppy; because she was tough like rocks and her black coat with white spots reminded her of one of her favorite rocks.
Once Rocky was able to walk and get around, she followed Madeline everywhere she went. When it was time for her to go home, Rocky would cry and not eat until Madeline came back the next morning. When Rocky saw Madeline, she would run as fast as her ponderous puppy legs would allow her to run! Then Madeline would be sure her puppy ate from her momma.
Finally, the day came when Madeline could bring her puppy home! Everyone was excited, especially Madeline’s aunt! She was grateful that the puppies were weaned and going to their new forever homes. Her father gave Rocky a beautiful leather collar with three small pink crystals embedded into the leather, one that he had specially made for Rocky. Madeline squealed with delight when she saw the collar! She put it on Rocky; Rocky seemed pleased and felt like she was all grown up.
Rocky continued to follow Madeline wherever she went. When she needed to go to her classes and church, she had to tie Rocky to a long rope; she wasn’t allowed in classes and church and was still too young to be wandering by herself. Rocky was ecstatic whenever Madeline came home; she would jump all over Madeline and lick her face! As Rocky grew older and was trained, she was trusted to wait outside of Madeline’s classes until she was done. Rocky would lay outside the hut where Madeline attended class and eagerly greet her when she came outside.
As Rocky grew older and became full-grown, she was still smaller than the rest of the litter; nevertheless, her feistiness made up for her lack of size. Rocky was Madeline’s self-proclaimed protector and would stand between Madeline and anyone she did not know. One day while Madeline and Rocky were walking through a field of grass and flowers, Rocky suddenly tugged on the back of Madeline’s tunic and promptly pulled her back. Madeline was shocked that Rocky would do that and was about to scold her; then, she heard it. The scary sound of a rattlesnake rattle. The snake laid curled up directly in front of Madeline. If Rocky had not pulled her back, she would have walked right onto the snake. Madeline and Rocky quickly and quietly walked backwards, watching the snake as they stealthily moved. Once they were several feet away, they ran back home. Madeline told her parents what Rocky did. Rocky received many extra hugs and treats for saving Madeline from the snake.
When Rocky was about two years old, Madeline noticed her belly getting larger and realized that Rocky would be having her own puppies! Madeline was excited! She ran to tell all her family and friends. Knowing what a good dog Rocky was, several expressed interest in having one of Rocky’s puppies.
The anticipated day finally came. Rocky went into labor. It was a very hard labor. Something was wrong. Madeline had seen enough animals born to know that Rocky struggled. She began to panic and her mother sent for the animal healer. Once the healer came, she helped Rocky give birth to the first puppy. The puppy did not breath. Rocky licked and licked her, but he would not breathe. The healer worked on the puppy, but he would not breathe. Madeline cried! Seeing the lifeless puppy tore her apart. Then the next puppy was born. The healer gave the puppy to Rocky to clean up. Happy tears of joy flowed from Madeline as the puppy began crying. Rocky also perked up as she seemed to happily clean her puppy. Then, one more puppy came; this one delivered much easier than the other two. This puppy came out crying! Madeline and her family were excited! Two cute little puppies, both black with white spots, just like their momma!
Rocky was an amazing momma dog. She watched over her puppies with her protective eye. She played with them as they opened their eyes and became more mobile. She had plenty of milk for the two puppies so they quickly grew strong and healthy. The time soon came when the puppies were weaned and needed to go to new homes. Madeline was sad not to have the puppies around all the time, but was grateful that her cousin took one puppy and a good friend of hers took the other puppy. She and Rocky could visit them whenever they wanted.
Because of the difficulties in the births, sadly, Rocky was never able to have anymore puppies.
Rocky continued to be Madeline’s best friend as she grew into adulthood. Rocky was especially concerned when young men began to visit Madeline. She would quietly growl at the young men, eying them warily. It became well-known that to court Madeline, you would need the approval of her dog!
Rocky was getting old and slowing down, but that did not stop her from continuing to always be with Madeline and to be her protector. One day, a handsome young man with dark hair and eyes came to visit Madeline. This was someone Rocky had not met or seen before. Madeline expected Rocky to do the usual growl, but this time, Rocky licked the young man. Madeline was shocked! The young man was also surprised as he had heard about Rocky! Rocky immediately gave her approval for this young man to court Madeline. Shortly after that, the young man and Madeline were betrothed, then married.
It seemed that Rocky knew that Madeline now had someone to love her and protect her. It wasn’t long after their marriage that Rocky became ill and passed away. Madeline was heartbroken. Rocky had been at Madeline’s side for years. Rocky was her best friend, her protector.
After a time of grieving, Madeline had her own child, a baby girl. Then, Madeline discovered that one of Rocky’s grand puppies just gave birth to a litter of six puppies! Madeline, with her husband and new baby girl, went to look at the puppies. There was one little girl who looked just like Rocky. Madeline knew this puppy was for her and her new family.
This puppy, although different in personality and larger than Rocky, grew to be a strong family protector and provided Madeline’s family with endless joy!