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Rocky the Magnificent and Mary: An Update

Dogs on Deployment hopes everyone has been having a safe and enjoyable summer. A while ago in this Military Pet Tails Blog we presented the story of Mary, a United States Army veteran and her dog, Rocky the Magnificent, whom we came to know and love as the dog with “peanut butter eyes.”

Rocky is a rescue dog who picked Mary in August, 2013. They quickly settled into a wonderful life together, full of the rituals that come with responsible dog ownership, and an abundance of unconditional love.

Rocky the dog: A Lover and A Fighter

Pictured above: ROCKY — Both a lover and a fighter!

Mary’s world changed on January 15, 2016, when she first noticed what turned out to be a rock-hard lump in Rocky’s mouth, just under his eye. After numerous tests that were both exhaustive and expensive, Rocky was diagnosed with cancer, namely fibrosarcoma and melanocytoma in the oral cavity. Few things can bring immediate dread to your life the way a cancer diagnosis will. Sadly, current estimates indicate that roughly 6 million dogs (and just as many domestic cats) will be diagnosed with cancer this year alone.

In the weeks that followed the diagnosis, the Pets for Patriots organization, along with Dogs on Deployment, together committed funds towards surgery and the treatment of Rocky’s cancer. This financial assistance was important because it also meant that a United States veteran would not have to — in Mary’s own words — “reach their financial breaking point .”

UPDATE: As of Rocky’s end of July, 2016 veterinary report, his tumor has been seriously reduced. The canine cancer that is left on the dog’s jaw is dead or dying, and he has been cleared for follow up in four months.

GO ROCKY, GO!!