|My best friend and handsome guy Rocky was diagnosed with diabetes
on January 2, 2003. He was a 7 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback mix, adored
and loved by myself and many, many friends.
Rocky never, never gave me a problem about his insulin injections. It
took almost 6 months to become regulated and then only when we consulted
a specialist and after going blind. He had cataract and implant surgery
in June of 2003 and his regained sight combined with his restored health
due to proper insulin regimen made him young again. He was active, happy,
fit and loved everyone! I committed myself and my schedule to caring
for Rocky and making sure his diabetes protocol was meticulously followed.
Insulin shots twice a day at 12 hour intervals, plenty of water, moderate
exercise and healthy diet had him in fine condition.
Rocky and I had become more tightly bonded as a result of his required
care. I worried about him and he clung to me. After 2 and 1/2 years I realized
I needed to become a little less obsessive and learn to trust that he would
be okay. Oh, how I wish I had not listened to this rational.
In March I told some friends I would go on vacation in July with them
to a condo in Reno, Nv. I talked to my regular vet to get his input on
how to arrange for Rocky's care. He told me that his kennel was a perfect
place for Rocky to be boarded as he would have daily access to Rocky, to
check blood sugar levels and monitor any problems. In addition, his staff
would know Rocky and his history and would be alert for any problems.
I went away for 9 days and on the 10 th day returned to pick up Rocky
and his best buddy Daytona who had stayed with him at the vet. I discovered
Rocky unable to stand on his right hind leg, shaky and weak. When questioned,
the vet brushed me off with a diagnosis of arthritis aggravated by staying
in the kennel. When taking the dogs to my truck, a kennel
attendant told me that Rocky had twisted his leg the second day he
was there. After a sleepless night while Rocky's condition only got worse,
not better as the vet had predicted, I rushed him to another vet. I was
devastated to learn that Rocky had suffered a dislocated hip and most dangerously
had been improperly fed and had not received insulin -- he was in advanced
stages of ketoacidosis, caused by days of neglect of his diabetic condition.
Rocky died that night, just 36 hrs after taking him home from the vet's
When I confronted the vet, he could give me no answers. He did not know
when Rocky had received his last insulin injection. He did not know how
or why Rocky was injured and he claimed that no one told him the dog was
injured. When I asked him when he looked at Rocky to diagnose the arthritis,
he very bluntly said- When you were walking out the door with him to take
The state of Florida has a paragraph in the cruelty statute that says
a veterinarian cannot be charged with cruelty. County Animal Services has
no idea how to deal with this. City Police dismissed me with a "we are
NOT going to investigate a dead canine". I finally filed a civil lawsuit
and a complaint against the vet thru the State Dept of Professional Regulation.
While both the state complaint and the lawsuit have shown signs of going
in my favor, there is no cause for joy or a happy ending. Nothing can undo
the pain that Rocky suffered and nothing can bring him back to me.
I went from my life revolving around Rocky to walking aimlessly with
his best friend, trying to make sense of why, why, why!!!
Thankyou for reading about Rocky. He was my friend and an incredible
pet. I miss him every day and cannot imagine a day when I will not
long to touch him.
For more information about this story please contact
Ellen the owner of Angel Rocky
Note from Judy:
Before leaving your diabetic pet with someone for a long length
of time it would be better to do like a two day trial to see how things
work out. The treatment Rocky received is inexcusable.