Summit Assistance Dogs provides highly trained dogs to help people who have disabilities. Sometimes the dogs that graduate from Summit have too much to give for their talents to be limited to helping just one person. Rocky is just such a dog. Julia and her daughter Ashlee are among Summit’s dedicated band of puppy raisers. Julia and Ashlee nurtured Rocky from when he was puppy through his Summit training. After returning to Summit for advanced training, it was decided that Rocky’s unbridled enthusiasm and passion for life would be best suited to a role as a therapy dog.
So, Rocky continues to live with Julia and her family in Ferndale. He’s now the role model to the new puppy that Julia and Ashlee are raising for Summit and a big brother to the family’s other dog. But, come Sunday, Rocky gets to run across the fields and get as muddy as can be, because in the evening, he has his weekly shower and an early night. On Monday morning, he and Julia drive to St Joseph Hospital where Rocky does the rounds bringing smiles to patients’ and their families’ faces, offering a furry paw to bring peace to an unconscious man’s dreams and a soft belly to elicit schoolgirl-like giggles from an elderly lady. There are some therapies that even the best human doctor is unable to provide.