A picture of rocco in better days, 1/27/2010-10/19/2023

For those of you who are on our social media channels, you likely already know about our beautiful Rocco. On October 19th, Rocco passed away. He had stopped eating the week before and had given up on all of his usual interests.

The only time he got up besides drinking and going to the bathroom is when I set up the photography booth for a different dog. He didn’t want the usual treats. He just wanted his picture taken and it broke my heart.

I wanted to capture his story forever on this blog, because his story is worthy. Please humor this hurting heart with the life of a beautiful, wonderful, kind, expressive little dog. This is copied and pasted from Facebook, because I don’t have the heart to write it again.

Rocco is my first dog. Before there was Rocco, I worked as a dog bather. At first it was because it was the only job I could find, but I kept at it because I loved it. I quickly learned that there were breeds I really enjoyed being around and breeds I did not like so very much. Boston Terriers were my favorite, chihuahuas were definitely not on the favorite list.

Imagine my surprise when my fiancé asked if we could get a puppy from a chihuahua litter instead of the Boston Terrier we agreed on as our first pet together. His mother knew of a person who was trying to find homes for a bunch of chihuahua puppies. He even offered to let me pick out which one we brought home, since he was picking the breed.

There were only two males available. A healthy, beautiful puppy that wriggled with excitement and licked our faces, and one that was nearly dead. It could sort of stand but its feet splayed out when it did, its head hung low, and its eyes were gooped shut.

I do not blame the owner of the pup for this because the chihuahuas she found wandering (I suspect abandoned puppy mill dogs) were pregnant and she had no prior experience with dogs. All they knew was that the puppies needed shots.

Well, my fiancé fell madly in love with the dying one of course. He didn’t say anything, but I chose that one even though I knew it was very likely that poor pup was not going to survive. We promised we would get the puppy shots, and then straight to the vet we went.

It turns out, that poor pup had worms like nobody’s business. The vet gave him some medicine that made him poop out gigantic piles of wriggling spaghetti (horrible first puppy experience!!) and wow, he felt much better!

This is how we came to get Rocco. Best decision I have ever made in my life, and my husband too really. I’m really glad he decided to help out with ‘Puppygeddin’ and get a chihuahua instead.

It took us a few days to name Rocco, and he was “Paco” for half a day first before we finally hit the right notes. Rocco was a hilarious little puppy to own. He could throw his own toys for himself. Sometimes you’d be in bed reading while he was spicing around on the floor, and suddenly a plushie hippo would be thrown like a missile at your head.

He would apologetically come up and be like, “Can I…can I just get that back?” If he ever threw it somewhere he couldn’t access, he would cry until you gave it back to him.

One time my fiance brought home a new toy for him, the toy fox. It honked instead of squeaked, and it scared the living daylights out of poor Rocco. One honk sent him scurrying under the bed, barking furiously, showing his teeth. NO FOXES!!!

Rocco was about 6 months old at our wedding. We tried to get him a little tuxedo for it, but the tuxedo arrived long after the wedding, and too small as well. Darn it!

When he was about 10 months old, we started doing agility. He loved it! We never competed, but we loved doing the classes and playing fun games. He also attended obedience classes, herding classes, scent work classes, and essentially whatever class was available within driving range. He did it all, loved it all, and always wanted more.

Eventually we had our first child, and Rocco fell madly, deeply, in love. He adored that baby. He alerted us whenever there was a soiled diaper. He snuggled up to the baby when we took him out to enjoy the summer sun and defended the baby from perceived evil.

One time, there really was evil to defend the baby from. A mouse managed to get into the apartment we were staying in and hid in the laundry room. Rocco could hear it and boy did he not like it! We thought he was crazy until we eventually found the mouse.

About the same time, my husband wanted a little more dog time to himself, and asked if I wanted another chihuahua so that Rocco could free up his schedule a bit. (He would never say such a thing, but I was a bit of a dog-hog I think.)

We took Rocco with us to meet Leia, an older puppy just a bit younger than him that had been returned to the breeder. They hit it off immediately, playing and romping, that we knew it was a good choice. We took her home.

Eventually I decided I wanted to start a blog as a sort of legacy for Rocco. I loved him so much, I knew I wanted to make something big that would live on after him. The goal was for the blog to be the ultimate resource for chihuahuas, with anything you could possibly think about as a question answered on the blog.

The original was called Rocco’s House. Unfortunately, the domain was purchased from me a few years later, and I had not backed anything up. I didn’t try again with All Things Chihuahua until Rocco was a senior citizen.

Rocco has been there for me for all the twists and turns that life has brought me. Through deaths in my family, to big shifts in our family dynamics. We took him with us on vacation and he saw the entire Pacific Northwest, from the giant sequoias to the Grand Canyon.

In 2019, my husband accidentally caught the house on fire, but was able to rescue all the dogs. It was my turn to be there for Rocco. The insurance company did not really want to pay for hotel rooms for 9+ months, and no landlord wanted 4 dogs on their property.

It was a really terrible time, and thanks to the -worst- bank in the whole world, who wanted us to repair all the damage without giving us the money to repair any of the damage, we almost ended up homeless. Thankfully, a very kind landlord (Thank you, Mike!) agreed to let us keep our dogs on their property until the house was fixed.

Eventually we were able to get the house fixed, and things more or less returned to normal. We continued to adventure with Rocco. He has been to the Grand Canyon, he has walked among the giant sequoias, he has been on white sand beaches and beautiful deserts. His life was full of adventure.

I started All Things Chihuahua January 06, 2022, with the goal of having a legacy for Rocco. I’m so glad I did. Through this blog, I’ve gotten a chance to meet so many people. I’ve made a ton of dog friends, and I’ve helped a lot of people with their chihuahuas.

Creating the blog also helped me discover Rocco’s passion in life—film and photography. October 2022, I gave into his demands to do some of that training, and made a cute little story style film about Halloween. He loved it! Also, so did our fans. His first and second story video went viral.

It’s almost poetic that his last film, The Naughty List, is a Christmas film. We do all of our filming far in advance, so you will still see my beloved Rocco until December 6th, which is the day the Naughty List is supposed to release. Please enjoy him. He’s my best friend, and this was his passion.

In March 2023, Rocco was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. He was given the weekend to live, but managed to pull through. He enjoyed 182 more walkies, 24 more grand adventures, including going camping for the first time, and so much more in that bonus time. We are so thankful to our veterinary team that gave us those extra, quality, months with him.

Rocco passed away 10/19/2023. His last week was very difficult for him and he made it very clear he was ready to go. We chose to do an in-home euthanasia, and it was very peaceful. I’d like to thank Dr. David at The Good Life for Pets – Home Euthanasia and Hospice Care for Pets for helping Rocco across the bridge. There isn’t a more caring doctor in the whole world.

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By Andrea

Andrea is a dedicated dog mom of three chihuahuas. She has over a decade of experience as a dog groomer, chihuahua owner, and more recently as a dog trainer. She loves all things canine, particularly chihuahuas.

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