Reading the local paper only to stumble across an advert that was selling a Staffordshire bull terrier.
With his dole money, that he was saving for a rainy day, he decided to go get himself a dog of his own.
He was my Uncles dog.
And Rocky was his name – he was one stocky son of a bitch, great temperament and a face that resembled the yin and yang symbol.
Around that time my Mum and Dad divorced so that meant Mother and I had to pack up our shit and move back to my Grandads house – where my Uncle being the work shy type was also living there with his pooch.
I’m not going to bore you with fond memories of time spent with Rocky.
Here’s one for you tho.
Myself and Rocky got trapped inside an old abandoned chicken coop, that had been left empty for years in my Grandads backgarden.
But being an inquisitive 7 year old, little no brain me thought it would be a good idea to venture inside.
However, when it was time to exit. I didn’t have the strength to pull open the wooden door. This frighting the living shite out of me and I began to panic.
I’m shouting Grandad! Grandad, help!
He couldn’t hear my unbroken screaming voice, because of the volume being maxed out on the Phillips combo.
To my aid.
Rocky’s beautiful loud bark cut through the maxed out distorted golf commentary, and got my Grandads and Uncles attention.
Rocky had been diagnosed with epilepsy.
Usually on our way home Mother and I, we’d go and see my Grandad which we did most days.
After knocking and no answer.
Mum lets herself in using her own set of keys.
He was laying there.
Rocky not my Grandad – he and my Uncle weren’t home.
He lay on the floor with his eyes closed, he was shivering and foaming at the mouth.
“Not leaving him Mum! Where’s his tablets?” (tablets that my Uncle or Grandad would’ve to make him swallow by placing one at the back of his tongue whilst trying to keep his strong canine jaw open).
“We’ve gotta go love – here, put this blanket over him. Just until they get home”.
We waited some more.
“Where are they Mum?”
It was before most people had mobile phones. So there was not a chance in hell of getting hold of him or my Uncle.
So reluctantly we left.
Next day I had been at the early morning cinema club with my cousin.
Mum was waiting outside to pick me up with my Grandad sat in the car.
She had a look on her face I hadn’t seen before.
As I went to enter the car she took me to one side and broke the news to me.
Rocky had died.
And to add to insult, my cousin who was already in the car asked me what was up?
I told her.
Only for her to reply with
“it’s only a dog”.
Rocky was never my dog.
However, he was the first four legged friend I had.
May he go down in the dog hall of fame as one of the greats.